Archive for the ‘Presentations’Category

Designing a Future-Proofed Makerspace – Intro

Part 1 – Designing a Future-Proofed Makerspace – Intro

img_0825From tinkering labs to fabrication studios, “Makerspaces” are popping up at schools across the country. While these spaces, often filled with tools like 3-D printers and laser cutters, are replacing tech labs at many schools, some educators question if these new classrooms are just a passing fad or if they truly represent the future of hands-on learning.

I explored this topic with the Burke’s Makery Team as part of a panel session at the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE) annual conference in Denver, CO. This series of ten posts will explore key ideas that will help schools and educators design makerspaces that will not only be relevant today but will also stand the test of time.
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09 2016

Greetings from the Boston NSTA Conference!

It was so wonderful meeting with many inspiring science educators from the world at this week’s National Science Teachers Convention in Boston, MA!


In addition to attending workshops and scouring the expo floor for ideas and resources, I presented two workshops, one on National Board Certification and another entitled “Full STEAM Ahead” on integrating art into STEM education. Click on the “NSTA WORKSHOPS” header at the top of the page to access the presentations and resource pages from my workshops.


04 2014

NSTA Conference Day Two

Sea World Penguins at the NSTA Conference in San FranciscoIn addition to the nearly 15,000 teachers who made it to San Francisco for the NSTA Convention, two avian members of the Sea World education team found their way into the exhibit hall. They were the stars of one of hundreds of exhibits in the exposition hall. I was particularly fascinated seeing the penguins’ tiny feathers up from only a few inches away. They are incredibly small, shiny, and densely packed… as many 100 per square inch!

Today being my only day to explore the conference without having to present a workshop, I took the opportunity to explore the exhibit hall looking for new resources and ideas to bring back to my classroom. From an interactive anatomy model to a 360 degree Earth Projector to a construction kit that allows students to build three different types of renewable energy vehicles, the room was filled with creative new ways to engage students. I’m off to finish my preparation for tomorrow’s workshop, but will be sharing photos of and links to the many amazing resources I discovered in the coming days.


03 2011

NSTA Conference Day One

Day one of the NSTA conference is over and I already find myself energized with ideas and resources. I presented two of my three workshops today (including one in which my workshop was up against one by Bill Nye… and still had great attendance). One highlight of my Big Macs & Healthy Teens workshop occurred after my presentation while talking with a group of teachers visiting from Brazil. They shared some of their school’s work promoting healthy eating by redesigning their school lunch program around celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s work with childhood nutrition. You can find more info about Oliver’s work with school lunches here in the U.S. at Food Revolution website.

I’m looking forward to exploring more workshops and exhibits tomorrow! I’m gathering resources that I’ll be blogging about at the end of the conference. Stay tuned!


03 2011

Welcome to San Francisco!

Photo courtesy Rich Niewiroski Jr.

Next week, 15,000 science educators will arrive in San Francisco for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference. The conference, which runs from March 10-13, will feature hundreds of workshops, field trips, symposia, and speakers.

I first attended the NSTA National Conference six years when it was held in Anaheim, CA. From meeting the Mythbusters to learning how to construct paper roller coasters to a forensic science excursion to the Orange County Crime Lab, the ideas and experiences I learned that weekend continue to inform and enhance my own instruction. Four years ago I learned the 2011 conference would be coming to my hometown and decided that I’d submit a proposal to present ideas from my own classroom at a NSTA workshop.

Three accepted proposals later, I find myself frantically putting together workshop packets and keynote presentations in anticipation of next week’s conference. If you’re attending the conference, I hope you’ll stop by one of my presentations:

Rethinking and “Greening Classic Science Projects
Thursday, March 10, 2011, 2:00pm-3:00pm
Co-Presented with Liat Baranoff of Science is Elementary
“Tired of putting styrofoam/plastic projects into the landfill? Explore how to teach students to make “green” choices, while increasing critical thinking and creativity.”

Big Macs and Healthy Teens? A New Approach to Nutrition Education
Thursday, March 10, 2011, 5:00pm-6:00pm
“From analyzing nightmare meals to filming healthy eating music videos, persuasive curriculum empowers critical thinking.”

Send Inquiry Skills Soaring with Vinegar and Baking Soda Rockets
Saturday, March 12, 8:00am-9:00am
“With rockets flying high and Mythbusters-style video analysis, learn how baking soda, vinegar, and water bottles can send students’ inquiry and data analysis skills soaring!”



03 2011