Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Upcoming WISE Conference Recommendations

Hi all,

There are a couple of great science, technology, and math education conferences coming up this month and next that I want to be sure you are all aware of, the February 27-30 NCSSSMST conference in Dallas and the March 27-30 NSTA conference in Boston .

I and a few WISE folks will be attending both shows, and we could likely schedule some fun extra-curricular activities around MIT in Boston that could be good for both faculty and students (the latter get free admittance to the Boston show.) This could also be a fun chance to hook up, broaden the WISE network and get schools actually collaborating. What a concept! Who's in?

Conference details follow:
NCSSSMST 2008 Professional Conference
February 27-30, Dallas, TX

A case study for a great organization that badly needs a better name, the acronym-challenged association for Math Science and Technology specialty schools is a largely under-appreciated convocation of the best practices in those areas of education. With their group's focus on science and technology, you will find the best and most progressive teachers and school administrators talking about what is working for them and what is not. The content quality is very high overall. If you are either looking to hire, or looking for a job at a top-notch secondary educational institution, these are on the cutting edge of future school practices. I would even put in a strong plug for those of you from more mainstream schools to attend, as many of these best practices are universally applicable regardless of overall school focus.

Check out the NCSSSMST 2008 Professional Conference schedule and the final session program.
LOTS of good stuff here. If you like what you see you can register online here.

More info on the organization

National Science Teacher's Association Conference
February 28-30, Boston, MA

The best thing about this show is actually the exhibition, where all the science education vendors hawk their wares (over 500 vendors total). Everything from text books and workbooks to lab equipment, software, and materials, kits, etc... are abundantly displayed. The only challenge is sifting through the self-interested promoters of glossy-but-otherwise-useless stuff and the true gems that can transform your science education experiences. So we're planning some WISE group walk-throughs in order to jointly brainstorm about what we might promote and use.

The second big opportunity is that through our MIT connections, we have been pointed towards a bunch of MIT programs that will be going on in support of the NSTA conference. These MIT research groups are hosting visitors from the NSTA show on the MIT campus for hands-on science and technology education workshops.

Incidentally, these are the groups that have the most active ongoing K-12 outreach programs, and would be the best candidates for summer sabbaticals for any interested WISE faculty. (several of the groups were ones that Chris, Bill, and I met with on our last Boston trip) I can personally recommend the Creating with crickets at the Media Lab, and Open-ended Mechanical Engineering Activities, as being absolute gems applicable from middle school on up.

BLOCK 1 (1:30-2:45 PM)
Workshop Tag and Description Choice
13 of 18 Creating with crickets at the Media Lab
30 of 30 "Highlights for HS" MIT OpenCourseWare ~ Super resource for AP courses
26 of 30 Tour of the Broad Institute biomedical research labs
47 of 50 Scientific breakthroughs ~ Hot topic biology lecture
23 of 25 Investigate the 3-D structure of proteins
99 of 100 MIT Museum: MIT Lemelson InvenTeams and the Cell
21 of 24 Connecting genes to organisms and populations
30 of 30 MIT OpenLabWare for HS ~ Learn in the Lab
22 of 25 Space weather, radio astronomy & cell phones

Long BLOCKS (1:30-4:15 PM)
Workshop Tag and Description
13 of 16 Basic neutron experiments at the reactor
15 of 16 Magnetism, thin-film nanomagnets
7 of 10 Build magnetic induction or "shake" flashlights
23 of 24 Ocean exploration in the classroom
21 of 24 Mystery @MIT: learning through augmented reality
25 of 25 High Energy Astrophysics!

Do let me know via email, blog comment or IM (see the links to the right) if you are planning to attend either show so we can be sure to meet up and plan some joint meals and events!


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