Local educators invited to participate in ASTA Conference virtually or in-person

Lori Dugan Photo/EAC: Eastern Arizona College Dean of Instruction, Dr. Phil McBride is currently serving as president of the Arizona Science Teacher’s Association (ASTA) and is coordinating the 67th annual ASTA Annual Conference at the end of this month and in early November. All area teachers are invited to attend and participate

By Lori Dugan/EAC

THATCHER, AZ—Eastern Arizona College Dean of Instruction, Dr. Phil McBride, is currently serving as president of the Arizona Science Teacher’s Association (ASTA) and is coordinating the 67th annual ASTA Annual Conference at the end of this month and in early November. All area teachers are invited to attend and participate.

This year’s conference will have two components, with the first being a virtual conference on Saturday, Oct 30, 2021, followed by an in-person conference, at the Challenger Space Center in Phoenix, on November 4 & 5, 2021. Participants will engage with science teachers from around the state as they learn how to navigate the art of teaching science in today’s challenging climate. Interested teachers should touch base with their administrator about using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds to support their attendance at this conference.

Lynette Stant, the Arizona Education Foundation’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, will be the keynote speaker at the October 30th virtual part of the conference. Lynette is a member of the Navajo Nation and a 15-year veteran elementary teacher. She currently teaches 3rd grade on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation in Scottsdale.

Mickey Sarquis, CEO of Terrific Science along with Dr. Jerry L. Sarquis, Professor Emeritus of Miami University, will be the keynote speakers for the Friday, Nov. 5, in-person part of the conference. They are recipients of many awards and have authored numerous books including Modern Chemistry. Together they will inspire and engage attendees through their presentation Sparking Interest & Learning in Science. Participants will be reunited with the fun hands-on and mental-minds-on aspects of science teaching as they learn to spur students’ curiosity.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Teaching Science in an Evolving Climate.” The conference is framed around three strands that reflect ASTA’s commitment to providing sessions that inspire, engage, and support science teachers in their role as STEM educators. The first strand, Navigating the Arizona Science Standards, showcases classroom lessons/assessments that evaluate students’ abilities to perform science and make sense of science phenomena. Sessions based on this strand discuss learning progressions that focus on developmental needs, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices to develop skills and abilities and core concepts. Sessions also demonstrate connections among science, language arts, math, technology, and other disciplines.

“Effective Science instruction involves supporting and guiding students as they construct content knowledge that they can apply in and out of our classrooms,” said McBride. “Strand two explores strategies to encourage, engage, and empower students. Sessions will showcase active learning classroom lessons, share ideas to encourage students to become lifelong learners, and discuss how to connect with students to increase diversity and inclusion.”

The third strand, Applying Effective Distance Education tools, enables educators to describe what they have learned during the pandemic, and how some of these strategies, tools, resources, and technologies are being implemented in the classroom. Many of these strategies will be discussed during the virtual sessions on October 30, 2021.

“Regardless of the venue, rest assured, participants can count on ASTA to convene a diverse community of leaders including classroom educators, administrators, and science education professionals to share ideas, expertise, and best-practices that will enhance your ability to help students discover the world through science,” said McBride.

“We hope that K-14 teachers will be able to join us virtually, in-person, or both at our 67th ASTA Annual Conference!”<https://azsta.org/2021-conference/>

For more information about the conference contact McBride by email at  2021_president@azsta.org or go to the ASTA website https://azsta.org/.

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