Since the implementation of the GSE in 2017, Georgia teachers have continued to refine their understanding of what it means to integrate science content with science practices and crosscutting concepts. The focus of the 2020 GSTA conference is Broadening Our Horizons and will provide an opportunity for teachers to be immersed in experiences about 3-D teaching and learning, equity, assessment, and the integration of STEM and Literacy. This year’s conference is designed to continue to broaden our horizons as we grow and refine our practices as educators. Conference sessions this year will focus on sharing best practices, resources, and ideas based on the following strands:
Broadening Our Understanding of STEM Integration - How can we intentionally integrate STEM aligned with the GSE?
Broadening Our Understanding of Science for ALL: How attention to EQUITY can help us engage ALL students?
Broadening Our Understanding of the connections between Science and LITERACY
Broadening Our Understanding of 3-D ASSESSMENT: How can we incorporate the three dimensions in our assessments?
Strand 1: Broadening Our Understanding of STEM Integration - How can we intentionally integrate STEM aligned with the GSE? STEM has become a priority as we seek to provide today’s students with the real-world, innovative skills that they will need to be successful in tomorrow’s world. STEM instruction that builds on the foundation of core science ideas provides students with opportunities that equip them to make sense of the world in which they live, hone their critical thinking skills, and spark their sense of innovation. Sessions in this strand will allow participants to broaden their understanding of how to plan and teach collaboratively within these integrated learning environments. Sessions will focus on how STEM/STEAM can be integrated into lessons and activities that promote real-world problem-based learning that provide the student with a context for learning and achieving the goals of the Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science.
Strand 2: Broadening Our Understanding of Science for ALL: How attention to EQUITY can help us engage ALL students? - Just as science encompasses diverse fields of learning from astronomy to zoology, science educators are called upon to equitably meet the needs of and engage ALL learners. Research has identified the unique challenges of a number of underserved groups, including students from urban areas, rural areas, English language learners, students with low socioeconomic status, those with special needs, gifted and talented students, and students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Cultivating a culture of equity and inclusion for all students aligns with the vision put forth by A Framework for K–12 Science Education and prepares students for future career opportunities in a global society. Sessions in this strand will broaden participants’ understanding of the unique needs of various types of learners and helps them reduce barriers to full participation in science.
Strand 3: Broadening Our Understanding of 3-D ASSESSMENT: How can we incorporate the three dimensions in our lessons and assessments? Students achieve a stronger understanding of science when disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts are woven together within student learning opportunities that explore real-world phenomena and allow students to solve authentic problems. Sessions in this strand will broaden the participant’s understanding of how to develop lessons that include formative and/or summative assessments that integrate the three dimensions. This strand will help teachers, whether they are 3D novices or experts, expand their understanding of three-dimensional teaching, learning, and assessment. Sessions in this strand will target participants with a beginning, intermediate, or advanced level of familiarity with three-dimensional learning and assessment.
Strand 4: Broadening Our Understanding of the connections between Science and LITERACY: - A great number of personal and societal issues require citizens to draw upon a foundation of scientific knowledge, problem-solving, and the ability to design scientific solutions to obtain, evaluate, and communicate information in order to make informed decisions. Engaging ALL students in science, beginning in the early years, is the way to develop students’ skills in thinking creatively, expressing themselves, and investigating their world. As college- and career-ready students investigate natural phenomena, they should be able to communicate their argument-driven claims based on data-driven evidence. Science core ideas can be developed by using current technology and media to create, refine, and collaborate through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Sessions in this strand will broaden participant’s understanding of the connections between science and literacy, and to experience literacy strategies that encompass active student engagement.
Sessions outside of these strands that feature best practices and effective strategies or resources for engaging students in meaningful science learning are welcome!
The 2019 annual conference will be held February 13-14, in Columbus. Session proposals will be accepted through Friday, October 25, 2019. Members or nonmembers may submit a maximum of 3 session proposals. All presenters must register and pay for the conference, which includes one year of GSTA membership, upon acceptance of the session proposal. If you are a current GSTA member, then please log into your account before submitting your proposal.