MWW connects with science educators at 2008 NSTA conference

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                          Bill_nye
    Bill Nye, image courtesy of Univ.of Washington Kaerberlein Lab.

Last weekend, March 27-30, My Wonderful World traveled to my
old Boston stomping grounds for the National
Science Teachers Association
(NSTA) annual conference. Upwards of 20,000
science educators, administrators, and general enthusiasts attended the event
to participate in myriad workshops, learn about the latest technological,
pedagogical, and curricular developments, share in the company of friends new
and old, and of course, score some free giveaways. And anyone who happened to
stop by the National Geographic School Publishing booth would have had the
opportunity to sign up for the My Wonderful World Campaign and take home a My
Wonderful World “We are not alone” poster!

My Wonderful World was thrilled to join the science
education community for this special event. Physical geography, earth,
environmental, and geospatial sciences are fundamental components of a 21st
century global education. Science educators agreed that the “We are not alone”
message applies just as readily to knowledge of species and environments as it
does to cultures and politics, both in our own backyards and beyond. We were
delighted to chat with many at the conference who supported the infusion and
inclusion of geography across the STEM disciplines (science, technology,
engineering, and math).

Other highlights from the conference included a trip to the
New England Aquarium (which for me, was also a trip down memory lane), a Busch Gardens animal road show exhibit (they had an entire bus full of critters!), a visit
from Bill Nye the Science Guy (check out his great earth science educational materials online), and many lively
pedagogical discussions. I found forums on inquiry
approaches to science, “citizen science,"
geospatial technologies, and classroom time allocation to be especially
compelling.

During a rare moment away from the convention center, I
happened to stumble upon two fantastic, geographic exhibits on display at the Boston Public Library. Facing History and
Ourselves’ interactive, multimedia presentation “Choosing to Participate” features four moments in history when
individuals and communities had challenging decisions to make. In undertaking
the powerful, self-guided tour I was overcome with emotion and fond memories of
the amazing civics-based organization I worked for as an intern two summers
ago. Another exhibit called “Boston and
Beyond: A Birds’ Eye View of New England”
featured aerial maps of Boston and the surrounding
region that chronicle the period of rapid urban growth in the latter 19th
century. If you’re in the Boston area, I would encourage you to stop by the Public Library in Copley Square and check out these
exciting events while they last.

Ahh, education. What an exciting weekend of experiential learning I
had in Boston! “Greetings”
to all those we met at the conference, and we hope to meet even more of you
soon.

Sarah for My Wonderful World

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