January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Hey students, there are many ways to attend the conference!

Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2011

by Laura Henriques

If you are a preservice science teacher, have we got good news for you! The upcoming California Science Education Conference in Pasadena has many things to offer you. CSTA has done all it can to help make conference attendance attractive to you!

Lots of Sessions Just for You – While you would be able to find value in just about all of the conference offerings, there are dozens of sessions specifically developed and tailored just for you. These sessions address topics such as classroom management, science safety issues, understanding what administrators are looking for when they come observe your teaching, assessment techniques, the unveiling of a new website to support new teachers, and strategies for teaching students with special needs and English learners. Many other sessions in the conference will address these topics, but the sessions listed in the new teacher strand were selected just for you!

The conference has more than 200 sessions (all free) in addition to field trips, short courses, and an awards breakfast (these have a fee associated with them). The exhibit hall will dazzle and amaze you. As you begin thinking about your own classroom and what you will want to have on hand for doing labs, you must visit the vendors in the exhibit hall. You will get all sorts of good ideas and see examples of new science teaching equipment that is available.

There is an option to enroll in a 1-unit course associated with the conference. As a new teacher (or new teacher-to-be) you can enroll to earn 1 unit of upper division credit from CSULB. Assignment descriptions and registration information are available online at www.scienceteaching.org.

Affordable Conference Rates– CSTA knows how important it is for preservice teachers to become actively engaged in professional organizations. As a result, we’ve adopted a conference registration rate that makes attendance affordable.

  • Option 1: $83 for the entire 3-day conference. You must be a CSTA member to get this rate; you may join when you register for the conference. (You must register by October 7th or the price goes up.)
  • Option 2: $40 student registration for weekend only. (Again you must be a CSTA member and the rates go up on 10/7.)
  • Option 3: $25 (for CSTA student membership) Volunteer to work at the conference for 4 hours and you get to attend the entire conference. By far, this is the best option out there! Get to know CSTA members, see how the conference works and attend the entire three days.

Making the Most of the Conference – My suggestion to you is that you visit the conference website well in advance of the conference. The entire conference program is searchable. Each session, field trip, speaker, and workshop is listed. You can search the site and be as specific as you need to be. Find all the middle school sessions, the high school physics sessions, or 3rd -5th grade life science sessions, for example. You can search by day of the week, grade level range, science area (called track) and pedagogical focus such as assessment, literacy, and management (called emphasis). Descriptions of each session are included online so you can get a sense of what to expect. The conference program is available online at http://csta2011.sched.org. From this site you can search and map-out your conference schedule. Create a conference account, log in and then save and print your personalized conference schedule. A video is posted online to walk you through the steps of how to do this (http://www.cascience.org/csta/conf_programbook_video.asp). For other information about the conference and to register, visit http://www.cascience.org/csta/conf_home11.asp.

We know that this conference will be a huge benefit to you. Presenters are able to post their handouts on-line (and many do!). If the hand-outs aren’t posted now, revisit the site as the conference date approaches.

If this is your first CSTA conference I encourage you to read the August 2011 article entitled Your Official Guide to the California Science Education Conference. It provides information about how to select sessions, what to bring and what to wear.  I also encourage you to attend the Friday 8:00 AM session specifically designed for first-time attendees. This session is in Ballroom G of the Pasadena Convention Center and is sponsored by Science Kit, Sargent-Welch, and Ward’s Natural Science. In addition to great information, you will also enjoy a continental breakfast, and be entered into a drawing to win prizes.

Mark your calendars now – October 21-23. See you in Pasadena!

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach, the co-chair of the 2011 California Science Education Conference Committee, and president-elect of CSTA.

 

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and past-president of CSTA. She serves as chair of CSTA’s Nominating Committee and is a co-chair of the NGSS Committee.

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