Focus speakers are highly regarded scientists and education experts who present 90-minute, in-depth sessions on subjects relevant to science teaching. The focus speaker series allows you to expand your understanding in a wide range of critical topics.
Mary Ann Ng, Alhambra High School
Feeling any lower back, neck, and shoulder pain from all those long hours of synchronous distance learning? Join me for an hour of therapeutic yoga. You will feel energized and equipped with tools that you can use to deal with the discomfort of teaching online.
Dr. Sami Kahn, Council on Science of Technology Princeton University
Dr. Michele Koomen, Gustavus Adolphus College
Dr. Jonte’ C. Taylor, Pennsylvania State University
During this session, Dr. Sami Kahn will address the essential role that collaboration among science educators, special educators, and others has had in her journey as an educator, parent, and attorney. She and her colleagues, Dr. Michele Koomen and Dr. Jonte’ Taylor, will then lead participants through mini-master classes focusing on three critical topics of inclusion and collaboration: strengths-based teaching, disciplinary literacy, and assessment, drawing from their book, Towards Inclusion of All Learners through Science Teacher Education.
Jose Gonzalez, Latino Outdoors
This session will be an exploration and framing of "diversity, equity, and inclusion" relating to science instruction, with consideration of outdoor settings. We will discuss the role and impact of "cultural relevancy" and systemic inequities on learner agency while also stressing how constructs such as race matter. This is not purely in the context of the indoor classroom and instruction, but also in the outdoors as a platform of instruction and given the larger sociocultural contexts of student's lives.
Dr. Bryan Brown, Stanford University
This presentation explores how race, culture and language intersect to create the condition of contemporary learning. For years, research on the language of classrooms explored how they way we say things impacts students’ sense of belonging. Despite this research, Science and Technology Education have failed to adequately explore how issues of race, language, and culture shape the outcomes of teaching and learning in science. Through a sequence of research, this presentation explores the theoretical and pragmatic aspects of this dilemma. From a theoretical perspective, the talk will explore the Language-Identity dilemma. As students learn, the way academic language is taught to them can present a cognitive and cultural conflict. From a cognitive perspective, if science is taught without respect to the implications of how language is learned students can be misunderstood and misunderstand the teacher’s complex discourse. From a cultural conflict perspective, students’ may feel they are cultural outsiders when the language of the classroom positions them as outsiders. The presentation provides an overview of a series of qualitative and quantitative experiments that document the realities of this complex interaction.
John Muir Laws and Emilie Lygren, John Muir Laws
Nature journaling is a powerful learning tool that leads students to make deep observations, remember what they notice, think critically, and build a sense of place. Come learn how to make nature journaling a seminal practice in your classroom integrating science, mathematics, and visual and language arts, and building environmental literacy. Workshop leaders will offer strategies for managing students in the outdoors and online, connecting to NGSS, and giving feedback on student journals.
The class will give participants a foundation in nature journaling as a practice, how it supports learning, and how they can implement it in their classrooms. The workshop will be based on material from How to Teach Nature Journaling, co-authored by presenters John Muir Laws and Emilie Lygren (available as a free download.
Claudio Vargas, SciLingual LLC
Susan Gomez-Zwiep, BSCS Science Learning
Language develops most powerfully when it is in the context of building knowledge and interacting with the world. The intersection of science and ELD instruction lands squarely in the NGSS science and engineering practices—in the doing of science. Students are also “doing language” by asking questions, planning investigations, developing models, constructing explanations, and engaging in argumentation. The equitable engagement in these practices supports the fundamental goal and principles of the CA ELD standards—using language in meaningful and relevant ways.
Stephen Pruitt, Southern Regional Education Board
Each day in the classrooms and schools across the state and the country, there are students who do not feel they are part of the system. They are "invisible." In this presentation, Dr. Pruitt will discuss how we can ensure these students are "seen" in our scinece classrooms and subsequently set up to be successful members of the economy and allow them to pursue their version of the American Dream.
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