Monumental Challenge: STEM Equity, Diversity, and Advocacy via NGSS
"Arguably, the most pressing challenge facing U.S. education is to provide all students with a fair opportunity to learn" (Framework; NRC 2012, p. 282). Educators must advocate and take action to provide equity and access to STEM opportunities for students. The three-dimensional nature of the NRC Framework provides an incredible opportunity for teachers to engage ALL students in STEM education. To develop innovative and responsible citizens for tomorrow, we must foster creativity, academic risk-taking, and perseverance within ALL student groups today. This strand will focus on supporting teachers in creating inclusive classrooms that are culturally proficient and celebrate diverse ideas and solutions essential for STEM literacy.
Freedom to Become Scientifically Literate
Developing scientifically literate global citizens is increasingly critical in today's society. Opportunities for students to analyze data, make claims, engage in argument from evidence, and grapple with authentic science and engineering problems are essential to achieving this goal. Sessions in this strand will focus on creating environments that engage students in becoming connected to the world around them and prepare them to be the next generation of decision makers.
Cultivating Curiosity in the Capital Region
Children are born with natural curiosity that is often "schooled out" of them. The challenge of science education is to provide opportunities that spark their sense of curiosity, hone their critical-thinking skills, and help them to make sense of the world in which they live. The national capital region is rich in resources and environments that invite students to wonder about the world around them. Local contexts and relevant phenomena use, build, and sustain student curiosity by providing opportunities to ask questions, solve problems in multiple ways, and deepen understanding. In this strand, participants will explore tools, strategies, and local resources to tap into and maintain their students' curiosity.