I’m having my usual moment of “aaggghhhh” as I stare at my possible agenda for the next four days. I’m at the National Science Teachers Association national conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, and to say that it’s huge is just not going far enough. There are over 50 sessions and workshops to choose from in the 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. time slot, and that doesn’t include the various meetings, symposia, share-a-thons, exhibitor workshops, and short courses taking place at the same time. From more formal talks on the Next Generation Science Standards to interactive sessions on using iPads in the classroom, to discussions on how to host a family science event, there is definitely something for everyone here!
So, although the workshop titled “Blood Spatter Across the Curriculum” caught my attention, I already knew where I would be at 8:00: joining my fellow CosmoQuest community members at Pamela Gay’s session on “Citizen Science Inquiry in Your Classroom.” Fueled by coffee and a variety of bakery products, I sat with science educators Kathy Costello and Ellen Reilly to listen to the CosmoQuest story. The three of us have been a part of CosmoQuest from the beginning and have heard this story before. But like all great stories, it never gets old. Each telling is a bit different as the storyteller (our own Pamela Gay) draws the audience in and involves them in the narrative, and CosmoQuest is truly a story of involvement and of community.
Then, when the story is over, things really start to happen. The questions and discussion from the audience spark new ideas and create new connections for everyone. Enthusiastic science teachers find new projects and new worlds for their students to explore. The CosmoQuest team of educators gets to hear directly from teachers about what they need, what they would like to see in the future, and how they would like to be involved. The energy builds and the CosmoQuest community grows.
Would you like to tap into this energy and be a part of the CosmoQuest community? Of course you would! I’ll be blogging, tweeting, and Google+-ing (oh my!) from the conference, as will my partners Kathy and Ellen. And certainly nothing will stop Pamela from doing more than her share of the same. The CosmoQuest site has all the social media information you need to stay involved, including our forum and all the goodies at CosmoAcademy. Things are happening!
If you happen to be here in Indianapolis, let us know! We’d love to meet you and talk about citizen science, education, astronomy, the Moon… whatever you’re passionate about. Pamela presents again at 2:00 in the Westin Grand Ballroom 3—join us?