Sunday, November 10, 2013
ISTA State Convention
In my heart, I am a science teacher. I love to extract DNA, make squishy circuits, dissect owl pellets, type blood, separate pigments in plants, and do anything else that explores the world through the scientific process. But I am not a traditional teacher. So why did I go to the State conference? When I realized how productive the day was, I just had to share my experience with the ISTA Committee. Professionally, I wanted to support and connect with my colleagues from ISU, ISGC, ISTA, and PLT. I have had the privilege of teaching a Science Methods class this semester for ISU, and it has been a great experience to work with Dr. Wendy Ruchti. We had a few minutes to catch up after her session. I connected with Michele Youngquist from PLT, and we made a plan for the ISU students I teach to go through a workshop. They LOVED the activities and resources that we covered the next week in class. I attended a Rock session with Judy Walling, got a great set of rocks, and sent her cocqina rock the next week because she mentioned in class that she would love that particular sample of sedimentary rock to show others. Well, I had some so now she does too! I attended the session about NASA, and even though Tony and other federal representatives had to miss the Conference, the other presenters didn’t skip a beat. I came back with calendars for my teaching friends so they also know how cool the ISGC Program is. I met Chris from Boise, since I like to read his articles, and we decided to swap stories about Science Methods since he teaches the same class for BSU. I also came right home and made the wood blocks for students and teachers and passed those out like candy! I got to see Erin Johnson from Aberdeen, and she said she wants to teach at my CSI Science Camp next summer. We met several years ago at iSTEM when she was in my strand. She also told me about RAFT kits, and those have been cool to explore. Jo Dodds found me and asked about replacement parts for the "black boxes" I build for iSTEM. Well, those are still on the way to her but she will get them! At lunch, I sat with a table of teachers and we exchanged favorite websites. I grabbed a Geological map for my friend’s Earth Science classroom. I shared information about the CSI Girls and STEM Day with teachers from my area. I came back very excited about the people we have in place throughout the state as we move forward. I don’t have a K12 classroom, but I advocate for science education on a daily basis. I am so grateful for the State Conference and the people that volunteer to make it successful. Thanks for a great day!!!