Here I am earlier this week at the 2014 Southeastern Massachusetts STEM Network Resources for Educators Expo hosted by Bridgewater State University. This is the third consecutive year that I have participated in this event as a member of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society NESACS Public Relations Committee, showcasing resources that ACS offers to teachers and professional development programming that NESACS provides during National Chemistry Week (Connections to Chemistry) and NEW in 2014 at Cambridge Science Festival. In 2012, this event was designed for students and my father, Jack Driscoll, did a great write-up on it. The format last year was the same as this year, where several professional development workshops are occurring simultaneously and the vendors are ready with resources to hand out to the teachers.
1) I ran out of my ACS Middle School Resources handouts-Most of the teachers I talked to on Wednesday May 21, 2014 teach middle school science. This is particularly interesting since in our recent programming on Cape Cod we have been unsuccessfully targeting the middle school audience-we have been extremely successful with the K-6 and I've got some ideas of how to engage the high school audience that I gleaned from our last Cape Cod Regional STEM Network meeting on May 16. I intend to work with high school guidance councilors and the local ACS High School Chem Clubs to increase engagement at our STEM outreach events in 2015.
2)The high school teachers I spoke with were interested in participating in the High School Science Series, as they always are. How can we translate this interest into participation? That is always the challenge. I plan to connect with those who signed up for my email list at the event this week to facilitate communication and awareness of the NESACS programming for educators.
3) Attendance was down at the event this year. From what I could tell, based on speaking with attendees, most schools and/or districts were sending only 1 representative to collect information for their school and/or program. So in several cases, I didn't get to speak with the chemistry or science teacher which made it even more important that I had my resources-to-go clearly labelled for recipients. I made it simple for those who were breezing through the expo after having participated in two back-to-back workshops, by using sticky labels and a highlighter, so they could grab the appropriate age resource and get moving to the next table.
I had my table organized left to right as follows:
High School: Included High School Science Series at the Museum of Science Boston part of an annual NESACS program that occurs during National Chemistry Week (see flyer left) and provides buses for Massachusetts area schools. Contact NESACS NCW Coordinator, Christine Jaworek-Lopes, to find out how to take advantage of this amazing opportunity for your high school,
Connections to Chemistry (see info left) use this web link if interested in participating or contact Marietta Schwartz, NESACS Chemical Education Chair, Chemistry Workshop for Teachers at the Cambridge Science Festival, and handouts on the NEW American Association of Chemistry Teachers which is launching in September 2014-use this web link to learn more.
Middle School: Print-out from the ACS Middle School Lesson Plans, K-8 Resources (4 page folded handout).
Elementary: Print-out from the grades 3-6 resources and the K-8 Resources (4 page folded handout)
Related info: Celebrating Chemistry-Energy Now and Forever 2013 and The Wonders of Water 2014. I had a fellow Cape Codder tell me that she already had the Energy Now and Forever handout-she'd gotten it at our STEM Journey event on March 29, 2014 at Cape Cod Community College. She was talking about what a great event it was with the astronauts and the Lego lab. I asked her how she heard about that event and it was through the Boy Scouts. Both of her grandsons are Boy Scouts and their mom asked her to take them to the event. We are currently planning the 2015 joint STEM Journey with NESACS, Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Cape Cod Community College and PID Analyzers, LLC (our small Cape Cod based chemical instrumentation business). 2015 will be the third year we have partnered with the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America for outreach events. Here is a recap of our 2013 National Chemistry Week Wicked Cool Science Cafe with the Boy Scouts.
My blog post about the Teacher Workshop at Cambridge Science Festival, NESACS meetings in Southeastern Massachusetts handout and ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses current newsletter.
Contact me you'd like to join the NESACS Public Relations Committee Chemistry Resources for Teachers email list.