Dinosaurs & Space— and Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Planets: These are a Few of Our Favorite Things
One of my favorite times of the year is upon us: the national conference of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). For the last couple of—er… decades, I’ve given lectures at this conference to support science teachers and find out what’s on their minds this school year. Their work is vital to the economies of the U.S. and Canada. They help us all create a scientifically literate population.
The Planetary Society has been developing an education program and taking time to find where we can make solid contributions to science and technology education. It’s our belief that space science and exploration provide the context through which you can teach virtually any branch of science. And of course, if we catch kids while they’re in school and show them the Passion, Beauty, and Joy (the PB&J) of space exploration, we’ll create curious, wonderful life-long learners.
In Chicago last year Whitney Pratz and Kate Howells from The Planetary Society joined me for the conference. I spoke about why teaching space science and exploration is important. We sat in on sessions; we met up with our many friends on the exhibit floor and played with as many of their science demonstrations as we could manage; we spent time in the inflatable planetariums. Who doesn’t? This year we head to Nashville to talk about dinosaurs ancient and otherwise, exoplanets, carbon cycling, pictures from Pluto, metallic hydrogen, photon pressure, and methane on Mars, among other things. And for the first time in many years, The Society is hosting a booth on the exhibit floor (#1012).
Now we want to connect with you, teachers, to help us continue building this program. We want you to help us understand how to help. What would it take to teach space science, even for 30 minutes a week? We can’t answer questions like this without talking to those of you are in the field every day. So please come find us at booth 1012 to connect with Whitney, Kate, and our newest team member, Andrew Pauly.
But first, join us for The Planetary Society Lecture “If Dinosaurs Had a Space Program” on Wednesday night in the Grand Ballroom. I’m so looking forward to kicking off the conference with you!
P.S. You may have heard they’re making a movie about me. The filmmakers will be at the conference this year and also want to talk to you about what drives your passion for science. Keep an eye out for them! They’ll be the ones following me with camera.
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