STANYS President's Letter: Lisa Brosnick
It is an honor and a pleasure to welcome you to the 123nd Annual Conference and Meeting of the Science Teachers Association of New York State. If you are a returning conference attendee, I hope that this conference provides you with the same high quality professional development you have come to expect. If this is your first conference, I encourage you to immerse yourself in all we have to offer! As science teachers, we all have one common goal - to provide the students of New York State with a rigorous, engaging science education. It does not matter if you teach Kindergarten or college, or anything in between, there is something for you at the conference. One of the advantages of belonging to a professional organization such as STANYS is that there is an opportunity to join with like-minded individuals and have meaningful conversations about the teaching and learning of science. The annual conference is a wonderful time to forge those professional relationships.
Since last November, The NYS Education Department released the New York State P-12, Science Learning Standards Implementation Roadmap. This roadmap serves as a guide for all stakeholders to transition to NYSP-12SLS. According to this roadmap, this is the last school year to raise awareness and build capacity for the new standards. Beginning next school year, 2019, we enter into the transition and implementation phase. The standards are here and we, as professionals need to be ready to engage our students in phenomenon driven inquiry. There are still many questions, however, we know that the emphasis on the important aspects of science - core ideas, practices and cross-cutting concepts is not only the way we “do” science, but also the way we learn science. Therefore, as dedicated professionals let’s bring Science in Action to our classrooms!
This year’s theme, Science in Action, is multi-dimensional. First, the theme targets the vision of the standards; science is something we do, it is a verb! By engaging students in the practices, we provide them with an authentic science education. Next, Science in Action, is a call to action for all of us. Implementation, according to the NYSED Roadmap is only a year away. We should begin to “tinker” with this new pedagogy so that we are ready for this next phase. For the last few years we have been “talking” about 3 Dimensional teaching and learning it is now time for us to see 3D learning in action, yet another dimension of the theme. I am very excited to introduce lesson case studies to this year’s conference. During lesson study workshops participants will engage in inquiry into what constitutes evidence that students are engaged in and have command of the science practices, core ideas and cross-cutting concepts. Lesson study workshops allow us, as professionals, to have deep discussion about what it looks like in a classroom when there is Science in Action.
Be ready to engage in high quality professional development. Our Subject Area Representatives and Directors-at-Large are poised to offer another year of amazing institutes and workshops. These institutes offer intensive study subject-specific pedagogy. Paul Andersen is back for yet another Monday institute. An exciting partnership with NSTA brings three nationally recognized authors to our conference. In addition to facilitating workshops, Victor Sampson, Tricia Shelton, and Jackie Speake will take part in a panel discussion titled “Doing Science - Transforming Your Classroom”, during the Sunday Breakfast. I encourage you to participate in this discussion with national experts. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Shaundra Daily, offers an exciting look into STEM fields. Dr. Beau Lotto will ask us all to see differently during the Fellows Address.
Finally, join your fellow science teachers in networking events like the wine and cheese party, geeky t-shirt contest, raffle, section parties and dancing (DJ on Saturday, Live Band Sunday) in the Riverside Lounge. Life-long friendships and professional relationships are forged during these events. Personal relationships are the strength of our organization. Consider becoming more active in your section, or perhaps even a STANYS leader!
Thank you for attending the 123rd STANYS conference. I truly hope that it is inspiring and helps energize your science teaching.