Top NGSS sessions at NSTA

With the recent release of the final Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the science education community is ready to dive into looking over the new standards and start planning for implementation. If you’re attending this week’s NSTA conference in San Antonio, here are some of the top sessions to learn about the NGSS.

First of all, NSTA is running hourly introductory sessions on the NGSS in their classroom throughout the conference. This would be a great place to start if you are brand-new to the NGSS. Look for the signs as you head into the registration area/exhibitor hall area.

Thursday, April 11 12:30–1:30 PM

Using Rubrics to Align Resources to the Next Generation Science Standards 

Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Texas Ballroom C

Determining alignment of existing resources is going to be an important part of the transition to the NGSS. Ted Willard from NSTA is an NGSS expert, so this should be a good match.

Thursday, April 11 2:00–3:00 PM

CSSS Session: Disciplinary Core Idea from Kindergarten to High School 

Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Mission A

Having a more coherent progression of learning K-12 should be a major strength of the new standards. This looks like an interesting examination of that.

Friday, April 12 8:00–9:00 AM

Next Generation Science Standards: Teacher Insights from the Writing Team—Elementary Level

Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Texas Ballroom F

If you are an elementary teacher in an NGSS state, this looks like a must-see. This is part of a great series the NSTA is running for different grade levels and content areas.

Friday, April 12 9:30–10:30 AM

Next Generation Science Standards: Teacher Insights from the Writing Team—Life Sciences (Middle/High School)

Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Texas Ballroom F

Continuing the series elementary, if you are a secondary life science teacher in an NGSS state, looks very interesting!

Friday, April 12 11:00 AM–12:00 PM

Next Generation Science Standards: Teacher Insights from the Writing Team—Physical Sciences (Middle/High School)

Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Texas Ballroom F

For secondary teachers in the Physical Sciences.

Friday, April 12 12:30–1:30 PM

Next Generation Science Standards: Teacher Insights from the Writing Team— Earth and Space Sciences (Middle/High School)

Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Texas Ballroom F

For secondary teachers in the Earth and Space Sciences.

Friday, April 12 2:00–3:00 PM

Featured Presentation: Next Generation Science Standards Town Hall Meeting

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Grand Ballroom C2

Town hall presentation with Stephen Pruitt, the “NGSS Godfather”. He’s a very entertaining and informative speaker, so if you had to attend just one NGSS session I’d make it this one.

Saturday, April 13 8:00–9:00 AM

Perspectives on the Next Generation Science Standards: Thoughts from Two Teacher/Writer Members of the NGSS Writing Team

Grand Hyatt San Antonio, Lone Star Ballroom F

Another session from writing team members, who are the most informed folks about the NGSS given that they’ve had more than two days to look at them :).

The NSTA has put together a nice list of their NGSS sessions. You can also search the online list of events for “Next Generation Science”. I would just suggest being very cautious of attending “exhibitor” sessions that mention this particular topic. Based on my experience at last year’s conference, there is a good chance there will be less accurate information and more pushing products that are unlikely to be aligned to the NGSS, given how recently they were released.

I’m sure I missed some good sessions. Let me know your top picks in the comments!

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