Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) 2013

I had the opportunity to attend CAST this year as part of a proposal I helped write back in May. CAST stands for the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching; it is a huge conference held yearly in Texas. The proposal allowed approximately 60 middle and high school science teachers from my district the opportunity to attend CAST. I was excited, nervous, overwhelmed, and tired. I had to plan for my presentation, plan for the sessions I was going to attend, and help the teachers develop a plan of action as well. I definitely learned a few lessons! With that said, I wanted to share my experience. I also hope that I get to attend and present next year in Dallas. :)

Not only did I get to attend for the first time, I also presented at a conference for the first time. I had a blast. Of course, my co-presenter and I learned our lesson in regard to bringing so much stuff - that was a pain.  Our session was titled: Reaching for the STAARs: Interactive Chemistry Games and Graphic Organizers.
Here the participants are playing with my Periodic Table Tarsia Puzzles, as well as a game designed by my co-presenter, Adrienne. 

Here are a few pictures that my colleagues and I took during a some of our sessions.

The night before and each night after the conference, the middle and high school teams met to process the sessions they attend. Campus teams put together an interactive notebook of their experiences. Additionally, we had teams create a Turn-Around PD in order to share their experiences, strategies, and documents with colleagues who did not attend. I wanted to make sure that the conference experience was not an "I got to go and now I'm back and that's it" experience. Team submitted their presentations to the appropriate specialist for review and PD dates are yet to be determined as the process is on-going.
Overall the experience was great. I heard nothing but positive feedback in regard to the experience and the time we allowed campuses to process and collaborate amongst each other. The post was becoming too long and so I deleted a few of the pictures. I will add more pictures / descriptions in a later post.