Teachers Dawn Kahler, of Kalamazoo Public Schools, and Robin Allen, of Midland Public Schools, presented on behalf of Mi-STAR at the 2017 National Conference of the National Science Teachers Association, held March 29-April 2, 2017 in Los Angeles. The conference attracts educators from around the country who want to stay on the cutting edge of science education.
Teacher Dawn Kahler (Kalamazoo Public Schools), Tony Matthys (Mi-STAR, Michigan Tech), and Steph Tubman (also Mi-STAR). Not pictured: Robin Allen (Midland Public Schools)
The conference also provides educators the opportunity to share their own expertise. Kahler and Allen collaborated with Mi-STAR staff members Tony Matthys and Stephanie Tubman to present three sessions. One session equipped audience members to plan an NGSS-aligned lesson using the Mi-STAR instructional model. Another walked teachers through a lesson plan that guides students to make decisions about invasive species using a decision matrix. A third session introduced teachers to tools that support students in making scientific arguments. In all of the sessions, attendees put on their "learner hat" and did what students would do before reflecting on the experience as teachers. Attendees were enthusiastic and reported that they were looking forward to applying what they learned in their own classrooms.
Kahler and Allen have both worked with Mi-STAR since 2015. When not presenting, they attended sessions and collected information to bring back to Mi-STAR and their districts.