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Posted: March 14, 2019

Members, be sure to check out our archived webinars online! You must be logged into your profile to view these free recordings. Not a member? Join NSELA today! The most recent webinar held on February 14, 2019 and hosted by Okhee Lee is NOW AVAILABLE

"STEM For All Students" February 14, 2019

NSELA and Okhee Lee are pleased to present STEM For All Students. The webinar focused on science instruction using the Framework and NGSS. This approach will be more relevant to those states that have adopted or adapted the NGSS.

"Science Professional Learning Standards: A Tool for Designing, Supporting, and Evaluating Professional Learning" January 10, 2019

A compelling webinar on January 10th featured the new Science Professional Learning Standards developed by the Council of State Science Supervisors. Join Brett Moulding and Cathy Mackey to learn more about how this guiding document can help professional development leaders design and implement high quality opportunities for educators.

"Three Dimensional Learning Using Data Collection Technology" November 6, 2018

Vernier and NSELA conducted a joint webinar: Data logging allows students to collect experimental data quickly and efficiently so that classroom emphasis can shift to more important functions - asking new questions, extending experiments, and analyzing results using appropriate mathematical tools. Many studies that can’t be done with traditional experimental equipment become possible with the right tools. This webinar will emphasize how technology can assist teachers in the development of three dimensional classroom activities. Presenters: David Carter, STEM Training Director, Vernier, Ann Hammersly, Consultant, Vernier, Gary Myers, Director of Outreach and Business Development, Vernier

"Transforming Science Assessment: State Systems of Assessment" October 24, 2018

This joint webinar features Achieve, CSSS, and NSELA and discussion a system of assessments. Join Aneesha Badrinarayan, James Blake, Kevin Anderson, and Sara Cooper to learn more about new resources and to discuss a joint white paper on the topic.

"Supporting Students in Meaningful Engagement in Three Dimensional Learning Through NGSS Storylines"August 30, 2018

This presentation was lead by Michael Novak (Northwestern University) and Misty Richmond (Chicago Public Schools) sharing the work they have done creating and implementing 3Dimensional Storylines. Presenters: Aneesha Badrinarayan, Achieve, James Blake, NSELA, Kevin Anderson, CSSS

"Prepare for Standardized Testing with Interactive Online Simulations:" March 1, 2018

New computer-based assessments move beyond multiple-choice questions to those that assess student understanding and thinking. Using interactive simulations in classroom instruction can help schools and districts prepare to meet the challenges of the new standards and assessments. Presenters: Pam Larson, Professional Development Director, ExploreLearning and Laura Chervenak, VP of Professional Development, ExploreLearning 

"Building a Science Strategy for Your School or District:" Nov. 14, 2017

The new federal education law – the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA – includes a significant shift of decision-making to the state and local levels, and provides states and districts with flexibility to set new policy and funding priorities. District leaders nationwide are now determining their priorities under ESSA, informed by their state plans, and how they can best take advantage of the new federal education law. ESSA offers schools and districts the opportunity to rethink programs and support better student outcomes in science. Presenters:  Michael Lach, Director of STEM Education and Strategic Initiatives at UChicago STEM Education and the Urban Education Institute of the University of Chicago, Jodi Peterson, Assistant Executive Director of Legislative and Public Affairs for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and Dr. Missi Zender-Sakach, NSELA President.


"A Safety Minute" by Dr. Ken Roy - NSELA Safety Compliance Officer

Posted: March 14, 2019

"Preventing Science Laboratory Fires:" Most science and STEM laboratories contain chemicals and electrical wiring that could cause smoke or fires. Read NSTA Feb. safety commentary by Dr. Ken on how to better help prevent lab fires:

For current safety updates five days a week, follow Dr. Ken on Twitter @drroysafersci. Also follow Dr. Ken on Instagram at Drkensafetyjob1. 


This prestigious award recognizes and honors an outstanding administrator who through professional work has demonstrated exemplary support for science education at the school, district, and/or county level. This award honors an administrator whose primary responsibility is outside the area of science instruction.

The award is presented at the NSELA luncheon held at the annual NSELA Leadership Summit. The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Dr. Diamond has long-term collaboration with Lincoln Public Schools (LPS).  Through this partnership, Judy bridges informal and formal science education by bringing cutting edge innovations into the district. She hosts about 160 science teachers at the University of Nebraska State Museum prior to the start of each academic year. Teachers interface with university faculty from across the campus to learn about how they and their students may participate in research, education, and outreach opportunities.Dr. Judy Diamond is an innovative informal science education leader who has impacted thousands of educators and students at the district, state, and national levels. Since 1978, her accomplishments include scientific research, managing grants, numerous publications, university professor, and significant science education outreach to the public, teachers, and students. At a regional and national level, she brought together teams of experts in different areas to develop high quality educational materials for dissemination to science educators. An example is the series WonderWise, funded by NSF and Howard H. Hughes Medical Institute,that was disseminated to over 12 million students and teachers across the nation.

Dr. Diamond’s Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) funded by NIH expands resources to afford teacher time and provide professional learning opportunities to support instructional change. The SEPA project also funded the 2016 Nebraska Vision of Science event that brought national and state science leaders to work with about 250 Nebraska science educators to explore the future of Nebraska science education. The teacher leaders learned new ways of thinking about science education to address new science standards and appropriate pedagogy.



The award is presented at the NSELA breakfast, held during the annual NSTA Conference. The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by Pearson.

The 2019 awardee, MaryMargaret Welch, demonstrates ongoing exemplary leadership in Seattle Public Schools for eight years. She is instrumental in the successful Seattle Schools implementation of the Washington adopted Next Generation Science Standards in collaboration with universities, research firms, and community-based organizations.  Her work is transforming the science program into one which provides equitable access to all students, raises the level of instructional capacity for educators, and prepares students for a 21st century economy. Ms. Welch’s clear explanations and advocacy to parents, Board members and the community is improving K-12 science education in all Seattle Schools.

One example of her outstanding work is at the middle school level where Ms. Welch provided a 3-year professional development program for all middle school science teachers on implementation of NGSS with a lens on model-based instruction, embedding discourse strategies for sense-making, and 3D formative assessments funded by a Math-Science Partnership Grant.  She is a highly effective facilitator who guided teachers to make the shift in their pedagogy that NGSS requires. In collaboration with university partners, she co-developed a robust evaluation system that tracked shifts in teacher attitudes and learning, plus the impact on students’ academic progress and improvement in attitudes toward science.

MaryMargaret also led groundbreaking work at the high school level. This included creating awareness of the new standards, aligning curriculum with the standards, developing new NGSS aligned storyline units, and shifting classroom pedagogy.

Ms. Welch’s leadership extends to our global world. She is making an important impact in Kenya with her work as the founder and director of SeaVuria. Her nonprofit connects teachers and students in the Taita Hills of rural Kenya with teachers and students in Seattle to promote global awareness. SeaVuria supports teachers with tools and strategies for quality STEM education.

MaryMargaret Welch is described in her support letters as a natural leader. She is a catalyst for change in every task she undertakes. Her passion is to provide equitable access to science experiences that empower ALL students to reach their full potential.


VESELS Reflection - Dylann Pinkman

Posted: March 5, 2019

I have been to many professional developments in my career. Often during these events you are wondering when is it time for lunch or why are these people speaking to me again. I can truly say NSELA is unlike any other professional learning I have ever been to. You really get a chance to interact and connect with all the speakers including the keynote speakers. It’s not very often you see speakers sit in on the different sessions and take notes just as any other attendee would. NSELA makes all teachers and professionals feel equal and a place where everyone is a learner.

One big takeaway for me from this experience was something Dr. Okhee Lee said. She told us to think about the phrase, “if not me, then who?” This is very true. Too often it is easy to say that someone else will take care of the problem our district or students may face. Thinking about this simple quote led me to work with my District Science team to help create a new curriculum for 3rd grade students focused on energy. I am very proud to say it was small team and myself who helped create this new unit and have already seen great affects from it in the pilot stages.

So far being a VESELS Scholar has given me the motivation I needed to move forward and be a better leader in my school and district as a whole. I am thankful for the opportunity and experiences given to me by VESELS and NSELA. Always remember to try new things and put yourself out there for the betterment of our children. If not you, then who?

Dylann Pinkman
K-5 science specialist
Lincoln Public Schools
Lincoln, NE

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