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Partner Teacher Conference 2018


Stability and Change in Midwest Ecosystems

Saturday, January 27 8:30am - 3:30pm
Breakfast starts at 8:15am

Whether you're a part of our School Science Partnerships, a participant in the Science Teaching Network, a Science on the Go educator, or a partner through After School Science Clubs and the Early Elementary Science Partnership, we value your continued partnership. In thanks for your support, we're inviting you to join the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for a full day of collaboration with fellow partner teachers from across Chicago, as well as with Nature Museum scientists and educators.

Our keynote speech will center around how collections, both living and preserved, provide learning opportunities for students and professional scientists alike. Breakout sessions will center around Midwest ecology, citizen science, best practices in science education and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Teachers are eligible to receive Professional Development Clock Hours for attendance and can expect to leave with a variety of tools, strategies, and materials to use with their students in the classroom.

Jump To: Keynote Address | Breakout Sessions | Registration Information

Keynote Address

Learning from Scientific Collections

Dawn Roberts, Director of Collections, Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (CAS/PNNM)

Seth Harper, Manager of Horticulture, CAS/PNNM

Learn how the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (CAS/PNNM) collections, both living and preserved, help us understand change over time.

Breakout Session Options

Breakout Session 1A

Art and Science: Creating an Artful Investigation
Education Department, CAS/PNNM

Where and when do science and art overlap? How can teachers use museum collections to spark student interest? Learn how scientific art is used in museum collections as well as strategies for incorporating it in your classroom.

Breakout Session 1B

Animal Studies: Basis for Inquiry Projects
Education Department, CAS/PNNM

Inquiry starts with a question - and questions arise from close observations. Learn how to take advantage of animal studies to foster student driven learning.

Breakout Session 1C

Citizen Science: Helping Us Understand Change Over Time
Education Department, CAS/PNNM

There are a multitude of projects designed by scientists to engage volunteers and utilize their observations of the natural world as data. Think about how you can use these projects, their science practices, and data with students in the classroom.

Breakout Session 1D

Conservation and Engineering: Designing Solutions for Blanding's Turtles
Lily Barajas, Animal Caretaker, CAS/PNNM
Education Department, CAS/PNNM

Engineering always takes place within the context of a science discipline. Learn how Nature Museum scientists design solutions to real world problems to support conservation work in the field. Discuss and engage in activities to help your students more fully engage in the engineering process in your classroom.

Breakout Session 2A

Butterfly Conservation In and Out of the Laboratory
Doug Taron, Chief Curator, Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (CAS/PNNM)

Learn the secrets of how scientists at the Nature Museum are conserving butterflies by breeding them in the lab. Gain insight to our most challenging obstacles, lab techniques, and fruitful collaborations with the ecological restorationists who manage the lands where we plan to start new populations of these rare butterfly species.  

Breakout Session 2B

Tracking Dragonflies in Illinois
Lalaynia Goldsberry, Animal Caretaker, CAS/PNNM

Explore the diversity of dragonflies and damselflies that live right here in Chicago. Learn about the Illinois Odonate Survey – a community-based science project where volunteers observe and document dragonflies and damselflies – and take away data collection techniques to use in your schoolyard!

Breakout Session 2C

Plant Community Disturbance
Seth Harper, Manager of Horticulture, CAS/PNNM

What happens to an ecosystem when the plant community changes? Explore the crosscutting concept of stability and change while discussing plant disruptions, such as prairie fires and shifting plant populations.

Breakout Session 2D

Learning from Collections and Specimens
Dawn Roberts, Director of Collections, CAS/PNNM

Even after plants and animals die, we can learn about their lives and habitats. Learn how observations and inferences of preserved specimens can spark student discussion and deeper understanding with unique museum resources.

Breakout Session 3A

Science Self-documentation: Tapping into Students’ Science Learning Ecologies
Lara Smetana, Associate Professor, Science Education, Loyola University of Chicago

How can you connect student learning in and out of the classroom?  Self-documentation encourages students to record observations and images from their everyday lives to make authentic connections with classroom learning. Join us as we explore resources from STEM Teaching Tools and test out this strategy in the Nature Museum!

Breakout Session 3B

Outdoor Learning: Using the World Around Us to Engage Students
Education Department, CAS/PNNM

In a generation of technology and inauthentic experiences, it is vital that we provide children with the opportunity to create their own meaning of the natural world. Geared towards PreK-3rd grade educators, but adaptable for older grades, learn through participation in active play and discover new techniques in outdoor and whole-child learning.

Breakout Session 3C

Crosscutting NGSS and CCSS: How to Make the Most of your Classroom Time!
Education Department, CAS/PNNM

Tick, tock! It can be challenging to fit everything you want into the school day, but science can overlap with other disciplines. Join us to explore the connections between ELA Common Core and NGSS. Walk away with cross-curricular strategies, resources, and fresh ideas!

Breakout Session 3D

Administrator Session: Fostering Real-World Learning through Partnerships
Education Department, CAS/PNNM

Administrators, join us! Collaborate to share successes and challenges to inspire new ideas around best practices in NGSS and place-based learning in STEM! Come and discuss how partnerships can enhance in and out of school learning.

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