Winesett attends national science conference

By DAVID GRAVELY

A Pulaski County Middle School Physical Science teacher recently attended an annual conference that brings together some of the sharpest minds in the field of science.

Mrs. Tina Winesett is an eighth-grade science teacher at PCMS. At the end of the month of March, she traveled to Houston, Texas, to attend the annual National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference.

The NSTA, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the largest organization in the world dedicated to science education. The group has over 40,000 members. They publish books, journals and other resources for science teachers from kindergarten through college. They also inform Congress and the public on vital questions affecting science literacy and a well-educated workforce.

“I learned about the conference from a couple of different avenues,” Mrs. Winesett said. “One, while I was at Radford University during 2019-2020. The second from my sister. She taught 6th grade science in Colonial Heights and just moved into administration this year. While at Radford, I had the opportunity to attend the VAST conference, which is a smaller scale conference for Virginia science teachers. I was intrigued by the variety of workshop topics and what they had to offer me as a new teacher. I want to be a forever learner and continue to grow as a teacher. I want to be the best I can be for my students and provide an engaging classroom where they look forward to coming each day. One of my goals is for students to make connections between what they learn and how it applies to the real world.”

Winesett went to the conference with several goals.

“The focus of the conference itself is to help teachers around the United States get better at what we do,” she said. “There are workshops on everything from Classroom Management strategies to exploring new ways of teaching material to today’s students who live in a fast-paced world. They incorporate the NGSS standards designed to improve science education. Their goal is to create a current, research-based set of standards that begins with the core ideas of teaching, incorporates science and engineering technologies, and provides cross-cutting concepts.”

A big perk of attending the conference is having the chance to visit several interesting locations.

“The conference is three days filled with workshops, keynote speakers, a vendor area where companies come to share resources and show potential products to be used in the classroom to create a more engaging atmosphere, and a chance to network with other teachers across the US to see how they teach,” she said. “This year they also gave us the opportunity to visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science free of charge. We had an evening to tour the museum, watch a director’s cut version of the new documentary Everest and they fed us dinner.”

By the end of the conference, those in attendance returned home better equipped for their jobs teaching our students.

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