Pre-Conference Session Information 2017

TSTA offers longer workshops on the day before the conference begins (November 9, 2017).  Please note these sessions may have an additional charge and require payment and registration in advance. Pre-Conference workshop fees are nonrefundable. All sessions (excluding TNSela meeting) are only $10!
  • You must be a registered conference participant to sign up for Pre-Conference Sessions.
  • Advance reservations are required for these workshops. Attendees will be checked in at each room and badges must be shown to enter. Please do not show up without registering. Notify to cancel your space in a workshop.
  • Sessions are morning, afternoon or all day with lunch  times around 12 to 1:30. (lunch on your own unless otherwise indicated).
  • INTERNET ACCESS High speed Internet can be purchased by hotel guests. Guests are encouraged to bring their own personal hot-spot. Internet is free in the guest rooms and lobby, but it is not freely available in the session rooms.


Mirabella A Cambridge A
Cambridge B  Broadlands A
Broadlands B 
9 to 12 am  8:00 to 12:00  9 to 12 am  9 to 12 am  9 to 12 am

Picture-Perfect Science:
Using Children’s Literature
to Inspire STEM Learning

Jen Gutierrez

It takes a Village to 
Correct and Conserve:
Exploring the Tactics and Technologies to Conserve the Giant Panda

Tamica Stubbs


Environmental Topics in Science: Activity Workshop

TN State Parks
Alisha Newton
Bonnie Ervin

3D teaching by Constructing Scientific Explanations in the Classroom

Dr. Ellen Granger

SESSION CANCELLEDThe importance of Where: Geospatial Analysis as an Investigative Lens in
Science Literacy

Michael Camponovo 
Rich McKinney


 1:30 to 4:30 PM
 1:30 to 4:30 PM
 2:00 to 4:00 PM
 1:30 to 4:30 PM
 1:30 to 4:30 PM

Engaging Learners in
3-Dimensional and
Effective STEM Learning
with Virtual Field Fields, Amazing Design Labs, and Video-Based Projects

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Damon Smerchek
Margo Dye


Understanding by Design
as a Tool for Achieving Understanding

Jennie McGuigan
John Didiego    


TNSela Annual Meeting 

Register to reserve your space and pay dues online.
Membership $20

Bonnie Principle 

Uncovering Student Thinking in Science through Formative assessment

McGraw Hill
Joyce Tugel

Picture Perfect Science: Using Children's Books
to Guide Inquiry

Andrea Berry

Pre-conference sessions DESCRIPTIONS 2017


3D Teaching by Constructing Scientific Explanations in the Classroom 

Constructing scientific explanations and engaging in argument from evidence is fundamental to accomplishing 3D science learning. Yet many teachers have little to no experience with these practices of science that support student thinking in these practices.  In this session teachers will engage in activities to explore how to work with learners to develop claims, support them with evidence, and provide the reasoning that ties the evidence to the claim and to science concepts and principles that they are learning in class and how the use of crosscutting concepts supports this type of instruction. The session’s activities are designed to help teachers better understand how to construct scientific explanations themselves and to think about how to implement such activities in their classrooms through 3-Dimensional teaching to engage their students in 3-Dimensional learning. Secondary (grades 6-12) teachers

It takes a Village to Correct and Conserve: Exploring the Tactics and Technologies to Conserve the Giant Panda Populatio

In this 3 hour workshop, participants will indulge in the days and lives of conservation biology teams as they learn what it takes to move animals on the IUCN red list from one level to next. During this five hour, hands-on workshop, participants will examine the ecological drivers & impacts of human activities on the stability of the giant panda population, work to develop a plan to recover the population and execute a wide array of biotechnological techniques to resuscitate this conservation icon’s numbers. Throughout, teachers will gain experience in developing a 1-2 week unit that supports cross cutting concepts, scientific & engineering practices and bridging applicability to the core concepts taught in their life science, environment science and biotechnology classrooms and develop a skill set in technologies such as paternity & gender determining DNA analysis, ELISA and PCR.  Join us for a great time!

(Hands on workshop/training, Life Science, Biotechnology and Environmental Science Instructors)

Picture-Perfect Science: Using Children’s Literature to Inspire STEM Learning
In this interactive workshop, K-5 teachers will: 

1. Learn how to use scientific inquiry, the 5Es instructional model, and reading comprehension strategies to teach STEM.

2. Participate in model science lessons that blend STEM and reading in a meaningful way.

3. Be introduced to high quality science-related picture books that make science and reading come alive for students!  (K-5)

The importance of Where: Geospatial Analysis as an Investigative Lens in Science Literacy SESSION CANCELLED

Participants will learn the importance of incorporating geospatial information in science inquiry as a means of teaching standards in a broader context. (Hands-on and demonstrations, secondary teachers) BRING A LAPTOP

  • Geospatial analysis provides the context required in investigating the natural world and subsequently becomes the conceptual link between multiple science disciplines.  This type of analysis is applicable across all levels of the K-12 learning field and can be built upon as students advance in depth of inquiry.
  • Effective STEM learning takes the factual information found within math and science standards and applies those facts within an engineering and technological framework.  This session will focus specifically on connecting students’ math and science learning by viewing the earth through the analytical lens of engineering design.  Additionally, participants will get to experience multiple instructional technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and GIS.

Environmental Topics in Science: Activity Workshop

Teachers will practice activities to implement environmental education in their classrooms. Activities that help students learn environmental content also reinforce crosscutting concepts and science skills (e.g., identifying relationships and patterns). (K-12)


Engaging Learners in 3-Dimensional and Effective STEM Learning with Virtual Field Fields, Amazing Design Labs, and Video-Based Projects

Come explore Natural Bridge Caverns, The Great Barrier Reef and Engineering in the Everglades with HMH Field Trips powered by Google Expeditions. The first part of this classroom experience takes full advantage of Google’s VR technology and HMH’s instructional support, allowing teachers to see how easy it is to take students on virtual trips to interesting locations they would not normally be able to visit—setting the stage for enhanced learning as engaged students experience science!

In the second portion, participants will go through a design process to see who can build the best parachute for the task provided. Finally, participants will go through a second design process that is introduced by keynote speaker and author Michael Dispezio in a video-based project to see who can build the tallest stucture. There will be no shortage of thinking in these challenging, hands-on, STEM based workshops! (hands-on, K-12)

Uncovering Student Thinking in Science through Formative assessment

Students come to the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. There is a growing body of research showing if we do not gather and interpret evidence of students’ thinking, they will not build a bridge from their existing ideas to new concepts and information. So how do we uncover student ideas in science – and – what do we do once they’re revealed?

Join us as we learn how to use formative assessment to uncover and analyze student thinking about key science concepts; practice formative assessment strategies that inform teaching and deepen students’ understanding of science content; and apply techniques that integrate assessment with the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices and CCSS Literacy Capacities. 

Picture Perfect Science: Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry    

Join us for an engaging time exploring Picture Perfect Science. This workshop is for the elementary teacher that wants to engage their students in exceptional,  inquiry, and  standards-based science lessons. The lessons are exemplar science lessons following the 5E model. They are student centered and launched with children’s literature combining science and reading in natural way. Your students will love these lessons and so will you. The brand new resource released in May Picture Perfect STEM will also be highlighted during this workshop. These lessons are the perfect application of science content and engineering for elementary students. Lessons such as “Chemical Change CafĂ©” ,“Robots Everywhere”, “ Feel the Heat” and “Imaginative Innovations” will be shared.  Participants will leave excited renewed and with lessons in hand.


Understanding by Design 
as a Tool for Achieving Understanding    

Learn to use the UbD ‘Backwards’ Curriculum Design Framework, that will help guide teachers in getting a better handle on standards, aligning programs to assessments, and implementing a standards-based curriculum that leads to student understanding and achievement. Within this session participants will learn to design and construct a unit using this framework and receive guiding materials to take home.

TNSela Annual Meeting
Brian Caine, Science Coordinator for TN Dept. of Education, will be the guest speaker. He will share information about documents that are being developed to help leaders and teachers as we transition to the new TN Academic Standards for Science. 

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