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Science Teachers Invited to “Learn Together, Virtually” at VAST Conference


The Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) has moved its annual Professional Development Institute online this year. From November 12-14, VAST will offer an array of teaching strategies, best practices and practical applications to support science instruction, all accessible from the comfort of your desk or sofa.

Michael Pratte, K-12 Facilitator of Science with Stafford County Public Schools tells us why he plans to attend the conference. “A three-day customized learning and networking experience including a year membership to VAST to revisit the learning resources - all at the same price as 2 medium pizzas! You can’t beat that!  Science for All!”

By coming together virtually this year, science educators will share and learn about strategies to help their students critically open their minds to the exciting world around them. Presentations will include inquiry, investigation, modeling and collaboration for students to experience the phenomenon-based wonder of our natural world. The focus will be on science content, skills, and courses in a student's science educational continuum which can lead to STEM career pathways. Sessions will emphasize innovative science instruction that supports the 2018 Science Standardsembracing the Virginia Profile of a Graduate.

The general sessions will feature speakers who will challenge you with recent scientific discoveries and instructional strategies. The three keynote speakers are:

The program will mimic an in-person gathering as closely as possible. Attendees will be able to browse virtual exhibit booths and connect with each other to network and share ideas.

While the precise schedule is still being developed, the general time frame will be:

  • Thursday, November 12, from 4:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 13, from 4:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 14, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

A registration fee of $25 gives you access to all three days of the event—including professional development hours that can be used towards recertification. VAST is still accepting applications for presenters, and has opportunities for exhibitors and vendors.

For an additional $25, attendees can participate in the annual Donna Sterling Institute, which is also online this year from October 10-17. This year’s topic is “The Path Forward: Finding Smart Solutions in Energy and Climate Science.”

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