NSTA student chapter created


Future science teachers and faculty in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education (TLTE) in UNL's College of Education and Human Services, have started a student chapter of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

NSTA’s national mission is “…to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.” NSTA is well known for providing outstanding educational opportunities and resources for science teachers. The focus of the UNL chapter of the NSTA is to provide an organization where students interested in science education can learn about teaching science, exchange ideas with other students, and be involved in the local community. Dr. Elizabeth Lewis and Dr. Krista Adams are faculty advisors for the chapter.

The UNL chapter was started in the Fall of 2011 and held monthly meetings from October through April, 2012. Several of the meetings had guest speakers, covering a variety of relevant teaching topics. In December, Aaron Musson, a former high school science teacher and current PhD student in TLTE, gave a presentation on using reading in the science classroom. Aaron spoke specifically on the benefit of non-textbook reading. In January, Holly Carr of Quest Nebraska discussed the multimedia resources available to science teachers through Nebraska Educational Television (NET). Quest Nebraska has produced a variety of short video and audio stories about the applications of real-world science in Nebraska. In February, Ellen Dobson, a second year teacher in Lincoln Public Schools and Jim Rynearson, a veteran science teacher recently retired from Lincoln Public Schools, discussed dealing with the challenges of being a first year teacher. Topics discussed during the meeting included the importance of understanding that all will not go as planned in the classroom, and the need to be flexible in dealing with the unexpected. The April meeting ended the semester with a campus scavenger hunt competition and pizza party.

The UNL Chapter of NSTA is still very much in its infancy. Thus far, the meetings have attracted between five and 25 students. Most of the students attending the meetings have been upper level secondary education majors. The group hopes to attract more elementary education major in the future. In addition, plans are under way for the chapter to start an education focused, long-term community service project. For more information on UNL’s Student NSTA chapter, please contact Nate Van Meter at nvanmeter1@gmail.com.