NSTA Virtual Conference

Using Phenomena to Drive Student Learning


Science is ultimately about explaining the phenomena that occur in the world around us. Recent reforms in science education have focused on how phenomena should be used during instruction. On July 28, 2018, more than 200 educators from the United State and around the world participated in this virtual conference which focused on how educators can use phenomena effectively during instruction and assessment. The four-hour conference included two all-group presentations and one breakout parallel session where participants chose their presentation by grade band.

At the end of the virtual conference, participants indicated that they were able to:

  • Engage in an evidenced-based argument on how the use of phenomena in science instruction promotes equity
  • Explain the differences between an anchor phenomenon and an investigative phenomenon
  • Analyze a phenomenon using criteria to evaluate its likely effectiveness in promoting student learning
  • Construct an explanation on how phenomena can be used in assessment

Here are responses from participants to the question: "What did you enjoy most about the virtual conference?"

  • "The information presented and the convenience of the digital platform."
  • "It was an easy way to get information. I think it filled in some gaps for me concerning the use of phenomena and why it is being used."
  • "The wealth of resources that were shared was truly valuable. I also liked how each presenter was able to share his/her own work with us which made the information more meaningful."
  • "I enjoyed learning from very knowledgeable instructors and receiving real classroom experience feedback to my questions."
  • "Directed focus of the conference allowed more time to go in depth on the topic. Lately PD has seemed very repetitive since it usually starts with an introduction and overview of NGSS/3D learning."
  • "The chat between participants that was ongoing on the side. Even more helpful information and thought-provoking ideas shared simultaneously with the presenter. Twice the learning in the same amount of time!"
  • "Did not conflict with my work schedule and was manageable."

Learn more about the virtual conference's presenters and agenda.

For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org