NSTA prepares future educators for careers

GVL / Courtesy Sara Dove
NSTA Panera Fundraiser

GVL / Courtesy Sara Dove NSTA Panera Fundraiser

The Grand Valley State University student chapter of the National Science Teachers Association is an organization that works with kids and science, with a focus on educating and involving future educators in educational issues to better prepare them for their careers.

The organization also strives to provide professional opportunities for students wishing to pursue a career in K-12 science education. These include helping pre-service teachers build their resumes.

Last weekend, the group participated in the annual National Conference for Science Teachers in Chicago, where they had the opportunity to network with other members of the national organization and listen to presentations related to their field of interest.

“This is all of our first time, and we are so thrilled with the experience,” said NSTA President Sara Dove. “We have already gathered so many free materials, talked to the best in the field and are learning so many great tools and curriculum we can use in our future classrooms.

“We are some of the few college students that were able to attend the conference, so we really stuck out as attending such a great professional development opportunity as a pre-service teacher.”

In addition, former NSTA President Barb Wheeler presented a lesson she created at the event.

During its meetings, the NSTA hosts guest speakers to discuss interviewing tips, resume building, student teaching and teaching in general. This helps members build professional skills for their future teaching careers.

“We have speakers come in to most of our meetings that we hold every other week,” Dove said. “We have GVSU faculty, teachers, principals and anyone in the education world that can offer us tips.”

According to its website, the National Science Teachers Association – created in 1944 and headquartered in Virginia – is the largest organization in the world devoted to encouraging excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for everyone.

Currently, there are 55,000 members, including science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives and others involved in and committed to science education. In addition, there are more than 100 student chapters nationwide, and five of these are in Michigan.

The NSTA is hosting a fundraiser at Panera Bread from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The fundraiser will occur at the Lake Michigan Drive location in Standale. Participants need to bring a printed flyer, and a percentage of the sales directly help the student organization raise money for next year’s NSTA conference in Tennessee.

The GVSU chapter of the NSTA meets at 7 p.m. every other Tuesday in Room 107 of Padnos Hall.