The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership of 60,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education.
NSTA’s Mission: “ … to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.”
NSTA's Programs, Products and Services
NSTA Donor List and Annual Reports
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NSTA’s Guiding Principles
- Model excellence;
- Champion science literacy;
- Value scientific excellence;
- Embrace diversity, equity, and respect;
- Enhance teaching and learning through research;
- Collaborate with partners; and
- Exemplify a dynamic professional organization.
NSTA’s Strategic Plan
In the summer of 2010, NSTA unveiled its new strategic plan, NSTA Strategic Goals 2010. NSTA Strategic Goals 2010 identifies four critical goals that will guide and inform the association's efforts over the next five years:
- Promote active participation of all teachers of science in improving science education
- Advocate for the central role of science education to benefit students and society
- Support high-quality science teaching to improve student learning for the 21st century
- Influence research in science education and promote its wide application to improve science teaching and student learning
The NSTA Board of Directors consists of elected officers and directors representing the ten divisions within the organization. The Divisions are:
- Preschool and Elementary Division
- Middle Level Division
- High School Division
- College Division
- Informal Science Division
- Division of Research in Science Education
- Division of Coordination and Supervision
- Division of Preservice Teacher Preparation
- Division of Multicultural/Equity in Science Education
- Division of Professional Development
The Executive Director is a nonvoting, ex-officio secretary and there is a nonvoting ex-officio treasurer. There are three elected members in the presidential chain: the president-elect, the president and the retiring president. Each of their terms is one year.
The NSTA Council is composed of one director elected from each of NSTA 18 districts. The NSTA Council serves as the advisory body to the Board of Directors. The Council makes recommendations for consideration by the Board of Directors and attends all meetings of the Congress as non-voting members. All members of the Council have the responsibility for promoting NSTA programs.
The Alliance of Affiliates consists of one voting delegate from the NSTA affiliate organizations. NSTA Affiliate organizations include:
- Association for Science Teacher Preparation
- Association for Multicultural Science Education
- Council for Elementary Science International
- Council of State Science Supervisors
- National Association for Research in Science Teaching
- National Middle level Science Teachers Association
- National Science Education Leadership Association
- Society for College Science Teachers
The Congress comprises one voting delegate from each Chapter and Associated Group. The NSTA Congress meets each summer for the purpose of identifying and examining issues from the local perspective.
The Center for Science Education Campaign
With Senator John Glenn as our Honorary Chair, NSTA is mounting a five-year, $43 million national effort to make excellence in science teaching and learning a reality for all U.S. students. Since 2000, a number of national commissions have issued reports highlighting the strategic importance of improving science education in the United States. Guided by our strategic plan, NSTA has designed a series of forward-thinking programs and initiatives that promote leadership, learning, and advocacy in science education. An extraordinary state-of-the art facility will house these programs and serve as a national home base for all teachers of science. NSTA needs your support to help launch one of the most significant initiatives it has ever undertaken. For more information about the Center for Science Education and to find out how you can get involved, click here.
Journals and Publications
To address subjects of critical interest to science educators, the Association publishes a professional journal for each level of science teaching; a 52-page newspaper, NSTA Reports; and many other educational books and professional publications. Publications, books, posters, and other educational tools are available through the NSTA Recommends catalog and online.
NSTA offers a wide range of professional development opportunities for science educators at all levels, including the NSTA Learning Center, NSTA Conferences on Science Education, Research Dissemination Conferences, NSTA New Science Teacher Academy, Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Teachers, and much more.
To enhance professional development and provide networking forums for science educators, each year NSTA conducts a national conference and a series of area conferences. These events attract over 30,000 attendees annually. At the conferences, teachers may choose from hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, and presentations covering every discipline, grade level, and teaching focus. They hear nationally renowned speakers address the hottest topics in science education and learn about the latest breakthroughs from experts in the field.
NSTA's newest initiative, Science Matters, is a major public awareness and engagement campaign designed to rekindle a national sense of urgency and action among schools and families about the importance of science education and science literacy. Science Matters builds on the success of the Building a Presence for Science program, first launched in 1997 as an e-networking initiative to assist teachers of science with professional development opportunities. The Building a Presence for Science network—now the Science Matters network—reaches readers in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
Awards and Recognition Programs
Each year the Association and its sponsors reward and recognize teachers and students with cash awards, school supplies and materials, trips to our national convention, U.S. savings bonds, and more. NSTA administers awards, grants, and a student competition to recognize the professional efforts of teachers and the innovative talents of their students.
Advocating for Science and Science Teachers
The Association serves as an advocate for science educators by keeping its members and the general public informed about national issues and trends in science education. NSTA disseminates results from nationwide surveys and reports and offers testimony to Congress on science education-related legislation and other issues. The Association develops position statements on issues such as teacher preparation, laboratory science, use of animals in the classroom, laboratory safety, and elementary and middle level science.
There are approximately one hundred full-time staff at NSTA headquarters working within five divisions. The leaders of the divisions are listed below.
- Executive Office: Dr. David L. Evans
- Marketing and Sales: Ed Rock
- Operations and Membership: Moira Baker
- Professional Programs and Conferences: Zipporah Miller
- Publications and Product Development: David Beacom