Share your good ideas … submit a session proposal for an NSTA conference! Click here to submit a proposal for NSTA's 2014 national conference in Boston, Massachusetts (April 3–6, 2014).
Proposals are no longer being accepted for the NSTA 2013 San Antonio national conference (April 11–14), for the 2013 STEM Forum & Expo in St. Louis, or for the 2013 area conferences in Portland, Charlotte, and Denver.
For a complete list of future NSTA conferences, click here.
Conference Participation and Registration
All presenters and presiders at an NSTA conference must be registered.
Preparing and Submitting a Session Proposal
- Go to the Online Proposal Submissions page (click on text above) and select the online session proposal form for the conference you wish to attend.
- As you begin the submission process, you will be issued a program proposal ID number (at the top left of the screen). This number will be reaffirmed when you conclude your submission. When you have exited the online proposal system, you will receive an acknowledgment by e-mail (if you have provided an e-mail address) that will refer again to your assigned number. PLEASE HOLD ONTO YOUR ID NUMBER. You will need to refer to it if you have questions later about your submission or if you need to make corrections to it.
- Fill out the form completely. If you do not provide certain requested information, your proposal will not be processed. Instead it is saved as “incomplete” and will not be considered. In particular, you MUST fill out the section related to safety (VIII. Safety); you MUST provide both a title and brief description of your proposal (III. Session Data); and you MUST provide an abstract and explain how your session addresses the National Science Education Standards (IX. Summary of Proposal).
- Be sure to distinguish between your affiliation address (which will appear in the advance and final conference programs) and the address to which you want your confirmation and other correspondence sent. If you prefer that correspondence be sent to your home, you MUST specify this.
- Provide information for additional presenters if applicable. You should provide COMPLETE contact information for co-presenters so that they can be mailed confirmations.
- Provide presider information if you wish to name one, again providing complete contact information. Presiders are not required.
- If your proposal can be assigned to one of the given conference strands, please specify. You do NOT need to identify a strand to submit a session.
- Enter a session title and brief description. You MUST provide this information or your proposal will not be processed. Keep in mind that editors will use this description first when preparing the conference program, so make it attractive to conference attendees. The description should be as concise and informative as possible. Phrases such as "teachers can actively participate in this workshop to learn skills to take back to the classroom" do not provide the reviewer or conference participant with enough information to differentiate your workshop from other proposals. What kinds of activities? What will participants do exactly?
- Select the type of session that best describes your presentation. NSTA sessions are of two major types: PRESENTATIONS and WORKSHOPS. Your proposal may also be submitted as a SHORT COURSE.
- Presentations, 30 minutes or 60 minutes, offer an opportunity to share an innovative teaching idea or results of research, or to discuss a topic of general or specific interest. Presentations are set theater style (chairs only).
- Workshops are 60-minute presentations that actively engage a limited number of participants in a hands-on activity. Workshops are set classroom style (with a limited number of tables as well as chairs).
- Short courses address topics in more depth than regular sessions and generally last three-six hours. Space for short courses is very limited and if the program committee believes that your proposed short course would be more suitable as a regular session, they may schedule it as a session instead.
- Select ONE (best) alternative for the science area covered by your session. Science area categories include earth/space science, biology/life science, chemistry/physical science, physics/physical science, environmental science, or integrated/general. Although your session may apply to more than one area, only one can be listed in the program.
- Select the teaching level(s) of your intended audience, ranging from preschool through college and including informal education, supervisor/administration, and general. More than one field may be checked.
- Select ONE (best) national standards focus. Although your session may address more than one standard, only one can be listed in the program.
- Request LCD projector, if needed. NSTA will automatically provide a lectern microphone in larger rooms (need determined by NSTA) and will provide an LCD projector if you request it on your original proposal form (presenters must arrange for their own computers).
- Due to high rental fees, slide projectors, video projectors, computers, modems, phone lines, etc., cannot be provided by NSTA. Presenters may rent additional AV equipment at their own expense from the conference supplier indicated on the confirmation form.
- Indicate how many participants you wish to accommodate at your session (audience size), from 50 to 99 or over 100.
- Identify potential safety hazards associated with your presentation and INDICATE YOUR COMPLIANCE WITH NSTA SAFETY GUIDELINES. Even if your session does not involve any safety hazards whatsoever, it is the policy of NSTA that EACH PRESENTER, INCLUDING CO-PRESENTERS, must indicate compliance with NSTA safety guidelines in order to have his/her name listed in the conference program. Co-presenters can indicate compliance by signing and returning their confirmation letters.
- Finally, you MUST provide an abstract (150–200 words) detailing session content and activities and explain how your session will address the National Science Education Standards.
Your presentation may NOT promote a product, service, or organization in which you have a financial interest. Those wishing to do so must contact NSTA's Exhibits and Advertising Department to enter your session as an Exhibitor Workshop. For more information contact Jason Sheldrake at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Criteria for Rating Proposals?
The program committee will be looking at the following:
- Does the proposal clearly describe the session?
- Is the information provided in the proposal complete?
- Is the proposed session topic timely/appropriate?
- Is the proposed session based upon recommended practices?
- How does the proposed session address the National Science Education Standards?
- If identified for a particular strand, does the proposed session address the corresponding criteria?
Reviewers will be looking through your whole proposal to check the completeness of the information provided but will focus on your 150-200 word summary to review its content.
TO BE CONSIDERED, SESSION PROPOSALS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE DEADLINE. Due to space limitations, not all deserving proposals can be accommodated. Reviewers will prioritize proposals based on a balanced program (i.e., science disciplines and teaching levels) as well as the above criteria.
I Submitted My Session Proposal … Now What?
Your session proposal will go to the conference program committee for consideration. Composed of educators of all levels, the committee will review all proposals, determining which to include in the program. NSTA Headquarters will then notify you by mail of the decision regarding your proposal. If your proposal was accepted, you and your co-presenters will each receive a confirmation letter giving the date, time, and place of your scheduled session.
I Received a Confirmation Form. What Should I Do Now?
Read the confirmation form carefully. Your name and affiliation will appear in the program as shown; are they correct? Are the names and affiliations of your co-presenters correct? Did we address your needs for audiovisual equipment correctly? Is your room set-up correct?
Check the facts. Will you be able to be there on the date shown? Are your co-presenters still intending to be there? Did they receive and sign confirmations of their own? Remember, only those presenters who have indicated compliance with NSTA safety guidelines—on either the original proposal or a confirmation form--can be listed in the final conference program.
If you need a letter to your administrator or supervisor to document your participation as a presenter, please fill out the appropriate section of your confirmation form and we'll send one.
Make any corrections as necessary, sign the form, and return it by the date specified.
Can I Cancel a Session?
If you are canceling your session, the Conference Office needs to be informed as soon as possible so that your space can be assigned to someone else. Please e-mail Jo Neville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I Add or Remove Presenters/Presiders?
If you wish to add or remove a presenter or presider, please e-mail Jo Neville at email@example.com. Any new presenters will have to submit their names and contact information. They must also submit a signed safety form in order to be included in the final program. Safety guidelines and forms are available from the Conference Forms page.
I Did Not Receive a Response to My Proposal—Why Not?
If you did not receive a response either way from NSTA, there may have been a miscommunication or a problem with the mail. If there is any chance that you may not receive NSTA correspondence using your school or affiliation address, you should probably use your home as your mailing address.
If by the end of May you do not receive word from NSTA regarding your area conference session proposal, please e-mail our program manager Jo Neville at firstname.lastname@example.org to check its status.
Confirmations for national conferences are generally mailed in September/October. If you have not heard from NSTA by November 15, please contact Jo Neville at the above e-mail address.
How Will My Session Be Listed on the Conference Website and in the Final Conference Program?
Preliminary descriptions of scheduled sessions, including presenters, will be accessible on our website prior to the conference using the conference session browser/personal scheduler.
The final conference program, distributed on-site, reflects the most recent information available as submitted on confirmation forms. If we have not received a confirmation or safety compliance from a presenter, the presenter will not be listed.
Details for Presenters
After you have picked up your conference program, be sure to check in at the Presenters/Presiders Booth located in the Registration area to receive your Presenter or Presider ribbon(s).
Handouts and Copies
Presenters are encouraged to upload materials into the NSTA Learning Center. These materials can be downloaded directly from the session browser. If a file is available for download, an icon will appear in the session's description.
If your audiovisual needs were confirmed, then your room should be set up for you when your session begins. Presenters will also have some time prior to the session to set up additional materials. If you would like to send any presentation materials in advance, check with your hotel—most hotels have holding areas and will store your shipped items for a few days before you arrive.