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Area Conference in New Orleans

November 19–21, 2020


Due to ongoing health and safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Science Teaching Association has decided to cancel the fall 2020 Area Conferences on Science Education. The face-to-face meetings were originally scheduled to be held October 29–31 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; November 19–21 in New Orleans, Louisiana; and December 10–12 in Phoenix, Arizona.

In making this decision, NSTA considered feedback from members and conference participants, including exhibitors and session presenters, state and local guidance on large gatherings, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. This decision was made for the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, presenters, volunteers, and staff.

We appreciate the work our conference committees have put in to meeting our members’ and the greater science education community’s professional needs, and their continued guidance as we re-envision the conferences as a virtual experience in the fall. We will share additional information as soon as it is available. Thank you for your continued understanding and support while we navigate these unprecedented and challenging times.



EnGULF Science Education

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center • 900 Convention Center Blvd. • New Orleans LA 70130

Mark your calendar for NSTA's second 2020 area conference—we'll be in New Orleans, Louisiana!

Twitter hashtags: #NSTA20 (2020 conferences), #NSTA (all-purpose)

Session Proposals

We are no longer accepting session proposals for the New Orleans area conference.

Proposal Review Timeline for 2020 Area Conferences

  • Submission deadline: January 15, 2020
  • Proposals reviewed in March
  • Accepted sessions scheduled and acceptance e-mails sent in early spring

hotel and travel iconFor information on hotels, visit the Housing and Travel page.

Conference Strands

strands iconTo help you make the most of the professional development opportunities available at the New Orleans conference, the Conference Committee has planned the conference around three strands that explore topics of current significance, enabling you to focus on a specific area of interest or need.

Sustaining the Big Blue Planet

Humans have impacted the physical environment in many ways: overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation. As a result, locations around the world face ongoing threats such as extreme weather, invasive species, and land loss. In order to mitigate these processes, teachers must be prepared to teach sustainable practices and help students make connections between their actions and future impacts to the planet. This also means educating and collaborating with responsible partners and stakeholders (shareholders) who impact local environments. Teachers must develop and facilitate learning opportunities that enhance students' understanding of how to not only restore our planet, but also ensure its resiliency in the face of future events. In this strand, participants will learn how all domains of STEM work together to help save our planet.

Diving into Scientific Literacy

"Promoting scientific literacy among all of the nation’s people is a democratic ideal worthy of focused attention, significant resources, and continuing effort." (Framework; NRC 2012, p. 277) Scientific literacy allows individuals to be critical consumers and contributors of scientific knowledge. All students need explicit instruction in and opportunities to engage with scientific information in order to demonstrate their ability to use, think about, interpret, and communicate their understanding of science. In this strand, participants will construct knowledge about the literacy practices, the shared language, and the tools that scientists and engineers use to acquire and communicate knowledge alongside their peers.

Immersing in Three-Dimensional Learning

Teachers should engage all students in meaningful discourse with their peers—similar to the work of scientists and engineers—as they make sense of natural phenomena or design solutions to problems. PreK–16 instruction should emphasize the applications of science and engineering to all career fields, including technical and vocational, both in theory and in practice. In this strand, participants will strengthen their understanding of how the science and engineering practices (SEPs)—doing of science; disciplinary core ideas (DCIs)—knowledge; and crosscutting concepts (CCCs)—connecting work together to help students investigate, explain, and analyze phenomena.

Conference Committee Leaders

Nathan Cotten
Conference Chairperson
STEM Curriculum Specialist
Terrebonne Parish School District
201 Stadium Drive
Houma, LA 70360

Patrice Mire
Program Coordinator
Kaplan, LA 70548

Michelle Sanchez
Local Arrangements Coordinator
Senior Professor of Practice/Director of Tulane Center for K–12 STEM Education
Tulane University
201 Lindy Boggs
School of Science and Engineering
New Orleans, LA 70118

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