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Volunteering + You = A Successful NSTA

By Michelle Butler

Posted on 2021-04-09

Congratulations and welcome! You made it here because you are interested in becoming more involved with your professional organization. And we are happy to support you in this endeavor because we know 

  • Volunteers bring outside perspectives and professional experience to their efforts.
  • Professionals at any stage of their career can develop new skills, expand professional networks, and experience growth through volunteering.
  • You are essential to NSTA’s success.   

With more than 30 different areas in which you can volunteer, you are sure to find an opportunity to spark your interest. 

Standing Committees

Standing Committee volunteers work directly with staff and members of the NSTA Board of Directors and can have a positive impact on science education at the national level. They review NSTA policies, programs, and activities annually. NSTA has 13 different committee areas; these committees comprise three subsets:

  • Level committees serve the interests of educators at four levels of science teaching: preschool/elementary; middle level; high school; and post-secondary.
  • Function committees review the impact of NSTA’s work on roles outside of the classroom, such as coordination and supervision; informal science; multicultural and equity issues; preservice teacher preparation; and professional learning.
  • Task committees review internal and external NSTA tasks and processes connected with activities such as awards and recognition; nominations; and organizational auditing.

Advisory Boards

Have you ever wanted to submit an idea for improvement to an NSTA journal, conference, or program? Do you have a great inkling for innovation in urban science or special education? Advisory Board members have the opportunity to give direct input, guidance, and advice to NSTA staff and the Board of Directors. More than 10 different Advisory Boards cover the breadth of the organization:

  • Publication Advisory Boards
    • Science and Children Advisory Board
    • Science Scope Advisory Board
    • The Science Teacher Advisory Board
    • Journal of College Science Teaching Advisory Board
  • Aerospace Programs Advisory Board
  • Development Advisory Board
  • International Advisory Board
  • Investment Advisory Board
  • NGSS@NSTA Advisory Board
  • Retired Members Advisory Board
  • Rural Science Education Advisory Board
  • Science Matters Advisory Board
  • Science Safety Advisory Board
  • Special Needs Advisory Board
  • Technology Advisory Board
  • Urban Science Education Advisory Board


Members who volunteer on Panels are charged with joint selection for specific NSTA programs, including the following:

  • Outstanding Science Trade Books Panel
  • Best STEM Books Panel
  • Award Panel
    • Shell Science Teaching Award

To join NSTA's team of volunteers, simply complete the online application by the annual deadline (in December). The NSTA President-Elect begins making appointments over the holiday break at the end of the year, and notifications will begin at the end of February. All terms of office begin on June 1.

Not an NSTA member? Learn more about what our membership has to offer. We would love to have you join us!


Being part of the NSTA Board of Directors and Council gives NSTA members an opportunity for professional growth as science thought leaders. It allows members to work with people who are passionate about ensuring a quality science education for all students. If you yearn to be part of the team that makes decisions impacting the science education landscape across the country and Canada, then submit your name to run for office in the annual elections. Visit Nominations to find out more information.

News Middle School Early Childhood Elementary High School Informal Education Postsecondary Pre-service Teachers Preschool

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