NSTA's mission is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field.
Founded in 1944 as the National Science Teachers Association, the NSTA is headquarted in Arlington, Virginia. It is the largest organization in the world dedicated to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education.
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 fall of 2014, NSTA unveiled its new strategic plan, NSTA Strategic Goals 2015. The plan identifies six overarching goals that will provide a road map to guide and prioritize the work of the association over the next five years. Goals include
- Advocacy – Raise the status of science education and science teaching as a profession by advocating for high-quality science education within national, state, and local contexts.
- Professional Learning – Enhance the professional learning of science educators by providing a suite of tools, resources, and opportunities that support long-term growth within a collaborative learning environment.
- Next Generation Science Standards and STEM – Revitalize science education to boost student achievement and science literacy, and bolster U.S. economic standing.
- Elementary Education – Nurture scientific curiosity among children in the earliest grades.
- Membership – Enrich the NSTA membership experience through enhanced peer-to-peer engagement and differentiated benefits.
- Internal Organizational Goals – Fulfilling the goals and objectives outlined in this plan requires updates in infrastructure, as well as certain tactical staff supports.
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 Learning
The Executive Director is a nonvoting, ex-officio secretary, and there is a nonvoting ex-officio treasurer. Three elected members are in the presidential chain: the president-elect, the president, and the retiring president. Each of them has a one-year term.
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 Education
- Association for Multicultural Science Education
- Association of Science-Technology Centers
- 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.
NSTA's Leadership and Governance
- NSTA Board of Directors and Council
- Map of NSTA Districts
- Advisory Boards and Panels
- Standing Committees
- Nominations for the Board and Council
- State/Province Chapters & Associated Groups
- Alliance of Affiliates
- National Congress on Science Education
- Corporations/Government Agencies
Governing and Guiding Documents
- Current Bylaws (PDF)
- Current Operating Policies (PDF)
- NSTA Conflict of Interest Policy (PDF)
- NSTA Whistleblower Policy (PDF)
- Guidelines for the Development and Revision of NSTA Position Statements (PDF)
- Strategic Goals 2015 (PDF)
IRS Form 990
Journals and Publications
To address subjects of critical interest to science educators, the Association publishes a professional journal for each level of science teaching and many other educational books and professional publications. Publications, books, posters, and other educational tools are available online. The member newspaper, NSTA Reports, is now a weekly e-newsletter.
To enhance professional learning and provide networking forums for science educators, each year NSTA conducts a national conference, a series of area conferences, and a STEM Forum & Expo. These events attract more than 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.
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 conference, U.S. savings bonds, and more. NSTA administers a robust awards program and several exciting competitions 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 60 full-time staff at NSTA headquarters, managed by the following senior staff:
- Erika Shugart, Executive Director
- Moira Fathy Baker, Deputy Executive Director
- Delores Howard, Assistant Executive Director, Conferences
- Ryan Foley, Chief Operating Officer
- Brian Short, Chief Financial Officer
The National Science Teaching Association is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, disability, gender identity, results of genetic testing, or service in the military. Equal employment opportunity applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leave of absence, compensation, and training. NSTA is also committed to providing and maintaining a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination and one in which all employees have an opportunity to participate and contribute to the success of the business and are valued for their skills, experience, and unique perspectives. This commitment is embodied in company policy and practices.