Annual Conference

Wildly Inspired: Learning through Diverse Experiences

ISEA 19th Annual Conference – February 19-21, 2016 at the Houston Zoo

Thank you so much for making the 2016 conference our most well attended in our 19 year history! The 2016 Conference Program is archived here. Below you’ll find links to the session slides and resources shared by our fantastic presenters.

Session & Link to Resources Presenter(s) Session Description
Diverse Learning Experiences: What Works, What Lasts and Why Dr. Kenneth Wesson, Educational Consultant and Neuroscientist

Associated articles:
Brain-STEM: Using Interdisciplinarity to Improve Our Minds and Our Schools
Brain-Sight: Can touch allow us to “see” better than sight?
Hands-on learning should not be considered optional for normal child development. Concrete experiences forge some of first and the most robust brain circuits in a child’s brain that will later be merged with pictures and written words, laying the groundwork for complex and abstract thinking.
Making and Learning in Informal Science Education Kevin Crowley, Professor of Learning Sciences and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh & Director of the Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments
With the abundance of Making and DIY resources and products, and even the White House hosting its own Maker Faire, it is clear that Making has shifted from a fringe movement to the mainstream. ISE institutions always played a vital role in bringing these experiences to the public.
Designing Your Program Evaluation – Pre-Conference Workshop Cheryl Boyette and Brooke Miller
Complete a program evaluation design including; setting evaluation goals and objectives, determine what type of questions need to be answered, setting realistic timelines, budget considerations, data collection, analysis, and reporting.
Are You My Match?: Efficient and Effective Standards Research and PD Mandy Kirchgessner, Ed.D. – Insights El Paso Science Center We need to align our programs with standards, but this can be daunting. Together we’ll evaluate education objectives, pair standards with programs, and identify key topics that connect with schools. We’ll also share strategies to engage educators. Bring a laptop and program outlines.
Chaos to Conquest: Channeling Student Energy into Tangible Solutions

Bernard Smalls, Adrianne Kartachak – Keep Austin Beautiful

Learn how to design activities that lead students on a breadcrumb trail of ‘aha’ moments that culminate in solutions-based thinking and clear next steps for action. These activities will integrate innovative technologies that encourage curiosity and exploration in the natural world.
ISEA SciGirls Citizen Science and Go Green Training

SciGirls Trainers: Gina Higby – Women in Engineering Project, Jennifer Himsted –Boys and Girls Club, Austin

Get creative and explore best practices and standards-aligned SciGirls curriculum designed to engage girls in STEM. Send your students out into their world as citizen scientists. Discover the world of recycling and go green with a plastics activity!
Collective Impact: ISEA as a Statewide Force for Good Charlie Walter – Mayborn Museum, Baylor University An overview to the theory behind collective impact, a structured model of collaboration that addresses large scale issues. Together session participants will explore possible ideas for a large-scale ISEA collective impact project.
Community First Program Development Emily Weerts, Sarah Morris – Nucleus Learning Network How can informal science institutions reach wider audiences? Learn and practice a program design tool that keeps your community at the heart of development.
Empowering Educators Through Professional Learning & Reflecting on Practice Kristin Evans – Texas State Aquarium As educators, we strive to be aware of industry trends- from pedagogy to STEM content- and to function as efficient teams of practitioners. This interactive session will introduce professional learning strategies to help build better practice through reflection, discussion and team activities.
Engaging your Audience at Home and in School: Building a YouTube Channel Brooke Miller – Online Educator Many informal science centers have YouTube channels that they use to engage audiences outside of the museum. In this session, we will talk about how your institution can benefit from a YouTube channel, and the different ways you can go about creating and editing video content.
Growing Tomorrow’s Agents of Change Tracy Friday, Christina Middlebrook –Botanical Research Institute of Texas Work side-by-side with fellow educators as you explore interactive ways to engage PreK-12 students in environmental issues.   Walk away with innovative strategies to inspire the next generation of environmental leaders through student led exploration and solutions.
Home Depot Science Lynne Christopher – San Antonio Water System Conduct science lessons with supplies found at a home improvement store. Use spray foam insulation to make a watershed model and PVC pipe to create a problem solving activity. Join the San Antonio Water System in this energetic, hands-on workshop and put your home improvement skills to the test!
The Importance of Diversity & Inclusion to STEM in Texas and Beyond David Buggs, MBA – Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department The future success of STEM in a changing US demographic requires that students, parents, educators, and science professionals be fully engaged in the dialogue needed to attract new employees into science fields.   We must be vigilant in our efforts to attract students and teachers from every background in preparation for the wave of exploration to come.
Interdisciplinary Experiences with Growing Up WILD Kiki Corry – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department & Project WILD

Want to get connected to Project WILD? Contact Kiki Corry!

Early childhood education at its best provides a variety of experiences supporting any one concept. Growing Up WILD is a perfect example of an interdisciplinary approach to science concepts. Sample some activities and explore ways that your program can follow the Growing Up WILD model.
Number Zoo – MathHappens Lauren Siegel – Math Happens

Math Lesson Suggestion Worksheet
One of the challenges for math educators and students involves transference. That is applying mathematical thinking outside of the mathematics classroom.   In this session we’ll explore ways that a visit to a zoo can be related to and integrated with concepts in math.
Texas Aquatic Science and Informal Science Education: A Partnership Johnnie Smith – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department This session will introduce Informal Science Educators to Texas Aquatic Science and all of its curricular components; as well as the Texas Aquatic Science Certified Field Site designation and what it can mean to your site.
Volunteer Mastery Panel Karen Marks – (TPWD), Amanda Ross – (BCP), Daniel Burch – (HMNS), and Melanie Hewitt – (HZ) Do you depend on volunteers or wish you could?  Learn the variety of ways we work with folks to leverage our accomplishments and reach.  We’ll hear from staff who coordinate volunteers to work in the outdoors, as docents in museums and zoos, or who provide science data for research.
Wild Engagement Anita B. Frey, Melissa Wong – Houston Zoo At the Houston Zoo we aim to enhance student learning here at the Zoo and in the formal classroom. We will introduce you to our hands-on activities designed to complement lessons from the formal classroom. We invite you to experience a variety of Zoo programming that can enhance science lessons.

 

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