Conference Archives

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

Wildly Inspired: Learning through Diverse Experiences

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.

ISEA 2015 Annual Conference

Click Here for the 2015 PDF Conference Schedule!

Keynote Speaker: Gerald Lieberman, State Education and Environment Roundtable – Creating Bridges for Successful Environmental Programs for Tomorrow

Featured Speakers: Lynne Christopher and Greg Wukasch from San Antonio Water System – Building Tires in a Shoe Factory: What’s really coming off our assembly lines?

Special Presenter: Jamie Bell from the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education – The Big Picture: Trends in Informal Science Education and Key Resources in Informal Science Education (handout)

It was a Dark and Stormy Grant Application: How to use fiction writing techniques to write better proposals Presented by Christina Soontornvat

ISEA Annual Conference 2014:
Anyplace, Anytime: Science!

Field of Dreams: If You Build It, Will They Come?
Jamie Bell, Project Director, CAISE

Better Sameness Is Not Innovation
Lynn Christopher & Greg Wukasch, San Antonio Water System

Preparing Informal Science Educators
Patricia Patrick, PhD, Texas Tech University

Rendezvous At The Reef
Jenn Idema & Dr. Patricia Patrick, Texas Tech University

Role Models Matter: Engaging Girls (and All Kids) in STEM
Tricia Berry, Texas Girls Collaborative Project UT Austin Women in Engineering Program

Tools of Engagement
Jessica Gordon, City of Austin Watershed Protection

ISEA Annual Conference 2013:
We Don’t Make Science, We Make Science Better

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It: Storytelling for Adult Learning
by Stephen Brueggerhoff of the Native Plant Society of Texas – Williamson County

Texas The State of Water
by Cappy Smith, Aquatic Resource Education Specialist at TPWD
and Teresa Moss, Executive Directorat Bob Jones Nature Center

We Don’t Make Science, We Evaluate It!
by John Warner, Urban District Forester
Texas A&M Forest Service

ISEA Annual Conference 2012:
An Oasis for Science Education


Keynote Resources from Martin Storksdieck

A Framework for K-12 Science Education

Highly Successful Schools or Programs for K-12 STEM Education

Learning Science in Informal Environments

And its practitioner volume, Surrounded by Science
Be on the lookout for the Deeper Learning Report on Assessing 21st Century Skills. In the meantime, checkout the workshop report that inspired the consensus study.

 The Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education
, where you can find research and evaluation results of ISE programs
, where you can find case studies, reviews, and forums related to exhibits

Conference Sessions

Lego Robotics for Elementary-Aged Kids
by Jose Perez of Informal Science Learning Associates

Paper Tower Engineering: A Hands-On Introduction to the Grand Challenges of Engineering in the 21st Century 
by Tricia Berry of the Texas Girls Collaborative Project

Wetlands for Water
John De Fillipo of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center

Internships: Effective Management and Mentorship
by Marcela Ramos of the Austin Children’s Museum

Engineering the Earth: Exploring Wind Energy
by Katelyn Wamsted & Ange Atkinson of Girlstart

Nature Videography to Rescue Science Education in a Drought
By Martin Hagne of the Valley Nature Center

Texas State Aquarium Aquavision Distance Learning
by Adriana Reza of the Texas State Aquarium

Camp Odyssey: Art & Science of Water through a Community
by Christy Youker & Rebekah of the Coleman Upper Colorado River Authority and San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

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