Evolving Science Education with ASTA

Nov. 19, 2021
Creativity drove this year's Arizona Science Teachers Association (ASTA) Annual conference, with the theme of “Teaching Science in an Evolving Climate.” APW contributed three live sessions covering everything from “Barrio walks” to developing and using a variety of models to construct explanations, and exploring our groundwater system.
During APW’s “Water in My Neighborhood” session, teachers went for a neighborhood walk to assess the community on several resilience and sustainability factors. Participants made observations on potential spaces that could be transformed to enhance sustainability by creating a passive rainwater harvesting basin to collect road runoff to support native plants and, potentially, food plants. 
In the afternoon, science was activated using several different models. Everyone seemed to enjoy working with the “Healthy Watershed – Healthy Land” soil models which showed the positive impact of vegetation on erosion. Elementary teachers were tasked with preventing erosion by changing the soil conditions in their models with the use of rocks, leaf litter, and other materials. One group made the astute observation that plant roots seemed to provide better water quality conditions for our watersheds.
Overall, the conference was an innovative success. Sessions were informative and everyone felt the warmth and camaraderie of finally being together again.
Image: Sandra Hurlbut