President-Elect: Linda Jordan Past President: Dr. Elaine Huffines Secretary

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Dr. Richard Clements

Chattanooga State Community College
Letter from the President
Greetings TSTA members,
It seems like a short while ago that I began my term as President of TSTA. I have enjoyed sharing this time with you. A president cannot be successful unless there is a strong board of directors that share a common vision. The TSTA Board of Directors is diverse, some are classroom teachers, some are higher education faculty and others are retired educators. They all volunteer their time for the betterment of science education in Tennessee. I am grateful for the support of these individuals and the opportunity to work with them side by side.
This year marks the 40th year of TSTA as an education organization. As it was getting started I was graduating from high school. My plans were to go to the University of Tennessee and become an English teacher. Plans change. I soon learned that I enjoyed the discipline of science that explains how and why things work; and my education followed a path of science. I became a member of TSTA and through this organization I learned to network with fellow educators and broaden my world, and became a better teacher. Many thanks to all the individuals who chartered and established this organization.
The 2016 conference is a result of many hours of diligent work. We have worked hard to put together a conference that you will benefit from. We have great sponsors who have reached out to us financially and in presentation support. The State Department of Education has collaborated with us to introduce the new science standards with sessions from Kelly Chastain ( State Science Coordinator) and her team. Our keynote speakers are accomplished leaders in their fields and understand the importance of science education. I hope you take the time to listen to what they have to say.
Please take time to go by the silent auction and place a bid on some cool stuff. Join us Thursday evening for a social reception with great food and networking (Provided by our Platinum sponsor PASCO). We have many great presentations for you to enjoy. The Friday lunch is included in your conference cost, so please join us for this program. We are trying to be more earth friendly so you will find the program online as well as a few at the conference. TSTA is becoming more tech savvy, so check us out on social media.
As I enter my role as past president I am looking forward to supporting our new president Linda Jordan and each of you to promote science education for all students in Tennessee.

Please do not forget the families and students in Chattanooga as they deal with the loss of lives of precious children as they were coming home from school.


Gale Stanley

President, Tennessee Science Teachers Association

Message from President-elect, Linda Jordan
TSTA Members and Conference Participants:
What a year 2016 has been for science education in Tennessee! Most significant was the release of results showing major increases in students’ science achievement across all grade levels, followed by the adoption of highly-anticipated science standards.
In March, TSTA members enjoyed a highly successful NSTA national conference that coincided with over forty years as Tennessee’s principal professional organization for K-16 science educators. Over that period, TSTA built its initial membership into a thriving community and provided timely educational opportunities and resources forK-12 science teachers.
As president, I am committed to building on the leadership of all my predecessors, providing critical support for the new K-12 science standards, and helping the current Board of Directors e3ectively meet membership needs. TSTA established the Building Capacity for Tennessee Science Education (BCTSE) network as the umbrella for providing professional learning opportunities for all TN teachers. Last year, the Inside the Science Teacher’s Studio program was launched and this series of videos highlighting best instructional practices can be found on our website. Pop-Up conferences show-casing premier presenters and their winning strategies have enabled teachers to explore these instructional approaches in greater depth. Be on the lookout for information about upcoming Pop-Up events.
While we want to grow BCTSE offerings and provide ongoing quality science conferences for teachers, TSTA realizes our members face a myriad of challenges and have diverse professional needs and interests. Our goal is to o3er a variety of opportunities to further engage all science teachers. The first step in achieving this outcome is in clarifying the nature of our members’ needs. I invite you to fill out our conference questionnaire, which is a research study that will provide us with firsthand information about the wants, needs, and hopes of TSTA’s professional community. I also urge you to contact me or your district’s board representative to express concerns, raise questions, make suggestions for improvement, or get involved.
Best wishes for a great conference experience and much continued success with preparing your K-12 science students to be fully prepared for a STEM world.

Supporting Change for Better Science in Tennessee

TSTA Professional Development Conference

December 1-3, 2016

Embassy Suites, Murfreesboro
Schedule of Activities

Please note that your badge is required for admittance to all TSTA functions.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Special Workshop Sessions (Pre-Registration required) 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Registration noon. – 7:30 p.m.
Exhibits Open Mirabella F (Badge required for admission) 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Reception Mirabella F (Badge required for admission) 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Registration and Balloting 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

(Please take time to vote. Ballots are located near the registration booth.)

Morning Concurrent Sessions 8:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Exhibits Open 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

(Exhibits will be closed during lunch: 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.)
General Session/Luncheon (Mirabella E) 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Keynote Address by Michael DiSpezio

Awards Ceremony

There is no additional charge for luncheon for paid registrants
Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
There will be a morning and afternoon Refreshment Break provided for participants on Friday.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Registration and Balloting 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Mirabella E, Closing Session 9:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Keynote Address by Dr. Brendan Mulian
Do not miss this opportunity to close out the conference on a high note.

Door Prizes will be given!!!!

Keynote Speaker

TSTA Welcomes Our Friday Keynote Speaker

Marine Biologist, Author
Brain Sense:Learning About the Brain Through Puzzles, Illusions and Hands-On Activities
About our speaker:

co-author of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ScienceFusion

STEM consultant of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Texas Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra 2

Michael is a renaissance educator, speaker, and author. A former marine biologist, Michael completed his graduate studies at the Marine Biological Lab at Woods Hole and worked as a research assistant to a Nobel prize winner. His knowledge of natural history has resulted in numerous publications and speaking engagements throughout the world on an assortment of scientific topics that range from optical illusions to learning and the brain. Leaving the laboratory, he celebrated his passion in education as a K-12 classroom teacher for nearly ten years. Towards the end of that tenure, he began writing textbooks and was awarded his first authorship on a high school chemistry series. Extensive travel has taken him from the Emmys with an award nominated show on HIV to the Bahamas where he developed the Discovery Channel Camp at Atlantis. To date, he is the author of over 30 trade books and has co-authorship on over 3 dozen science textbooks.

A Special THANK YOU to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sponsoring the Friday guest speaker

Keynote Speaker

TSTA Welcomes our Saturday Keynote Speaker

Science Educator, Astrobiologist

About our speaker:

Won the 2012 U.S. FameLab competition

Recent Ph.D. from Penn State, where he teaches and develops curriculum for astronomy courses

Brendan Mulian explores innovative ways to communicate astronomy to the public and inspire a new generation of scientists. Brendan thinks scientists should reach out—to schoolchildren, college undergraduates, folks in the neighborhood, curious Web browsers, and everyone in between. His research tackles some of astrobiology’s most complex questions, but his public outreach efforts bring astronomy and astrobiology out of the ivory tower to make science more accessible, engaging, and entertaining.

“Astronomy is like the gateway drug of the sciences,” says Mulian. “Many people are already fascinated by the night sky, space missions, and colorful photos of planets, galaxies, and swirling clouds of interstellar gas. Human beings fundamentally want to connect with some cosmic context greater than themselves. I want to give them that chance.”

A special THANK YOU to National Geographic Learning | Cengage Learning for sponsoring our Saturday Speaker

TSTA 40th Anniversary Gala!

Left to Right: Homer Delk, Ruth Woodall, Charles Baldwin, Diane Vaughn, Pat DeRoos, Becky Ashe, Jane Whitaker, Gloria Ramsey, Elaine Huffines, Linda Cain, Tony Beasley

TSTA celebrated 40 years of Science Education on March 31st at a gala held in the Omni Hotel, during the NSTA National Conference. Former Presidents and organization Founders were invited to participate in the festivities with other members and the Board of Directors. From numerous accounts, “a good time was had by all”, especially our honored and special guests, many of whom had not seen each other for some time.
SAT/TSTA Founders Recognized

Two of the original thirteen founding members, Jerry Rice and Fred Johnson, were recognized, along with their peers (see Founders list below). Fred graciously thanked the planning committee and TSTA for providing the opportunity for everyone to celebrate this milestone and indicated he still advocates for his NSTA presidential goal/cause for improved urban and rural science education. The following excerpt is from Jerry’s remarks about the purpose and goals of the Founders’ Steering Committee that created the SAT/TSTA organization in 1976.

“I was the state science supervisor from 1971-1976 and a member of the steering committee of science educators who met in the early 1970's to form SAT (Science Association of Tennessee) a statewide association of science educators from elementary through college levels in an effort to improve communication, science leadership, and teaching skills for all science teachers. Our goal was to provide an annual statewide meeting each year with workshops and seminars presented by science teachers showcasing the successful programs and materials they were using in their classrooms so teachers could learn and implement those programs upon returning to their classrooms and have a network of peers to support each other with the goal of improving their ability to teach science in their classrooms.”

Founders Steering Committee Meeting, McGavock HS, Nashville, 1976

Jerry Rice, State Science Supervisor (lead)

*Bill Pafford, Science Education, ETSU

Jack Rhoton, Science Supervisor, Kingsport City Schools

*Paul Wishart, Science Education, UTK

RK Fletcher, Science Education, TN Tech University

*Bob Bryson, Science Supervisor, Metro Nashville Public Schools

*Bernie Benson, Science Education, UTC

*Maurice Field, Science Education, UTM

* Staley McPeak, Science Coordinator, Hamilton Co. Schools

Fred Johnson, Science Supervisor, Shelby County Schools

Tommy Cohn, Science Supervisor, Memphis City Schools

Bob Chambers, Science Supervisor, Knox Co. Schools

Carl Stedman, Science Education, APSU

Jerry also explained the reason for the organization’s transition from SAT to TSTA.

“After SAT was formed and several annual meetings were held around the state, SAT leadership moved to affiliate with NSTA, which required the name be changed from SAT to TSTA. It was through this evolutionary process that our association was able to gain both support and recognition statewide, regionally, and nationally, thereby unifying all science educators through one organization.”
TSTA Past Presidents Honored

TSTA Presidents in attendance were recognized and shared a highlight of their tenure as president. Their comments reminded and reinforced everyone present of what is still relevant and of greatest importance. It was interesting how the founders and early presidents discussed their preoccupation and herculean efforts to build the organization and provide mid-state conferences that appealed to a broad audience of science educators.

In contrast, later presidents were more focused on implementing technology to support the original mission. Middle era presidents described their struggles to transition from a group of dedicated SAT followers to an NSTA state affiliate that would bear a new name and develop a more well-defined leadership structure with increased tenure demands. All past presidents spoke of the importance of a strong Board of Directors whose individual strengths are integral to the success of the leadership as a whole. Several indicated that they originally became involved through the Board of Directors where they learned or honed their leadership skills. Jack Rhoton (82-83) affirmed the importance of the founders and their focus on unification and inclusion; Gloria Ramsey (2009-11) and Diane Vaughn (2006-09) mentioned they were former elementary teachers, the only elementary presidents, and that their administrations targeted elementary science; and Elaine Huffines (2013-15) and Becky Ashe (2011-13) talked about their many advances in technology.
The accomplishments cited by some of the presidents are presented below.
Jack Rhoton: My presidency was in the early history of the organization.  The overriding goal of my term as president of the Tennessee Science Teachers Association (at that time known as Science Association of Tennessee) was to put the organization on a stronger financial footing and build a networking infrastructure that would sustain and grow the membership overtime.
Linda Phelps: I was privileged to have had the opportunity to  serve as TSTA president on two separate occasions, the first time in 1985-86 (as SAT) and the second in 1992-94 (as TSTA).  In both instances, the growth in TSTA over the years can be attributed to a statewide network of people who worked so hard to make TSTA a successful organization. In 1985-86, we were hosting small regional conferences, and by 1992-94, we were hosting  state-wide conferences in Nashville, where the attendance had increased tremendously. 
Pat DeRoos: My greatest memories of my tenure as president was to help make the transition from SAT to TSTA seamless and to implement the legislation to change from a one year to a two year term of office. Also we assigned specific duties to the past president, president, and Vice President thus making each level of leadership stronger.
Jane Whitaker: Implementing structural changes in the TSTA Board: (1) the expansion of the Board from representation of the three Grand Divisions, to representation by districts; (2) regular board meetings; and (3) locating the meeting permanently in the Nashville area. These changes enabled board participation to grow and be more effective in serving science education statewide.
Homer Delk: My presidency was blessed with an outstanding advisory board and slate of officers willing to accept and implement all duties and tasks delegated to them.
Ruth Woodall: I was honored to work with a dedicated Board of Directors who took charge of any task they were given and made this association and the TSTA conference successful. Serving as President allowed me to represent the State at the first NSTA Congress that was held in Williamsburg, VA.  At that meeting, Tennessee submitted a resolution to change the name NSTA convention to NSTA Professional Development Conference. The resolution was passed to study the financial impact and the next year was voted to pass this resolution.
Charles Baldwin: Memphis City Schools typically sent about 50 science teachers to the TSTA conference. In 2002, financial and political challenges in Memphis ended this practice, creating a fiscal crisis for TSTA from room guarantees to registration. Due largely to the creative, hard work of members like Barry Farris and Pat Carpenter, the board did a magnificent job of meeting these fiscal challenges to stabilize our financial position for the future. Changing from an “annual meeting” to a “professional development conference” resulted in the inclusion of a presentation from the Tennessee Commissioner of Education and plenary session by nationally recognized Lee Marek, chemistry teacher, Napierville High School (Illinois) whose students scored highest in the nation and equivalent to students in Singapore and other high-scoring nations on the TIMMS. Finally, in 2004 TSTA was able to organize the first joint meeting with the Tennessee Academy of Science.
Gloria Ramsey: It was a time of transitions, moving forward toward connecting more with teachers across the state via the Internet and the beginning plans for a regional NSTA in Nashville.  Those with whom I worked made me a better person.  I am so thankful to have had that opportunity.
Becky Ashe: A focus of my tenure was moving the board and organization further into the digital age with the introduction of virtual board meetings, which cut down on organizational expenses and allowed board members to contribute without missing school and family activities; and upgrading our website to an organizational management system (WildApricot) which also allowed for digital management of many conference functions, as well as creation of a Facebook and Twitter presence (find us at Science Teachers Association and Twitter @TnSTA).

TSTA Past Presidents 1975 – 2016

1976-78 SAT

1978-79 R.K Fletcher (SAT)

1979-80 Ronald Robertson (SAT)

1980-82 SAT

1982-83 Jack Rhoton (SAT)

1983-84 *Bernie Benson (SAT)

1984-85 Jill Wright (SAT)

1985-86 Linda Phelps (SAT)

1986-87 Tony Beasley (SAT)

1987-88 Pat DeRoos (SAT)

1989-90 Linda Cain SAT/TSTA

1990-92 Jane Whitaker (TSTA)

1992-94 Linda Phelps (TSTA)

1994-96 Homer Delk (TSTA)

1996-98 Geraldine Farmer (TSTA)

1998-00 *Monty Howell (TSTA)

2000-02 Ruth Woodall (TSTA)

2002-04 Charles Baldwin (TSTA)

2005-06 Glyn Burton (TSTA)

2006-09 Diane Vaughn (TSTA)

2009-11 Gloria Ramsey (TSTA)

2011-13 Becky Ashe (TSTA)

2013-15 Elaine Huffines (TSTA)

2015-17 Linda Gale Stanley (TSTA)


TSTA and the Future

As president-elect, I am amazed by the hard work and dedication of my predecessors who gave birth to and developed TSTA into one of the largest teacher organizations in the state. In taking on the role of president, I truly stand among giants and have gained even deeper respect for colleagues I have admired.

Over the years, TSTA has supported me both as a board member and as the ex-officio State Science Consultant. During my state tenure and despite occasional differences, I always felt supported and enjoyed many opportunities to engage with the board and its membership.
I look forward to working closely with the TSTA Board of Directors 2017-18 to make this organization even stronger and more relevant for K-12 science teachers. Our most important goal as an organization should be to offer sustained and meaningful support for the successful implementation of the new science standards. TSTA is filled with professional talent. We must tap into all available resources to provide professional learning opportunities for all Tennessee science teachers.

Linda Jordan

President Elect






Jack Deyton



Essential Physics: Textbook and ebook

Grades 9-12



Jack Deyton



Reimagine The Classroom: PASCO Wireless Sensing Technology

Grades 6-12


Adrema Higgins



What Are Some Ideas For Elementary STEM Lessons And What Do They Look Like?

Grades K-5


Jim Albetone



Make Science Come To Life With LEGO Education – WeDo 2.0

Grades K-12


Jim Albetone



Instant STEM Learning With Best In Class Robotics Solutions – Mindstorm

Grades K-12.


Ruth Leonard



TnSELA Annual Meeting


Kim Stillwell



Picture Perfect Science

Grades K-5


Leslie Suters



K-12 Coding Connections At The Interface Between Science And Mathematical Practices

Grades K-12

Preconference Sessions Continued.


Pearson K-12 Education

Scott Skene, Katie MacDonald



STEM Institute: Think Like An Engineer

Grades K-5


Pearson K-12 Education

Scott Skene, Katie MacDonald



STEM Institute: Think Like An Engineer

Grades 6-8

TSTA Conference Organization

Exhibits and sponsors: Gant Patteson

Registration: Dr. Barry Farris

Awards: Kelly Ramey

Program: Dr. Stephanie Wendt, Dr. Marjorie Rothschild

WebMaster: Sharon Mendonsa

Conference Sessions Code Key, Session Times

Type of Presentation Friday Sessions Start Times

D Demonstration Morning Session 1 8:00 (8:30)*

H Hands-on Morning Session 2 9:45

L Lecture Afternoon Session 1 1:00

P Panel Afternoon Session 2 2:15

Afternoon Session 3 3:30
Saturday Talks – All concurrent

Start at 8:00 or 8:30*

*Later start times are for 1 hour presentations

TSTA MEMBER UPDATE [Special Time: 8:00-8:30]

Presenter(s): Gale Stanley, Linda Jordan

Oakleigh A

Meet with present and incoming TSTA presidents to discuss future direction of TSTA and how it can contribute to your teaching.

They will update members on upcoming TSTA activities and discuss special concerns

1 Ignite Science Writers*


Presenter(s): Charlotte Cantkier, Andrea Starks

Oakleigh A

Strand(s): Scientific Literacy, Integrating Instruction

Level: 6-8

Emphasis will be placed on strategies for integrating writing in the science classroom. Engage in reading scientific informational text, responding creatively to a given prompt, and constructing science writing assignments.

6 Stem (Free!) Digital Resources: Bring Science Concepts To Life In Your Classroom With Everfi Resources*


Presenter(s): Liz Malugen

Oakleigh B

Strand(s): Scientific Literacy, STEM

Level: 3-12, Supervision

EverFi partners with the Nashville Predators & American Society of Mechanical Engineers to offer three STEM digital resources at no cost to schools. Students in grades 4-10 will discover STEM concepts through exciting hockey-themed inquiry games, learn the different parts of a computer, and discover how to repair a bridge by using linear equations and automating the process with basic html coding. Additionally, students will be exposed to exciting career opportunities in these growing industries. Come learn how to engage your students with these standards-aligned, self-assessing resources!.

11 I Am Teaching A Special Education Student Now What?*


Presenter(s): Gant Patteson, Jeremy Simerly

Oakleigh C

Strand(s): Integrated Instructions

Level: 6-12

This session will discuss strategies on how to teach special education kids in the classroom. We will cover understanding of an IEP, accommodations and modifications to use in the classroom. The session will be tailored to the audiences questions however specific situational questions will have to wait till after the session as we want to accommodate all that are in the session.

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