The North Carolina Science Teachers’ Association (NCSTA) held its annual professional development conference November 12th & 13th 2015. There were over a thousand science educators, teachers, university professors, and informal science representatives from across the state in attendance this year.
East Carolina University alumni demonstrated their continuous impact on science education by receiving four awards from the North Carolina Science Teachers’ Association. Beth Wantz won the Most Outstanding Science Student Teacher award. Beth graduated in May 2015 and has served as a camp counselor for ECU Summer Science Camp for the last three summers. She is currently teaching Kindergarten at H.B. Sugg in Farmville. Kelsey Phillips won the Most Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher award. Kelsey teaches fifth grade at W. H. Robinson in Winterville. Kelsey was also a counselor for ECU Summer Science Camp. Both Kelsey and Beth concentrated in Elementary Science, and they are both working with Assistant Professor Dr. Tammy Lee with her grant entitled PIRATES (Preparing and Inspiring Achieving Teaching Excellence in Science), which is an induction model for beginning elementary science teachers. Kelsey and Beth presented for the first time at the conference on how to integrate science into all subject areas. Blair Driver received the award for the Most Outstanding Middle School Science Teacher. Ms. Driver has been an Assistant Director and counselor for the ECU Summer Science Camp. Currently, Blair is working with Dr. Rhea Miles on her Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership Program (SEADAP) in which they and other teachers presented on latest classroom applications. Ms. Driver received more recognition earlier in the week when she was named Pactolus School Teacher of the Year. Finally, Marcus Pate was recognized as the Most Outstanding High School Science Teacher. Mr. Pate teaches Earth and Environmental Science at South Central High School in Pitt County. He was a graduate of ECU in 2013 and is known for his innovative use of technology in the classroom.
Science Education faculty and Elementary Science Concentration students were also busy at the conference recruiting for the awesome programs in MSITE and across the College of Education. Ten Elementary Science Concentration students worked the recruitment booth and attended sessions. They will be providing a poster session for the MSITE department on Wednesday, November 18th, at 5:00pm in Flanagan. Everyone is welcome to attend. East Carolina University is moving Science Education in the right direction!