TSTA offers longer workshops on the day before the conference begins (November 1, 2018).  Please note these sessions may have an additional charge and require payment and registration in advance. Pre-Conference workshop fees are nonrefundable. All sessions (excluding TNSela meeting) are only $25!

  • You must be a registered conference participant to sign up for Pre-Conference Sessions.
  • Advance reservations are required for these workshops. Attendees will be checked in at each room and badges must be shown to enter. Please do not show up without registering. Notify to cancel your space in a workshop.
  • Sessions are morning, or afternoon with lunch  times around 12 to 1:30. (lunch on your own unless otherwise indicated).


9:00 to 12:00

3D-Teaching Using Models Based Inquiry

Presenters: Dr. Ellen Granger and Todd Bevis
Cost: $25

Just as with scientists, developing and using scientific models can help learners in science classrooms represent their ideas about scientific phenomena and revise and advance those ideas throughout an instructional unit. Through models based inquiry (MBI) teachers can implement all 8 practices of science and focus on crosscutting concepts. This workshop will engage participants in an MBI exemplar of 3D teaching using climate science and then examine the pedagogy underpinning it drawing on what they just experienced.

Grade level:
6-8, 9-12, Supervision

STEM 201 Now What?

Presenters: Laura Palkoner
Cost: $25

New science standards, now what! What can I do with the new standards to incorporate STEM units into my teaching. There are many STEM units out there that can be used but you want to find a couple that can bring across the material in a hands-on way that the students can then explain and teach to the class. Through this session I will walk you through two full units that can be done with the new science standards that are STEM based. They can be done with very little expense being used to bring an understanding to all that will help with the new standards.

Grade level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8

ADI 101: An Introduction to Argument-Driven Inquiry

Presenters: Leslie Suters & Kelly Moore
Cost: $35 Includes ADI book

This workshop is an introduction to the Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) instructional model. Participants will first learn about the limitations of typical laboratory instruction and why ADI can help all students develop the knowledge and skills they need to be proficient in science. Next, the participants will have an opportunity to learn about the ADI instructional model by participating in all eight stages of an actual ADI lab investigation from start to finish. The participants will then have time to reflect on their experiences during the lab investigation and ask clarifying questions. Finally, the participants will learn about scientific arguments and how ADI is aligned with state standards for Science and English-Language Arts.

Grade: 6-8, 9-12


Presenters: Margie Hawkins
Cost: $25

Develop scientific thinking in your youngest students, while their curiosity is at it's peak! Join us for a fun-filled morning, learning how to design 3 Dimensional STEM experiences for our littlest students, Pre-K - 2 . Bring a list of your current curriculum plans/topics and learn how to turn them into robust STEM lessons for your Littles! Sample lesson will be modeled, planning template provided, group collaboration time built into the day - and door prizes too!

Grade: K-2


1:30 to 4:30

How many fossils will we find and what do they mean? Effective 3-D Mathematics Applied to Global Sea Level Change

Presenters: Michael A. Gibson, Tina King, Bob King, and Lan DePriest
Cost: $25

Scientist-diver Dr. Sam Bowser was asked by a student: “Why do scientists collect sediment cores, and why does it matter?” How do scientists reconstruct past climate and environments? Why is Earth’s past important to its future? This workshop is in two parts: teams of six teachers conduct a simulated Skittle Core Lab that brings quantitative ecology into the classroom environment by providing students with the opportunity to model math skills that are integral to science and life by “coring” skittle-laden brownies to learn the predictive science behind coring. Students will learn to re-create population sampling in an area the size of a school gym, which is similar to scientists collecting cores under the Antarctic Ice. The simulated activity will be followed by real-world application of these principles using 72 million year old sediments and fossils from the famous Coon Creek Formation of West Tennessee where the participants will investigate evidence of past sea level change in Tennessee and organism response to these changes. Participants receive fossil and sediment samples for their classrooms and student use. Overall, students will learn that “doing the math” is needed in order to read the data to understand the science. Examples of geo-math include settings in which students must: find the area of a circle and rectangle; round numbers to the nearest whole number or the nearest tenth; find the x, y coordinates; find the percent; determine factors to estimate or project the population; graph data, and find the mean, median, and mode, and why each tells its own story. This lab activity will help students learn the difference between population and population density, as well as discuss science concepts: Limiting factors (abiotic, biotic), carrying capacity, adaptation, clustering, and patchiness in the oceans. This integration of Math and Science helps generate discussions about real world science, such as climate change, pollution, and environmental concerns.

Grade level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Higher Education

3D PD for Grade 8-TASS activities

Presenters: Lory Heron
Cost: $25

Bring your teacher hat and your student cap as we dive deeper into 3D PD for grade 8 standards. We will explore activities, assessments and adventure as we work through extended lessons and unit ideas.

Grade:  6-8

Science in the Schoolyard - Student-driven Investigation

Presenter: Tiffany Beachy
Cost: $25

For this hands-on outdoor workshop, we will dive into a scientific investigation by making observations, asking testable questions, and probing for answers. Come prepared to work with fellow participants to design a mini exploratory investigation and share your results with your peers. Discover the power and lasting impact of incorporating a student-driven investigation into your routine. We will also discuss the benefits of using citizen science in the classroom.

Grade level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Tennessee Science Education Leadership Association (TnSELA) Annual Meeting

Cost: $40 (includes dues)                                        
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The TnSELA conference will focus on 3-dimensional instruction of the Tennessee Academic Standards for Science. Arthur Beauchamp will discuss the connections between 3D and Phenomena-Question-Model instruction and implementation in the classroom.

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