Wednesday, November 5, 2014

For Immediate Release

MITS Presents at NAAEE Conference

This past October, the Museum Institute for Teaching Science sent two it its staff members, Sandra Ryack-Bell, MITS’ Executive Director, and Jennifer Klein, MITS’ Education Director, to Ottawa, Canada for the National Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) national conference. NAAEE is a leader in promoting excellence in environmental education throughout North America. NAAEE’s influence stretches across North America and around the world, with members in more than 30 countries. NAAEE and its 54 state, provincial, and regional Affiliate organizations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico have more than 16,000 members with environmental education responsibilities and interests across business, government, higher education, formal (K–12) education, nonformal education, early childhood education, science education and STEM, and other sectors of society.

 Formal and informal environmental educators from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico convened in Ottawa under the theme “Building Momentum for the Next Chapter”. The focus of the conference centered on ways formal and informal educators can enhance their instruction, programming, and capacity building in an era of new science standards, growing environmental concerns, and limited funding. MITS is seen nationally as a model for professional development for both informal and formal educators and was invited to present a session titled Beyond the Conference: Using the NAAEE Guidelines for Excellence for Collaborative PD. The session focused on the MITS Professional Development Seminar Series, its infusion of strong science content along with pedagogy, and how MITS works to incorporate the NAAEE Guidelines for Excellence into our programs. The session was well attended and many attendees remarked on how innovate the MITS model is and looked for ways they could replicate similar programming in their home state/country.

Aside from presenting at the conference MITS staff were also able to attend many valuable sessions around program evaluation, the use of citizen science programs, and implementation of new science standards. Overall, the MITS staff had a great time sharing and learning—and even sneaking in some time to see the beautiful city of Ottawa!