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Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -- man -- acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world. -Rachel Carson
I am honored to represent the North Carolina Science Leadership Association as its incoming President for 2019-2020 year. I would like to take a few moments to thank Alisa Whitcliff, last year’s Past President, for all her hard work planning the fall and spring professional development meetings. These meetings were a huge success and spotlighted STEM practices in and out of the classroom as well as Problem-based Learning teaching strategies. I would also like to thank Manley Midgett, President 2018-2019, for his never-ending commitment towards the purpose and mission of this organization.
What is leadership? As a 35+ year teacher I participated in professional development opportunities to hone my skills as an effective classroom teacher. I have participated and lead many NCSTA PDI sessions, held several NCSTA and NCSLA board positions and became a teacher trainer at science institutes across our state. Leadership has always been at the forefront of my teaching career. And NCSLA has been the avenue by which I grew as a leader.
I was impressed by recent events highlighted in the news. Climate Change is being addressed across the globe by students walking out of classrooms in protest over the lack of a sense of urgency to lower greenhouse gas emissions by governments. 13-year-old Alexandria Villasenor, who leads the climate movement in the United States, told CNN, "I'm upset with how world leaders are treating the climate crisis. [The youth] need to make sure that people in power start taking action, because we don't have time to wait until we can." Here are our young people clamoring for science literacy in government. Whether you agree with Villasenor or not, what a great example of leadership!
After these recent events, my thoughts turn to how I should advocate for science education, so that students continue to learn how to make informed decisions about their world, which they will manage in the near future. I recommend that you and I advocate for good science education practices and encourage science educators - formal and informal - to use STEM strategies to increase science literacy. Science leaders and partnerships should encourage schools to participate in the NCDPI Stem Recognition Program which highlights exemplary STEM schools and STEM programs. NCSLA will continue to encourage educators in classrooms, schools, administrations and business communities to heighten their awareness of legislative issues that have the potential to affect science education in North Carolina.
Be an exemplar! We should do this with the passion and conviction that is inspiring students to advocate for what they believe.
NCSLA's vision is to provide opportunities for leaders in both formal and informal science education by offering a forum to exchange ideas and information, advancing quality STEM instruction, and influencing education policies and legislation. I invite you to attend the 2020 Fall Summit in Winston-Salem, November 13 which will showcase digital learning opportunities. Become a part of the forum.
See you at the Fall Summit,
Beverly Lyons, NCSLA President
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