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In the fall of 2020, NCSLA began a yearlong Webinar Series covering issues of effective pedagogies for virtual teaching and meaningful ways to provide equity and social justice in the classroom.
This spring, NCSLA’s webinar series continued with purpose. Members collaborated and explored self-care strategies, district support during COVID, advocacy for science literacy, and informal initiatives. These webinars addressed key issues that have risen due to teaching in a COVID-19 environment and challenges that remote, face to face, and hybrid environments bring. It’s been a great series with many experts leading the way.
In February Webinar #5 explored “The Science of Self-Care”. Going beyond the rhetoric around self-care, Dr. Steven Scoggin, Wake Forest University Chair of Psychiatry, described the current medical model for chronic stress. Ashley Hawkins Parham, Health and Wellness Coach from the Office of Wellbeing at WFU, guided us through an interactive session demonstrating trauma-informed mind-body skills. Participants left the webinar with skills for managing emotions and to create their own resilience plan. NCDPI’s state social worker, Pachovia Lovett, shared how DPI is supporting educators through the pandemic challenges.
In March Webinar #6, “District Leadership and Plans during COVID”, shared with the membership what districts across the state have been doing to support educators as they deliver the curriculum virtually, and in a hybrid environment. During this webinar we heard from 3 district leaders, Cheryl Horton, Assistant Head of School, Rocky Mount, NC,
Michelle Chadwick, Coordinator K-12 Science & Stem, Onslow County Schools, and Rachelle Brannessel, Secondary Science Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, their issues they have faced, how they handled those issues, what is happening now and what is next. Participants took a deep dive into these challenges in breakout groups.
Being a science organization for educators, NCSLA recognized the instructional challenges that the educational community faced due to the various misconceptions from social media and home about the validity of vaccines. In April Webinar #7, “Educators Challenge: Sound Science vs. Pseudoscience” Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, state health director at NC DHHS, addressed specifics about the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine roll out for public schools, and offered teacher resources.
Representatives from The Science House of NCSU, Michelle Benigno and Jason Carter provided strategies which teachers can use to help students determine fact from fiction surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines. Tom Savage, NCSLA Advocacy Chair, shared a classroom lesson that educated his students and increased their likelihood to decide to take the vaccine.
The Michael C. Jackson Distinguished Service Award was presented to Angela Adams. Congratulations Angela!
May 20 will be our last webinar (#8) this year, “Informal Science Education Initiatives”Informal Science Education Initiatives”. Neil Pifer, NCSLA board member and Informal Committee Chair along with Beverly Lyons, current NCSLA Past President, are planning an informative webinar hosting informal science centers from the mountains to the sea of North Carolina, how they have evolved to support science educators, online resources they offer, and what they have in store for the summer science enthusiasts. Please join us for this last webinar. See you there!
Webinar Planner & NCSLA Past President