2018 NSELA Leadership Summit: Meet Luncheon Keynote Speaker Dennis Schatz 

Posted: January 8, 2018

Dennis Schatz is Senior Advisor at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington, and Field Editor of the journal, Connected Science Learning, which highlights links between in-school and out-of-school learning. The journal is a joint effort of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) and ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers). He is also Informal Science Director on the NSTA board, plus on the boards of BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies), and SSEC (Smithsonian Science Education Center).

He co-directed Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform), a program to implement a quality K-12 science program in all 295 school districts in Washington State.

He has served as Principal Investigator for a number of National Science Foundation (NSF) projects, including the Portal to the Public effort that features scientists engaging with public audiences regarding understanding current science research.

He has received numerous honors. Most recently, Asteroid 25232 was renamed Asteroid Schatz by the International Astronomical Union IAU) in recognition of his leadership in astronomy and science education. He has received numerous awards from NSTA. In 1996, he received the Distinguished Informal Science Educator Award. He received NSTA's 2005 Distinguished Service to Science Education Award, and in March, 2009, he received the Faraday Science Communicator Award.

He is the author of 25 science books for children, including When the Sun Goes Dark, published by NSTA just in time for the August, 2017 eclipse. He is also co-author/editor of several curriculum resources for teachers, including Astro-Adventures, Universe At Your Fingertips and More Universe At Your Fingertips. His most recent teacher resource book (written with Andrew Fraknoi), Solar Science, is published by NSTA.


6 Science Leaders Join Or Renewed NSELA Memberships Last Week

Posted: Jan. 8, 2018

Six science leaders joined NSELA or renewed their memberships last week.

They are: 

• Thomas O'Brien, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York
• Thomas Trapp, Flinn Scientific, Omaha, Nebraska
• Rhoda Goldberg, Fort Bend ISD, Houston, Texas
• Laura Lee McLeod, Frisco Independent School District, Frisco, Texas
• Theresa Parisi, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, Flower Mound, Texas
• Anne Tweed, Retired, Aurora, Colorado

Please welcome them -- or welcome them back!

Members, you can connect to all NSELA members through the NSELA Member Directory. You must be signed in to access. Not yet a member? Join


NSELA Book Review: Safer Makerspaces, Fab Labs, and STEM Labs—A Collaborative Guide!

Posted: January 9, 2018

Safer Makerspaces, Fab Labs, and STEM Labs—A Collaborative Guide!
By Kenneth Russell Roy and Tyler S. Love
$49.00, 177 pp., ISBN 13-98-0-692-92402-2

Reviewed by Edward J. McGrath Director, Region B, NSELA

The 21st century has demanded that educators re-think the concept of science education and technology education. We expect our students to engage in engineering design, creative problem solving, and digital competency at all grade levels and across all barriers. As a result, we have seen the rise of new instructional environments: makerspaces, STEM labs (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), and Fab Labs (fabrication) in schools, youth centers, and other informal education settings. This book provides a necessary resource to this renaissance of creativity: a concise but extensive guide to what stakeholders need to know, do, and have in place to ensure the safety of these spaces. This book speaks to teachers, administrators, parents/guardians, and any other professionals concerned about safety and accident prevention in these spaces.

The book is divided into five sections. Section I lays the groundwork: it defines the relevant terms (makerspace, Fab Lab, STEM lab), and gives an overview of legal responsibilities, consequences, and recommended safety actions in these settings. Roy and Love give a thorough but simple explanation of Duty of Care, emphasizing the need for relating this to all aspects of STEM education (teacher actions, curriculum, work environment, and the like). Section II highlights instructional practices that lead to safer instruction. Section III describes the hierarchy of controls, giving particular attention to engineering controls (since many of these instructional spaces occur in non-traditional locations). Section IV is a substantial section which focuses on specific hazards in a variety of settings. This section includes hazard information related to the sciences as well as a variety of technology settings (including power tool hazards). Also in Section IV is a chapter on responding to emergencies. Section V focuses on the spaces themselves, giving specifications on what needs to be included, sample floor plans, and finally, a useful Frequently Asked Questions section.

I know this book will become my next “go-to” book in my safety library. The style of writing is designed for busy professionals to find the exact resources they need quickly. The section on legal aspects is well organized, giving exact definitions for legal concepts (e.g. the components of negligence and Duty of Care). IT is evident that much of this section stems from actual case law, something with which Dr. Roy has considerable experience. The chapter on Better Professional Practices will inform many of my meetings with teachers in my school district this year.

Every STEM instructional space (including schools) can use this book at every stage of planning. Schools that are developing new programs will find Section V extremely useful, even before discussions about new facilities have begun. The Frequently Asked Questions in Chapter 14 will be useful to teachers, administrators, and facilities supervisors; I know I have heard many of these from my district.

Who should read this book? Teachers, parents, building administrators, district administrators, school boards, state supervisors of science and technology. This book has something valuable for every STEM educator. An excellent resource.

NSELA members only: Click here to see how you can receive a discount on this book


Happy New Year From NSELA!

Posted: January 3, 2018

The National Science Education Leadership Association hopes that this holiday season has been wonderful and filled with joy for you. We wish you happiness and prosperity in 2018. Happy New Year!

Remember to check out our calendar to see new events that will be happening throughout this upcoming year. You don't want to miss out on of the great opportunities in 2018.

Make it your new year resolution to join NSELA today. 


20 Joined Or Renewed Their NSELA Memberships in December

Posted: January 3, 2018

A total of 20 people joined the National Science Education Leadership Association or renewed the past month. Thank you!

They are:


Page Keeley, Fort Myers, Florida- The Keeley Group

James Blake, Lincoln, Nebraska- Lincoln Public Schools

Wendy Hehemann, Gilbert, Arizona- American Modeling Teachers Association

Judy Casada, Fayetteville, Arkansa- University Of Arkansas At Fayetteville

Bruce Tulloch, Albany, New York- Union Graduate College

Rhoda Goldberg, Houston, Texas- Fort Bend ISD

John Olson, Minneapolis, Minnesota- Minnesota Dept. Of Education

Bill Ryall, Carle Place, New York- Retired

Mary Lou Lipscomb, Naperville, Illinois- National Middle Level Science


Gillian Simcox, San Diego, California

Jane Steinkamp, Linden, California- Wested 

Terry White, Houston, Texas- Spring Branch ISD

Michael Page, Centreville, Maryland- Queen Anne's County Public Schools

Vashunda Warren, Forney, Texas- Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Christina Argo, Council Bluffs, Iowa- Omaha Public Schools

Douglas Watkins, Centennial, Colorado- Denver Public Schools

Charles Bittle, Lincoln, Nebraska

Judy Day

Covey Denton

Willyetta Mitchell

NSELA members include department heads, supervisors, coordinators, consultants, science specialists, administrators, teacher advocates, head teachers, university and college science educators, and others concerned with leadership in science curricula, science education reform, and science education in general.

Benefits of membership include access to restricted features of the NSELA web site such as a searchable membership directory, Science Educator Journal and various publications and professional development opportunities for those who wish to make a difference in science education.

Click here to join us today!

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