Presidential Ramblings by DeLene Hoffner
President’s Rambling from DeLene Hoffner
A New School Year: As you begin a new school year, I hope you have been rejuvenated by a refreshing summer break. From the first day of school, we’re off and running. As you welcome your new students, keep in mind your impact from that first day forward. Capture their interests and motivate their hearts to enjoy the adventures in learning science. The impression you leave with your students can last a lifetime!
New Presidency: As I step into this new role as CAST President, I am grateful for the amazing leaders serving on our CAST board. I can assure you that your state science organization is guided by talented leaders who live the mission of CAST… to support, stimulate, and improve science education for students of all ages in Colorado. At CAST we know the best way to achieve this goal is to support teachers. As your CAST President, I will serve with this mission in the forefront of all I do.
National Congress on Science Education: My first role as President was to be YOUR delegate at NCSE. I was honored to discuss science education at meetings with two of our Colorado Congressman on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. This experience showed me that our political leaders and communities often are unfamiliar with what actually is happening in our schools. They want and need to be informed. I encourage all science teachers to be an advocate for SCIENCE! Share the amazing things you do in your classroom with your colleagues, administrators, communities, and yes, political representatives. We need to highlight the incredible things happening in the classrooms across Colorado!! We need to share our successes and ask for help with our needs to bring the best education to our students!
AT NCSE, there were two areas of focus that are near and dear to my heart…. STEM and Environmental Education. Naturally, the importance of integrating STEM embeds 21st century skills within science lessons. Also, as leader of an environmental education forum discussion group, I discovered Colorado is on the forefront of environmental education across our nation. Way to go, Colorado teachers! In 2010, House Bill 1131 passed, creating the Colorado Kids Outdoors Grant program within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Yes! Effective outdoor experiences are a wonderful way to instill science knowledge in our students. Since I teach at a special school for outdoor experiences, I see each day the impact the beauty of our natural world has on student learning! I encourage you to bring your students outdoors to experience the science and wonder of the world around us.
Nov 21st is our state science conference! I hope to see you there. Dr. Ken Wesson will be our keynote speaker with many other amazing presenters as well. Dr Wesson will be sharing his expertise on neuroscience in learning. His research on early brain development, design, and engineering will bring new insights to STEM education and curriculum development. Our conference will end with an awards reception following his presentation. Following the awards, all CAST members are invited to a special event at RAFT from 5-7. Meet your CAST board and other CAST members as well as enjoy refreshments, drinks, and networking. Door prizes and gift bags will also be a highlight. No membership is required for an evening of shopping at RAFT. http://www.raftcolorado.org/ I hope you are planning to attend our 2014 Colorado State Science Conference.
Caterpillars! As you begin your school year, I conclude with one of my favorite quotes to ponder…
“The joy of teaching is watching caterpillars transform into butterflies.“ Enjoy your new school year! Remember, learning is a metamorphosis of the mind. What metamorphosis will you inspire in your students?
DeLene Hoffner, CAST President 2014-2015