2009 Annual International Conference
Grand Challenges and Great Opportunities in Science Education
The 2009 NARST Annual International Conference will be held in Garden Grove, CA (next to Anaheim, CA) from April 17- 20. Please consider submitting a paper for the 2009 conference by the August 15, 2008 deadline. I am pleased to announce that we will have a new strand this year that focuses on policy. Co-chaired by Judy Dori from Israel and Sarah Carrier from North Carolina State University, Strand 15 will let NARST members give presentations focused on the important work of impacting policy through research. I encourage you to submit proposals to this new strand, which highlights local, regional, national, or international issues of policy related to science education (e.g., teacher licensure requirements, curriculum adoption, assessment regulations, and funding policy for science education).
The theme for the 2009 conference will be Grand Challenges and Great Opportunities in Science Education. The idea for this theme came from presentations that Richard Duschl (NARST President-Elect) and I heard at the May meeting of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) meeting in Washington, DC. At the CSSP meeting, a number of renowned scientists gave speeches about the most compelling puzzles and questions facing scientists today. In the 125th Anniversary issue of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (http://www.sciencemag. org/sciext/125th/) identified “Grand Challenges and Great Opportunities” facing society over the next quarter-century. In 2001, the National Research Council identified grand challenges in environmental sciences including topics such as climate variability, hydrologic forecasting, land use, and recycling. The National Research Council Committee on Grand Challenges (2005) in the chemical industry identified eight grand challenges related to chemistry for sustainability. The Gates Foundation identified 14 grand challenges for global health including improved childhood vaccines, control of insects that transmit disease, and improved nutrition. In February 2008, Grand Challenges for Engineering identified major scientific challenges including making solar energy economical, providing access to clean water, a secure cyberspace, preventing nuclear terror, and enhanced virtual reality.
The concept of “grand challenges and great opportunities” can help the NARST community think about biggest challenges facing science education. To help us plan the 2009 annual meeting, Richard Duschl and I (program co-chairs) are soliciting input regarding your views about the grand challenges and great opportunities in science education. We encourage you to complete a very brief survey. The results will help us plan the conference, organize symposia, and identify keynote speakers.
(excerpt from a message by Charlene M. Czerniak, NARST President)
11999 Harbor Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92840