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While participating in the NSELA Summer Institute, HCPS elementary science teachers met Barrington Irving, renowned National Geographic Explorer.

Elementary science teachers explore STEM strategies at leadership institute

July 31, 2015 - Employee Excellence

The 24th Annual National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) Summer Leadership Institute was recently held in Tampa, Florida.  Three Hillsborough County Public Schools elementary science teachers, Laura Ann Dunn, Jocelyn Bell, and Ronald Davis attended the institute. In addition to a packed agenda, they had the opportunity to meet Barrington Irving, National Geographic Explorer, and first African American to fly around the world.                                                                    

During the two-day institute, STEM teachers from around the country were able to strengthen their teaching skills, explore new ideas and strategies for building partnerships, and collaborate while networking and participating in exciting breakout sessions, presentations, and off-site tours.   According to Laura Anne Dunn, Elementary Resource Teacher at Canella Elementary School, “NSELA gave me access to some nationally renowned presenters.”  Both the past and present NSTA presidents were there presenting, along with leaders in science research.  Innovative science curriculum authors such as Page Keeley and Barrington Irving shared creative activities.  “I had unprecedented access to these leaders in small group sessions, and one-on-one, to ask questions about specifics as it relates to my students,” shared Dunn.

Many hours of the conference were devoted to a new instructional approach called Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) that is designed to foster the development of science proficiency.  As evidence of the District’s commitment to continuous growth and professional development in curriculum and instruction, the HCPS Elementary Science department is rolling out their version of ADI called “Questions, Claims and Evidence” this summer.

Based on personal accounts, the NSELA Summer Leadership Institute proved to be a meaningful way for Science teachers to spend a few days of their summer vacation learning from leaders in the industry, mastering concepts and strategies for more effective teaching, and networking with educators and explorers from across the United States.  According to Dr. Larry Plank, Director of K-12 STEM in HCPS, and an NSELA Board Member, “Over the course of the four day conference, participants were energized by national speakers in STEM and science leadership.  The district was pleased to send over 50 educators through our recent Math/Science Partnership grant award.”


To learn more information about Elementary Science in HCPS, go to and search

“go elem-science”. 

For more information about NSELA, visit HERE.

For a full biography of National Geographic Explorer Barrington Irving, visit HERE.

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