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Primary Sources from the Library of Congress in Science Classrooms: We’ll See you at the NSTA Conference

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Edison kinetoscopic record of a sneeze, 1894

The following is a guest post by Michael Apfeldorf of the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress will be at the National Science Teachers Association National Conference  in Los Angeles, California, from March 30 through April 1, 2017. From Thomas Jefferson’s weather journal, to Robert Hooke’s first drawings of the cell; from photographs of the Dust Bowl, to historic newspaper accounts about lead paint and electric cars,  the Library of Congress has millions of digitized primary sources freely available online to science teachers. With the right strategies, these resources can help students understand how scientists and engineers think, practice, and apply scientific principles and discoveries in the real world; how scientific ideas evolve over time; and how science and engineering are related to society.

Stop by booth #2158 to discover how to access these primary sources as well as pedagogical strategies to help students analyze them. Analyze a source with us at the booth whenever the Exhibit Hall is open and receive a free gift, while supplies last!  We look forward to connecting with you about using primary sources to engage students, promote inquiry, and help them think critically.

On April 1, from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm, we’ll facilitate a hands-on workshop at the conference, where we’ll take a deeper dive into analyzing historical primary sources within the science classroom. Join the conversation, if you can!

Whether or not you can join us in Los Angeles, you can browse the many teaching resources available online at

Additionally, Library staff highlight primary sources for classroom use on the final page of each issue of NSTA’s The Science Teacher magazine.


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