This post is by Michael Apfeldorf, of the Library of Congress.
On March 22-25, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) will host its annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The Library of Congress will be there in booth 937. Please stop by and learn how to access millions of free, digitized primary sources from the Library’s collections related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as related teacher resources and strategies.
The Library will also be offering several hands-on workshops in which participants will learn about and practice strategies for analyzing primary sources in order to engage their students and develop critical thinking skills, while gaining insights into a variety of scientific concepts. Sessions include:
- “Introducing Phenomena by Analyzing Historical Primary Sources from the Library of Congress” (March 23, 1-2 pm, Georgia World Congress Center Room B304) – discover how to engage students at the start of a unit by exploring phenomena embedded in historical primary source documents.
- “Exploring Practices, Nature of Science, and Science in Society: Analyzing Historical Primary Sources from the Library of Congress” (March 24, 8-9 am, Georgia World Congress Center Room A402) – practice strategies for promoting critical thinking skills, while gaining a deeper understanding of real-world scientific practices, the nature of science, and connections between science and society.
- The Library of Congress will also be staffing a table at the “Meet Me in the Middle Share-a-Thon” (March 25, 8-10 am, Georgia World Congress Center Room B206), where we look forward to talking with educators about how to use primary sources to explore the nature of science, scientific phenomena, and cross-cutting concepts.
Whether or not you attend the conference, you can still explore the Library’s online collections and teacher resources. Here are a few places to start:
- Browse our ready-made primary source sets, each of which includes a curated list of primary sources and related teacher resources. A number of these sets relate to STEM topics, including:
- Charts and Graphs
- Inventions and Innovations
- The Inventive Wright Brothers
- Natural Disasters
- Scientific Data: Observing, Recording, and Communicating Information
- Understanding the Cosmos: Changing Models of the Solar System and the Universe
- Weather Forecasting
- Women in Science and Technology
- Explore the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog for additional primary source suggestions and teaching strategies. When searching the blog, note that you can focus your explorations on STEM-related blogs .
- For your reference and ease of sharing, please download these handouts summarizing some of the ways primary sources may be used by science educators:
We encourage you to examine these collections and teaching materials, poke around this blog, and stop by to say hello if you’re at NSTA. And please take a moment to leave a comment letting us know what you discover!
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