Alabama Science Teachers Association

Invited Speakers

ASTA 2017 has a dynamic line up of invited speakers including leaders in Elementary Science Education, Engineering and Argument-driven Inquiry

Dr. Christine Cunningham, Engineering is Elementary

Dr. Christine Cunningham is an educational researcher who works to make engineering and science more relevant, accessible, and understandable, especially for underserved and underrepresented populations. A vice president at the Museum of Science, Boston since 2003, she founded and directs Engineering is Elementary™, a groundbreaking project that integrates engineering concepts into elementary curriculum and teacher professional development. As of July 2016, EiE has served 12 million children nationwide and 118,000 educators. Cunningham has previously served as director of engineering education research at the Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, where her work focused on integrating engineering with science, technology, and math in professional development for K-12 teachers. She also directed the Women’s Experiences in College Engineering (WECE) project, the first national, longitudinal, large-scale study of the factors that support young women pursuing engineering degrees. Cunningham is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and was awarded the 2014 International Society for Design and Development in Education Prize and the 2015 IEEE Pre-University Educator Award. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in biology from Yale and a Ph.D. in Science Education from Cornell University.

Kim Stilwell, NSTA Representative, Picture-Perfect Trainer

Kim Stilwell joins us as NSTA representative. She previously worked as a trainer 
for educational curriculum companies and taught elementary, middle school and graduate level courses. The past 16 years she has spent in professional development, sharing resources and instructional strategies with teachers across the nation. Kim serves as a national trainer for the Picture Perfect Science series.


Dr. Victor Sampson, author Argumentation-Driven Inquiry Series

Victor Sampson, Ph.D. in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. An award winning science teacher, Dr. Sampson is also co-author of the Argument Driven Inquiry series which includes A

rgument Driven Inquiry in ChemistryThe goal of this project is the development and refinement process of a new instructional model that will help more middle and high school students develop science proficiency.

Dr. David T. Crowther, NSTA President-Elect, 2016–2017

David Crowther

Dr. David T. Crowther is the president-elect of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Crowther is currently a professor of science education and the executive director of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).

Crowther brings years of leadership and teaching experience to NSTA through his work as a classroom teacher, college professor, director, journal editor, and author. In addition to having taught science at the elementary and middle levels for 5 year, Crowther also has 23 years of teaching experience at the university level: teaching science methods to undergraduate students, general biology to education majors, as well as a variety of courses in curriculum, science education, and research to graduate students. He is also the associate editor of the Journal of Science Teacher Education and previously served as editor of CESI Science and associate editor of the Electronic Journal of Science Education. Crowther has also served as president of the Nevada State Science Teachers Association (NSSTA) and the Council of Elementary Science International (CESI), was on the board of directors for the Association of Science Teacher Educators (ASTE), and was chairman of the board for Bailey Charter Elementary School in Reno, Nevada. Crowther is currently the chairman of the board of directors for the Nevada STEM Coalition and serves on the board of directors and the executive committee for the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum.

Crowther received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received both his B.S. degree and M.Ed. from Brigham Young University.

Ted Williard, NSTA Program Director

As director of NGSS@NSTA for the National Science Teachers Association, Ted Willard supports implementation of the NGSS by creating resources such as web seminars, conference sessions, workshops, books, and journal articles. In addition, he oversees the content of the NGSS@NSTA Hub, a website that offers dynamic browsing and searching of the NGSS, tools to support curriculum planning and professional learning, and classroom resources focused on the standards. Previously, Ted spent 12 years at AAAS Project 2061, where he was responsible for the development of the Atlas of Science Literacy, Volume 2, and involved in many of Project 2061's efforts toward standards-based education reform—including teacher professional development, curriculum resources development, assessment development, and science education research. Ted also spent five years editing science textbooks for commercial publishers and is a former high school physics teacher.    

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