Why I Love the CASE Conference!
Throughout the years, our members have made so many amazing experiences at CASE conferences. As we approach the 2022 Conference, let’s take a walk down memory lane with a few of our members.
I enjoy presenting as well as going to presentations that my colleagues are doing because I always learn something new. However, my favorite part of the conference is being able to network and spend time with friends and colleagues (in-person) and make memories outside of our regular work day.
The CASE conference is a great space to teach and learn about the best and latest in science education. But most of all, I find it a place where our community helps us re-invigorate our commitment and passion for bringing science to every student, supporting a clear call to action for science education!
Being in a space with like minded people is so inspiring! The opportunity to gain practical knowledge, lessons, tips and tricks that can be used right way is SO beneficial. Additionally,so many colleagues have turned into friends; it is such a fun environment. It is absolutely fabulous!
My all time highlight was marrying Christine Hirst and Daniel Bernhardt at the San Jose Conference!
The workshops are always amazing and I love learning from teachers who want to share. I remember a squid dissection workshop from the Monterey Bay Aquarium that changed my whole perspective on dissections and made me realize that they could be done as inquiry and be really engaging. The “Geology of the Gold Rush” field course at the Sacramento conference with a real prospector and geologist from the California Department of Mines and Geology really involved panning for gold at Sutter’s mill and helped me understand where and why there is gold in California. And of course, the social events like the Palm Springs Pool Party and the Pub crawl in Sacramento! But my favorite part of the CASE conference is running into old friends from all over the state and sharing the positive energy around great science teaching!
I love being able to reconnect with people across the state, who all love science education. The CASE conference is typically the only time I get to see so many friends made at previous CASE conferences- it is like a reunion!
My favorite memory was being the emcee for the raffle and giving away prizes to our attendees from the generous vendors! I had way too much fun with the microphone. I also love the selfie ???? station and meeting all of the science educators around the state and country! The presentations are awesome and I get to learn so much as a presenter and learner! Can't wait for this pool party!
-Leena Bakshi McLean
I also love the opportunity to see old friends and meet new people at the CASE conference. Each conference is unique with different opportunities. One year I volunteered to be a “helper” on the field courses. I felt like I had won the lottery, because I got to go on several amazing field trips I might never have considered. Now, I always try to include a field trip on my agenda. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention how energizing it is to spend time with so many incredible people who are devoted to teaching science so that all students can succeed and learn to love our discipline.
Some of my favorite conference moments are those times when I have found myself listening to a speaker who reminds me of why I love teaching science. I remember seeing Mr. Stephen Pruitt many years ago in Palm Springs. I had just started my journey into NGSS and his talk encouraged my desire to become an advocate for equitable access to science for all students. There were, of course, many others, and I’m looking forward to what speakers have in store for me this year. And then, this conference more than any other, has always been about meeting up with old and new friends from all over the state at the end of the day, reconnecting, discussing the importance of our work, and relaxing over a cold drink….yes, those are the best of times.
My favorite CASE conference memory is presenting my first workshop session with my best friend and colleague. We planned for 50 participants and the room ended up being standing room only! We were so excited to share our NGSS classroom strategies as well as meet and network with new colleagues. I still communicate with so many of the teachers I met that year. The CASE Annual Conference is one of my favorite events each year and I always find a way to attend, present or both.
I love the enthusiasm that surrounds us at Conference, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and getting to learn new approaches to engaging students of all ages. But I must say, my favorite memories are taking silly pictures at the CASE booth and skipping down the hallways with a revived enthusiasm for what we do every day– inspiring those aha moments! Also, getting to see Jeff Corwin, among many other amazing speakers, was a blast!
I always leave CASE Conferences feeling refreshed and inspired. My favorite memory was attending the astronomy night when the conference was last in Palm Springs. I loved looking through the telescopes and pondering the possibilities in space. I can’t wait to reconnect with colleagues and learn from speakers this year, in person!
I love the CASE Conferences because it is an opportunity to network and share ideas and insights with teachers all over the state. I have three great memories of past conferences. The first was when we had Wyland as a keynote speaker and he brought a trailer about ocean conservancy and spoke of the science in his art. The second was when Bill Nye was the keynote speaker. I loved hearing his passion for space exploration and alternative energy. The last one was when Chip Yates was speaking about his electric motorcycle and electric airplane that he built and flew into Oshkosh. But the absolute best is just having fun!
My favorite CASE memory is when I presented with my colleague on supporting English learners in science. Our participants were all highly motivated and engaged in our presentation, asking clarifying questions and discussing best practices. So many participants attended that many sat on the floor or stood in the back of the room. It was inspiring to see the urgency in teachers to ensure equity and access to all students.