Alfonso Garcia Arriola Ed.D., Science Educator at ACCESS Academy, Portland Public Schools
I believe we are at a critical point for us to advocate for science education. To be better global citizens and environmental stewards of the planet, students must develop intellectual autonomy. Today, citizens and leaders at all levels of government, business and education, need a strong foundation in science to understand complex issues such as global warming and energy crises. Furthermore, today’s students are presented with enormous amounts of information. Understanding the nature of knowledge and the nature of science can provide students with the necessary skills to seek the evidence behind a claim or provide a strong argument as the basis for a conclusion. Additionally, a good grasp of scientific inquiry will provide students with the necessary skills to innovate, design, analyze, evaluate and problem solve in a variety of fields.
The first time I became involved with the Oregon Science Teachers Association, the National Science Education Standards had recently been published and workshops focused on teaching science through inquiry were highly popular. One important aspect of my development as a young teacher was the support, collegiality and learning opportunities that came from membership in this organization. Today, our goals are focused on the successful implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and three-dimensional learning.
One of my priorities in leading OSTA will be to cultivate and encourage the collegiality and networking that can provide excellent professional learning opportunities and support systems towards realizing the vision put forth in the NGSS. We have some amazing science educators all across Oregon and at all levels of education and my goal is to facilitate collaboration among all those individuals and organizations interested in improving science education at the school, district and state level. I invite you to join us in this effort and I look forward to all the things we can achieve together.