A Message From The President

My recent picture[1]

Mary Atwater

Hello, it was a privilege to become the President of NARST at the 2015 annual international conference in Chicago, Illinois. I want to thank all of the NARST members who accepted the invitation to serve as co-chair of committees, strand co-coordinators, or committee members. NARST can only accomplish its mission through the volunteer work of its members. I am committed that the volunteers of NARST reflect its membership of this international organization.

When Valarie, now the Immediate Past President, shared with the NARST members the need to change the NARST Bylaws, it became imperative that I continue this work during my presidency. We have had a June Board of Director meeting to develop a plan to provide an opportunity for the members to compare the present Bylaws with the proposed Bylaws, the reasons for the changes, ask questions, and make comments. Of course, NARST members will vote on the new Bylaws. Also, I wanted to continue the practice that the Presidential Team (the President, the President-elect, and the Immediate President) work together to accomplish the goals set forth by the Board of Directors.

It is essential to enhance the international outreach of the Association; hence NARST will be involved in the biennial European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) conference in Helsinki, Finland. During Valarie Akerson’s presidency, NARST was invited to present a symposium based upon its MOU. She submitted a proposal for a symposium entitled “On a Mission for Scientific Literacy: Current Status and Recommendations for the Future” in which I will serve as a discussant for four papers that will be presented. ESERA’s Executive Board has a special dinner-meeting for the science education organizations in which their leaders attend. Valarie Akerson and I will be representing NARST at this leadership dinner.

Finally, it is time to think about the 2016 annual conference in Baltimore. In a few months a call will occur for proposal submission. Please submit your proposals. But now is the time for me to ponder about the Plenary Sessions, Presidential Sponsored Sessions, and Presidential/Welcome Reception for the 2016 conference. With the theme –“Toward Equity and Justice: Many Different Voices, Cultures, and Languages in Science Education Research for Quality Science Learning and Teaching” – how do you reflect this theme in an international science education conference?   Not an easy task. Hence, I look forward to hearing from the members in the next few months to share their ideas because I have always believe that two minds or more are always better than one. NARST: A Worldwide Organization for Improving Science Teaching and Learning through Research is an organization that must operate and grow in the 21st century. We need its members to assist in this effort.