NCSLA is pleased to announce that at its winter board meeting in February, the Board of Directors of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) voted to make NCSLA an Associated Group of NSTA. NCSLA submitted its application for membership last fall. Following this, the Council (comprised of the NSTA District Directors) and then the Board of Directors voted to approve our membership. NCSLA is looking forward with anticipation to being a part of this group.
What are CAGs?
Many of you know that a CHAPTER of the NSTA is a statewide or provincewide organization dedicated to the advancement and improvement of science education without restriction as to field or area of science, grade level, or membership. There are current 58 of these organizations. What you might not know is that NSTA also has 30 ASSOCIATED GROUPS. An Associated Group is any local, state, provincial, or national organization that is not eligible to be a chapter and whose purpose is the advancement and improvement of science education.
What are the benefits to being an Associated Group?
There are many benefits to being an associated group of NSTA. Among these is the networking that goes on. Another is the annual National Congress of Science Education (NCSE) that takes place each summer. This event provides the opportunity for the CAGs to provide input into the decisions the NSTA Board of Directors makes. At the NCSE, the CAGs have an opportunity to participate in forums on topics of interest to science educators. They also have the opportunity to make resolutions about things they would like the elected members of NSTA to consider.
In addition to the forums and resolutions, the NCSE also conducts a series of concurrent workshops for CAGs members to attend. These workshops typically include topics of ongoing interest such as parliamentary procedure, handling budgets, how to plan conferences, increasing membership, and developing newsletters as well current topics of interest such as the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (known currently as No Child Left Behind), STEM education, and so on. These sessions are excellent opportunities for the individual CAGs attendees to increase their knowledge base and become more effective in running their respective organization.