National Science Teaching Association

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The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), founded in 1944 (as the National Science Teachers Association) and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is an association of science teachers in the United States and is the largest organization of science teachers worldwide. NSTA's current membership of more than 57,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education.

The Association publishes a professional journal for each level of science teaching; a newspaper, NSTA Reports; and many other educational books and professional publications. Each year NSTA conducts a national conference and a series of area conferences. These events attract over 30,000 attendees annually. The Association serves as an advocate for science educators by keeping its members and the general public informed about national issues and trends in science education.[1]


NSTA was formed by the merger of two existing professional organizations, the American Science Teachers Association and the American Council of Science Teachers, at a July 1944 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[2] The organization was initially headquartered at Cornell University.[3] This first permanent headquarters, purchased in 1972, was located on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C and then moved to Arlington, Virginia in 1994.[2]

Position statements[edit]

NSTA is engaged in an ongoing effort to "identify the qualities and standards of good science education," publishing its findings in the form of position statements.[4] These position statements are developed by science educators, scientists, and other national experts in science education, and the input of NSTA's membership is solicited before final approval by the board of directors. Over 35 topics are covered, including The Nature of Science, Safety and Science Instruction, The Teaching of Evolution, Environmental education, Responsible Use of Live Animals and Dissection in the Science Classroom, Gender Equity in Science Education, and Use of the Metric System.

In 2018, the NSTA urged teachers to "emphasize to students that no scientific controversy exists regarding the basic facts of climate change."[5]

Science Matters[edit]

Science Matters[6] is a major public awareness and engagement campaign designed to rekindle a national sense of urgency and action among schools and families about the importance of science education and science literacy. Science Matters builds on the success of the Building a Presence for Science program, first launched in 1997 as an e-networking initiative to assist teachers of science with professional development opportunities. The Building a Presence for Science network—now the Science Matters network—reaches readers in 34 states and the District of Columbia.[7]


Peer-reviewed journals:

  • Science and Children, elementary level, established in 1963[8]
  • Science Scope, middle level, established in 1983[8]
  • The Science Teacher, high school, established in 1950[8]
  • Journal of College Science Teaching[9]
  • NSTA Recommends — review recommendations of science-teaching materials[10]
  • Connected Science Learning', linking in-school and out-of-school STEM learning


NSTA's publishing arm, NSTA Press,[11] publishes 20–25 new titles per year. The NSTA Science Store[12] offers selected publications from other publishers in addition to NSTA Press books.

NSTA student chapters[edit]

In addition to state/province chapters and associated groups,[13] NSTA has over 100 student chapters.[14] NSTA and the student chapters are separate but interdependent organizations that have elected to ally themselves to encourage professional development and networking of preservice teachers of science from across the United States and Canada.

NSTA affiliates[edit]

As of 2018, NSTA has the following affiliates:

National Conference keynote speaker[edit]

Actress and neuroscientist Dr. Mayim Bialik spoke[15] at NSTA's 2014 National Conference on "The Power of One Teacher."[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NSTA. "About NSTA: An Overview". Retrieved 2007-12-12.
  2. ^ a b Pratt, Harold (2002). "National Science Teachers Association". Encyclopedia of education. Guthrie, James W. (Ed.) (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 1791. ISBN 9780028655949. OCLC 49872009.
  3. ^ "The National Science Teachers Association". Science. 99 (2573): 316. April 21, 1944. doi:10.1126/science.99.2573.316. JSTOR 1671415. PMID 17737223.
  4. ^ NSTA. "NSTA Position Statements". Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  5. ^ McKenna, Phil (2018-09-13). "National Teachers Group Confronts Climate Denial: Keep the Politics Out of Science Class". InsideClimate News. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  6. ^ NSTA. "Science Matters". Retrieved 2007-12-12.
  7. ^ "About NSTA: An Overview". 1997–2010. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  8. ^ a b c Lehman, Jeffrey R. (1999). Historical dictionary of American education. Altenbaugh, Richard J., (Ed.). Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. p. 252. ISBN 9780313285905. OCLC 49569806.
  9. ^ NSTA Journal of College Science Teaching. Retrieved on 2010-05-18
  10. ^ "NSTA Recommends". NSTA. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  11. ^ NSTA NSTA Press. Retrieved on 2010-05-18
  12. ^ NSTA NSTA Science Store. Retrieved on 2010-05-18
  13. ^ NSTA. "NSTA Chapters and Associated Groups". Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  14. ^ NSTA. "NSTA Student Chapters". Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  15. ^ WebsEdgeEducation. "2014 NSTA Conference General Session Highlights". Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  16. ^ NSTA. "NSTA Pressroom". Retrieved 2014-04-10.

External links[edit]