Monday, January 2, 2012

A Message from NTSTEEA President, Mike Fry

Hello Fellow Tech Ed Teachers,
      Well, our Annual Conference is fast approaching! April 18, 19 & 20 are the dates, so please mark your calendars and send in your registration. Do you have a great lesson, interesting problem-solving activities, methods for integrating STEM or Common Core Standards or something else you believe can benefit teachers, students or our discipline? If so, please consider presenting at the NYSTEEA conference in Syracuse. A Call for Presenters Formis attached and available in the Conference section of our website. 
      At the beginning of the school year, I mentioned that one of our goals is to communicate better with our members and I must admit that I have not been doing that as effectively or as often as I should. But we have not been idle. Members of NYSTEEA have been working hard on many initiatives.  
      We have been working with key decision makers and are moving closer to making NY an Engineering by Design Consortium State. Our goal is not to make this ITEEA-developed, standards-based and regularly updated K-12 program mandatory, but to simply make it, and all of the associated resources, available to all interested districts. If we get our way, initial professional development opportunities could take place as early as this summer and would be largely supported with outside funding. If you have an interest in this program, or simply believe that making it available in NY is a good idea, please send an EbD Support Form (attached) to Chuck Goodwin, or turn one in to a NYSTEEA or local association officer. The forms simply ask for your name, school and signature, yet they provide us with essential data necessary for obtaining funding and other support. 
      Although the key improvements to our website may not yet be obvious, we are currently working behind the scenes to make it far more intuitive and useful. We want to get it right, so the NEW website will take a few more months to complete. However, once unveiled, we will be better able to integrate videos, communicate with members, delete outdated content and do a host of other useful things. Placing a “Video of the Week” or “ Activity of the Week” right on the homepage could be a great feature. We know there are great things going on in Tech Ed rooms throughout the state…so please get your videos and images ready to share with your colleagues! 
      We are also planning to have an area on the website to call for volunteers. We can always use help on small activities that may only take a minimal commitment of time. If we have many individuals chipping in to help in small ways, we can truly accomplish a lot. Of course, we can also use help on larger commitments like contributing to or editing a newsletter and participating on committees. We are also looking for teachers throughout the state to work with faculty at Alfred State College on an initiative to link Tech Ed teachers with leaders in industry. If you would you like to contribute to the Newsletter or help in some other way, please drop me an email.   
      As members of the NYS STEM Education Collaborative, we continue to work with the Math and Science Teacher’s associations, along with the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. In fact, a 2012 STEM Institute is currently planned for July 8-11 in Syracuse, so please consider presenting or attending. NYSTEEA President-Elect, Bob Tufte has been working with the CTE Technical Assistance Center, and the seven other CTE disciplines, to develop a CTE position paper regarding college and career readiness. Upon completion, this paper will be shared with the Board of Regents and others. On Long Island, NTEA will be hosting a meeting and KidWind training at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. I plan on attending this event, which will take place on January 19th at 4pm. This should be a great evening, so whether you are a current member or not, please support your professional association and plan on attending. NYSTEEA has been working on a host of other initiatives and, as they develop, we will provide our members with updates.  
      I wish you all a very happy and productive new year! 
Thank you,
Mike Fry ~ NYSTEEA President

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