published February 6, 2009

Congressman to Address Washington Symposium Participants

Congressman Rush Holt, representative for the 12th district of New Jersey, will speak to participants in SENCER's Capitol Hill Poster Session on March 31st, as part of the 2009 NCSCE Washington Symposium. Representative Holt, a physicist, has been outspoken in his support of improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education for all students. Congressman Holt serves on the Committee on Education and Labor, the Committee on Natural Resources, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He recently appeared on NPR's Science Friday program to discuss the impact of the stimulus package on science.

The theme of the 2009 Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session is the importance of science literacy, particularly the role of the citizen scientist (and mathematician) in our society. In keeping with this theme, Garon Smith, a leader in the SENCER community and a professor of chemistry at the University of Montana, will deliver the plenary address on this topic. Garon was named the 2008 Montana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement of Education. He engages undergraduates on campus and students at schools around the state with his innovative methods, and leads a collaborative project between the University and local high schools on air quality in Montana.

A panel discussion on citizen science and its relationship to both formal and informal education will feature contributions from both the National Geographic Society and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Richard Duschl, the Waterbury Chair in Secondary Education at the Pennsylvania State University, will moderate. NOAA and NGS will also present separate sessions detailing their organizations' programs and opportunities for both educators and students to utilize the many resources available from each group. Tim Watkins, a program officer for the National Geographic Society, directs the science program of their popular BioBlitz program. Kathleen Schwille is the director of program development for the National Geographic Society's education department. Sarah Schoedinger is a senior education program manager for NOAA, and Stacey Rudolph is a grant specialist in the office of education.