I went to a few CUE (computer using educator) conferences in the early 90's.
They were okay.
THEN I WENT TO A SCIENCE TEACHER CONFERENCE!
...and I never stopped going.
I teach in California so I am a member of the California Science Teachers Association. I went to my first C.S.T.A. conference about '93 and it was soooo cooool. Great stuff in the exhibit hall, Interesting sessions put on by fellow science teachers, seminars, lectures, guest speakers, eating out, shots of Jack, and getting to be goofy for a while. IT WAS LIKE BEING BACK IN COLLEGE AGAIN FOR A WEEKEND. My friends and colleagues Dave and Paul and I decided then that we would go to every C.S.T.A. conference even if we had to pay our way and camp out. (We met a very interesting guy a few years later at the K.O.A. campground in Sacramento one night about 11:00 p.m.)
I was so appreciative of all the teachers that presented their stuff. I decided that I had some stuff to share. If you present, your admission is free...another 100 bucks to spend on cool exhibit stuff( I collect cool science t-shirts) or goofing of with your friends after hours. Being a presenter is really neat. You need to do it. Don't be afraid. I have presented on Chemistry, Hot air Balloons, Density/Buoyancy, Force and Motion, Astronomy, Scientific method...wow that's our whole 8th grade curriculum in California.
Last year Paul and I went to the National Science Teachers Conference in Portland. Our friend Dave moved up there a few years ago so we got to visit him and do a conference.
Going to a conference is a natural high to us. It's fun. To paraphrase from the movie "Rob Roy", A SCIENCE TEACHER CONFERENCE IS A GIFT THAT A TEACHER GIVES TO THEMSELVES.
I feel sorry for my colleagues that are athletic coaches and cannot attend these. They are missing out on a great experience.
This photo is (clockwise from bottom left) Me, David Piercy and Paul Lake lying on the floor under a huge Foucault pendulum in the Portland Convention Center waiting for the huge counterweight to knock over a marker. TOTALLY COOL!
I hope this helps,
Love to Teach and Teach with Passion
Remember...It's not Magic, It's Science