Notre Dame Science Teacher, Dr. Angela McKeen, recently coordinated and hosted the 2018 West Virginia State Science Teachers Association’s Fall Conference alongside the WV State Science Coordinator, Robin Sizemore. The conference brought together over 250 science teachers, university professors, preservice teachers, state representatives, and informal educators to Stonewall Resort for the largest science professional development conference in the state. She also delivered professional development to teachers throughout the state as part of a team of four professors from Fairmont State headed by Dr. Mark Flood, the university’s Forensic Science Coordinator. Dr. McKeen presented with Dr. Flood, Dr. Deb Hemler, and Dr. Kristy Henson as part of a forensics grant awarded by the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium.
Dr. McKeen brought in speakers to the conference including Dr. Susie Crate, a professor at George Mason University. Dr. Crate is a climate anthropologist studying climate change through the stories of the people who live in places such as Siberia and Kiribati in the South Pacific. Dr. McKeen also brought Carrie Bell to speak at the conference who is a Senior Human Performance Investigator-Office of Marine Safety Investigations for the National Transportation Safety Board. Bell has appeared on CBS News, 60 Minutes, CNN, and CSPAN. She discussed her part of the investigation of the largest maritime disaster in the past thirty years – the sinking of the cargo ship SS El Faro.
Dr. McKeen is the first Catholic Schools science educator to direct the WVSTA statewide conference. She is the webmaster for the state organization, and she also serves as the West Virginia State Councilor for the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Dr. McKeen has been presenting at state, regional, national, and international conferences on ways to improve teaching, assessment, and hands-on science teaching since 1995.