How do you craft a ‘winning’ workshop proposal, one that gets accepted? Pam Snyder, a bioscience teacher, recently retired after 35 years with Columbus City Schools. She has presented at NSTA at the local, regional, and national levels. In a recent webinar, Snyder shared what has worked for her in terms of submitting proposals.
Teachers from around the country listened to Snyder’s proposal. Zack Bateson, a National Agricultural Genotyping Center research scientist in North Dakota, added from his experience in presenting at conferences. Educationprojects.org’s Jeanne Gogolski said, “We want to support you however we can as you develop your skills as a presenter.”
Each science conference is different. Snyder gave information relating to NSTA’s submission process. Proposals can come from active and retired teachers, non-profit organizations, commercial organizations, and science consultants. In deciding upon a proposal topic, Snyder suggested considering, “What do I want to know?”
For NSTA, the key pieces to a proposal are:
The title should draw people in, demonstrating the relevance of information to science subjects and real-work applications. Questions are a good way to engage people. Avoid too much jargon and keep it simple. When referencing concepts, consider your audience—are you trying to reach chemistry teachers, biology teachers, agriculture educators?
2. 25-word brief description
These key words and phrases typically capture people’s interest and curiosity:
free teacher materials
ease of use/accessible
expand conceptual knowledge
3. Brief description (25 words)
This goes in the event program and should be carefully targeted to the audience. People will
only see the workshop title and this brief description, so the goal should be to make it a ‘don’t miss’ session.
4. Summary of proposal (200 words)
This allows greater detail about the content of the workshop. Include a brief section of information about the presenter. Be sure to mention any giveaway materials that participants will receive!
5. 3 key takeaways
Tell what participants will learn and do as a result of this workshop. Review, explore, manipulate, define, sort, separate—use strong actions words.
Other things to consider: What supplies are needed for the activities you’d like to present? You don’t want to have to figure out how to transport a lot of things if you are flying to the conference. What can you give to the participants who come to the workshop? These giveaway materials can act as promotional materials. People may see them and want to know how to get them! If you have questions about your proposal, reach out to the conference organizers. They are usually more than willing to provide help and information.
If you’re excited about a Feed the World lesson and would like to share it with a group somewhere, let us know! We’d love to support your outreach!