National Science Teaching Association, Catapult X Announce Best of Show Companies and Technologies

The massive, unprecedented transition in learning systems have obscured that pedagogy and curriculum are still important and evolving and improving.

That progress was clear this week as the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) and Catapult X announced the winners of the first ever Science Educators’ Best of Show™ NSTA 2020. The awards, a press release said, were judged based on their ability to impact student learning or in recognition of companies with outstanding customer service for teaching and learning. They represent companies and products that had planned to exhibit at the NSTA’s national conference.

In all 50 companies competed and were judged by science and STEM educators and experts. Eleven winners were picked. They are:

Outstanding Vendor
Winner: Carolina Biological
Finalists: HHMI BioInteractive, Girls Who Code, World Wildlife Fund, Bio-Rad Laboratories

Best New Technology Innovation for Science
Winner: Bio-Rad Explorer’s Out of the Blue CRISPR and Genotyping Extension kits
Best New Technology Innovation for STEM
Winner: PASCO Wireless Smart Cart & Accessories
Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Simulations & Video Based Interactives
Winner: ExploreLearning Gizmos
Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Earth Science
Winner: IRIS Earthquake Browser
Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Science & Social Impact
Winner: Bio-Rad Explorer’s Science of Opioid Dependence Kit
Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Chemistry
Winner: PASCO Wireless Spectrometer & Spectrometry Software
Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Environmental
Winner: PASCO Wireless Weather Sensor & Sparkvue Software
Best Tried & True for Teaching and Learning: Games for Learning
Winner: Playmada Games
Best Tried & True for Teaching and Learning: STEM & Language Arts
Winner: Brod Bagart’s Heart of Science
Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Pre-K to Elementary
Winner: ExploreLearning Science4Us

“We value all of the organizations who work with NSTA to bring quality science education resources and products to classroom teachers nationwide. Our teachers have spoken, and these companies have been singled out as the best in the field, and we salute them for this honor” said Dennis Schatz, President of NSTA, in the award announcement.

One of the competition’s judges praised winner of “Best New Technology Innovation for Science,” the Bio-Rad Explorer: Out of the Blue CRISPR Kit and Genotyping Extension kits.

“They are complete curricula that begin with an amazing website for teacher resources to teach CRISPR. Detailed instructions for teachers and students create a successful experiment for the students. CRISPR technology is a fairly new process that allows the insertion, modification, and deletion of genes. This procedure holds great promise in some genetic disorders, but also creates ethical issues that have not been completely resolved,” said Judy Day, Retired Bio-medical Outreach Coordinator at The Science House at North Carolina State University. “The kits provide hands-on activities that vary in the two kits from a paper gene editing model to actual CRISPR gene editing. The benefits and ethical issues of this procedure are set up for a debate between the students at the end of the unit. This is a great method of having the students think through the pros and cons of CRISPR and what potential regulations need to be in place. The unit is well thought out, full of resources, and cutting edge of genetic research and development.”

Catapult X is a market and product development company that consults with science and STEM education industry partners—organizations, businesses, and associations—to catapult their brand and products forward by using data-driven insights.

And the NSTA is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 50,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.

You can learn more about the Best of Show Awards, at: https://www.catapult-x.com/best-of-show/.