Promoting CFI at HASTI

February 11, 2010

Picture taken by Steve Duerr.

Craig Gosling (back turned, wearing vest) talks with visitors to the CFI Indiana booth at HASTI.

On February 4 and 5, CFI Indiana had a booth at the HASTI Conference (Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc.) at the Indiana Convention Center .   HASTI is the Indiana affiliate of the National Science Teachers Association .   CFI Indiana's Craig Gosling designed and planned the booth and he and Chris Brown designed a special new poster which we can continue to use for future events.  

Craig is retired from the Indiana University School of Medicine where he was a medical illustrator and head of that department. Chris is one of his proteges and a current member of the illustration department at the IU medical center.   Chris has generously donated his time to help us with other projects in the past as well as this one. 

Craig has volunteered many hours at CFI Indiana leading discussions, staffing the center, designing the display in our reception area,  running shuttles to and from the airport when we have guests, and generally anything he is asked to do.  Craig has a special primate exhibit of casts of hands and feet of large primates that he made while working at the medical center.  That exhibit was a major attraction for the teachers who visited our exhibit.   He also posted a picture that people were asked to write captions and got a $100 gift card donated by Half-Priced books to give to the winner.

Craig, Steve Duerr, and I spent three days including set up and tear down at the booth.  Steve is another of my great volunteers.  He handles all the technology and audio visual equipment at the center, was in charge of our remodeling project a year ago, did a good percentage of the carpentry, dry walling, and painting on the project, plus we have a large CFI logo in our reception area which Steve made.   He runs shuttles for our guests, leads discussions, and generally does anything that needs to be done.  He is also the technical engineer and cohost of a local podcast, Freethoughtindy.com along with Craig and me. 

Two really great guys.  CFI Indiana would not be what it is without them. 

Being at the HASTI conference was a great experience for us as individuals and tremendeous exposure for CFI Indiana and CFI as a wider organization.   I am not sure how many science teachers visited our booth but we were busy most of the time.  Seventy-three signed up to be on our CFI mailing list but there were numerous others who came and looked but did not leave their emails.  They were very interested in our booth and in our organization and glad we were out there defending science.  We passed out nearly 150 buttons with the CFI logo and "Teach Science and Reason" on them which they gladly took. 

We also promoted our upcoming Darwin Day Science Conference which is March 20. We are offering a special registration fee for teachers and it has been approved by the IUPUI School of Education  for one hour of graduate credit.  So, we are hoping to see many of these science teachers again on March 20. 

Having a booth at the HASTI conference was also a profile raiser for CFI with other organizations. There were nearly 100 other organizations there including most of the universities in the state, the museums, science related companies including Eli Lilly , various organizations related to nature and science, textbook companies, as well as general sales vendors.  Several people from those booths also visited ours.

Craig comments were:

Very impressive! I met at least a hundred Indiana educators and every single one believed in evolution. They all followed the principles of science and reason, and they were dedicated to their profession. I suggested to each one, as they selected from our free fossil basket, that if they believed the earth was 6,000 years old they probably did not want to have a fossil that was over 300 million years old. Everyone laughed and took their fossils. We filled several pages with requests to receive CFI emails and program notes. The Evolution Caption Contest was a big hit.  The HASTI meeting was a great success and I hope we do it again next year. Our exhibit booth was one of the most popular at the meeting.

Last night, I watched Judgment Day--Intelligent Design on Trial  for the first time.  This is a PBS NOVA program about the landmark trial in Dover, Pennsylvania.   Barbara Forrest , who will be one of the speakers at our Darwin Day Science Conference on March 20, was a key witness at this trial.  I was extremely impressed with the science teachers from Dover who stood up against the school board's attempt to introduce intelligent design into their classrooms. 

Science teachers are natural allies in our defense of science and reason.  We need to continue to make more efforts to network with them. 

Comments:

#1 joanp on Tuesday February 16, 2010 at 1:03am

Internet has been helping the world of education in extent ways! Now that computers have been innovated into a more complex device with different accessories, networking is easier. Even telecommuting. I am not sure if others can make a way about teaching the students through the internet. Like what telecommuting does for the employees, work is easier than its used to be.

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