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What Do You Get from MESTA? How You Can Serve MESTA?
MESTA depends on its members to volunteer their knowledge and skills in order to carry out our mission of being a source of support for Earth Science educators in Michigan. Unlike some related science education organizations, such as NSTA, GSA, AGU, or AGI, we have no salaried staff, suites of offices, and large expense budgets. For more than forty years, we have relied on the efforts of our own members to identify activities that would benefit teachers and students, and then provide them to the fullest extent possible.
If you've participated at any of our yearly conferences, you may know that all our presenters do so without any financial inducement from MESTA. This has provided an effective way for teachers to disseminate classroom-tested activities and resources with hundreds of colleagues.
If you stayed after the last conference sessions to enjoy the Rock and Mineral Raffles, you may be aware that almost everything on display is either been donated by members and other supporters or purchased directly by MESTA. Many MESTA members have gone home with specimens that would otherwise be unattainable, especially at the price of raffle ticket. The excitement of drawing the winning tickets rarely can be found in any other meeting session.
If you join us for any of the keynote speech at our annual MESTA conference, you have had the opportunity to hear about cutting-edge scientific advances from some of the leading researchers in the state. Or perhaps you have enjoyed small talk with colleagues from around the state throughout the conference.
If you come to a conference a day early to join colleagues on one of our MESTA field trips, or one of our summer field experiences, or a MESTA led workshop, you've gained insights, knowledge, and resources that certainly will benefit your students when you bring them back to the classroom, as well as become a cherished memory of your teaching career.
Or maybe, as a member, you've never been able to get to a conference, but have still benefited from our online publications and other resources. These have always been created through the combined efforts of authors and editors who don't receive royalty payments, but contribute out of their willingness to share good ideas with colleagues.
Whatever you've gotten out of MESTA, perhaps you should now give back to MESTA. Consider writing an article for The Michigan Earth Scientist about interesting things you have done or know. Consider presenting at a conference, or donating to a Rock Raffle. Consider working with your MESTA Officers to raise awareness of what MESTA provides at a local meeting. If you're going to a conference at which MESTA has a display in the Exhibits, consider staffing the booth for an hour or two. Consider volunteering to serve on one of our Committees. Perhaps, if you're ready for the challenge, even consider running for an elected office!