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Delegates Get the Goods for their Classroom at NEA Expo

From the 21st Century Learning Innovation Center to the NEA HIN Hall of Health, the 2013 NEA Annual Meeting Expo was buzzing on its first day open as delegates learned about products, technologies and services that will help their students learn.

Delegates line up for a spin the wheel for prizes at the the booth at the NEA HIN Health Walk on the Expo floor Monday July 1st 2013.
NEA TODAY/ Calvin Knight

Cat Thompson, a high school English teacher on the Navajo Reservation in Chinle, Arizona, says the NEA Expo is a great source of information for the latest and greatest ideas to bring back to her classroom and to share with her colleagues who weren’t able to come to the meeting in Atlanta. As she waited in line at the Bic Pen booth, Thompson’s bag was brimming with goodies from more than 200 exhibitors in the Expo Hall.

“I’m a self-proclaimed bag lady!” she says.

Some of the longest lines in the hall were at the Bic Pen and Pilot Pen booths, where exhibitors were handing out pens and pencils to a group of professionals who probably use them more than any other.

“We love our writing utensils,” says Thompson. “And as everyone knows, a teacher’s favorite word is free!”

There are freebies galore at the Expo, and also chances to win prizes – like a new car at Hyundai’s “Teacher In Motion” wheel of fortune, where delegates spin for a chance at a new car and other prizes.

NEA Member Benefits also offered games of chance and contests, like Dancing for Discounts, where delegates competed against each other in Dance, Dance Revolution for a chance to win discounts and a $50 gift card.

Though tempting, the games weren’t the main draw for delegates.

Delegates snake around displays in line for free stuff at the Expo floor Monday July 1st 2013.
NEA TODAY/ Calvin Knight

“The Expo is the best opportunity for us to look at new innovations for us to put into practice when we go back to school next fall,” says Lydia Hage, a seventh-grade math teacher from Gloucester County, New Jersey.

Hage was in line for the Eco Boys and Girls booth with her colleague Terry Ciotto, a third-grade teacher from Pine Hill, New Jersey.

“It’s important for me to have earth science and environmental science lessons that are understandable for the third grade level,” Ciotto says. “They’re interested in being green, but they don’t necessarily understand the science. The sooner you get them to understand the hows and whys, the sooner it becomes a way of life.”

The NEA Expo is open all day on July 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.



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