Chase said this all started when she became acquainted with two other fifth-grade science teachers, Sarah Freundlich, from Lexington and Lisa Dulin, from Crestview.
Each was the only fifth-grade teacher in her school and the trio created an informal group they called NERDS about three years ago.
“It was created out of a need for collaboration with others who teach what we do,” Chase said.
They invited other teachers in the area and meet once a month in various locations — sometimes with four or five people and sometimes with just two or three.
“We discuss methods, materials, common problems, new ideas, etc. We come away each time feeling so energized and excited about teaching; that it is something we want to share with others who may be in the same situation,” Chase said.
This excitement and energy led to the germ of the idea to share this idea with other teachers in similar situations in small schools around the country.
Freundlich attended last year’s conference. She suggested the three of them submit a proposal to make a presentation at this year’s conference. They were accepted and soon will be taking off for Houston.