NATS was founded in 1961 as the Science Teaching Section (STS), an affiliate of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. Within 8 years, the number of members jumped to 130 NAS suggested we develop a constitution and leadership structure. In 1980, the name was changed to GNATS (Greater Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science) and we became an official NSTA chapter. Four years later, we became a full division of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. GNATS became NATS in 1990, dropping the term "Greater" from the name.
Currently, NATS boasts around 300 active members from all across the state.
Throughout our history, NATS members have been leaders in Science Education nationwide. Many members have served as Executive Directors of NSTA, the National Association of Academies of Science, or other national and regional boards.
A more detailed history of NATS can be found here.
"The model Nebraska was able to develop with buy-in from teachers across the K-16 spectrum would be enviable in any other state. ... It is neat to see that past officers and retirees are seen as an asset to the organization and that so many continue to remain involved each year. This attitude adds wisdom and a sense of history that would otherwise be lost."
-Jim Landon, Past President 1979-1981
"Through it all I have always been impressed with how the NATS leadership has also been so highly recognized as great teachers. Did being a great teacher lead them to NATS or was NATS responsible for them being great teachers. In my case, it was the latter! ... NATS grows good, young teachers and gives them a place to polish their craft."
- Bob Feurer, Past President 1997-1998
"I am not the only science teacher that gives NATS credit for being an essential part of my professional career. Look at how many Presidential Award winners, Tandy Winners, Friends of Science, Catalyst Winners, and NSTA Officers come out of our NATS ranks. The Nebraska science community has a model organizational structure in the Nebraska Academy of Science, Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science, and the Nebraska Junior Academy of Science. We are one of the few states that have their Junior Academy and Science Teachers Association under the same umbrella. The success of Nebraska’s science teachers proves that this model works. Of course, the real winners of teachers being professional are when the students they teach are consistently recognized at the local, state, National, and International levels for their academic achievements. That is the case for many of NATS’ teachers."
- Ed Brogie, Past President, 1986-1987