Writing a Best Practices Article

By Jennifer McNally, Director of Marketing & Communications

NCSSS is comprised of the most gifted, innovative and hard-working educators in our member schools. The courses, projects and lessons taught by NCSSS educators reflect the best practices in STEM education, and one of our organizational aims is to disseminate these best instructional practices among member schools, as well as to educators at other institutions.

NCSSS has several ways to highlight your members schools and students. The STEM Edge is a perfect place to publish and share our best practices in teaching and learning. The STEM Edge is written by education professionals for education professionals to give teachers and administrators the competitive advantage in professional development.

Writing best practices articles can seem daunting, especially with our busy schedules and lives, but educators typically already have the critical pieces of a best practice article already written up – lesson plans, presentations, handouts, etc. Below are several tips that will help you organize your thoughts and materials to share with NCSSS colleagues.

Helpful hints for STEM Edge:

  • Article length should be 1,000 to 2,000 words in length.
  • Break your article into chunks of content by using subheads and different sections.
  • Use your established resources (conference presentation, lesson plans, class materials, etc.) as material.
  • Refer to previous versions of the STEM Edge for examples of published articles.
  • Get a colleague to read through the draft article to see if it gets the salient points across and to make suggestions/edits.

Helpful hints for the NCSSS blog:

  • Blog posts should be 500 to 750 words in length.
  • Submissions may come from teachers, administrators or students in your school.
  • Photos work great in blog posts!
  • We will republish something that has been published previously, with proper attribution.

Formatting & Manuscript Submission:

  • Submit your STEM Edge or blog article as a Word document (.doc). Figures, photos, and other graphics should be embedded in the Word document AND also submitted as separate files to be used during the layout process.
  • A short bio and headshot should accompany your submission. 

Submit all articles, along with all additional graphics files, to jen.mcnally@ncsss.org.