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From the Field, Events and Opportunities, April 20, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field, Events and Opportunities, April 20, 2021

Grades K–12

NASA #LaunchAmerica STEM Mission Toolkit     

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission is set to launch later this month. Engage your students using activities and resources from this one-stop-shop launch resource filled with lesson plans, videos, and educational resources for K–12 students. Find out how to tune in for the launch on April 22 and follow the crew throughout the mission.

Siemens and Discovery Possibility Grant Sweepstakes

The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education will award a grant prize that provides Title I schools the opportunity to enhance science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education experiences and access to immersive learning for K–12 youth. Five $5,000 grants will be used by school leaders to purchase STEM-related equipment, supplies, and technology, or to refurbish existing STEM labs. The sweepstakes is open to all Title 1 schools. (Deadline April 30)

Discovery Education's Free Virtual Field Trips 

Each virtual field trip features educator guides, student activities, and other resources.

  • Be Vape Free: Just the Facts from the CVS Health Foundation and CATCH My Breath. Premiere: April 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). In this virtual investigation, students become Vape Detectives uncovering the harsh truths about e-cigarettes. The Be Vape Free initiative has at its core the CATCH My Breath program, which equips students in grades 5–12 with the science-based background knowledge and practical refusal skills to avoid risky behaviors like vaping. 
  • Nuclear Frontiers: Powering Possibilities from American Nuclear Society and U.S. Department of Energy. Premiere: May 6 at 1 p.m. ET. On an interstellar virtual journey, students will explore the ways nuclear science is fueling human progress from Earth to outer space and beyond. Navigating Nuclear immerses students in grades 3–12 in the potential of nuclear energy and the STEM careers driving its innovation. 

Teaching Space With NASA Live Webinars         

Join NASA experts and education specialists for live education webinars. Ask questions, get teaching resources, and learn how to share the excitement of space exploration with students.

  • May 12, 3–4 p.m. PT: The Search for Exoplanets. Astrophysicist Vanessa Bailey will join education specialist Brandon Rodriguez to discuss how we search for and study planets beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, and what we're hoping to discover. 
  • June 9, 3–4 p.m. PT: Tracking Asteroids. Paul Chodas of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies and education specialist Brandon Rodriguez will discuss how we track asteroids and comets and monitor potential hazards from these space objects. 

ASM’s Living in a Material World Grants          

To help K–12 teachers bring the real world of materials science into their classrooms, the ASM Materials Education Foundation will award 20 grants of $500. These grants recognize teacher creativity and aim to enhance awareness of materials science and the role of materials scientists in society. Applicants must submit a two-page proposal describing a curriculum-based, hands-on project involving students' observations, communication, and mathematics and science skills that will increase their awareness of the materials around them. (Deadline May 25)

Safer Brand School Garden Grant         

Safer Brand offers a $500 grant to help a school develop and/or maintain an on-site garden. The grant is available to any school serving grades K–12 that intends to create or maintain a fruit, berry, vegetable, flower, or hydroponic garden on the school campus as a teaching tool. Schools must be located in the United States. (Deadline June 14)

Grades K–College

Dreyfus Foundation Educational Grants     

The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc., funds schools; educational and skills training projects; environmental and wildlife protection activities; community-based nonprofit organizations; museums; cultural, performing, and visual arts programs; hospitals; and programs for youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Applications are accepted from across the United States. Average award amounts are $1,000–$20,000. (Deadline May 10)

#BackyardBio Campaign May 2021         

BackyardBio is an experience you can do anywhere alone or with friends, family, or students that will inspire you to learn more, get excited about the natural world, and want to take action to make a positive difference! Spend part of the month of May 2021 getting outside and exploring your backyard, front yard, neighborhood, schoolyard, local parks, and conservation areas to find different species of plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, mammals, crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, and fungi. This can be a big family or classroom project or just 10 minutes devoted to looking and listening to see what you discover. Take photos of everything you see, and share your images all month long on Twitter or Instagram with #backyardbio. By following the hashtag, you'll see other amazing images from around the globe.

INaturalist/Seek Apps will help you identify the organisms that live near you, connect you to a network of naturalists online, and allow you to contribute to real citizen science! You'll be able to share images and get feedback from real scientists and other naturalists on what you've discovered. As classrooms register, classrooms from different geographical locations will be connected through small groups so they can share the experience throughout the month and have a friendly competition to see who took the most observations and found the most different species. 

Middle Level and High School

CLEAN Teaching Climate Change in a Community That Does Not Want to Hear It Webinar                  

This Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) webinar at 6:30 p.m. ET on April 21 focuses on challenges and strategies around teaching climate change in a community that doesn’t want to listen and the lessons one teacher has learned over the past decade that have helped him do it. Jeffrey Yuhas, a middle and high school teacher, has taught in multiple schools, including one that is home to many environmentalist families and one with many climate change denier families. He will describe how he has structured his curriculum to engage students on the topic of climate change, including advice for facilitating student discussions and connecting climate change to students’ lives.

Toshiba America Foundation Science and Math Improvement Grants   
Have an innovative idea for improving STEM learning in your classroom? Does your idea involve project-based learning with measurable outcomes? Apply for these grants to launch your project. Application deadlines for grades 6–12 for $5,000 or more are accepted through May 1.

CU Boulder Data Puzzles: Analyze Authentic Data With Inquiry-Based Practices Teacher Workshop       

Data Puzzles are a free resource that combine classroom-friendly data sets with the research-backed pedagogical practices of Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) to give students the ultimate inquiry-based learning experience. Developers (including AST co-author Melissa Braaten) will lead participants through the Data Puzzle instructional framework in the context of these free resources. Participants will leave with the skills/tools to implement Data Puzzle engagements in their own classrooms. Register for this virtual workshop, taking place June 3–4 at 9 a.m.–12 p.m. MT each day. Participants will receive a certificate for PD hours.

MOSAiC Arctic Research Expedition Teacher Workshop

In this free workshop on June 29–30, middle level and high school teachers will engage with curriculum developers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Arctic scientists, who will present Arctic Feedbacks: Not All Warming Is Equal. This storyline curriculum is tied to the Next Generation Science Standards’ Earth’s Systems standards, in which students explore important science concepts (e.g., Earth’s energy budget, greenhouse effect, feedback loops) to model and explain the Arctic amplification phenomenon. Teachers will engage with immersive 360° virtual tours, authentic Arctic data sets, and app-based labs in this interactive online workshop. Participants will receive a certificate for 10 PD hours and 1 credit from the University of Colorado Boulder.

High School

AOPA High School Aviation STEM Curriculum   

AOPA has spent years developing and testing its new high school aviation STEM curriculum. Both of the career pathways—pilot and non-piloted aircraft systems (UAS)—can help students build career-ready skills while they learn more about opportunities in aviation. Schools can choose to implement the ninth-, 10th-, or 11th-grade curriculum for the 2021–22 school year. The courses will provide everything a teacher needs, including lesson plans, student assessments, student activities, teacher notes, and presentations.

Schools must apply to use the curriculum and agree to provide essential data to help track the program's effectiveness. Participating teachers must attend a three-day professional development workshop and may attend either in person at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, or virtually. (Deadline May 31)

Find more events and opportunities at

Biology Careers Chemistry Citizen Science Climate Change Curriculum Disabilities Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Environmental Science General Science Inquiry Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Mathematics News NGSS Physical Science Professional Learning old STEM Teaching Strategies Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary

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