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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, August 24, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, August 24, 2021

Grades K–College

American Horticultural Society Great American Gardeners Awards   
The American Horticultural Society (AHS) celebrates outstanding achievements, encourages excellence, and inspires innovation in the art and science of horticulture. The AHS sponsors the Jane L. Taylor Award for an individual, organization, or program that has inspired and nurtured future horticulturists through efforts in children’s and youth gardening; the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award for an individual who has made significant lifetime contributions to at least three of the following horticultural fields: teaching, research, communications, plant exploration, administration, art, business, and leadership; and a Teaching Award for an individual whose ability to share their horticultural knowledge with others has contributed to a better public understanding of the plant world and its important influence on society. Visit the website to nominate educators, organizations, and programs for these awards. (Deadline September 25)

I Love My Librarian Award Nominations  

The award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians. Share how you think your librarian is improving the lives of the people in your school, campus, or community. Each year, up to 10 librarians are selected to receive a $5,000 cash award and a $750 travel stipend to attend a ceremony in their honor. This year's Award Ceremony will be held on January 22, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas, at the inaugural LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience event. (Deadline September 27)

National Geographic’s Free Online Courses 

National Geographic’s cohort-based courses begin on September 29. Courses are open to any educator worldwide who works with K–12 students in either a formal or informal setting. In many of these courses, learners can earn graduate credits through National Geographic’s university partnerships. Register by October 3. Choose from

  • Collecting Data to Explore Plastic Pollution in Our Communities 
  • Teaching Global Climate Change in Your Classroom
  • Mapping as a Visualization and Communication Tool
  • Connecting the Geo-Inquiry Process to Your Teaching Practice
  • Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Geo-Inquiry Questions
  • Integrating Service With Learning Goals

U.S. Dept. of Energy Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program                      

In this program, accomplished K–12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) serve 11 months in a federal agency or U.S. Congressional office, bringing their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to their host offices to inform federal STEM education efforts. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are currently employed full time in a U.S. public or private elementary or secondary school or school district. They must have been teaching full time in a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least five of the last seven years in a STEM discipline. Fellows receive a $7,500 monthly stipend and a $5,000 housing allowance, as well as reimbursement for moving expenses. (Deadline November 18)

Air Force Association Educator Grants

The Air Force Association provides $500 grants to educators for projects that significantly influence student learning. The Educator Grant program promotes aerospace education activities in classrooms from kindergarten through 12th grade. The program encourages development of innovative aerospace activities within the prescribed curriculum. Preference will be given to proposed activities that relate to aerospace science and technologies. (Deadline December 15)

Elementary and Middle Level

Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K–8 Earth Science Teaching  

The award recognizes one teacher of grades K–8 (or Key Stages 1–3 in the United Kingdom) for their leadership and innovation in Earth science education. The award consists of a $2,500 prize for the winning teacher and a grant of up to $1,000 to enable the recipient to attend the NSTA National Conference to accept the award. The winning teacher and their school each will receive a plaque of recognition. (Deadline January 21, 2022)

Middle Level

NMLSTA August Opportunity Drawing     

What are you most looking forward to in your science teaching this year? Let the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association (NMLSTA) know and be entered for a chance to win an Amazon gift card in an opportunity drawing. You may see your responses on the NMLSTA website or other social media. Membership in NMLSTA isn’t required to enter. (Deadline August 31)

NEEF Climate Superstars Challenge  

This online environmental challenge is open to U.S. middle school teachers (grades 6–8). The challenge features short tasks (roughly 15–20 minutes each) that can excite kids about the environment and teach them the value of collaboration, covering topics such as where energy comes from, why energy conservation is important, and how the use of clean, green power can contribute to a healthier climate. All tasks can be performed virtually or in person, support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and many common science themes, and require no additional materials. Register your class online and visit the Climate Superstars portal during the contest period to access tasks and record your activities. 

You'll have the chance to be entered into a drawing to win a $5,000 e-voucher for Samsung products like tablets, laptops, and interactive displays. Three classrooms will be awarded. The contest officially begins on October 1, but you can register now and receive a free Educators Guide with suggestions of how to include tasks into lesson plans, tools to explore topics further, and more. The challenge ends on October 31.

High School

NSHSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Teaching Grant

The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) will present five $1,500 awards to high school teachers currently employed at a public or private high school in the United States or internationally. Applicants serve in rural areas, educate diverse student populations, or are actively promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives in their school or greater community. Teachers should provide their school’s demographics and explain how the funds will directly benefit their students. Funds may be used for supplies, materials, field trips, or other resources to enhance the delivery of courses. (Deadline September 15)

2022 Knowles Teaching Fellowship   

This five-year program supports U.S. early-career high school mathematics and science teachers in their efforts to develop the characteristics of a good teacher and lead from the classroom. Knowles Teaching Fellows have access to resources connected with three key benefits: Financial Support, Coaching and Mentoring, and Community Membership. Fellowships will be awarded to individuals who have the capacity and determination to commit to teaching as their primary career; have earned a degree in a major related to the mathematics or science discipline they intend to teach between 2012 and September 1, 2022; have earned or will earn a valid state teaching credential/certificate/license that enables them to teach mathematics or science in grades 9–12 in the United States no earlier than January 1, 2017, and no later than September 1, 2022; and will be entering their first or second year as teacher of record during the 2022–2023 academic year. (Deadline January 9, 2022)

Find more events and opportunities at

Aerospace Biology Climate Change Earth & Space Science Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Inquiry Interdisciplinary Life Science Mathematics New Science Teachers News Professional Learning old STEM Middle School Elementary High School Informal Education Postsecondary

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