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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, December 14, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, December 14, 2021

Grades PreK–College

Van Andel Institute Webinar—Beyond the Numbers: Infusing Creativity in Math and Science          
K–12 teachers, are you finding it hard to get your students excited about learning math? Looking for a more inquiry-driven approach to teaching science? Need practical ways to encourage your students to explore, question, interpret, and employ creativity in both math and science? Watch this fast-paced webinar on December 15 at 4–4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. It’s infused with strategies that can get your students excited about all the creative ways they can work with numbers and concepts in both math and science.    

Resources for NASA Launch of James Webb Space Telescope

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), to take place after December 24, offers educators and students the opportunity to be part of an amazing wave of collaboration, innovation, and exploration that will likely encourage students worldwide to create their own space path. Classrooms can be a part of the largest and most advanced telescope mission ever. Visit the website for resources like a storymap, an art project, experiments, and more. For a NASA STEM toolkit, click here.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Professional Development Webinars 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology's K–12 Education offers free webinars each month for all educators. These interactive webinars provide background content, highlight new and relevant educational resources, and allow discussion for successful implementation of such information and activities. Each webinar is roughly 50 minutes with 10 minutes allocated for questions. Access all archived webinars through K–12 Education Cornell Lab's YouTube channel. You can also receive letters of completion or Continuing Education Units. Upcoming webinars will take place at 6 p.m. Eastern Time:

  • Great Backyard Bird Count, January 18, 2022
  • Inquiry Across the Ages: A Panel Discussion, February 15
  • Inspiring Curiosity with Wildlife Cams, March 15                                     

EarthKind Harmony Hero Award
The award is EarthKind's way of recognizing and supporting teachers nationwide who inspire K–12 students through eco-education initiatives. Teachers who are involved in sustainability and environmental education programs are eligible. EarthKind will select one Harmony Hero applicant each month to receive complimentary inservice training from an entomologist on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices for their school, helping them become safer, healthier places. They’ll also receive a backpack filled with sustainable essentials for eco-education and outdoor adventures.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for them and three guests to the Kingdom of the Monarchs in Mexico’s Central Highlands. Accommodations, meals, activity fees, and a professional tour guide are all included. (Deadline December 31)

LifeChanger of the Year Awards

This program recognizes and rewards K–12 educators and school employees nationwide. Nominees must be full-time educators, teachers, administrators, or any member of a school’s staff who makes a positive difference in the lives of students. The program aims to honor those who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence, and leadership.

The grand prize is $10,000, to be split between a $5,000 individual cash award and a $5,000 donation to the winner’s school/district. Four grand-prize finalists will receive $5,000 each, to be split between a $2,500 individual cash award and a $2,500 donation to the winner’s school/district. The top five Grand-Prize finalists will be flown to Orlando, Florida, to attend the National Awards Ceremony, where the Grand-Prize Winner will be announced. Ten LifeChanger Award winners will get $3,000, to be split between a $1,500 individual cash award and a $1,500 donation to the winner’s school/district. (Deadline December 31

ORISE Social Media Contest for Teachers  

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants to know what ways you support different learning styles and incorporate differentiation in your classroom. To enter, follow ORISE on social media, complete a short survey, and comment your answer on the post. Three randomly selected teachers will receive a Cricut for their classroom, along with a supply of vinyl to jumpstart their creativity. Teachers must teach in the United States, a U.S. Territory, or a DoDEA school to be eligible to win. (Deadline December 31)

Walmart Local Community Grants                                                                      
These grants provide funding directly from Walmart and Sam’s Club facilities to local organizations in the United States. Eligible nonprofit organizations include K–12 public or nonprofit private schools; charter schools; community/junior colleges; and state/private colleges or universities with a proposed project that benefits the community at large. The grants range from a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $5,000. (Deadline December 31)

National Teachers Hall of Fame     

The National Teachers Hall of Fame’s (NTHF) annual recognition program honors five of the nation’s most outstanding teachers. Nominees must have a minimum of 20 years of full-time preK–12 teaching experience. Teachers chosen receive $1,000 in materials for their school district, presented by Pearson Education; a permanent display in the NTHF; and other prizes. Induction ceremonies take place annually in June, and all expenses are paid by the NTHF. (Deadline January 11, 2022)

Captain Planet Foundation EcoTech Grants

Grants of $2,500 are given to schools or nonprofit organizations to engage children in inquiry-based, STEM-related projects that leverage technology and/or use nature-based design to address environmental problems in local communities. These grants support purchase of materials and other expenses required to implement the project. (Deadline January 15, 2022)

Sign Up for Artemis I STEM Learning Pathway

Want to share the excitement of Artemis with your STEM learners? Leading up to launch, NASA’s Artemis I STEM Learning Pathway will provide free weekly newsletters filled with STEM resources and ready-to-use content. Each week’s resources can be used individually or in combination to create a lesson plan tied to the learning series’ weekly theme. Visit the website, click on "Register," then scroll down to Artemis I STEM Learning Pathway under "Add Ons."  (Deadline March 22, 2022)

The Mikkelson Foundation Grants     

These grants are awarded to improve the level of technical education and competence in K–12 schools. Grants provide support for individuals and organizations that deliver hands-on, technically oriented mathematics and science learning experiences. Grants also aim to develop and support programs for improvement of science and math education. Programs with a laboratory or experimental component that can be implemented in classroom teaching are especially encouraged.

The foundation is interested in developing and supporting workshops and summer courses that provide K–12 teachers with hands-on learning of mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles. Programs lasting a few days to a week of an introductory to intermediate level are encouraged.

The foundation also supports requests for science equipment, such as beakers, test tubes, robotics kits, electricity kits, activity kits, microscopes, and hands-on equipment. See for more details. 

Elementary and Middle School

Aldrin Family Foundation Map Packages Grant   

Aldrin Family Foundation makes Giant Mars and Moon Map packages available to individual schools, school districts, and informal education organizations nationwide in areas where the foundation believes they can do the most good, especially in underserved communities. Through the Giant Mars Map™, kids ages 10–14 get to sit, stand, walk, play, and learn together on the Red Planet! Students perform fun projects like building personally designed space ships and learning the names of craters and land masses on Mars. With the Giant Moon Map™, students ages 8–12 find out everything they would need to know to live and thrive on the Moon, while learning about one of humankind’s greatest achievements. 

All applications are reviewed and granted based on essay question responses. (Deadline January 15, 2022)

High School

Engineering for Us All (e4usa)

This National Science Foundation–funded, innovative curriculum introduces engineering design principles and was developed to be accessible to all high school students. High school teachers and administrators can apply to receive free high-quality professional development, implementation support, a materials budget, and the curriculum. For more information, contact (Deadline December 17)

Knowles Teaching Fellowship Webinar        

The Knowles Teaching Fellows Program is a five-year program that supports early-career, high school mathematics and science teachers in their efforts to become great teachers who lead from the classroom. Knowles Teaching Fellows have access to resources that help transform new teachers into great teachers who make a difference in the lives of students in their classroom, their school and beyond. First-year or preservice math, chemistry, physics, and biology teachers are encouraged to attend this webinar on December 16 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time to learn more.

2022 Knowles Teaching Fellowship 
Knowles Teaching Fellowships support beginning high school science and mathematics teachers in the United States. 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)

Become an EdReports Instructional Materials Reviewer

EdReports, a nonprofit organization, aims to empower educators by providing them with independent, credible, evidence-rich information about instructional materials to ensure students have what they need to be college- and career-ready. EdReports is accepting applications for reviewers for an inaugural high school science review beginning in early April 2022. Apply now to engage in deep professional learning on the Next Generation Science Standards with a national network of skilled educators.

Find more events and opportunities at 

Biology Chemistry Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science General Science Inquiry Interdisciplinary Life Science Literacy Mathematics New Science Teachers News Physics Professional Learning STEM Teacher Preparation Teaching Strategies Technology Middle School Elementary High School Informal Education Postsecondary Pre-service Teachers Preschool

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