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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, February 22, 2022

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, February 22, 2022

Grades K–12

Association of American Educators Classroom Grants  

AAE's grants of up to $500 can be used for a variety of projects and materials, including but not limited to books, software, calculators, math manipulatives, art supplies, audiovisual equipment, and lab materials. Classroom grants are awarded to educators who haven’t received a scholarship or grant from AAE in the last two years. Teachers in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon, and Washington compete for state-specific funds and fill out a separate application. (Deadline March 1

Association of American Educators Foundation Teacher Scholarship     

Teacher scholarships of up to $500 can be used for a variety of professional development opportunities and materials. These include conferences, in-services, and materials for Professional Learning Communities. The scholarship will cover all associated costs with attending these events or obtaining these materials. Teacher scholarships are available to full-time educators who haven’t received a scholarship or grant from AAE in the past two years. (Deadline March 1

National Geographic Virtual Field Trip: Women Pushing Boundaries       

Teachers of grades 5–12, join National Geographic at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on March 8 to celebrate Women’s History Month alongside four intrepid women Explorers. First, travel with environmental engineer Jenna Jambeck to the Ganges River in India to understand her approach to the plastic pollution crisis. Next, photojournalists Gabby Salazar and Clare Fieseler take you into the world of conservation to share their insights from co-publishing a book titled No Boundaries: 25 Women Explorers and Scientists Share Adventures, Inspiration, and Advice. Finally, travel to California with Young Explorer Shreya Ramachandran, where her nonprofit, The Grey Water Project, promotes recycling precious water resources. This free 30-minute program features videos, Q&A segments, and supplementary materials, available here

Integrating Social Justice Into Your Practice as a Science Educator          

On March 9, join Learning for Justice—a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center—and cohosts from the Smithsonian Science Education Center for a webinar that will introduce connections between social justice and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education with a focus on our environment. You’ll learn how to use a transdisciplinary lens to approach complex problems with respect for student and community knowledge. And you’ll gain tools for supporting students and spurring them to turn their learning into sustainable action.

Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant Program  

Whole Kids Foundation will provide a $3,000 monetary grant to support a new or existing edible educational garden at either a

  • K–12 school
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit working in partnership with a K–12 school
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Garden projects may be at any stage of development (planning, construction, or operation). Only one garden grant per school will be awarded. The foundation will only consider applications in the United States (including territories) and Canada. (Deadline March 11)

Project Learning Tree’s Outdoor Classroom Kit Giveaway for Educators  

Project Learning Tree (PLT) wants to help outstanding educators in the United States and Canada green their communities. They’re giving away an Outdoor Classroom Kit valued at more than $1,000 USD to celebrate educators who go above and beyond for their students, and encourage those working with children to take students outside to learn. Nominate an educator or yourself to be entered into the drawing to win the PLT Outdoor Classroom Kit. PLT will highlight many of the nominees on its website, on social media, and in its e-newsletter, The Branch. (Deadline March 14)

Submit Students’ Research Questions for LOC’s New Learning Center

The Library of Congress (LOC) is gathering outstanding questions that student researchers have investigated for its new learning lab on-site experience. The youth learning lab will be a space for field trips and family visits and will be powered by questions kids have for librarians. Each “quest-ion” will become a quest linking to a series of LOC collections that visitors can unlock to find the answer. Students will explore documents and collections responding to these questions, and learn how student and adult researchers have used the LOC to create documentaries, and more.

The LOC seeks the help of educators and nonprofit partners who provide out-of-school-time programming. Across the United States, students are using LOC resources in class and at home—and they are using those resources to inform and inspire projects ranging from science and history fairs, school debates, and advocacy campaigns. Anyone who asks questions, compares and evaluates a variety of sources relating to those questions, and synthesizes information to construct knowledge is a true researcher—no matter their age. If you have an example of a student research project that used LOC sources with a real-world application that can be a “quest-ion,” complete this survey


Strategies for Integrating Climate Science Into the Elementary Classroom With CLEAN
Enhance your knowledge of and teaching about climate and energy education with this free webinar from the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN). Teachers will explore how to break down this complex and controversial topic, teach it across disciplines, make it culturally relevant, use it to inspire curiosity, and motivate students to develop climate change solutions. Watch it on February 28 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Elementary and Middle Level

Earth Patterns: Why Does the Moon Look Different Throughout the Month?            

Join the Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on March 1 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time (5 p.m. Central Time) to discover why the Moon changes and how to introduce this phenomenon to your students. This free webinar will increase K–8 educators' content knowledge about the Moon and its place in our sky.  

Middle Level and High School

The Radio Frequency Teacher Training Program

Want to incorporate inquiry-based lessons about the electromagnetic spectrum into your curriculum? This 10-week (June 6–August 12) virtual training program will give you the knowledge you need to create engaging lessons on this topic and introduce students to a variety of career paths. This training program is created by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and is funded by the National Science Foundation. Participants will

  • Develop a deep understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Attend virtual workshops with experts in spectrum science and management.
  • Work collaboratively with other educators to create engaging lessons focused on the radio frequency portion of the spectrum. 
  • Receive up to $4,100 as a stipend for participating in the training.

During whole-group Zoom meetings, participants will interact with experts as they learn about the science and policy surrounding the use of radio frequencies. They will also learn about the many careers associated with radio frequencies and how to introduce their students to those occupations. And teachers will be guided by a curriculum specialist as they work in collaborative groups to create lessons based on what they learned during the training. Teachers must be willing to devote 20 hours per week to the training.

Applicants must be licensed middle or high school science teachers in the United States who have spent a minimum of five years as a classroom teacher and are experienced in creating curriculum. Send a letter indicating your interest in the program and describing your experience in creating curriculum, along with your current resume and an example of a lesson plan and student activity. Send all documents as attachments to an e-mail addressed to (Deadline March 11)

The Exploratorium’s Summer Institute for Teachers  

The Exploratorium in San Francisco, California, will hold this institute for middle and high school science teachers from June 21 to July 8. Teachers will work with one another and with staff scientists and educators, who will introduce them to the museum’s exhibits and lead activities and model pedagogical skills that will help relay science concepts to their students. Together, participants will carry out hands-on investigations of natural phenomena and highlight how they relate to human perception, physical science, life science, Earth science, and mathematics. The institutes support the content and pedagogy described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 

Each participant will be awarded a $2,500 stipend after completing the institute. Six graduate-level semester units of continuing education credits may be purchased. Applicants must be current in-classroom science teachers with at least three years of experience teaching science in a classroom. Educators of color and educators working in public schools, especially Title I schools, are encouraged to apply. A limited number of spaces will be reserved for out-of-state and international applicants. (Deadline March 13)

picoCTF Computer Security Competition for Students  

During March 15–29, Carnegie Mellon University will host picoCTF, a free, online computer security contest for middle and high school students. The competition aims to introduce youth to the field of cybersecurity, walking students through increasingly difficult challenges that mimic real-world cybersecurity problems. Teachers nationwide have used picoCTF as a fun learning tool, and more than 150,000 students have competed in the annual contest to date. Cash prizes are awarded to the top teams. Registration is required.

High School

Knowles Online Academy Short Course: Project Planning Pyramid—A Framework for Rigorous Math and Science Projects  

This free online short course for high school teachers will be held via Zoom on March 8. Teachers will consider and understand the Project Planning Pyramid and the three elements of the framework for rigorous math and science projects. Teachers will build on their general understanding of Project-Based Learning (PBL) as they reflect on their beliefs, knowledge, and skills as a PBL teacher in math and science.

Girls Who Code Summer Programs

Girls Who Code (GWC) invites current high school students who identify as girls or non-binary to apply to for free summer programs to be held June 17–August 12: 

  • A two-week, introductory Summer Immersion Program (SIP) will host current ninth, 10th, and 11th graders in live, virtual classrooms led by industry-leading companies. Students will learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript while getting an inside look into the tech industry. In addition, all SIP students can apply for grants of up to $500.
  • The Self-Paced Program offers independent study and real-world projects for current students in grades 9–12 to earn beginner-level badges in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for web development or an intermediate-level badge in Python for cybersecurity.

Participants also can access alumni benefits and career support for life, including pre-internship programs, a Hiring Summit, virtual mentoring, and GWC Talks webinars for career tips and strategies. Learn more on the GWC website or in a webinar, and tell students to apply here. (Deadline March 18)

Find more events and opportunities at     

Careers Climate Change Computer Science Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Inquiry Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Life Science Mathematics News NGSS Phenomena Physical Science Physics Professional Learning Research Social Justice STEM Teaching Strategies Technology Middle School Elementary High School

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