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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, February 8, 2022

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, February 8, 2022

Grades K–12

Fermilab's Virtual Family Open House      

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s annual Family Open House returns. Families and kids of all ages can experience America’s premier particle physics laboratory from the comfort of their homes, and teachers can engage in the events with their students during virtual classroom visits. All events and activities taking place from February 9 to 13 are free, but advance registration is required. Activities will include live talks, pre-recorded “on-demand” demos and activities, trivia, and virtual tours of the lab facilities; see

This year’s schedule will feature a chance to hear about experiments such as the Muon g-2 experiment, which released first results in April 2021 that captivated the world. The “Iron Scientist” competition returns, with Fermilab staff members competing to create homemade physics demos. Perennial favorites like the Mr. Freeze cryogenics show and Ask-A-Scientist will make an appearance via Zoom. Visitors can see webinars on topics including physics, art, and ecology. And lab staff will read STEM-themed bedtime stories on Facebook Live each evening at 7 p.m. Central Time.

Arctic Educators Fair    

Calling all Alaskan and Arctic-inspired teachers: Pre-register for the first annual Arctic Educators Fair. Taking place at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on February 16, this 90-minute event will bring together educators and Arctic scientists who are actively studying the changing Arctic. Participating educators will engage with scientists to

  • Learn about contemporary Arctic research;
  • Find opportunities to connect your students with Arctic scientists; and
  • Explore existing teacher resources, including place-based science initiatives and art projects.

Great Backyard Bird Count: Citizen Science Opportunity  

This event takes place February 18–21 in backyards, parks, nature centers and on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies, and beaches—anywhere you find birds worldwide. Bird-watchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at All the data contribute to a snapshot of bird distribution and help scientists see changes over the past 20 years.

All you need is a free Cornell Lab of Ornithology account to participate. Cornell Lab's free Merlin Bird ID app can help you ID a bird, and you can enter your sighting right from the app. (Get it at Watch a welcome video at

Arnold/Brownberry/Oroweat Organic Spring Planting Grant 2022   

SeedMoney and Arnold/Brownberry/Oroweat Organic Breads are sponsoring the grant to provide resources for public food gardens to thrive. This spring, grants of $5,000 each will be awarded to food garden projects located in San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Atlanta, GA; Denver, CO; Washington, D.C.; Milwaukee, WI; Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA; New York City, NY; Austin, TX; Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX; Houston, TX; Portland, ME; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh-Durham, NC; and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Twenty grants total will be awarded, one per city. 

Applicants must be an organization operating one or more public food gardens in the greater metropolitan areas of one of the cities; a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or applying through a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) status; and if chosen, willing to participate actively in traditional and social media outreach about the grant program. Funds can be used either for general operating support or for a new project or initiative. (Deadline February 28)

ORISE Artificial Intelligence Lesson Plan Competition    

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants to see how you include education about artificial intelligence in your classroom. Teachers of any grade level or subject are invited to submit an original science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) lesson plan that includes the topic of artificial intelligence. Three winners will receive mini-grants:

  • 1st place: $1,500 mini-grant
  • 2nd place: $1,000 mini-grant
  • 3rd place: $500 mini-grant (Deadline February 28)

CEDAM International's Lloyd Bridges Scholarship          

This scholarship enables a qualified educator to join the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Volunteer Fish Survey Project's Roatan Field Survey Trip, taking place June 4–11. CEDAM International will cover the full cost of the trip, including an allowance for meals and reimbursement of up to $1,200 for air transportation. REEF Field Surveys are led by REEF staff or expert volunteers; participants have the opportunity to collect data, participate in daily talks, and interact with REEF members, staff, and local partner organizations. This is a hands-on experience that gives participants the opportunity for experiential learning in and out of the water.

Applicants must be a certified scuba diver, a teacher (elementary or secondary level), or actively engaged in an education program at an institution or environmental organization, such as an aquarium, science center, or relevant nonprofit organization. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of both merit and financial need. (Deadline March 1)

NEH Summer Institute: Pandemics in History, Literature, and Today

In this National Endowment for the Humanities institute, participants will delve deeply into the global history of the 1918 influenza pandemic; discuss literature related to its cultural and personal impact; work with archival, primary source materials from front-line workers of 1918; and compare these historical, literary, and archival descriptions with histories being gathered of the current pandemic. The institute will demonstrate how medical content can be integrated into the study of global history and literature of the 20th century.

Participants will return to their classrooms with lessons that unite history, literature, rhetoric, and science, and new approaches for building skills in source analysis, reasoning, and argumentation. In return for full participation in the project, participants will receive a $2,200 stipend. The institute will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, July 11–22. (Deadline March 1

NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium LiftOff Summer Institute      

The institute is a weeklong training event at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, sponsored by NASA's Texas Space Grant Consortium. This year’s theme is "The Artemis Generation." Attendees will explore NASA’s plans to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. Participants will attend presentations by NASA scientists and engineers, tour NASA facilities, and receive hands-on, inquiry-based classroom activities aligned to education standards. Applicants must be U.S. citizens currently employed as classroom teachers of grades 5–12 with at least one year of teaching experience. (Deadline March 7)                                             

Endangered Species Day

Teachers and students, celebrate the 17th annual Endangered Species Day on May 20. Endangered Species Day, first celebrated in 2006, offers biology, ecology, oceanography, general science, and other teachers an opportunity to educate students about the importance of protecting threatened and endangered plant and animal species. Some ways to celebrate include these:

  • Read an article or book about an endangered species; discuss why it is endangered and ideas for how to help protect the species.
  • Schedule a guest speaker from a local conservation organization to talk to your class about a local endangered species.
  • Watch a documentary, film, or television program featuring endangered species (such as an episode of Planet Earth) and discuss it.
  • Have students write a column about endangered species for the school’s newsletter or to submit to a local news publication. 
  • Have students write and/or illustrate children’s books about endangered species and read them to younger students.
  • Plant a pollinator garden on school grounds to provide habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies. 

More event ideas and resources are available at, including stickers, bookmarks, and coloring and activity sheets, and a list of suggested books and films. You can plan events earlier in May or on Endangered Species Day itself. Once a specific activity is planned, the class can register it on the website on a map of events happening worldwide.

Elementary Level

Bonnie Plants Third-Grade Cabbage Program  

Bonnie Plants will award a $1,000 scholarship to one third grader in each state (except Alaska and Hawaii) for growing a cabbage in the third-grade cabbage program. The drawing will be done by state agriculture department representatives and is based on the size and maturity of the cabbage grown by the student. Free plants will be delivered in early spring 2022. Students will then have until September 2022 to grow their cabbage and submit their entries.

Middle Level

Smithsonian's Stories of Women of Color in STEM e-Book Webinar   

Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) recently released Stories of Women of Color in STEM, an e-book that highlights contributions to science and innovation from women of color. From pharmacologist and Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou to mathematician Gladys West, readers will learn how women have defied gender stereotypes and overcome structural barriers to advance the STEM industry, and how their current work creates a more inclusive future. 

The Stories of Women of Color in STEM e-book webinar, happening at 4 p.m. ET on February 15, gives students the opportunity to learn how to explore their interests and navigate career opportunities in STEM. They’ll hear from two trailblazing women featured in the e-book who turned their passions into a profession.

Wings Over Water STEM Education Workshop

Wings Over Water (WOW) brings STEM research into middle school classrooms and can spark student interest in biology, physics, chemistry, math, and engineering through the study of ospreys. The program starts by building E-STEM capacity for teachers, with an intensive professional development experience. Teachers become Osprey experts during a week-long, interactive, and field-based summer institute at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, July 11–15. Join peers, researchers, and E-STEM professionals to experience real, interactive field work as you collect data, band Osprey chicks, see flight physics in action, visit ecologically important sites, and more. 

Teachers return to the classroom with a rich curriculum that is built around Next Generation Science Standards and can be tailored to each classroom’s needs. Teachers participating will have all expenses paid. In addition to lodging, all meals during the workshop, and ground transportation during the workshop, WOW will reimburse your travel expenses for your trip to Missoula. (Deadline February 20)

Middle Level and High School

Toshiba America Foundation Science and Math Improvement Grants    

Do you have an innovative idea for improving STEM learning in your classroom? Does your idea involve project-based learning with measurable outcomes? What do you need to make learning STEM subjects fun for your students? Apply for these grants to bring your project to life! Application deadline for grades 6–12 for up to $5,000 is March 1. 

High School

Exploring Student Work to Build an Understanding of Student Engagement in Science Practices

In this Knowles Academy online course, high school teachers will explore a phenomenon to develop an understanding of how the practices of questioning, modeling, and data analysis support students in building content knowledge. Together teachers will consider places in their curriculum where phenomena and science practices can support students in building content knowledge. The course will be held on February 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Zoom.

Find more events and opportunities at     

Biology Careers Chemistry Citizen Science Curriculum Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Literacy Mathematics News NGSS Phenomena Physical Science Physics Professional Learning Science and Engineering Practices STEM Teaching Strategies Middle School Elementary High School Informal Education

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