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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, January 11, 2022

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, January 11, 2022

Grades PreK–College

Empowering Student Action With the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Webinar        

Want to empower your students to see themselves as changemakers who can find solutions to problems in their lives and communities? Participate in a Green Teacher interactive webinar on January 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET and discover how to use the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to spark student-led action in your class. Discuss how students can engage in design thinking through the lens of empathy; learn about what is needed to implement an action project; and practice learning strategies to support collaborative learning and considering multiple perspectives.

Smithsonian Science Education Center STEM Education Summit   
The Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with Shell Oil Company, will host a virtual STEM Education Summit on March 19–26 to engage leadership teams from districts nationwide who have identified problems of practice related to attracting and retaining a diverse science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching workforce. Mentors are also encouraged to attend. This summit will be a highly interactive experience, with a clear outcome at the end, giving districts the tools to develop district-specific “action plans” for attracting and retaining minority STEM teachers to leadership roles while remaining in the classroom. Apply by January 21.                                    

Miami University's Earth Expeditions    

These international courses from Miami University's Project Dragonfly are university courses with field experiences that link educators with scientists, naturalists, and conservationists from around the world. Teachers can participate in inquiry and action research projects at conservation hotspots in Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. After returning home, teachers continue work on conservation and education projects in their schools and communities. (Due to COVID-19 concerns, summer 2022 courses may be offered online.)

Earth Expeditions are open to all preK–12 teachers, administrators, and university faculty, as well as educators, naturalists, and other professionals from non-school settings. Courses offer stand-alone graduate credit or can be applied to a full master’s degree. (Deadline January 28)

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision: K–12 STEM Competition

It’s not too late to win prizes for your K–12 classroom with the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision science competition! This engaging, project-based STEM competition inspires students to envision what technology might look like in the future in a collaborative, hands-on way. ExploraVision offers students scientific and engineering learning experiences and is designed for students of all interest, skill, and ability levels. And you can engage your kids in-person, in a hybrid setting, and virtually! Download free lesson plans for teachers and register online today! (Deadline January 31

ORISE Math Music Madness Lesson Plan Competition for Teachers         

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants to see how you can incorporate music into a STEM lesson plan to help build a better understanding of a subject. All K–12 teachers are invited to create and submit a math or science lesson plan that incorporates music for a chance to win a mini-grant. Three teachers who submit lesson plans will be selected to receive mini-grants up to $1,500 to help buy equipment for their classroom. (Deadline January 31)

ORISE New Year, New Tune January Social Media Contest for Teachers  
Tell ORISE who inspired you last year or who has continued to inspire you through the years. Throughout the month of January, teachers can respond to this question: Who is a STEM role model to you and why? To enter the contest, follow @ORISEconnect on social media, fill out this the survey on the website, and comment your answer on the post. (See Deadline January 31)

Three randomly selected teachers will receive a New Year, New Tune Gift Pack that will include

  • A Rocketbook Fusion
  • Bento Box Lunch Set
  • ORISE Tumbler
  • Echo Dot
  • LED Light Strip with Remote      

KidsGardening GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant     
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening have launched this grant, which will award a total of 150 programs $500 in funding to start or expand their youth gardens or greenspaces. Any school district, university, nonprofit organization, government entity, or tax-exempt organization, like religious organizations and Tribal governments, in the United States and U.S. Territories that serves at least 15 youth may apply. Applicants must use the funds to install new or expand existing youth gardens or greenspaces. This year, programs can apply for additional funding through the following specialty award categories. (Deadline February 4)

  • GroPlus Specialty Award. Designed to fund new and existing garden programs that have greater funding needs due to, but are not limited to, financial, environmental, safety, health, and regulation challenges. The award will provide 5 programs $1,000 in 2022 in addition to the $500 base award.
  • GroPride Specialty Award. Designed to fund new and existing garden programs that serve a majority of the LGBTQ+ youth. The award will provide 5 programs $1,000 in 2022 in addition to the $500 base award.
  • GroEquity Specialty Award. Designed to fund and elevate new and existing garden programs led by people of color that serve a majority of youth of color. The award will provide 5 programs $1,000 in 2022 in addition to the $500 base award.                      

Real People, Big Astronomy Live Virtual Event With Astronaut Proctor    

Would you, your students, or someone you know like to meet Astronaut Sian Proctor? Proctor is the first black woman to pilot a spacecraft, and she will be part of the Big Astronomy live virtual event on February 4 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain, and 4 p.m. Pacific). The event will feature both English and Spanish languages. Registration is required.

Fund for Teachers Grants  

Fund for Teachers, a national nonprofit, invites preK–12 teachers with at least three years of experience to propose their ideal learning experience through an online application. Also eligible are curriculum specialists or heads, special education coordinators, media specialists, and librarians who spend at least 50% of their time teaching students; they may apply as individuals or as teams. Those chosen receive funds to put their plans into action. (Individuals receive up to $5,000, and teams receive up to $10,000.) All fellowships awarded are self-designed. See also (Deadline February 24)

Project Atmosphere and Project Ocean 

The American Meteorological Society’s summer courses, Project Atmosphere and Project Ocean, are accepting applications. These competitive professional development courses for K–12 teachers feature online and in-person components, including field experiences. All travel expenses are covered, and participants receive stipends and earn tuition-free graduate credit upon successful completion. Project Atmosphere takes place in Kansas City, Missouri; Project Ocean will be held in Chestertown, Maryland. (Deadline March 25

Attention: Illinois Teachers

Are you an Illinois teacher who wishes that more creative, inclusive, Illinois-focused educational resources for your classroom would be available? Would you be interested in helping to change that? The Illinois State Museum seeks Illinois preK–12 teachers to guide the development of new digital resources by participating in a Teacher Advisory Group (TAG). A stipend will be provided through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Continuing Professional Development Unit credits will also be available.

Applications will be accepted until all teams are filled. If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Bazan or Lorna Shuman.

Elementary and Middle Level

National WWII Museum’s Real World Science Summer Teacher Seminar  

This seminar will be open to any public school teacher of grades 5–8 science, and is expected to be held on-site at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. During July 10–15, 28 teachers from around the country will spend the week learning how to use the Real World Science curriculum (updated in 2021) and best practices in science education, and will discuss activities in the physical, Earth, and life Sciences and engineering and discover how to integrate literacy practices and social studies into science investigations with students. 

Some meals will be provided, along with shared accommodations at the Higgins Hotel across the street from the museum. The museum will reimburse for standard travel to and from New Orleans for the week. Participants are expected to conduct a short workshop on Real World Science in their region and to implement the curriculum in their classroom. (Deadline March 22)

Middle Level and High School

Science FriXion STEM Student Grants     

Do you know a remarkable middle or high school student who is blazing a trail in STEM to better their communities? Pilot Pen invites teachers to nominate exceptional scholars who are going above and beyond both inside and outside of their classroom through their passion for STEM. The grants will provide a total of $50,000 to help students fund their future studies, and to help their schools continue to provide high-quality STEM education in their communities. (Deadline January 15) Five STEM Grants will be awarded to

1 Winner: Grades 7–8. $4,000 for the student; $1,000 for the school. (Must be 13 years or older);
2 Winners: Grades 9–10. $7,500 for the student; $2,500 for the school; and
2 Winners: Grades 11–12. $10,000 for the student; $2,500 for the school. 

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)  

High School

ACS-Hach Professional Development Grant   

The grant supports high school chemistry teachers as they identify and pursue opportunities that advance their professional development and enhance the teaching and learning of chemistry in their classrooms. Teachers can request up to $1,500 to fund the professional development opportunities that will improve their professional skills and student achievement. (Deadline January 21) Grants may be used for

• Conference or workshop registration fees;
• Travel expenses;
• Tuition and educational expenses for new/upcoming courses;
• Books and online instructional resources; or
• Substitute teacher pay.

High School and College

EPA’s ‘Companies Crushing Pollution’ Video Challenge

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award a total of $50,000 in prize money through the “Companies Crushing Pollution” Video Challenge. The challenge invites high school and college students and others, including people who live near industrial facilities, to create videos illustrating how businesses in the United States are reducing toxic chemical releases through innovative pollution prevention (P2) practices, and by having a positive impact on the environment and communities. Contestants may enter as individuals or as members of a team and must live in the United States or U.S. Territories. Participants have a chance to win up to $5,000. This recorded webinar discusses challenge logistics and rules. (Deadline March 1)

Find more events and opportunities at 

Astronomy Chemistry Climate Change Curriculum Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Inquiry Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Literacy Mathematics News Physical Science Professional Learning STEM Teaching Strategies Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary Preschool

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