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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, July 13, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, July 13, 2021

Grades K–College

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuaries Webinars  

This series provides educators, students, and the public with educational and scientific expertise, resources, and training to support ocean and climate literacy. The webinars generally target formal and informal educators who are engaging students (elementary through college) in formal classroom settings, as well as members of the community in informal educational venues (e.g., afterschool programs, science centers, aquariums). The upcoming topics and schedule are

  • Engineering in the Classroom With Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles, July 15 at 1 p.m. PT
  • Hawaiian Honu Take on Climate Change: Signs of a Fragile Recovery, July 15 at 3 p.m. PT
  • Diving Into Diversity, July 20 at 10 a.m. PT

National Moth Week, July 17–25  

Celebrate moths and their ecological importance, as well as their biodiversity. Groups and individuals nationwide will look for moths and share what they’ve found. Through partnerships with major online biological data depositories, National Moth Week offers everyone, everywhere a unique opportunity to become a Citizen Scientist and contribute scientific data about moths. Finding moths can be as simple as leaving a porch light on and checking it after dark.

Visit the website to learn where Moth Week events are being held, or hold your own event and register it online. The site also features videos, podcasts, a blog, and a Kids Page with activities and information for children. In addition, NSTA Press offers a book chapter on oatmeal bugs that teachers can use during Moth Week.

Fundamentals of POGIL VIRTUAL Workshop

POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) is a student-centered instructional approach. In a typical POGIL K–12 classroom or laboratory, students work in small teams with the instructor acting as a facilitator. This introductory workshop on August 4–5 is for educators with limited or no previous exposure to POGIL. Participants will learn the essential elements of POGIL pedagogy and philosophy; engage in POGIL activities and observe facilitation strategies; and be introduced to the structure of POGIL activities. (Deadline July 19)

Engaging Students in Science Investigations                                                  
Participate in two days of science professional development (PD) with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) writing team members Brett Moulding and Kenneth Huff (grades K–5 on August 4 and 5; grades 6–12 on August 9 and 10). This PD will model three-dimensional science instruction and provide details and insights into science teaching and learning consistent with A Framework for K–12 Science Education and the New York State Science Learning Standards. Sessions will feature the Gather, Reason, and Communicate Reasoning (GRC) instructional sequence and provide grade-level specific investigations for you to incorporate into your classroom. GRC lessons emphasize hands-on investigations that pique student curiosity and motivate students to learn science. 

This PD will be held live in person at SUNY Buffalo State College; an option will be available for those who choose to participate in live-online learning. Continuing Teacher and Leader Education credits will be awarded through SUNY Buffalo State College. (Deadline July 26)

ORISE July Social Media Contest for Educators

Throughout July, educators can answer this question from Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE): What are ways you can incorporate the summer Olympics or sports into your lesson plans? To enter the contest, follow @ORISEconnect on social media, fill out a short survey, and comment your answer on the post. Three randomly selected teachers will receive a complete back-to-school classroom supplies pack and a portable projector. (Deadline July 31)

Youth Learning As Citizen Environmental Scientists (YLACES) Grants

YLACES seeks applications for grants for the 2021–2022 school year. Those working with K–12 youth to do research projects through environmental citizen science can submit proposals for support to help acquire the scientific instruments or other necessary data collection tools or materials. Educators working with students both in formal education systems as well as informal education settings such as parks or nature centers, in the United States and globally, may apply. Proposals of up to $1,250 will be accepted. (Deadline July 31)

Maria Mitchell Women of Science (STEM) Symposium
The symposium is designed as a source of inspiration and support during a hands-on experience in which all attendees actively participate and engage in problem solving. Participants will connect with colleagues and mentors and devise strategies to encourage and keep girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and support women in STEM at the beginning, middle, and late career stages. Attendees will focus on such issues as retention, diversity and inclusion, and mentoring.

The symposium will take place on September 23–25 at Babson Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Keynote speakers, panels, and salon-style gatherings will offer a unique environment in which all voices can be heard and encouraged. (Registration deadline: September 10)


KidsGardening Summer Photo Contest

Enter your photos in one of these categories:

  • Kids in the Garden. Photos of kids in their gardens!
  • Indoor Gardening. Pressing flowers? Hydroponics? Starting seeds under lights? Show KidsGardening a garden activity or lesson inside.
  • Garden Selfies. Kids, let’s see your garden, selfie-style!
  • Kids With Tiny or Huge Vegetables. Tiny carrots, or maybe a zucchini that you left for the weekend?
  • Pollinators. What garden helpers can you find?
  • Sunflowers. In honor of the “Year of the Sunflower.”

Two winners selected for each of the above categories will win a $50 gift card to Gardener's Supply Company, seeds, and a kid-friendly hand tool set. Twenty honorable mentions will win seed collections. Entries are welcome from around the world, but only U.S. entries will be eligible for prizes. (Deadline August 6)

What We've Learned About Children's Podcasting With Brains On!

The Science Museum of Minnesota and Brains On! is sharing the results of three years of research studying the kids’ science podcast Brains On!. Children's science podcasts are gaining in popularity, but very little is known about their educational value. Find out what their study uncovered about who listens, why they listen, how they engage with the podcast content, impacts of listening, and design features that contribute to impacts,  as well as how Brains On! supported children's learning, worries, and family conversations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Want to learn more about these projects directly from the Brains On! hosts? Register for a free webinar on July 22 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Middle Level

STEM Tuesdays on the Mixed Up Files Blog

STEM Tuesday, a feature on the blog From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors, highlights middle level books with a particular topic in STEM. Each week the blog delves into the ways these books can be used in the classroom, offering resources for how to make connections between these STEM books and other topics, and making real-life connections to these STEM books that will encourage discussions and provide valuable resources. Interviews with real-life STEM authors and giveaways of the authors' books also take place. The blog has a team of middle grade STEM authors and enthusiasts to bring the excitement of this topic alive.

NMLSTA Webinar: Teaching Evolution Virtually or In-Person

Join the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association for a webinar on July 16 at 12 p.m. ET featuring the director of the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science, which has free student-guided evolution units to cover your evolution content standards in person or virtually. The units include

  • the slideshow with embedded online games, hands-on activities, engaging videos, and interactive websites;
  • the student response sheet;
  • the answer key and rubric; and
  • the final assessment and answer key. Dozens of other resources, free webinars, and more will also be shared.

Middle Level and High School

MOSAiC Expedition Teacher Workshop: Changing Arctic Ecosystem    

In this virtual teacher workshop on August 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mountain Time, MOSAiC Expedition scientists and curriculum developers will lead middle level and high school teachers through Carbon Detectives: Tracing the Flow of Carbon to Predict Changes in the Arctic Ecosystem, a curriculum tied to NGSS Life Science standards in which students track the flow of carbon through the Arctic food web to predict how declining sea ice might impact the Arctic ecosystem. Educators will engage with 360° virtual expeditions, authentic Arctic datasets, ArcGIS Storymaps, and more. When the course concludes, participants will be able to effectively facilitate each lesson, connecting concepts and standards back to the anchoring phenomenon, “How might declining sea ice impact Arctic organisms large and small?”

NASA TechRise Student Challenge Educator Workshops  

NASA is initiating a new competition for the 2021–22 school year, providing student teams a chance to design, build, and launch experiments on suborbital rockets and high-altitude balloon flights. Student teams in grades 6–12 can submit ideas for climate or remote sensing experiments to fly on a high-altitude balloon, and space exploration experiments to fly aboard a suborbital rocket. The winning teams each will receive $1,500 to build their payloads, as well as an assigned spot on a NASA-sponsored commercial suborbital flight.

NASA TechRise educator summer workshops will explore the basics of electronics, coding, and designing for flight. The first workshop will take place on July 28 and repeat on August 11.

Find more events and opportunities at            

Biology Citizen Science Climate Change Computer Science Curriculum Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science Equity Evolution General Science Inclusion Instructional Materials Lesson Plans Life Science New Science Teachers News NGSS Phenomena Professional Learning old STEM Teaching Strategies Technology Three-Dimensional Learning Middle School Elementary High School Informal Education Postsecondary

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