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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, July 27, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, July 27, 2021

Grades K–College

AIAA Foundation Classroom Grants    

The AIAA Foundation believes that one of the most significant means to inspire and advance the future of aerospace is to fund grants to meet the unmet and unfunded educational need of students. Each school year, AIAA awards grants of up to $500 to worthy projects that significantly influence student learning. A clear connection to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) with an emphasis on aerospace must be included in the grant proposal. (Deadline August 31)

Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation Grants
These grants are for 501(c)(3) public charities (including public universities), with preference given to California-based groups. Eligible programs provide environmental and arts education opportunities to children and youth. Grant amounts range between $5,000 and $100,000. Letters of Intent may be submitted at any time. Two rounds of funding occur each year; the next deadline will be August 2. 

Education grants provide environmental and arts education opportunities to children and youth

  • by supporting programs for educators and artists to improve and apply their teaching skills in these subjects; and
  • by supporting efforts to advance environmental and arts education programs.

Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI) Mini-Grants
The LSI provides mini-grants to support projects that improve the health and safety of students and teachers in science labs. The projects should provide an interesting research result or a model for other schools, or develop information that can be shared and benefit others. Mini-grant requests are reviewed as they are received, and reply is normally provided within one month.

Canadian Geographic Education Free Summer Conference      

Canadian Geo Education is hosting its first virtual summer conference on August 19 with the theme “Geographic Literacy: The Power of Storytelling.” Keynote speakers include Royal Canadian Geographical Society Explorer-in-Residence and adventurer Adam Shoalts and Canadian Geographic cartographer Chris Brackley. Workshops will be available throughout the day and will focus on providing K–12 educators hands-on experiences, resources, and skills to use in their classrooms. The conference will examine the importance of storytelling through a diverse range of topics, with sessions focusing on

  • Geography as a vital component of STEM
  • Cross-disciplinary approaches to integrating geography into the curriculum
  • Outdoor education and fieldwork
  • Applying geotechnologies in the classroom
  • Developing an explorer mindset
  • Geographic thinking and inquiry
  • Indigenous education
  • Active global citizenship
  • The power of maps in telling stories

Middle Level and High School

The Coleopterists Society’s Youth Incentive Awards

The awards recognize young people who study beetles. Each of the two awards (one for the Junior level, grades 7–9, and one for the Senior level, grades 10–12) is a monetary grant of $200 and $400; awardees also will receive a matching equipment credit from the BioQuip Products catalog for $200 (Junior Award) and $400 (Senior Award). In addition, awardees will receive a one-year subscription to the society's journal, The Coleopterists Bulletin. 

The selection committee invites proposals for topics such as field collecting trips to conduct beetle species inventories or diversity studies; attending workshops or visiting entomology or natural history museums for special training and projects on beetles; studying aspects of beetle biology; and more. Each applicant is strongly encouraged to find an adult adviser (teacher, youth group leader, parent, etc.) to provide guidance in proposal development. The Coleopterists Society can assist in establishing contacts between youth and professional coleopterists. (Deadline November 1)

NASA TechRise Student Challenge     

In August, the competition will start accepting entries. Teachers can preregister and access resources from the website. Students in grades 6–12 at a U.S. public, private, or charter school will team up with schoolmates to design a research or technology experiment no larger than 4 in x 4 in x 8 in for one of the following flight test vehicles:

  • Suborbital rocket with about 3 minutes of microgravity (i.e., zero-gravity or weightlessness)
  • High-altitude balloon with more than 4 hours of flight time at 70,000 feet or higher with exposure to Earth’s atmosphere and views of the planet

Teams can win

  • $1,500 awarded to each winning school to develop the proposed experiment
  • An assigned spot for the winning experiment on a NASA-sponsored flight operated by one of the following flight providers: Blue Origin, UP Aerospace, or Raven Aerostar
  • A winner's package inclusive of a 3D-printed Flight Box to use to build the experiment

(Deadline November 3)

Embedded Teacher Program

The Embedded Teacher Program is a NASA-supported opportunity for grades 6–12 teachers in STEAM disciplines across Wisconsin to develop curriculum demonstrations and experiments related to spaceflight and microgravity. Participants will travel to the Carthage College campus in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for a workshop scheduled for October 8–9, 2021. The workshop will introduce the basic concepts of microgravity physics, the types of research conducted in space, and the curriculum opportunities for middle and high school teachers, and will provide hands-on materials and individual assistance with developing teachable explorations of microgravity science on G-FORCE ONE. 

Participants will propose experiments and demonstrations that support existing research scheduled for an upcoming ZERO-G flight. The teacher(s) selected for the flight will be “embedded” with the Carthage College space science research team as they conduct their experiments on the parabolic flight campaign. Learn more from this video. (Deadline September 3)

High School

Shaping the Future of STEM, Building Equity Through a High School STEM Internship Program 
Join STEMconnector on August 4 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time to learn about Abbott High School's STEM Internship. Launched in 2012, the internship gives students nationwide the opportunity to contribute to life-changing technologies alongside engineers and scientists who look like them. Vildan Kehr, divisional vice president of HR, Rapid and Molecular Diagnostics, will provide an overview of the program, including how it became the first high school STEM internship to be recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education, and why the internship is so important to Abbott High School. She will also discuss their decision to create a blueprint for other companies to follow. (Learn more here.) Current Abbott High School STEM interns will share their experiences in the program and how it has impacted their interest and ability to pursue, persist, and succeed in STEM.

AVS Science Educators/STEM Workshop  

High school teachers can become eligible to receive an equipment grant including a new vacuum pump and vacuum jar for your school when you attend this two-day American Vacuum Society (AVS) workshop. The workshop features high school–ready lessons that integrate science, math, and engineering using hands-on vacuum technology-based activities. It also includes an on-site visit to a major industrial or research laboratory. 

Local AVS chapters typically pay travel and lodging costs to send a teacher from their region to this hands-on workshop. After completing it, teachers receive continuing education credit. The next workshop will be held on October 25–26 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

High School and College

Free Online Workshops from HHMI BioInteractive  

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Biointeractive is offering free, online professional development workshops for high school and college life and environmental science educators. All workshops are facilitated by Ambassadors, a community of expert high school and undergraduate educators who work closely with BioInteractive to promote and support evidence-based teaching practices, drive change in science education, and elevate the professional and scholarly profile of science teaching. Workshops will be hosted on Zoom. Upcoming topics are

  • BioInteractive Across Scales: Uniting Molecular and Ecological Concepts Through the Principle of Regulation
  • Scientific Figures: Pairing Data Points With Other BioInteractive Resources
  • Using BioInteractive Resources to Explore the World of Viruses  

Find more events and opportunities at           



Aerospace Biology Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science Equity Inclusion Interdisciplinary Life Science News Physics Professional Learning old Safety STEM Teaching Strategies Technology Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary

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