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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, June 15, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, June 15, 2021

Grades PreK–College

DREAM BIG With Design: A Virtual Showcase of Landscape Architecture, PreK–12 Design Learning

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) invites preK–12 students and educators nationwide to begin the 2021–2022 school year with a two-day event, DREAM BIG with Design. The event will offer an introduction to landscape architecture and a forum for the exchange of ideas among educators, ASLA members, and design professionals. Participants will experience the work of landscape architects on outdoor space design creations on everything from school communities to skateboard parks, healing gardens, zoos, luxury resorts, museums, aquariums, and theme parks like Disney World and Legoland. DREAM BIG With Design will take place on September 23–24, and has been designed to blend into preK–12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) lesson plans. Families, teachers, counselors, design partner organizations, and others can sign up to receive registration rates and other information, including access to no-cost resources and professional development opportunities throughout the summer. Learn more about ASLA.

ORISE June Social Media Contest for Educators       

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants to know that during this summer, what are things you can incorporate into or remove from your life to help with teaching fatigue or burnout? To enter the contest, follow ORISE on social media, complete a brief survey on their website, and comment your answer on the post. Three randomly selected teachers will receive AirPods Pro. To be eligible to win, teachers must teach in the United States, a U.S. Territory, or a DoDEA school. (Deadline June 30)

Become a NOAA Ocean Guardian School   

Promote ocean conservation at your school or in your local community by becoming a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Guardian School. An Ocean Guardian School commits to protecting and conserving its local watersheds, the world’s ocean, and special ocean areas, like national marine sanctuaries. The school makes this commitment by proposing, then implementing, a school- or community-based conservation project. Any school (preK–12) in the United States may apply to participate in the Ocean Guardian School program without funding. PreK–12 schools in certain locations may apply for an Ocean Guardian School grant (see for locations). (Deadline July 1)

United States-Japan Foundation Educational Grants

The foundation awards grants to support K–12 projects that help American and Japanese students learn about each other’s society, culture, and country and work together on issues of common concern. The foundation welcomes Letters of Inquiry anytime during the year, but no later than July 15 for the fall grant cycle. Early submissions of Letters of Inquiry are strongly recommended.

Westinghouse Charitable Giving   

Westinghouse gives grants to nonprofit programs in three areas: K–12 and college/university education with a focus on STEM, environmental sustainability, and community vitality. Requests for funding are accepted on a rolling basis. Recipients must be located within 50 miles of Westinghouse sites. For a list of sites, see

ORISE STEM in the Great Outdoors Lesson Plan Competition                                            
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants to know how you incorporate the outdoors into one of your existing content-specific lesson plans. Teachers of any grade level or subject are invited to submit a STEM lesson plan that features the outdoors. Three teachers will be selected to win a mini-grant for their classroom of up to $1,500! (Deadline July 31) Prizes are

  • First prize—$1,500 mini-grant
  • Second prize—$1,000 mini-grant
  • Third prize—$500 mini-grant

Space Foundation Teacher Liaison Program  

Teacher Liaisons use space-related education programs and principles in the classroom to act as advocates for space-based education in their schools and districts. They receive Space Foundation training and resources to further integrate space into their classrooms. The program is open to preK–20 public, private, and homeschool teachers, as well as school administrators, principals, specialists, curriculum and instruction developers, and others who deliver education programs to students. This program provides benefits and privileges that improve teaching skills, strengthen resumes, and influence space and science education at an international level. More than 250 educators worldwide are active Teacher Liaisons. (Deadline September 30)


Virtual Introduction to Argument-Driven Inquiry in the Elementary Classroom Summer Workshop         

Introduction to Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) workshops can give educators a foundational understanding of the ADI instructional model. The workshops provide hands-on, learner-centered professional learning experiences that help participants develop the experience and knowledge they need to feel confident using or supporting the use of ADI in classrooms. Designed to prepare you to implement the ADI instructional model in your classroom, this virtual workshop on July 1 is intended for science educators in grades 3–5.

Elementary and Middle Level

Little Seeds Pollinator Pals Grant             

This grant from Little Seeds and KidsGardening supports youth garden programs that preserve and create pollinator habitat to help rebuild declining pollinator populations. In 2021, 18 programs will be awarded a $500 check to support the development of new and expansion of existing pollinator gardens in communities nationwide. Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States serving at least 15 youth between the ages of 2 and 14 may apply. Programs must be planning a new pollinator garden or expanding an existing one designed to teach youth about the importance of pollinators. (Deadline July 30)

Middle Level and High School

Asombro Institute Virtual Workshops

Engage your middle level and high school students in the latest science through hands-on activities about climate change. Whether you consider yourself a climate novice or expert, these workshops will help expand your climate change teaching. You will practice activities that engage students in experiments, games, and more, based on current U.S. Department of Agriculture Southwest Climate Hub research, to promote high-level thinking about climate change. Each workshop is focused on a different climate change theme; attend one or all. (Register by June 30.)

Workshops take place at 4–5:30 p.m.

  • June 21—Creating Meaningful Conversations Around Climate Change
  • June 23—Using Data to Understand Climate Change
  • June 28—Adapting to Climate Change
  • June 30—Earth Cycles

High School

Fitchburg State University Online Advanced Placement (AP) Summer Institutes                              

These teacher training institutes are designed to support all aspects of AP courses, including AP methodology, curriculum, class assignments, and examinations, as well as provide strategies for teaching AP courses. Participants should be knowledgeable in the content area and should be high school teachers who

  • are teaching an AP course for the first time;
  • have limited experience with AP courses; and
  • will be adopting or revising AP courses.

Week 1 (July 12–16, 2021; register by June 28)—AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry

Week 2 (July 19–23, 2021; register by July 6)—AP Art and Design, AP Physics 1

Find more events and opportunities at 

Biology Chemistry Climate Change Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science General Science Inquiry Life Science Mathematics News Physical Science Physics Professional Learning old STEM Teaching Strategies Technology Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary Preschool

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