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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, May 18, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, May 18, 2021

Grades K–12

Under the Microscope: 2019 NAEP Science Results

The National Assessment Governing Board and the National Center for Education Statistics will release the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Science results for grades 4, 8, and 12 on May 25 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Beyond NAEP, the event will highlight other science education data, and a current and a former Governing Board member will answer questions about what the results mean for science education and America’s students.

USPTO Intellectual Property Monthly Workshop for K–12 Educators     

The Office of Education at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosts a monthly virtual professional development workshop for K–12 educators interested in integrating intellectual property (IP), innovation, and invention activities into their STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)/STEAM (STEM plus arts) curriculum. Educators will learn about different types of IP and IP protection, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Sessions are held on the last Tuesday of each month (this month on May 25) at 6–7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.    

The Sparkplug Foundation Grants  
Sparkplug awards grants anywhere in the United States, and in Israel/Palestine. The foundation funds startup organizations and new projects of established organizations in education, music, and community organizing. Sparkplug funds projects to educate or support communities—including, but not limited to, school-age students—that move beyond traditional classroom instruction. In keeping with its justice-oriented framework, Sparkplug funds education projects that engage excluded students in new ways, projects that restore knowledge that has been marginalized through racism or colonialism, and projects that rebuild community and collective problem-solving.

Sparkplug gives preference to projects with small budgets, projects of “smallish” organizations, and projects less likely to receive corporate, institutional, or government funding. The foundation considers grant applications for amounts from $1,000 to $20,000. Most grants are in the $10,000 to $15,000 range. (Deadline May 27)  

Teaching Space With NASA Live Webinar: Tracking Asteroids

Paul Chodas of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies and education specialist Brandon Rodriguez will discuss how NASA tracks asteroids and comets and monitors potential hazards from these space objects. The presentation on June 9 at 3–4 p.m. Pacific Time will include a live Q&A session and a short discussion for K–12 educators on how to bring this science into the classroom with NASA resources.

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest/Educator Innovation Awards
Ocean Awareness Contest is a platform for young people ages 11–18 worldwide to learn about environmental issues through art-making and creative communication, explore their relationship to a changing world, and become advocates for positive change. The contest theme, “Water Rising,” challenges students to explore and understand their connection to water, and to creatively communicate the need to protect this vital resource. Students can earn cash awards of up to $1,500. (Deadline June 14)

Teachers or program coordinators who effectively and creatively bring the Ocean Awareness Contest into their physical or virtual classrooms—teaching entire groups of students about environmental issues and empowering them to be stewards of our blue planet, while meeting important educational standards—may apply for Bow Seat Educator Innovation Awards of $750. To be considered, or to nominate an educator, complete the online form by July 1. 

Virtual Introduction to Argument-Driven Inquiry in Engineering (ADI-E) Summer Workshop                      
This workshop is designed to provide educators with a foundational understanding of the ADI instructional model. Taking place June 21–22, the workshop provides 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-E in classrooms.

Attendees will participate in all eight stages of an actual ADI-E STEM Design Challenge from start to finish. The workshop will model a design challenge for middle school using a method that is transferable to elementary and high school settings. Attendees will receive a few pre-publication design challenges that they can try in their own classrooms.

WPI’s Free Online STEM Teaching Programs  

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is offering these free Online STEM Teaching programs this summer.

  • TouchTomorrow for Educators, grades preK–12, June 7–10. Learn about bringing STEM to your students through STEM challenges.
  • STEM Educator Certificate Course, grades preK–12, July 26–30, and two follow-up half-day sessions in the fall. Earn a STEM Certificate from WPI, and learn to design a high-quality integrated STEM Challenge that aligns with STEM standards of your choice. 
  • Seeds of STEM, grades preK–K, August 3–4 and October 15–16. Experience this hands-on approach to doing STEM with young children.
  • From Standards to Real World Problems (PBL), grades preK–12, July 20–21. This hands-on experience will immerse you in the problem-solving process and show you how to guide your students to content and skill mastery, both in the classroom and virtually.
  • Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism for High-Quality STEM Learning, grades preK–12, August 10–11. Find out what it means to be antiracist, and explore the barriers to inclusion in STEM. Learn how to reframe the issues and implement strategies such as culturally responsive teaching to work toward equity in STEM.

Middle Level and High School

Towson University Climate Literacy and NGSS Workshop

The Towson University Center for STEM will offer an online professional development workshop focusing on climate literacy and supporting Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for secondary science teachers in grades 6–12. This year's workshop will be completely online during June 28 to July 3, with both synchronous and asynchronous meetings. Participants will learn about three different classroom climate change activities and how they connect to the three dimensions (practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas) of the NGSS. Participants will receive up to $200 in resources, including materials to conduct climate change activities in their classrooms; access to a community of fellow educators committed to climate change education; a certificate documenting their successful completion of the training; and Continuing Professional Development credits (2) for teachers who successfully complete the workshop. (Deadline June 1)

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? Apply for these grants to bring your project to life! The application deadline for projects for grades 6–12 for grants of up to $5,000 is June 1.

University of Connecticut's School of Engineering DaVinci Project PD/Training Workshops

This week-long (July 12–16) series of hands-on workshops is designed to supplement or increase science and math teachers’ knowledge, understanding, or confidence connecting engineering (and various engineering projects and applications) to their classroom and curriculum. Teachers will commute to the university’s Storrs campus and participate in one of six workshops, as well as many other seminars and tours through research labs, state-of-the-art water reclaim and wastewater facilities, or the CoGeneration Power Plant. Workshops to be held are

1. Bioinformatics: Using Computer Science to Understand Life
2. Innovative Underwater Robotics for STEM Projects
3. Environmental [In]justice Workshop
4. Monitoring and Maintaining Stream Health in a Developed Watershed
5. Understanding Pain: An Unpleasant Sensory and Emotional Experience in Your Brain
6. Image Processing, Machine Learning, and Patterns

High School and College Levels

BioBuilder Summer Workshops

Workshops combine classroom, laboratory, and design activities. Participating teachers will have access to BioBuilder's online lectures, readings, and activities to cover at their own pace over two weeks, then can join two live laboratory sessions to synchronously prepare and run the BioBuilder experiment, the Eau That Smell experiment. Teachers will receive a copy of the BioBuilder textbook and an Eau That Smell kit, sent to their school in advance. Session 1: June 30–July 15 (Deadline June 16). Session 2: July 21–August 5 (Deadline July 7).

Find more events and opportunities at 

Assessment Biology Climate Change Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Life Science Mathematics News NGSS Professional Learning Science and Engineering Practices STEM Teacher Preparation Teaching Strategies Three-Dimensional Learning Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary Preschool

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