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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, May 4, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, May 4, 2021

Grades K–College

Dorothy Stout Professional Development Grants

These grants from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) are awarded to faculty and students at two-year colleges and K–12 teachers to support the following: participation in Earth science classes or workshops; attendance at professional scientific or science education meetings; participation in Earth science field trips; and purchase of Earth science materials for classroom use. Awards of $750 will be made annually in three categories: Community College Faculty, Community College Student, and K–12 Educator. Recipients will also be given a one-year membership to the NAGT, which includes an online subscription to the Journal of Geoscience Education and the In The Trenches magazine. (Deadline May 15)

NOAA 2021 Hurricane Preparedness Week Materials

NOAA Hurricane Preparedness Week 2021 materials can be used during Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 9–15), as well as before then and throughout the year! Spanish versions of the graphics and social media plan are also available. Check out this hurricane activity for grades 5–12, which complements the above materials. Students research and report on Hurricane Katrina using an Earth systems science analysis approach in this problem-based learning module. 

QUEST Professional Development—From Farm to Fork: Analysis of Food Systems 
This summer during June 27–July 2, join QUEST to investigate the processes and factors involved in agriculture from “farm to fork." Through the topic of food, you will learn about the human connections that impact agricultural, economic, and environmental systems. Food will be the relevant problem through which you will learn how to ask and answer scientific questions, then use what you’ve learned to reshape the science lessons you teach. (Register by May 15.)              

ORISE Summertime STEM Activity Plan Competition

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants your K–12 STEM activity plans for students that can be completed at home during the summer. (Deadline May 31) Three teachers will be awarded a complete summer kit for their at-home activity plans. The summer kits will include the following:

  • Yeti Rambler 30oz Tumbler
  • ENO Doublenest Hammock
  • Mini Portable Pocket Projector
  • Picnic Basket Backpack
  • ENO Atlas Hammock Straps
  • Yeti Tundra 35 Cooler

NOAA Planet Stewards Project Grant Funding   

Formal and informal educators working with elementary- through university-age students can apply for funding up to $5,000 for their schools and communities to implement stewardship projects that make a measurable impact in their community. Projects must focus on one of these areas: marine debris, habitat conservation and restoration, carbon footprint reduction, or carbon sequestration. (Deadline June 6)

National Park Service (NPS) Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Program

This extended professional development program for K–12 educators aims to provide teachers an opportunity to learn about NPS educational resources and themes while earning continuing education graduate credits through a partnership between the NPS and the University of Colorado Denver. The program offers teachers a unique opportunity to enhance their teaching skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) or history and civics fields through working directly with NPS scientific data and primary resources. Teachers will spend several weeks in an immersive, on-site experience in a park or NPS program office producing a major project of NPS-based educational materials or programs and complete three graduate credit hours of coursework in Experiential Learning online. Stipends will be provided.

Applicants are required to attend an orientation webinar that outlines the program and lesson plan requirements. The training webinar will be presented twice: June 16 and July 21.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Teacher Research Academy Workshops
The Teacher Research Academy (TRA) offers middle school, high school, and community college faculty unique professional development workshops that support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Disciplinary Core Ideas and Scientific and Engineering Practices. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year LLNL is offering free virtual TRA workshops. Workshop time will consist of online classroom instruction and independent assignments. Participants will have presentations by LLNL scientists and engineers, virtual tours of LLNL Centers, and engagement with other participants in real-time. These workshops will be held:

  • 3-D Print and Design, June 28–July 2
  • Fusion and Astrophysics, June 14–18
  • Modeling for Science and Math, June 21–25
  • Technical Writing for Science Class, June 14–16
  • Physics With Phone Sensors, Session 1: June 28–July 2, 2021; Session 2: July 12–16, 2021

TeachEngineering’s Summer Virtual Workshops

Learn to integrate engineering into your STEM classroom in these two-day workshops that aim to enhance your design thinking and doing skills and introduce you to applications of real-world science and technology, the three-dimensional elements of NGSS, and more. These workshops are the first preK–12 engineering design teacher workshops endorsed by the American Society of Engineering Education. Graduate teacher education credit is available for each workshop. This summer’s offerings are Integrating Engineering Design Into Your PK–12 STEM Curriculum (June 14–15 or August 9–10) and Engineering Prototyping and Pedagogy Skills and Tools for PK–12 (June 16–17 or August 11–12).


STEMz Learning's Free Online Courses for Elementary Students

STEMz Learning strives to provide students with curriculum centered around experiments and hands-on learning. The organization’s main goal is to introduce complex topics in palatable, engaging ways. Their courses, which feature a combination of nontraditional curriculum and experiment-driven learning, will be held this summer via Zoom at 10–11 a.m. Pacific Time daily. Registration opens on May 1. 

  • Psychology—June 7–10. This class will give students an interactive overview of the field of psychology. Students will explore topics such as memory, heuristics, and brain structure. Register by May 31.
  • Zoology—June 21–25. This class offers an interactive overview of the field of zoology, covering topics such as taxonomy, biodiversity, and anatomy. Register by June 14.
  • Astronomy—July 5–8. Students will experience an interactive overview of the field of astronomy, exploring topics such as black holes, the solar system, and space exploration. Register by June 28.
  • Basics of Coding, July 19–22. This course provides an interactive overview of coding. No coding experience is required! Students will use Scratch to learn about conditional statements, loops, and sensors. Register by July 12.

Elementary and Middle Level

QUEST Climate and the Ocean Professional Development

During July 6–9 (via Zoom between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.), join QUEST for this virtual summer program in which participants will explore various interactions between the ocean and climate systems. Each session is co-taught by content experts, researchers, and lead teachers so that participants develop skills to apply science/math content knowledge in their classrooms. (Deadline May 15)

Middle Level

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum STEM in 30 Program 

STEM in 30 is an Emmy-nominated program produced by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. New episodes are released every month, followed by an Air and Space Live Chat, in which you and your students can tune in live at 1 p.m. ET and ask Smithsonian's experts your questions. The next episode and chat will feature Careers in Aviation and Space: Episode on May 6; Live Chat on May 13. 

Middle Level and High School

FDA Virtual Professional Development Program in Food Science  
This free program features Science and Our Food Supply, a science curriculum focusing on food safety, nutrition, and biotechnology. Learn how to provide inquiry-based lessons in food science. Middle and high school science, agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, and health educators who are U.S. citizens may apply. Training will last for six days: July 12–16 and July 19. Register by May 15.  

The Science and Our Food Supply curriculum guides on food safety, nutrition, and ag biotech on which the program is based are available here. Educators should review these guides before applying for the workshop.

Summer 2021 Future of Forests Teacher Workshops   

The Future of Forests 10-lesson middle/high school unit is centered around the anchoring phenomenon of post-fire landscape recovery, with each lesson tied to NGSS Life Science Standards (LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience). Through engaging online interactives and numerous case studies, students gather evidence to construct conceptual models to explain the unit’s driving question: How do landscapes recover after a wildfire? The Future of Forests virtual workshops provide participants with the tools/strategies to implement the curriculum in their classrooms as well as a certificate for 10 PD hours and the option to purchase 1 credit ($80) from the University of Colorado Boulder. Choose from two sessions: June 22–23 or July 27–28.

High School

ASM's Kishor M. Kulkarni Distinguished High School Teacher Award                                    
This award, offered by ASM International, the materials information society, recognizes the accomplishments of a high school science teacher who has demonstrated a significant and sustained impact on pre-college-age students. Candidates must be a full- or part-time actively employed high school teacher in the United States or Canada. The award includes a $2,000 cash grant plus the recipient's travel cost of up to $500 (to receive the award at the ASM Awards Dinner). (Deadline June 30)

Stanford Program for Inspiring the Next Generation of Women in Physics (SPINWIP)

SPINWIP, a virtual summer outreach program hosted by the Stanford University Physics Department, aims to get high school girls excited about physics. This three-week (July 12–30) program is completely free to participants, and is held through video chat. No prior knowledge of physics or coding is required. Students will learn about cutting-edge research in physics in fields such as quantum physics, quantum computing, astrophysics, and cosmology. They will have the opportunity to form mentorship relationships with Stanford students and professors.
Students from countries outside the United States also may apply. Preference will be given to first-generation students and students from underrepresented backgrounds in physics, as well as rising juniors. While SPINWIP is geared toward women in physics, students of all genders and gender identities may apply. Applications for summer 2021 will be accepted until May 23.

Find more events and opportunities at

Aerospace Astronomy Biology Careers Climate Change Computer Science Curriculum Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science General Science Inclusion Inquiry Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Literacy Mathematics News NGSS Physical Science Physics Professional Learning old STEM Teaching Strategies Three-Dimensional Learning Middle School Early Childhood Elementary High School Postsecondary Preschool

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