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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, November 30, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, November 30, 2021

Grades PreK–College

Free NASA-Themed Activities for Computer Science Ed Week

Are you ready for Computer Science Education Week (December 6–10)? Tynker offers 11 free NASA-themed coding activities for grades K–12. Young students and beginners can try Tynker Block-based coding projects like Design a Mission Patch, while more advanced coders can tackle more complex projects like Terrain Generator that use processing (p5.js) and real NASA data.

Greening Canada’s School Grounds Program

Students with access to green spaces have an enhanced learning experience and improved outcomes in science, math, and language arts, according to studies. Access to green space also fosters improved mental well-being and overall health. Tree Canada supports greening projects wherever learning takes place: from elementary schools in Newfoundland to vocational learning centers in British Columbia. Up to $3,500 in funding is available per project. (Deadline December 6)

U.S. Department of Education STEM Webinar: Environmental Literacy                                   
Environmental literacy programming connects students to their communities and the environment around them, contend the U.S. Department of Education and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "With environmental literacy programming, students and educators work to apply Earth system science, civics, and interdisciplinary learning to understand and address complex local and global environmental challenges," according to the agencies. During this webinar at 3:30–5 p.m. Eastern Time on December 9, explore how federal, state, and local partners are engaged in environmental literacy programming and learn about resources for supporting environmental literacy programming in your area. A closed-captioned recording will be available 48 hours after the event.

Air Force Association Educator Grants  

The Air Force Association provides $500 grants to 40 educators for projects that significantly enhance student learning. The Educator Grant program encourages teachers to develop innovative aerospace activities within the prescribed curriculum. One grant per teacher—maximum of two teachers per school—will be considered. Proposed activities that relate to aerospace science and technologies will receive preference. (Deadline December 15)

Cornell Lab’s Celebrate Urban Birds Mini-Grants      

Cornell Lab of Ornithology gives organizations mini-grants to help fund events that center Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in birdwatching and ornithology. Community-led applications that focus on sharing community knowledge and expertise and emphasize culture and the arts will receive preference. Organizations that work with underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply for the mini-grants, which range from $250 to $2,500.
Virtual events, whenever possible, are encouraged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mini-grants are awarded to organizations from Canada, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. (Deadline December 15)'s Youth Garden Grants      

Any public or private school, nonprofit organization, or youth program in the United States or U.S. Territories planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. Chosen applicants will receive a $250 check and materials to grow their garden program. Forty programs will receive packages worth $1,050; five programs will receive the base package plus a $1,000 tool grant from Corona Tools; and five programs will receive the base package plus two Garden Towers from Garden Tower Project. (Deadline December 17)

OpenSciEd Research Agenda Project Grants           

Digital Promise and the Carnegie Corporation of New York are offering support for teams of researchers to develop OpenSciEd–enabled grant proposals. The OpenSciEd Research Agenda project will award between 6 and 10 seed grants of $6,000 to $10,000 to support scholars’ efforts to advance a proposal concept. The supported activities will result in the submission of a competitive grant proposal valued at $250,000 or more to a federal program (e.g., National Science Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences), philanthropic foundation, or other grant-awarding organization. The proposal concept could address (but is not limited to) themes identified in the OpenSciEd Research Agenda white paper

Read about the full research agenda. Apply online by December 17 at

Antarctica Month Festival       

The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration is a United States-United Kingdom program studying Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. Throughout December, the program staff invite you and your students to participate in an Antarctica Month Festival, with events sorted by age group. The festival offers a great opportunity to engage your students in why the polar regions matter. Activities and videos match science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) themes, exploring careers, working with data, solutions-based science, and more. Visit the website for the following:

Short Science Videos with matching activities focused for different ages and topics; 
Ask a Scientist—Students can submit questions through December 10; and
Student competition—Students can build a model of Thwaites Glacier with family and friends. They'll submit a photo of their Thwaites Glacier, along with a suggestion for how to tackle climate change either on a personal, family, school, community, national, or global level. Prizes will be awarded!

ITEEA Gerhard Salinger Award Nominations            

The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) presents this award to an individual or team of collaborators whose work has exemplified, promoted, investigated, and/or enhanced STEM teaching and learning through the effective application of technological/engineering design activity. Nominees can include classroom teachers, university educators, school administrators, and others whose contributions are consistent with the selection criteria. The awardee will receive a framed certificate of award and recognition at the Council on Technology and Engineering Teacher Education Awards Banquet and at the ITEEA Awards Luncheon. (Deadline December 29)

Walmart Local Community Grants 

These grants provide funding directly from Walmart and Sam’s Club facilities to local nonprofit organizations in the United States. Eligible organizations include K–12 public or nonprofit private schools; charter schools; community/junior colleges; state/private colleges or universities; or church or other faith-based organizations with a proposed project that benefits the community at large. Applicants must operate on the local level (or be an affiliate/chapter of a larger organization that operates locally) and directly benefit the service area of the facility from which they are requesting funding. Grant amounts range from $250 to $5,000. (Deadline December 31

Katie's Krops Youth Growers Grants
Youth selected as Katie’s Krops Growers get what they need to grow a garden in their community and enhance the health of their cities and towns. A child, or a group of children, can apply if they are ages 7–16 as of December 31 and live in the United States. Applications for all types of vegetable gardens, such as a container garden near a city, or a vegetable garden located in a neighborhood or at school, will be considered. The growers decide where the garden will be grown and where they will donate their harvest based on their community’s needs. 
Growers receive an all-inclusive grower kit that includes items necessary to start a garden in their backyard, on their balcony or patio, and so on. This box may consist of seeds, a hose, a watering can, a sprayer nozzle for the hose, educational materials, information on good/bad bugs and diseases, a pH testing kit, a trowel, gardening gloves, pruners, organic fertilizer, plant markers, and a gift card to purchase soil. (Deadline December 31)                                                                

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision—K–12 STEM Competition

Why not give Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision a try during the holidays? ExploraVision allows kids to brainstorm ideas for new technological innovations in response to current real-world issues. By involving your students in ExploraVision, they can ease into a combination of science, engineering, technology, and creativity as they collaborate in teams. All they need is an imagination! 

The competition is free and easy to incorporate into your curriculum, whether you’re teaching virtually, in-person, or in a hybrid of both. Download ExploraVision’s free lesson plans for teachers and register online today! (Deadline January 31, 2022)

Middle Level and High School

Digital Earth Academy: Virtual Field Trip on Biodiversity 
During this worldwide field trip on December 7, students will explore biodiversity. Using visualizations, interactive polls, and real-time Q&A, students will make observations, comparisons, and connections and gain a new perspective of the Earth. During the virtual field trip, multiple classrooms from across the continent will simultaneously connect. A select number of classrooms will be invited to ask questions on-camera. 

Middle Level Through College

Teach Climate Network Workshop: Supporting Youth Leaders   
Educators attending this free workshop on December 16 will talk with youth in the climate justice movement, learn how to support diverse youth leadership, and discover ways to inspire civic engagement in their classroom. They will leave with ideas of how to connect their students to climate change action and tips for supporting their students as leaders in their communities. This workshop will take place via Zoom at 6 p.m. Central Time.

High School

Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship Program          

Amazon believes supporting underserved students in their computer science education is vital to building a diverse tech industry and future. Its Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship program enables students to enhance their careers with a scholarship. Every year Amazon offers college scholarships—including a paid internship opportunity at Amazon—to high school students who plan to study computer science in college. The company will choose 100 high school seniors nationwide to receive $40,000 for college and a guaranteed internship coding at Amazon after their freshman year. 

Students must be U.S. high school seniors enrolled or previously enrolled in computer science–related coursework. (Students who have not taken this course can choose to take an assessment offered by Amazon.) In addition, students must have a 3.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent) and must demonstrate financial need. (Deadline January 25, 2022)

Find more events and opportunities at 

Aerospace Careers Climate Change Computer Science Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Interdisciplinary Life Science Literacy Mathematics News NGSS Professional Learning Research Science and Engineering Practices Social Justice STEM Technology Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary Preschool

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