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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, October 5, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, October 5, 2021

Grades PreK–College

Teaching About the IPCC Report: A Free Online Workshop

This past summer, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report. The IPCC Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, is the first installment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed in 2022. What are the most important takeaways for teachers from this new report? Are there data sources they can use in their teaching? Why should teachers and students  care about IPCC reports? Find out in this one-hour workshop on Wednesday, October 6, at 7 pm Eastern Time.

The Sparkplug Foundation Grants      
Sparkplug makes 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. They consider grant applications for amounts from $1,000 to $20,000. To apply, submit a letter of intent by October 11.  

National Fossil Day   

The National Park Service and the American Geosciences Institute are partnering to host National Fossil Day on October 13, during Earth Science Week. This nationwide celebration promotes public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as greater appreciation of the scientific and educational value of paleontology. Various high-profile events and activities are planned, and classroom activities are available online across subject areas and for all grade levels. See also the Junior Paleontologist Program on the website's Kids page.

Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grants         

Wild Ones, a not-for-profit environmental education and advocacy organization, sponsors this program. The program gives monetary grants ranging from $100 to $500 to schools, nature centers, or other nonprofit educational organizations serving preschool through high school to establish hands-on nature education areas for educating youth. Funds will be provided only for the purchase of native plants and seed. The grant project coordinator will also receive a complimentary Wild Ones one-year membership and the electronic quarterly, the Wild Ones Journal. (Deadline November 6)

Whole Kids Foundation Bee Grant Program           

This program allows a K–12 school or nonprofit organization to receive support for an educational beehive. Four grant options are available:

• Monetary grant of $1,500
• Equipment Grant: Observation Hive Equipment Grant
• Equipment Grant: Outdoor Traditional Langstroth Hive
• Equipment Grant: Outdoor Top Hive

All equipment grants include a small monetary grant of $300 to cover the first year of expenses. Grant recipients also receive remote consultation and assistance from The Bee Cause Project. (Deadline October 15)

Nuclear Science Week   

Taking place on October 18–22, Nuclear Science Week explores what it means to “Think Clean. Think Solutions. Think Nuclear.” The event is an international, broadly observed week-long celebration to focus local, regional, and international interest on all aspects of nuclear science. Each day will provide for learning about the contributions, innovations, and opportunities that can be found by exploring nuclear science. Teachers can download lesson plans, tools, and curricula information free online. The website also has videos, interviews, and experiments with industry professionals. 

SciFest All Access Virtual STEM Expo for K–12 Students, Educators, and Families  

During this virtual event happening on October 18–24, attendees can access engaging STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) resources and activities 24/7! Register online to view exhibits; check out the AstraZeneca Educator Resource Hub for classroom activities, materials, and 10- to 15-minute educator workshops; and view performances by science superstars on the Discovery Channel STEM Stage.

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision—K–12 STEM Competition

Looking to excite your K–12 students about science with real-world problem solving and project-based lessons? A free STEM competition, the ExploraVision science competition, is now open for registration! The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Competition is easy to incorporate into your curriculum whether you’re teaching virtually, in-person, or in a hybrid of both. The competition has entry prizes for all participating students, gifts for teachers, and much more. Download ExploraVision’s free lesson plans for teachers and register online today! See how ExploraVision brings the joy of STEM to students

American Heart Association Teaching Gardens Network Grant Program 

This American Heart Association program is seeking schools and educational facilities that are working to connect children to the garden, supporting health, nutrition, and environmental stewardship. Program elements include building, growing and maintaining a garden; providing a hands-on learning experience; and teaching students about healthy eating and gardening via an interactive cross-curricular, standards-based gardening and nutrition education curriculum. Grants of $2,500 will be awarded to support new or established school garden programs. (Deadline October 29)

Klorane Botanical Foundation's Budding Botanist Grant  

Any public school, charter school, or private school serving K–12 students in the United States that can demonstrate that at least 40% of their student population would qualify for free or reduced-price meals may apply. Applicants must be planning a new or expanding an existing school garden program designed to teach students about environmental sustainability and the importance of biodiversity. Proposals for projects focused on the creation of virtual garden-based learning opportunities or take-home gardening kits to better serve students engaged in remote learning will also be accepted. In early 2022, 18 grant packages valued at $1,000 will be awarded to high-need schools across the United States. (Deadline October 29)

State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants 
Education funding is directed toward initiatives supporting the following:

  • Academic performance improvement programs that impact K-12 students;
  • Education initiatives that more directly support underserved individuals (13 years and older), helping them enroll in postsecondary education and obtain the skills and credentials they need to be successful in today’s workforce;
  • Service-learning programs that provide students opportunities to connect and apply learning skills from classroom to address unmet needs that exist in their community;
  • Teacher development programs; and
  • Financial literacy.

Before applying, you must register your organization for FrontDoor, a free service that allows nonprofit administrators to manage organization details, users, and payees in one platform. The FrontDoor registration process may take up to five business days, so register early. (Deadline October 31)   

Virtual Field Trip With NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory 

Educators can take their students on a virtual field trip with NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory. As NASA’s premier X-ray telescope, Chandra provides a unique window for investigating hot regions of the universe, from black holes to exploding stars, colliding galaxies, and more. Get a backstage pass to Chandra’s Operations Control Center, tour the Chandra spacecraft through virtual reality, and take a virtual trip to some exploding stars in our own galaxy. Sessions are available through mid-December, but spots fill quickly.                 

Elementary and Middle Level

Green Teacher Harnessing Hydroponics: A Case for a System in Every Classroom Webinar  
Hydroponic systems not only provide food, but they also present real-life opportunities to enhance your curriculum. In a classroom, a hydroponic system naturally becomes a medium through which students can take charge of their learning, test new ideas, and connect to farming. At 7:30 p.m. ET, elementary and middle level teachers can learn what it takes to farm inside the classroom and how it provides a space for students to reflect, protect, and steward for the sake of our future existence.  

Middle Level

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum STEM in 30 Program Schedule   

STEM in 30 is an Emmy-nominated program for middle school students 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. Upcoming programs are

  • Mail Away, Mail Away, Mail Away, available starting October 7
  • Remote Sensing and How It Impacts Your Life, available starting November 4
  • Birds, Bats, Bugs, and Brothers: Animals Pave the Way for Human Flight, available starting December 2
  • From Hubble to Webb: Observatories in Space, available starting February 3, 2022
  • Searching for Amelia, available starting March 3, 2022
  • Unexpected Careers in Aerospace, available starting May 5, 2022

Middle Level and High School

NEACT-IMSA Chemistry Workshop  

Looking for ways to incorporate quick and engaging inquiry-based activities and labs in your chemistry classroom? Inquiry-based investigations play a critical role in learning and can be used from introduction to application of scientific concepts. In this session held jointly by the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy on October 23 at 8:30 a.m. Central Time, participants will explore how to rethink the chemistry class experience with efficient inquiry in mind. This workshop consists of a one-hour live Zoom session and a separate assignment and reflection to be completed within 30 days. Three professional development credit hours will be awarded.

High School

NSHSS Advanced Placement Teacher Grants    

National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) is providing five grants worth $1,000 to support Advanced Placement (AP) instruction in any subject. Funds may be used for supplies, materials, field trips, or other resources to enhance the delivery of AP courses. Any high school teacher or counselor currently employed at a public or private high school in the United States or internationally can apply. (Deadline October 15)

NSHSS International Baccalaureate Teacher Grants  

NSHSS will award $1,000 grants to teachers in International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. Funds may be used for supplies, materials, field trips, or other resources to enhance the delivery of IB courses. Any secondary school educator teaching an IB Diploma course in any field may apply. (Deadline October 15)

Find more events and opportunities at                

Aerospace Biology Careers Chemistry Curriculum Earth & Space Science Environmental Science General Science Inquiry Instructional Materials Lesson Plans Life Science News Physical Science Professional Learning old Social Justice Teaching Strategies Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary Preschool

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