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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, September 21, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, September 21, 2021

Grades K–College

Vernier Software & Technology Grants  

To thank science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators for their hard work, dedication, and their support over the last 40 years, Vernier Software & Technology will award $1,000 grants to 40 STEM educators. Each educator will receive $1,000 worth of Vernier technology of their choice, an annual license for Vernier Graphical Analysis Pro, and virtual professional development to further support their teaching. The grants are open to all K–12 and college educators who are actively teaching at an educational institution in the United States. To apply, educators must describe how they will implement the $1,000 worth of Vernier technology in their classroom or laboratory, what their educational institution’s needs are, and how the funding will enhance their instruction and engage students. (Deadline November 5)

U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program                      

The program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K–12 STEM educators to serve 11 months in a federal agency or U.S. Congressional office. Einstein Fellows bring their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to their host offices to inform federal STEM education efforts. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are currently employed full time in a U.S. public or private elementary or secondary school or school district. Educators must have been teaching full time in a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least five of the last seven years in a STEM discipline. Fellows receive a $7,500 monthly stipend and a $5,000 housing allowance, as well as reimbursement for moving expenses. (Deadline November 18)

Dominion Energy’s Environmental Education and Stewardship Grants 
These grants go to nonprofit organizations and public and private K–12 schools in areas Dominion serves (see the website for a list of states and areas served). Grants of up to $50,000 are available for short-term environmental projects with measurable results; K–12 schools will receive up to $5,000. Projects should educate students about environmental stewardship, help protect and preserve natural habitats, or improve open spaces and make nature more accessible. (Deadline September 30)

National Nanotechnology Day     

A joint project of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office and scientific societies, National Nanotechnology Day features a series of community-led events and activities on or around October 9 to help raise awareness of nanotechnology, how it's currently used in products that enrich our daily lives, and the related challenges and opportunities the future holds. In support of National Nanotechnology Day, the American Chemical Society is highlighting the contributions of chemistry to this field on its nano-focused microsite. The site features education tools for teachers, including lesson plans and video profiles of leading chemists sharing their visions of nanotechnology's future, as well as other videos and podcasts.

Earth Science Week     

The American Geosciences Institute holds this event to promote awareness of the importance of Earth science in education and society. This year's theme is “Water Today and for the Future.” The event will focus on the importance of learning how to understand, conserve, and protect water. Topics include energy, climate change, the environment, natural hazards, technology, industry, agriculture, recreation, and the economy. Visit the website for educational materials, activities, and details about events. 


Toshiba America Foundation Science and Math Improvement Grants                                      
K–5 teachers, do you have an innovative idea for improving STEM learning in your classroom? Does your idea involve project-based learning with measurable outcomes? What do you need to make learning STEM subjects fun for your students? Apply for these grants of up to $1,000. (Deadline October 1)

STEMz Learning's Free Fall Classes for Elementary Students    

Explore the topics of zoology, coding, and astronomy in these free, virtual, month-long courses, open to all elementary school students.

  • Zoology: October 2-30, every Saturday at 4-5 pm
  • Basics of Coding: November 6-27, every Saturday at 4-5 PM
  • Astronomy: December 4-18, every Saturday at 4-5 PM.                                

Elementary and Middle Level

National Geographic Explorer Classroom Sessions

Explorer Classroom connects classrooms worldwide with National Geographic Explorers, bringing science, exploration, and conservation to life through live video events. Students have the opportunity to ask the explorer their questions directly. Explorer Classroom also provides supporting resources for educators. All times are Eastern.

  • Protecting Nigeria’s Chimpanzees. September 23, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Grades 4–8
  • Hidden Plastics. September 27, 11 a.m. Grades K–3
  • The Scale of Planetary Systems. September 30, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Grades 4–8

The Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grants       

The Herb Society of America awards grants to public and private school teachers of grades 3–6 with classes of at least 15 students. The society will award 10 $300 grants to establish indoor or outdoor herb gardens. The funds may be used for supplies such as soil, plant trays, containers, and child or youth sized tools. (Deadline October 1)

AEOP and Future Engineers We <3 Veterans Pin Design Challenge  
The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) has partnered with Future Engineers to launch the challenge, which invites elementary and middle level students to design a wearable 3D pin that shows their appreciation for our veterans. Ten finalists will have their designs printed and distributed to veterans at the National Veterans Museum in Columbus, Ohio. The winner's school, library, or organization of their choice will receive a 3D printer. The challenge can be done virtually or in-person, alone or with a teacher. It is open to students in grades 4–8 attending a public, private, or home school in the United States, including U.S. territories or possessions and schools operated by the United States for the children of U.S. personnel overseas. (Deadline November 11)     

Middle Level Through College Level

Workshop: Exploring Climate Change Through Extreme Weather Phenomena 

Exploring climate change through the lens of phenomena, such as extreme weather events, allows educators and students to see directly the impacts, and possible solutions, to climate change on a regional level. Join Climate Generation educator Seth Spencer to explore extreme weather events, how they are connected to climate change, and how to engage your students in finding potential solutions. This online event takes place on September 29 at noon Central Time.

High School

Air Force Junior ROTC Grants           

The grant aims to promote aerospace education throughout classrooms where funds currently are not available. Funds of up to $250 may be used for any aerospace education-related activity from purchasing textbooks or videotapes, to going on a field trip to an aerospace museum, Air Force base, or other aerospace facility. (Deadline October 10)

NSHSS Educator of the Year Award   

This National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) award is presented annually to exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to preparing students for success in college and in life. These awardees model best practices in teaching or administration inside and outside of the classroom, are peer role models, and demonstrate outstanding leadership and excellence in education. Applicants provide a prompt response of 800–1,000 words answering the following question: What is your teaching philosophy? Describe in detail your passion for education and its impact on you. Awards include a top award of $5,000 and nine runner-up awards of $1,000. (Deadline October 1)

NSHSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Teaching Grant

Five $1,500 awards will go to high school teachers currently employed at a public or private high school in the United States or internationally. Educators serve in rural areas, educate diverse student populations, or are actively promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives in their school or greater community. Applicants should provide their school’s demographics and explain how the funds will directly benefit their students. Funds may be used for supplies, materials, field trips, or other resources to enhance the delivery of courses. (Deadline October 15)

College/University Level

Educating for a Sustainable Future

During this free virtual and in-person (at MIT) hybrid event on September 29, representatives from MIT, Arizona State University, Stanford University, and Carnegie Mellon will discuss the ways their institutions are changing their curricula and practices to provide a quality sustainability education. Hosted by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, the discussion will explore answers to these questions: How can we meet the needs of both those students who are most dedicated to sustainability, and those who would never think to take a class with an environmental theme? How do we recognize and scale up successes? And how can educational institutions learn from one another, while still catering to the unique needs of their student bodies and communities? Advance registration is required.                  

NIGMS Looking for Lipids in All the Right Places: Host-Microbiome Interactions Virtual Lecture      

On September 29, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) will host its annual Judith H. Greenberg Early Career Investigator Lecture, featuring Elizabeth Johnson. Her talk, Looking for Lipids in All the Right Places: Host-Microbiome Interactions? will take place via Zoom and NIH Videocast. Johnson will discuss how bacterial sphingolipids affect host signaling pathways, followed by a 30-minute live Q&A session on her research and career path. (Registration in Zoom is required to participate in the Q&A.) The goal of this series is to expose undergraduate students to energetic investigators working on the cutting-edge of science, and encourage them to pursue careers in biomedical research.

Find more events and opportunities at

Aerospace Biology Careers Chemistry Climate Change Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science General Science Inclusion Life Science News Phenomena Physical Science Professional Learning old STEM Teaching Strategies Technology Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary

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