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From the Field: Events and Opportunities, September 7, 2021

By Debra Shapiro

From the Field: Events and Opportunities, September 7, 2021

Grades K–College

The Slooh Space Exploration Grant 

Slooh, which offers live online telescope feeds of astronomical events to students, is launching this grant with the goal of helping one million students nationwide experience the wonder of space from their classroom and home computers. The grant is designed so all fourth- through 12th-grade educators and students can use the latest interactive astronomy technology to explore the universe and its stars. (Deadline October 18) Grant recipients will get

  • A Teacher license to Slooh and up to 40 student seats for one year
  • Professional development, including access to a community of global educators learning together
  • Access to powerful online robotic telescopes for you and your students to control
  • STEAM-aligned “Quest” learning activities
  • A private club to monitor student progress and share observations
  • A Teacher Champion Pack including a limited edition anthology of space book, night watch cap, bracelet, and badge

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit Online Self-Paced Course 
Available beginning on October 5, this self-paced, asynchronous course can help teachers initiate a plastic pollution project with students. The course includes activities, an overview of the project process, and recordings of selected keynotes from the aquarium’s in-person ocean plastic pollution summit for teachers of grades 3–12. 

Library of Congress National Book Festival’s Live Science-Related Sessions  

The festival is for people of all ages and will be available online to anyone, anywhere. Of particular interest to science and STEM educators will be the live, science-related sessions. (All times are Eastern Time.)

  • Mary Roach, author of Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law, and Suzanne Simard, author of Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, discuss their new books with Washington Post climate reporter Sarah Kaplan. September 18, 4 p.m. 
  • Matt Parker discusses Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World, with Roswell Encina, Library of Congress chief communications officer. September 19, 3 p.m. 
  • Olivia Campbell, author of Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine, and Janice P. Nimura, author of The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine, discuss their new books with journalist Melody Schreiber. September 22, 4 p.m. 
  • Avi Loeb discusses Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, with science journalist Sarah Scoles. September 22, 7 p.m.
  • Peter Godfrey-Smith discusses Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind, with New York Times Book Review writer and editor Gal Beckerman. September 23, 6 p.m.

In addition, these videos on demand will become available at 10 a.m. on September 17.

  • Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas discuss Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body: From Your Tongue to Your Toes and All the Guts in Between. Based on the kids’ podcast Wow in the World.
  • Yaa Gyasi, author of Transcendent Kingdom, discusses the relationship between science and religion with Washington Post book critic Ron Charles.
  • Bill Gates, author of How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, discusses climate change and the technology and investment required to address it with philanthropist and National Book Festival co-chair David M. Rubenstein.                             

National Estuaries Week, September 18–25  

This annual celebration of estuaries, the vibrant coastal areas where rivers meet the sea, offers an opportunity to learn more about these ecosystems and how you can help protect them. Estuaries offer a rich context for science education and interdisciplinary learning. Whether you live close enough to visit your local estuary or you transport yourself online to an estuary anywhere in the world, check out the website, which contains free educational resources about estuaries and suggests simple things teachers and students can do to participate. Find more lessons and resources at

Flinn Scientific's New Teacher Academy Webinars    

To support safety best practices in the classroom and lab, Flinn Scientific has launched the New Teacher Academy for science teachers who have been teaching for three years or less. As part of the free academy, teachers can participate in safety webinars and receive a hands-on kit with safety-related materials while getting questions answered by Flinn’s team of experts. The three-part webinar series begins on September 15 and runs each Wednesday until September 29. During the 90-minute webinars, teachers will learn about 10 major areas of science safety, including handling protocols, chemical and specimen storage, student safety guidance, first aid, Personal Protective Equipment usage, regulatory compliance, and more. Upon completing all the webinars, teachers will receive a Professional Development New Science Teacher Certification.   

Space Foundation Teacher Liaison Program              

Teacher Liaisons use space-related education programs and principles in the classroom to act as advocates for space-based education in their schools and districts. They receive Space Foundation training and resources to further integrate space into their classrooms. The program is open to preK–20 public, private, and homeschool teachers, as well as school administrators, principals, specialists, curriculum and instruction developers, and others who deliver education programs to students. This prestigious, internationally recognized program provides benefits and privileges that improve teaching skills, strengthen resumes, and influence space and science education at an international level. (Deadline September 30)

NSELA Virtual Safety Webinar: Supervising for Safer Science/STEM Lab Experiences During the Pandemic

A key component for supervisors to provide safer teaching/learning experiences in science/STEM labs is having effective Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). At 1 p.m. Eastern Time on September 14, the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) will present an hour-long webinar to help supervisors have a better understanding of critical SOPs and how to implement them in their school’s labs during the ongoing COVID pandemic. NSELA Safety Compliance Officer Ken Roy will present the program and provide time for questions from participants. While the webinar will be free of charge, the recording will be available for NSELA members only via the NSELA Learning Center.

CILC's Community of Learning Programs Featuring STEM and Science Topics 

The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration will offer free live, interactive online programs for K–12 teachers and students from September 7 through December 20. A range of STEM- and science-related topics will be featured, including rocks and minerals, animal adaptations, an archaeology dig, astronauts and their training, and aircraft designs. Programs are held at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays. Advance registration is required. 

What Has Been Learned About Kids Podcasting With Brains On!

During this free webinar on September 23 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, join the creators of the award-winning Brains On! podcast as they share what they have learned about making podcasts for kids and families over the last 10 years, including research from the Science Museum of Minnesota about the educational value of children's science podcasts. Registration is required for this webinar.

Middle Level and High School

USA Science & Engineering Festival X-STEM for All Access Online Program for Students

X-STEM All Access is an interactive online STEM experience for students in grades 6–12. Through a series of daily livestream events, students will hear from an exclusive and diverse group of visionaries who aim to inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Join moderator Justin Shaifer (Mr. Fascinate) for a STEM adventure with new engaging speakers, brain breaks, and Q&As each day of the event, which premieres on September 21–24, or watch on-demand.

Data Classroom Webinar Series  

Learn how you can strengthen data skills in your middle level or high school science class. In this four-episode webinar series, discover concrete strategies for improving students’ data skills through real-world data sets that inform some of the world’s biggest problems such as climate change, poverty, and public health. On September 9 at 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time, the first session will explore real data sets available for free on DataClassroom that your students can use to explore climate change through multiple lines of evidence. Future sessions will be held in October, November, and January 2022.

Middle Level Through College

ChemChats Webinar: Welcome Back: What Do You Need for 2021–22?

ChemChats is a free webinar series sponsored by the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers (NEACT). These open discussions (at 4–5 p.m. Eastern Time) are centered on a topic of interest to high school and college chemistry teachers (middle school teachers are also welcome!). The first ChemChat topic on September 9 will be "Welcome Back: What Do You Need for 2021–22?" Presenters will be sharing where our schools are, where we are going, and topics for future ChemChats. Come to share, to ask questions, or simply to be in the company of other teachers.

High School

NSHSS Conference or Virtual Event Grants         

To help teachers and counselors attend educational conferences or virtual events that enhance their professional development, National Society of High School Honors (NSHSS) provides $500 grants to be used to help defray costs of conference registration, travel, and accommodations. Any high school teacher or counselor currently employed at a public or private high school in the United States or internationally may apply. (Deadline September 30)

Find more events and opportunities at

Astronomy Biology Careers Chemistry Climate Change Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science General Science Lesson Plans Life Science Mathematics New Science Teachers News Physical Science Professional Learning old Safety STEM Teaching Strategies Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary

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