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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, April 16, 2024

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, April 16, 2024

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades PreK–12

Standards and Measurement Resources
Whether it’s the depth of the ocean, the nutrients in your cereal, or the age of dinosaur fossils, standards and measurements enable students to learn about our world and make decisions about what to do in everyday life. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a host of standards- and measurement-related resources to enrich K–12 science instruction. The resources are designed for K–12 teachers, students, and parents and include curricular materials and resource collections on topics such as the metric system, fire research, and the environment. Of particular interest is the web series How Do You Measure It?, which answers measurement-related questions in the modern world (e.g., How do you measure cholesterol in blood tests? How do you measure the heat of a pepper? How do companies measure DNA to discover your ancestry?). Another highlight is the video series The League of SI Superheroes, a comic-style video that teaches viewers about the metric system. 

Earth Day Resources From Scholastic Magazines

Scholastic Magazines+ presents a handful of free content to help students, educators, and families learn more about the globe and how they can create positive change for our planet. Resources include themed lesson plans, hands-on activities, and articles.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary and Middle Level

Alcohol and the Brain

Designed for grades five and six health and science classes, this collection of resources from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility teaches learners about the developing brain and how alcohol affects it. The resources, many of which are available in both Spanish and English, include lesson plans and a seven-part animated video series describing the functions of various parts of the brain (e.g., cerebellum, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and medulla) and how alcohol affects them. The lesson plans can be used as standalone lessons or taught together as a unit. Each lesson plan contains teacher support materials, such as comprehension questions for each video, a fill-in-the-blank brain diagram, and game-based activity ideas. 

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: High School

Launching Units With Primary Source Phenomena

How can an image of two dancers help students learn about gravity, equilibrium, and force? In an activity described in the Library of Congress blog, Teaching With the Library, an image—Like a Shot from a Bow, taken in 1965 by Leonid Zhdanov dancer and photographer of the Bolshoi Theater—serves as the anchoring phenomenon for a high school physics investigation exploring this driving question: How is this lift possible? The image presents the puzzle to be solved, and students conduct various physics activities in the classroom to put the pieces of understanding together. The activity description includes photograph-related questions for students to reflect on as well as activity suggestions to help deepen students’ understanding of the physics concepts involved in the lift. After conducting the activities, students might annotate the image (consider using a digital tool) to explain the physics concepts that make a lift like this possible.

Opportunity for All Grade Levels

10th Annual SeedMoney Challenge

Applications are open for the SeedMoney Challenge, a 30-day crowdgranting competition open to any public food garden project anywhere in the world. No previous online fundraising experience is needed. The SeedMoney Challenge can help your project raise the funds it needs to flourish. Participating projects receive 100% (i.e., 0% fees) of what they raise, whether they reach their funding goal or not. On top of the funds they raise, projects compete for 432 grants ranging from $100 to $1,000. The more a project raises, the larger the grant it qualifies to receive. Apply by November 12.

On November 15, all funding campaigns whose applications were submitted on time and fit the criteria will go live. On December 15, the 30-day challenge period ends. Your campaign will be able to keep whatever it has raised even if it hasn’t managed to reach its funding goal.

Opportunity for Grades K–12

ORISE April Social Media Contest 

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants to know how you make STEM more accessible to diverse groups of students in your classroom. To enter the contest, follow ORISE on social media, complete this very short survey, and comment your answer on the post. Three randomly selected teachers will receive an iPad 9 and Apple Pencil. The contest closes on April 30. Teachers must teach in the United States, a U.S. Territory, or a DoDEA school to be eligible to win.

Opportunity for Middle Level

Participate in a Program Pilot: Addressing Climate Emotions in Schools

The Climate Mental Health Network and the National Environmental Education Foundation are seeking participants to pilot a new set of resources created for public middle school teachers in Fall 2024. These resources aim to prepare teachers to teach about climate change in developmentally appropriate ways and effectively respond to students’ emotional reactions to this issue. Those selected to participate in the pilot will be paid $500 upon completion of the program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. To find out if you are eligible for participation in the program pilot, view the application and apply by May 31.

Biology Climate Change Climate Science Curriculum Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Mathematics News Phenomena Physics Science and Engineering Practices STEM Teaching Strategies Kindergarten Pre-K Preschool Elementary Middle School High School Postsecondary Informal Education

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