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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, April 18, 2023

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, April 18, 2023

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–12

Earth Day Fun Facts From the U.S. Census Bureau
The Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools program has Earth Day Fun Facts and a teaching guide for making the facts meaningful to students. Fun Fact categories include Getting to Work (“making choices such as driving less or using alternative commute options”; commute times and how people commute); Power Up! (types of renewable energy resources and statistics about their use); and Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot (how many homes were heated by various methods). The teaching guide details how to use the Fun Facts in the classroom and at home, lists the types of renewable energy resources, and suggests ways to use the fact sheets with elementary, middle level, and high school students.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary and Middle Level

Free Earth Day Material From Scholastic Magazines+
To celebrate Earth Day and the launch of a new classroom resource called SuperSTEM, Scholastic is offering free Earth Day resources for grades 3–6 that showcase how STEM professionals incorporate a passion for protecting our planet into their work. Featured are an insect expert, turbine technician, flower artist, and eco-fashion designer. Accompanying each article about the STEM professional is a video discussing STEM concepts, or with the arts-related professionals, videos of them explaining their work and goals. Scroll down for teaching resources that you can use with any or all of the articles and videos: a mini lesson plan, an Earth Day Careers spotlight, an Earth Day choice board, and an Earth Day Problem of the Day.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle Level and High School

I Was a Kid Project 

I Was a Kid’s website features career profiles of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) professionals who represent minorities in race, religion, background, gender, sexuality, and mental and physical ability. Developed by artist and author Karen Romano Young, the project is designed to engage middle and high school students in science and to expand students’ horizons to include different perspectives and new voices of scientists from underrepresented groups. The multimedia profiles include a downloadable, comic-style poster featuring biographical information about the scientists, as well as their personal quotes and text describing their work.

In addition, a profile page about each participant enables students to learn more information about the paths the scientists took to their careers and the challenges they faced to get there. Profiled professionals include polar conservationist and explorer Prem Gill, infectious disease specialist Annelys Roque Gardner, chemical technician Chang Liu, research station administrator Keri Nelson, organismic and evolutionary biologist Peter Girguis, wetland ecologist Melinda Martinez, marine geochemist Marta Torres, and geomicrobiologist Brandon Enalls. 

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: High School

Virtual Labs in Engineering
Give high school students a glimpse of real-world engineering practices through virtual labs from The self-paced labs address a wide variety of topics, including 3D Printing, Air Vehicles, App Development, Bioinformatics, Cybersecurity, Electric Vehicles, Renewable Energy, Robotics, Sound and Noise Pollution, and Water Treatment. Each lab includes a Teacher Guide, an interactive Student Workbook, and an Engineer’s Presentation. Teachers can also schedule class visits, via Zoom, to connect with engineers directly from 

Opportunity for Grades K–12

Lt. Governors’ STEM Scholarship Program
Administered by the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA)—the nonpartisan, nonprofit association for the nation’s seconds-in-command—and sponsored by ACT, the education and career readiness nonprofit, the scholarship program will award up to $1,000 to 12 schools nationally to support STEM-related activities for youth. All public, private, and tribal schools in the 50 states and five U.S. territories are invited to apply at Funding will be awarded to schools to support STEM-related activities, programming, curriculum, equipment, and other expenses.

The application period is open until May 1, 2023. Award recipients will be announced and funded in August 2023. Teachers and/or school administrators or advisors are encouraged to attend. 

Opportunity for Elementary and Middle Level

AGI/ExxonMobil Geoscience and STEM Teaching and Learning Academy 
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) invites K–8 teachers to its Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA), which will be held this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. This academy is designed for teachers who have recently entered Earth and space science teaching roles. An Elementary School Level TLA for K–4 teachers will take place on July 16–19, and a Middle School Level TLA for teachers of grades 5–8 will be held on July 19–22. Travel costs (up to $200) for travel to and from Atlanta will be reimbursed to participants. Room and board in Atlanta during the academy will also be provided. Along with the face-to-face academy, participants will participate in webinars throughout the following academic year to support them and build their professional networks and enhance the impact of the overall experience.

Review of applications will begin on May 1 and will continue until the academy is filled. Questions about the academy can be sent to

Opportunities for High School

Innovations for Using the Library of Congress in the Classroom
On April 26 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time, join the Library of Congress (LOC) for a discussion with Jacqueline Katz, the 2022–2023 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the LOC. Katz will share the highlights of her year at the LOC and focus specifically on how she plans to use datasets and oral histories in the classroom. She will present examples of how using primary sources will help provide context to phenomena in high school biology and chemistry classes. Participants will discuss how using primary sources can elicit student conversations about scientific ethics and the nature of science.

Endangered Species Coalition Conservation Career Panel 
This panel is for high school students who are interested in exploring conservation now and in the future, whether that means looking at college conservation majors, thinking about conservation careers, or getting more involved while still in high school. The panel’s speakers will discuss navigating the high school to college transition and share advice and resources. The event will be held online on Zoom on April 25 at 7–8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

The speakers will be

  • Ariane Lemaire, Duke University undergraduate student;
  • Alba Estrada López, education manager of the California-based wildlife conservation and research nonprofit organization Point Blue Conservation Science; and
  • Hayley Berliner, sustainability coordinator at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. 

Biology Careers Chemistry Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Engineering Environmental Science General Science Inclusion Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Labs Learning Progression Lesson Plans Mathematics News Phenomena Professional Learning Robotics STEM Teaching Strategies Elementary Middle School High School

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