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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, August 1, 2023

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, August 1, 2023

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary and Middle Level

NASA STEM Resources in Español

Looking for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) resources for elementary and middle level Spanish-speaking students and families? Check out NASA’s collection of STEM resources for this audience. The web pages include aeronautics-focused lessons, coloring pages, activities, and more to excite learners about STEM concepts in a real-world context. From simple activities that can be done at home—such as making paper snowflakes or building aircraft models with wooden sticks (clothespins)—to detailed teacher guides for activities such as creating a paper scale model of NASA’s X-59 experimental aircraft, which can travel faster than the speed of sound, the pages offer something to inspire aeronautics studies at every level. 

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle School

WeatherX Units for Middle Level

Education Development Center’s WeatherX project develops interest and skills in scientific data practices among middle level students in rural areas. Through WeatherX, students use large-scale data to investigate typical and extreme weather in their rural communities and on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. Two three-week units developed by project participants—Exploring Our Local Weather and Investigating Extreme Weather—are available. The Local Weather unit (12 lessons) focuses on two overarching questions: What is considered typical weather in our community? How do data help us learn more about patterns in our local weather? 

The Extreme Weather unit (8 lessons) explores these overarching questions: What kinds of weather does Mount Washington experience? What factors contribute to the harsh conditions there? How are data used to evaluate weather to determine if it’s extreme? How can communities prepare for and respond to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events? Supporting materials such as a student document, teacher guide, and slide presentation are included with every lesson in both units. (Note: Free registration is required to access the lessons in both units.)

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: High School

Our Climate, Our Future

Action for the Climate Emergency, a nonprofit that provides educational resources on climate science and justice, as well as training for young climate leaders, offers the resource Our Climate, Our Future, a collection of lesson plans and hands-on student activities to educate high school audiences about the science of climate change and empower them to action. Through the collection’s lively mix of animation, video, and interaction, students will learn about the science of climate change and develop a deeper understanding of the impact of human behaviors on it. Lesson plans address topics such as the effects of melting land ice and sea ice on global sea levels; how wind is harnessed to generate electricity (wind turbines); and the relationship between rising global temperature anomalies and acres of land burned from wildfires. 

Each lesson plan features a teacher guide, student guide, and videos, along with links to related lesson plans, student reading pages, and coloring pages to extend learning. Our Climate, Our Future videos are available at

Opportunities for Grades PreK–12

2024 CHS Foundation Classroom Grant Application

CHS Foundation provides $500 grants annually to pre-kindergarten–12th-grade teachers with classroom projects that use agricultural concepts to teach science, reading, writing, math, social studies, and more. Eligible projects include classroom and schoolyard gardens, embryology projects, aquaculture projects, and agricultural literacy reading programs, to name a few. Teachers have until June 1 the following year to complete the project and submit a final report. Only state-certified classroom teachers employed by a school district or private school teachers may apply by September 15.

ORISE August Social Media Contest

Tell the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) how you get yourself and your students re-engaged when school starts. To enter the contest, follow ORISE on social media, complete a brief survey, and comment your back-to-school engagement strategies by August 31. Teachers must teach in the United States, a U.S. Territory, or a Department of Defense Education Activity school to be eligible to win. Three randomly selected winners will receive these prizes:

  • Cricut Joy Machine
  • Premium Fine Point Blade + Housing
  • Fine Point Pen
  • StandardGrip Mat
  • Joy Smart Permanent Vinyl Rolls
  • Transfer Tape
  • Joy Starter Tool Set
  • Smart Materials eBook
  • Cricut Carrying Case

Opportunity for Middle Level and High School

Toshiba America Foundation Grants for Grades 6–12
If you have an innovative idea for improving STEM learning in your classroom, and your idea involves project-based learning with measurable outcomes, you can apply for a Toshiba America Foundation grant of less than $5,000 by September 1. Toshiba aims to encourage teachers to innovate, try a new idea, or explore a different approach to teaching STEM and to make STEM subjects fun for students to learn.

Aerospace Climate Change Climate Science Curriculum Distance Learning Earth & Space Science English Language Learners General Science Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Literacy Mathematics News STEM Teaching Strategies Kindergarten Pre-K Elementary Middle School High School

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