By Debra Shapiro
Place-Based Scientific Inquiry: A Practical Handbook for Teaching Outside
Benjamin Wong Blonder, assistant professor, ecologist, and environmental educator at the University of California-Berkeley, and his team have published this open-access Routledge book, which focuses on helping teachers of grades 3–12 facilitate scientific inquiry projects that are grounded in local places and environments. The book uses the Next Generation Science Standards to provide a strong conceptual and practical foundation for advancing community engagement in a justice-first classroom. Supplied with key ideas, step-by-step guidance on teaching practices, template documents, illustrations, and examples of student work, the book is designed to serve as a comprehensive and practical handbook for educators. The content is based on the authors’ years of experience as public school teachers and informal science educators. The online version of the book is open-access and free to read.
Engineering is Elementary’s Space-Themed Resources
Engineering is Elementary (EiE), the curriculum arm of Museum of Science, Boston, has developed a suite of NASA-funded science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) resources for students in grades 3–8. Five engineering-based curriculum units and four video series on space-themed topics, available in Spanish and English, teach students about space while helping them learn to see themselves as capable problem solvers. Each unit features a downloadable educator guide, engineering journal, and recorded audio messages for students.
Units for grades 3–5 include In Good Hands: Engineering Space Gloves; Liftoff: Engineering Rockets and Rovers; and The Sky’s the Limit: Engineering Flying Technologies. Units for grades 6–8 include Remote Sensing: Worlds Apart and Water Reuse: Testing the Waters. The video series, all of which are suitable for grades 3–8 and feature three to five short videos, cover topics such as the solar system, forces in a rocket, Mars exploration, and climate.
Free Safety Resources From Flinn Scientific
Flinn is offering the following resources:
Apply to Receive an Artemis Moon Tree Seedling
Education and community organizations can apply to receive a living piece of spaceflight history to promote STEM: a seedling grown from a tree seed that flew around the Moon on the NASA’s Artemis I mission in late 2022. NASA and the USDA Forest Service will distribute Artemis Moon Tree seedlings of five different species. Nearly 2,000 seeds were flown to space.
Organizations like schools, libraries, museums, and others engaging with students or the public can apply for a Moon Tree seedling through NASA’s Artifact Module. Eligible institutions include formal and informal K–12–serving organizations, universities, community organizations, museums and science centers, and government organizations. The application period closes on October 6.
Ecology Project International’s Free Virtual Professional Learning Workshops
These virtual workshops will introduce teachers to resources for biology, environmental science, Earth science, and leadership in grades 6–12. EPI aims to help your students connect to nature and build the next generation of environmental stewards and scientists. Choose from these workshops:
Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS)
Regeneron STS is a science competition for high school seniors that provides a forum for original research that is recognized and reviewed by a national jury of professional scientists. Alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and have earned distinguished science and math honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes. High school seniors from around the country accept the challenge of conducting independent science, math, or engineering research and complete an entry for Regeneron STS.
The competition recognizes 300 student scholars and their schools each year and invites 40 student finalists to Washington, D.C., to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, and meet with notable scientists and government leaders. A top scholarship of $250,000 is awarded. High schools receive $2,000 per student selected to the top 300. Apply by November 8.
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