Skip to main content

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, December 19, 2023

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, December 19, 2023

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–12

AI 101 for Teachers

Interested in learning about artificial intelligence (AI) and its transformative potential in education? This five-part online professional learning series for K–12 teachers tackles this subject and more. Developed collaboratively by, Educational Testing Service, International Society for Technology in Education, and Khan Academy, the series presents 30-minute video sessions exploring how AI can be used in education environments. Listen as Hadi Partovi and Sal Kahn, the creators of and Khan Academy respectively, weigh in on key issues surrounding AI in education, then continue learning through sessions such as Demystifying AI for Educators, Transforming Learning With AI, Ensuring a Responsible Approach to AI, and Bringing AI to the Classroom. Each session includes concrete strategies and practical real-world examples to help educators navigate the AI landscape and enhance student learning experiences. 

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary and Middle Level

Arctic Education Toolkit
World Wildlife Fund Wild Classroom’s Arctic Education toolkit teaches students about the importance of ecosystems and what makes the Arctic region unique. Targeted for grades 3–8, the toolkit contains an Arctic Educators Resource Guide, science learning activities, printable handouts, and videos. Highlights from the science activities include It’s a Matter of Energy: Arctic Food Webs, in which students create food web models to see how energy is transferred between the producers, consumers, and decomposers within the terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems of the Arctic; A Virtual Field Trip Guide to the Arctic, which introduces students to the diverse wildlife, people, and plants of the region; and Race to Leave No Trace, an active group game that helps students understand the potential dangers of natural resource extraction in fragile environments like the Arctic. Arctic Tic Tac Toe challenges students to complete two activities from the grid to help protect the Arctic environment, such as writing a letter to a community leader representative to spread awareness about the Arctic, biking or walking whenever possible to use less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or planting trees native to your location to absorb carbon from the air and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle Level

STEM Challenge: Design a Sustainable City of the Future
In this lesson from Education World, students work in teams to design a sustainable city of the future, incorporating concepts from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to address environmental, social, and economic challenges. Designed to be completed over several days, the lesson gives students opportunities to develop research skills as they investigate potential components of a sustainable city (e.g., green infrastructure, energy efficiency, waste and water management, urban agriculture, and other topics) as well as creativity and communication skills as they prepare and share a presentation to classmates about their city’s sustainable design. 

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: High School

COVID-19 Vaccine Lessons

Three new scenario-based lessons about COVID-19 vaccines are available from The University of Rochester Medical Center’s Life Sciences Learning Center. Targeted for high school level, the lessons teach students how mRNA vaccines work to prevent COVID-19 infections (How Do mRNA Vaccines Work?), promote conversations about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines for protecting people around them (At Risk for COVID-19?); and address issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy (Not Vaccinated?). The lessons incorporate hands-on experiences that engage students in the content and include a student guide, teacher guide, and PowerPoint presentation for each topic. For example, to explore how mRNA vaccines work, students make various models from clay, foam balls, and other materials and take pictures of their models, then create a slide show to share their knowledge and educate the community about mRNA vaccines and how they work.

Opportunities for Grades K–12

Summer 2024 Professional Development at the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress (LOC) is accepting applications for its three-day summer institutes for K–12 educators. Held at the LOC in Washington, D.C., this professional learning opportunity provides educators with resources and strategies to effectively integrate primary sources into K–12 classroom teaching. While practicing these teaching strategies, attendees will explore some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available in the LOC’s collections. They will also conduct research to identify primary sources and develop an activity related to their classroom content. Sessions will take place on these dates:

  • June 26–28, 2024
  • July 1–3, 2024 (science-focused program) 
  • July 10–12, 2024
  • July 15–17, 2024

Tuition and materials for the workshops are offered at no cost to participants. (Deadline February 16, 2024)

Robert F. Schumann Foundation Grants 
Nonprofit organizations with projects focusing on education, animals (preferably emphasizing ornithology), environmental sustainability efforts (preferably emphasizing open-space habitats), and the arts, culture, and humanities may apply to receive grant funding through the foundation. Applications are due by February 28, 2024.

Opportunity for Elementary Level

Win a Free Project Learning Garden

Captain Planet Foundation’s (CPF) Project Learning Garden Program provides schools with everything needed for engaging garden-based learning. (Apply by December 22.) The contest is open to schools in the following regions:

  • Georgia (metro-Atlanta)
  • Washington (metro-Seattle/Tacoma)
  • New York City
  • California (Irvine and OC; San Francisco Area)
  • Louisiana (metro-New Orleans)
  • Northern Virginia (Fairfax and Prince William Counties)

Winners will receive a package valued at $6,000 that contains

  • Five raised garden beds 
  • Fully-equipped Mobile Cooking Cart to prepare garden-fresh recipes
  • Access to CPF’s online garden-based lessons, spanning all content areas and grade levels
  • Materials and supplies to support project-based lessons and garden-based activities
  • Online professional development and training for teachers
  • Strategies for summer garden maintenance
  • Sponsor Associate volunteer day for garden installation

Opportunity for High School Level

ACS-Hach Professional Development Grant
The grant supports high school chemistry teachers in advancing their professional learning and enhancing the teaching and learning of chemistry in their classrooms. Applicants must teach in a U.S. or U.S. territory school. Teachers can request up to $2,500. (Deadline January 21, 2024) Grants may be used for

  • Conference or workshop registration fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Tuition and educational expenses for new/upcoming courses
  • Books and online instructional resources
  • Substitute teacher pay

Chemistry Climate Change Computer Science Earth & Space Science Environmental Science General Science Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science News Professional Learning STEM Teaching Strategies Technology Kindergarten Elementary Middle School High School

Asset 2