Skip to main content

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

By Debra Shapiro

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

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–12

Global Precipitation Measurement Resources

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), an international satellite mission, uses multiple satellites orbiting Earth to collect rain, snow, and other precipitation data worldwide every three hours. The GPM staff has developed a collection of resources for K–12 educators—including videos, articles, and interactives—to explore weather and climate data in the classroom. Highlights for elementary audiences include the NASA Our World video series, which explores weather basics through segments such as What Is a Hurricane? What Is Weather? and What Is a Cloud? At the middle and high school levels, students can explore satellite technology through the interactive game Build It Yourself: Satellite, or take a virtual tour to learn about the life cycle of a satellite at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Hurricane Frequency and Intensity, a lesson for the high school level, gives students hands-on practice analyzing data using the Live Access Server and several websites. 

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary

The Effects of Weathering 

Show students the different effects of weathering with a simple hands-on activity from Education World. In this activity for fourth graders, students and teachers discuss different types of weathering, then model how erosion occurs with a simple demonstration using dirt and water. Students record their observations, then discuss what they observed as a class. The lesson plan includes prompts for teachers to guide students in their discussions.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary and Middle Level

Lesson Plan: Feeling the Vibrations 
Developed by TeachRock, an organization dedicated to engaging K–12 students in the sound, stories, and science of music, this Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)–based lesson for elementary and middle levels helps students understand how sound can be experienced in a tactile way and how sound moves through different materials. The lesson focuses on this essential question: How did the Grateful Dead make their concerts more accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community? After learning about innovations of the band to support their DHH fanbase, students conduct a tactile listening experiment to discover how music can be experienced through touch rather than hearing. Students also learn about the history and use of American Sign Language and practice signing themselves. Lesson materials include an online teacher guide with videos, images, student handouts, extension activities, career connections, and NGSS information.

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

Math Activity: Approximations of Pi

In this standards-supported science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) exercise for middle and high school levels, students use different approximations of pi to estimate the Orion spacecraft’s target landing zone. Created as part of NASA’s Launch Into Math Series, the lesson plan includes one page with math problems to solve, along with explanatory text, a diagram, and links to additional resources about the Artemis mission. In addition, the Solutions page shows the equations to solve the problems.

Opportunities for Grades K–College

GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant

This grant will provide $500 each to 170 programs to start or improve their youth gardens or greenspaces. Any school district, university, nonprofit organization, government entity, or tax-exempt organization (such as religious organizations and Tribal governments) in the United States and U.S. Territories serving at least 15 youth may apply. Funding must be used to install new or improve existing youth gardens or greenspaces. Applications are due by February 9.

This year, programs may apply for additional funding through three specialty award categories.

  • Plus Specialty Award. Designed to fund new and existing garden programs that have greater funding needs due to, but not limited to, financial, environmental, safety, health, and regulation challenges. Five programs will receive an additional $1,000, for a total of $1,500 in funding.
  • Pride Specialty Award. Designed to fund new and existing garden programs serving a majority of LGBTQ+ youth. Five programs will be awarded an additional $1,000, for a total of $1,500 in funding.
  • Equity Specialty Award. Designed to fund new and existing garden programs led by people of color that serve mainly youth of color. Five programs will receive an additional $1,000, for a total of $1,500 in funding.

Project Atmosphere: Summer Teacher Professional Learning

The American Meteorological Society invites K–12 teachers to participate in its summer 2024 Project Atmosphere teacher professional development course, which receives National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) support. Participants will engage in a graduate-level, multi-week hybrid course rooted in the atmospheric sciences and principles of weather and climate observation and forecasting. Teachers will be selected competitively from across the country; those who impact underserved students will receive priority.

Project Atmosphere includes a workshop at the NOAA National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri, where teachers will interact with NOAA and NASA scientists and tour local meteorological facilities. Travel, lodging, meals, and tuition will be provided for about 20 selected teachers. The course will be held during July 8–August 8, with the in-person residence experience scheduled for July 21–27. All other dates outside of the residency are fully online. (Deadline March 22)

Opportunity for Middle Level and High School

Leading Change: The Importance of Youth in Civic Engagement

On January 18 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Conservation Leadership Award Winner Alexia Leclercq will discuss her inspiring work as a young person advocating for the environment. Leclercq will share how issues such as climate change and environmental justice are personal for her, and how she acted to solve these issues within her community. The event will be geared toward students in grades 6–10. A supplemental material packet containing pre- and post-questions for teachers to use to enhance the learning experience will be available. 

Opportunity for Undergraduates

IFT’s Feeding Tomorrow Fund Scholarships for Food Science 

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Feeding Tomorrow Fund seeks applications for more than 40 undergraduate scholarships and 25 graduate scholarships. The Feeding Tomorrow Fund encourages, promotes, and rewards the excellence of students pursuing careers in the science of food through various efforts, including a variety of academic tuition scholarships. 

In addition, IFT’s Feeding Tomorrow Fund also offers scholarship awards for students with specific criteria such as greatest financial need, those transferring from a community college, and first-generational college enrollment. The Gateway Program scholarship awards will also continue this year, which removes the restriction that students must attend IFT Higher Education Review Board–approved programs.

Applicants for all scholarships must demonstrate a commitment to the science of food profession, which can include, but is not limited to, IFT membership. Student members receive benefits such as being able to participate in the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) and its competitions, considered to be among the most prestigious food science competitions for college students worldwide. The application deadline for all scholarships is February 26. 

Careers Climate Change Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Instructional Materials Lesson Plans Life Science Mathematics News Physical Science Professional Learning Social Justice STEM Technology Kindergarten Elementary Middle School High School Postsecondary

Asset 2