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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, June 25, 2024

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, June 25, 2024

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–12

Surprisingly STEM

Surprisingly STEM is a video series showcasing exciting and unexpected careers at NASA, including thermal blanket technicians, engineers, Moon rock processors, and more. Each approximately five-minute episode highlights an individual working at NASA, focusing on their unique job and the personal journey that led them to that career. The series shows students a broad range of career opportunities at NASA—beyond rocket scientists and astronauts—and breaks down perceived barriers for working at the agency. Each video is accompanied by a classroom activity, enabling teachers and students to explore a topic related to the featured career in more depth. Through the series, students explore careers such as wind tunnel engineer (Make a Straw Plane, grades 3–8); dive operation specialist (Diving Down Deep, grades 9–12); aerospace technician (Heavy Lifting, grades K–4, 5–8); moon rock processor (Describe Rocks Like a Scientist, grades 4–8); soft robotics engineer (Design a Robotic Insect, grades K–4, 5–8); and marine biologist (Wetlands Curriculum Unit, grades 9–12). 

Energy Games and Icebreakers 
Bursting with energy source relay races, energy chants (with accompanying hand motions), bingo, energy puzzles, matching games, and other entertaining activities, this 68-page downloadable guide from National Energy Education Development (NEED) helps teachers introduce or review energy, efficiency, and conservation topics with K–12 students. A supplemental Energy Chants video shows students a visual of the hand motions that accompany each featured energy term (e.g., petroleum, biomass, coal mine, natural gas, propane, uranium, and so on).

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: High School and College

End-of-Semester Science Department Checklist
It can be challenging to maintain a safe high school or college science laboratory. With Flinn Scientific’s End-of-Semester Science Department Checklist, however, educators have the information they need to ensure a smooth transition to fall. The pdf document presents 10 key tips for preparing the laboratory for the next semester, providing reminders and the necessary action steps to replenish chemicals, replace broken glassware, restock safety supplies, examine equipment to ensure all is in working order, and inspect microscopes.  

Opportunities for Grades K–12

Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission

Sally Ride EarthKAM is a free STEM educational program managed by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. During July 15–19, EarthKAM will allow students to take images of Earth from space using a camera aboard the International Space Station. Educators can use EarthKAM as a teaching tool for Earth science, space science, environmental science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications, and art. Educators, educational institutions, and students may participate. Sally Ride EarthKAM is intended for middle school students, but all ages are welcome. The website’s activities section features lesson ideas for teachers.

My Favorite Things Lesson Plan Competition

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants to see your favorite STEM lesson plan. Teachers of any grade level or subject are invited to submit their favorite STEM lesson plan. Three teachers whose lesson plans are selected will receive mini grants to buy new equipment and supplies for their classroom. First place will be awarded a $1,500 mini-grant; second place, a $1,000 mini-grant; and third place, a $500 mini-grant. (Deadline: July 31)

Sony Grants for Education

In the United States, Sony focuses most of its charitable giving on technology, the environment, art, and culture, with a particular emphasis on education in each of those areas. While Sony may also consider support in other areas, the company seeks to apply its financial, technological, and human resources to encouraging the technical, scientific, creative, and artistic skills required of tomorrow's workforce. Sony accepts grant applications throughout the year.

Careers Chemistry Curriculum Earth & Space Science Environmental Science General Science Instructional Materials Lesson Plans News Safety Science and Engineering Practices STEM Teaching Strategies Kindergarten Elementary Middle School High School Postsecondary

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