By Debra Shapiro
STEM Teaching Tools NSTA Conference Resources
The STEM Teaching Tools team at the University of Washington made several presentations at the NSTA National Conference in Atlanta in March 2023. Teachers who were unable to attend the conference can access the conference’s PowerPoint presentations and supporting materials on a public Google drive. The presentations are targeted for K–12 teachers interested in effectively teaching climate science in the classroom. Presentation titles include Climate Learning Resources; Supporting All Students to Make Sense of Phenomena by Building on All of Their Intellectual Resources; Engaging in Climate Science Education Through Connections to Everyday Life, Equity, and Justice; Teaching Science to Support Caring Ecological Relationships and Practices; STEM Teaching Tools: Professional Learning Resources for Equitable 3D Instruction (NGSS); and Teaching Climate Change: Empowering Students So They Can Change the World.
Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants Daily Dives
The environmental educational group Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants (EBTSOYP) seeks to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers by hosting virtual guest speakers and field trips most appropriate for middle and high school classrooms. EBTSOYP Daily Dives—the group’s latest project—presents classrooms with a short (5- to 7-minute) video and a brief (5-minute) thought-provoking activity highlighting a current science research breakthrough, conservation story, expedition, or other science event each day. Recent topics have addressed zombie-ant fungi, Arctic cyclones, bubble blowing echidnas, hunting meteorites, and the submersible Alvin. The Daily Dives playlist can be viewed on the EBTSOYP YouTube channel. Teachers can access the accompanying student activity and a transcript for the video in the video’s YouTube description.
Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions Series
Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions is an instructional video program that teaches general chemistry concepts using real-life challenges in energy, materials development, biochemistry, and the environment. Developed by the Annenberg Foundation for high school and undergraduate college levels, the program features a series of 13 half-hour video units and their accompanying materials, including online text, interactive labs, course guide, timeline, and periodic table. Each video covers a different topic (e.g., atomic theory, phases of matter and the properties of gases, the periodic table, Lewis structures and molecular geometries, chemical reactions, properties of solutions, acids and bases, and others) and is hosted by working chemists, introducing students to a diverse group of chemistry professionals and some of the important challenges chemistry is addressing for society.
National Education Summit
The Smithsonian will host the National Education Summit on July 18–20. The free three-day event is an opportunity to explore critical issues facing teachers and network with others both virtually and in person. The Summit will focus on sustainability, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math), the Smithsonian’s “Our Shared Future: Reckoning With Our Racial Past” initiative, arts education, and more.
The event also will feature presentations by nationally recognized experts, including 2023 National Teacher of the Year Rebecka Peterson; award-winning actor, author, and anti-bullying activist Maulik Pancholy; psychiatrist and thought leader Dr. Pamela Cantor, and Smithsonian educators who are at the forefront of pedagogy and practice. NSTA staff members Holly Hereau and Patrice Scinta will be among the speakers in the Life on a Sustainable Planet sessions.
Teachers of all subject areas, preK–12; librarians; media specialists; administrators; and others are invited to attend. Educators can receive certificates of completion for the number of hours in which they participated. Register at https://s.si.edu/EducationSummit2023. More information about the Summit can be found at https://www.si.edu/newsdesk/releases/empowering-educators-address-pressing-issues-education-smithsonian-education-opens.
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education’s STEM Competitions for K–12 Educators
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is holding the following two competitions.
June Social Media Contest (deadline June 30). ORISE wants to know what kind of lesson plans you would like to see in their free lesson plan library. To enter the contest, follow ORISE on social media, complete a brief survey, and comment your feedback on new focuses or types of lesson plans on ORISE’s social media post. Three randomly selected winners will receive the Back-to-School Supplies Bundle, which contains
Back-to-School Lesson Plan Competition (deadline July 31). ORISE wants to see your best back-to-school STEM lesson plans. Teachers of any grade level or subject are invited to submit a STEM lesson plan that includes back-to-school activities. Three teachers who submit lesson plans will be selected to receive mini-grants of up to $1,500 to help buy equipment for their classroom. First prize is a $1,500 mini-grant; second prize, a $1,000 mini-grant; and third prize, a $500 mini-grant.
Project Seasons for Young Learners: Cultivating Joy and Wonder 2023
Vermont’s Shelburne Farms week-long (July 10–14) program Cultivating Joy and Wonder is best suited for practicing early childhood educators (preK–2), though all educators working with young children are welcome. Participants will connect with peers; engage with the Shelburne Farms farmyard, forest, lake, and wetlands; and learn practical activities and pedagogy they can easily use. They’ll discover hands-on activities, protocols, and shared learning to examine how the Big Ideas of Sustainability can instill a deep love and appreciation for the natural world in both teachers and students. Participation is free (the program includes light breakfast and lunch); accommodations and graduate credits are available for a fee.
Administration Careers Chemistry Climate Change Climate Science Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Environmental Science Equity General Science Inclusion Instructional Materials Labs Lesson Plans Life Science News Phenomena Professional Learning Social Justice STEM Teaching Strategies Three-Dimensional Learning Middle School Early Childhood Elementary High School Postsecondary Preschool