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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, March 21, 2023

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, March 21, 2023

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary

Streams of Data Curriculum

Streams of Data is a data-based Earth science curriculum from the Education Development Center’s (EDC) Oceans of Data Institute. Targeted for fourth grade, the curriculum contains lesson plans for a five-day sequence about rivers and flooding as well as links to data sources, information about creating data representations (e.g., hydrographs), the setup and use of model stream tables, and more. The lessons and materials provide numerous opportunities for students to use authentic science data to explore the relationships among rainfall, groundwater, and stream flow.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle Level

WeatherX Local Weather Unit

Engage middle level students in studying the weather in their own location—and boost students’ data science skills—with a robust digital learning unit from the Education Development Center’s WeatherX project. The 12-lesson unit provides opportunities for students to collect, organize, and analyze weather data specific to their location. Students also create visual displays of the data to examine patterns and change over time and create dot plots to determine average temperature and wind speed in their area during different seasons and in different weather conditions. Through unit activities, students build understanding of the role of data in determining what is typical or extreme weather for a particular location. They also gain understanding of their local weather and climate by comparing it to locations with different climates. Lesson materials include a Student Document, Teacher Guide, presentation slides, and relevant handouts. The first six lessons are available online; however, teachers must register (free of charge) to access the complete unit.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: High School and College

Chemistry Shorts Film Series

Learn about innovations in chemical science and their impactful role on humankind through the Chemistry Shorts film series produced by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Targeted for high school and undergraduate college levels, each short film is approximately nine minutes long and addresses a different topic. For example, Driving Reactions focuses on science researchers’ use of directed evolution to design an enzyme that can efficiently degrade polyethylene terephthalate (PET), one of the most common plastics found in water bottles and other everyday objects, into infinitely recyclable and reusable products. Under the Skin showcases the work of chemical engineers at Stanford University in California who have created a synthetic skin that can stretch like rubber, carry electricity, and self-heal. Each film is accompanied by a lesson plan for grades 9–12 to help teachers integrate the film’s content in the classroom.

Opportunities for Grades K–12

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) National Summer Teacher Institute 
USPTO’s National Summer Teacher Institute (NSTI) is a professional development training opportunity taking place in person July 16–21 in St. Louis, Missouri, and designed to support K–12 teachers as they increase their knowledge of concepts of making, inventing, and intellectual property (IP) creation and protection. NSTI presentation speakers and hands-on workshop instructors include experts from the USPTO, noted scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs, and representatives from other federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Participants will be introduced to teacher-friendly materials designed to enhance student learning and inspire the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers. 

The program is open to eligible K–12 teachers nationwide. If selected, the flight and lodging are covered for the duration of the program for teachers residing more than 50 miles from the NSTI venue. Teachers who live less than 50 miles from the NSTI venue will receive all the benefits of the program except travel and lodging support. The USPTO will provide a certificate of completion to document 50 contact hours of professional development. Apply by March 31.

World Quantum Day 2023 

Want to add quantum science to your classroom, but feeling unsure about where to begin? Join the National Q-12 Education Partnership for QuanTime, an international event that is dedicated to celebrating quantum science and making it accessible to K–12 educators and students. Register for free activity kits and access to online games on the QuanTime website; advance registration is required to receive kits and information by World Quantum Day on April 14. Activities take up to one 50-minute class period.

Opportunity for High School

Climate and Equity Education: A Summer Institute for Learning and Teaching 

The nonprofit TERC, in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, invites high school teachers to apply for a one-week, all-expenses-paid intensive on Climate and Equity Education on the coast of Maine, July 30–August 5. Teachers will discuss equitable pedagogy; hear presentations about the global—and psychological—impacts of climate change; explore climate change impacts firsthand through guided field trips; and have free time to pursue additional topics. Apply by April 20.

Chemistry Climate Change Curriculum Earth & Space Science Engineering Equity General Science Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Mathematics News Professional Learning Teaching Strategies Middle School Elementary High School Postsecondary

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