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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, May 28, 2024

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, May 28, 2024

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–12

Hurricanes and Typhoons 
Education World’s Hurricanes and Typhoons web page has lesson plans, activities, and links for exploring the science behind these powerful storms. In addition to ideas for exploring hurricanes as part of a study of the water cycle in science, teachers can use the hurricane resources to explore topics in math and geography. For example, having students create bar graphs from hurricane data and analyze the results enables students to develop relevant understandings of science, math, and social studies.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary and Middle Level

AI in K–8 Classrooms
The hour-long podcast from Amplify Science’s podcast series Science Connections discusses the differences between standard and generative AI and presents ideas for teachers on how to use generative AI effectively in K–8 science classrooms. The episode is available on YouTube; once online, teachers can view time stamps to pinpoint discussions of key topics within the episode (e.g., AI in Education, Current Standards, Generative AI Tools, Demonstration of Generative AI, and viewer Q&A), or follow along with a written transcript.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: High School

Innovations with Sanborn Maps

Learn about using Sanborn maps with your students and the tools that the Library of Congress (LOC) Geography and Maps Division have created to make it easier to find maps for your community. A webinar for high school teachers discussed innovative ways to interact with the LOC’s Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Collection in the classroom, including in chemistry and environmental science classes. The collection features more than 700,000 pages of large-scale building level maps of cities and towns in the United States and elsewhere, dating from 1867 through today. The Sanborn maps were originally created to help fire insurance companies assess fire liability in a particular area and contain detailed information about the properties and individual buildings in the featured location. Students can examine historical maps from their area and use them to document changes in their location over time. Teachers can access ideas for using Sanborn maps from their area in the classroom and the recorded webinar.

Opportunity for Grades K–12

2024 Smithsonian National Education Summit

This year’s summit, themed "Together We Thrive: Connecting at the Intersections,” is a free three-day program, happening during July 16–18, with online, in-person, and on-demand opportunities for participation. The summit will explore relevant themes at the intersections of science, art, culture, and history, including “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally”; “Using Art to Connect Past and Present”; “Inclusive Storytelling”; and “Youth Taking Civic Action.” The summit will draw thousands of educators nationwide, including teachers, curriculum specialists, librarians, state education agencies, administrators, and museum and cultural educators. In-person sessions will take place in Washington, D.C.  

Smithsonian educators from dozens of museums, education and research centers, and the National Zoo will lead the sessions. Staff from the Smithsonian Science Education Center will lead the following sessions: Educating for Sustainable Development: Teachers' Perspectives; Stories of Women in STEM; and Think Digitally! Art, Design & Digital Experiences. 

Professional development certificates will be e-mailed to registered attendees following the summit.

Opportunity for Elementary, Middle Level, and High School

Webinar: Oceans! How Can We Create a Sustainable Future for the Ocean?

Celebrate World Ocean Day with the Smithsonian Science Education Center during a free webinar on June 6 at 8–9 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar will feature the newly released Smithsonian Science for Global Goals guide Oceans! How can we create a sustainable future for the ocean? The guide helps students build their systems-thinking skills by investigating ocean systems and how the ocean connects to their lives and communities. 

Science and social science educators who teach students ages 11–18 are encouraged to attend; the webinar is geared toward classroom teachers, informal educators, and community members who work with that age group. Register by June 4.

Opportunity for Middle Level and High School

Using Data Puzzles to Explore Ecological Tipping Points
In this free two-day (July 17–18) virtual workshop, ecologists Dr. Megan DeMarche and Dr. Meredith Zettlemoyer, data science specialist Kristin Hunter-Thomson, and Data Puzzle developer Jon Griffith will show you scaffolded Data Puzzle lessons and a new open-ended resource called Puzzle Pieces in the context of ecological tipping points and shifts in plant phenology. You will engage with scaffolded and open-ended tasks from both the teacher and student perspective and leave the workshop prepared to facilitate the resources in your classroom. 

Advance registration is required. Participants will receive 1 graduate credit from Colorado University Boulder at no charge. The Zoom link will be sent after registration.

Chemistry Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Environmental Science Equity General Science Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Mathematics News Professional Learning Science and Engineering Practices STEM Teaching Strategies Technology Kindergarten Elementary Middle School High School Informal Education

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