Skip to main content

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, November 1, 2022

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, November 1, 2022

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–College

NOAA Education Resource Portal
This portal is designed to help K–college educators access National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) resources from a single location. Materials are organized by themes—Weather and Atmosphere, Climate, Marine Life, Freshwater, Elementary Science, Data Resources for Educators, and Federal Resource Collections—with common teaching topics highlighted within each theme. For example, in Marine Life, educators can access lessons and materials for elementary, middle, and high school levels exploring aquatic food webs. The Data Resources for Educators collection presents lesson plans featuring NOAA data, as well as real-time and historical data in various formats. In addition, the collection’s webinar How to Use NOAA Data: A Video Guide for Educators provides practical tips for using real data in the classroom and includes links to all the programs discussed in the webinar. 

NOAA Sea to Sky Education Resource Database, another notable resource on the portal, features a searchable collection of K–12 educational resources from NOAA, including lessons, data resources, videos, and posters to engage students in exploring the ocean, coast, Great Lakes, weather, atmosphere, and climate. 

Understanding Science Website
Do you teach about what science is and how science works—or support teachers who do? The University of California Museum of Paleontology has updated and expanded its Understanding Science website, which features NGSS-supporting tools for teaching and learning about the nature and process of science, from kindergarten to college.  Highlights include

  • Understanding Science 101, an easy-to-understand e-textbook;
  • Science Stories, a database of stories from the history of science and today that highlight how science works;
  • A visual representation of the process of science that highlights the creative, human side of science (also available as an interactive journaling tool); and
  • A database of lessons vetted by experienced teachers.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary

A Tiger’s Tale: Biodiversity Trivia Game

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and WeAreTeachers have created a lesson plan and trivia game about wild tigers and their vital role in protecting biodiversity. Targeted for grades 3–5, the lesson plan engages students in exploring materials from a tiger toolkit—which includes a classroom PowerPoint Presentation, educator guide, downloadable posters, and student activity sheets—to discover facts about tigers and why they matter, and what threats they face. The resources discuss what WWF is doing to help tigers and the forests where they live and suggest action steps that students can take to help protect them. After their tiger research, students can test their new knowledge with a PowerPoint slide trivia game and coordinating activity sheets (e.g., Tiger Word puzzle, Identifying Tiger Stripes Challenge, Tiger Range Maze, and more). 

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle Level

Water Reuse: Testing the Water
Developed by the Museum of Science Boston’s Engineering Is Elementary curriculum program, this unit challenges students in grades 6–8 to become water resource engineers as they use the steps of the Engineering Design Process to design creative ways to reuse water. The downloadable unit, which can be conducted in classroom settings or as part of an afterschool program, contains eight approximately hour-long lessons addressing topics such as the Engineering Design Process and how engineers use technology to solve problems, as well as lessons guiding students through the steps of designing, testing, refining, and communicating their ideas about a water reuse process. 

Opportunity for Grades K–12

American Meteorological Society’s DataStreme Courses
To help teachers seeking Earth science professional development, the American Meteorological Society’s Education Program is waiving all course fees for the first 35 participants who are successfully matched to a mentor team for each of the three online Spring 2023 DataStreme courses in weather, ocean, and climate science. Participants earn three accredited graduate credits per course. Teachers can complete the DataStreme Interest Form now to get matched with a mentor for the spring semester. (Deadline January 6, 2023

Completion of any two courses offered by AMS Education fulfills the requirements to become a Certified AMS Teacher. Learn more about this microcredential at

Opportunities for Middle Level and High School

Toshiba America Foundation Grants

Teachers of grades 6–12 can apply online for a Toshiba America Foundation grant of less than $5,000 to help bring an innovative project into their own classroom. If you have an innovative idea for improving STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning in your classroom, and if your idea involves project-based learning with measurable outcomes, apply by December 1. Grant decisions will be made by January 15, 2023.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition
Samsung Electronics holds this contest for U.S. public school teachers and students in grades 6–12. The contest encourages teachers to submit ideas on how their students can help their communities by problem solving using classroom technology and other supplies. Teachers who enter the contest can participate in Samsung’s Teacher Academy and get free MindSpark professional development tools. Enter by November 29.

Winners will be chosen in several categories: 300 State Finalists from the pool of applicants will receive a $2,500 prize package; 50 State Winners will receive a Samsung Video Kit to assist in video development, as well as $12,000 in Samsung technology and supplies for classroom use; one of the 50 State Winner schools will be chosen as the Sustainability Innovation Award Winner to win an additional $50,000 prize package of environmental classroom technology.

From there, 10 National Finalist Schools will be selected to participate in the pitch event, in which they will present their project to a panel of judges. For achieving National Finalist status, seven of these schools will be awarded $50,000 in technology and supplies, while the remaining three will be named National Grand Prize Winners. Three National Grand Prize Winner schools will each receive $100,000 in classroom technology and supplies.

Of the top 10 schools, one Community Choice Winner will also be determined through online public voting and will be eligible to win an additional $10,000 in Samsung technology. One Employee Choice Winner will be selected by Samsung employees to also receive $10,000 of technology in addition to their national winnings. 

Opportunity for High School and College

Barbara Lotze Scholarship for Future Physics Teachers
The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Board of Directors offers scholarships for future high school physics teachers. These scholarships are available only to U.S. citizens attending U.S. schools. Undergraduate students enrolled, or planning to enroll, in physics teacher preparation curricula and high school seniors entering such programs are eligible. Awardees receive a stipend of up to $3,000 and a complimentary AAPT Student Membership for one year. The scholarship may be granted to an individual for each of four years. (Deadline December 1)

Curriculum Earth & Space Science Engineering General Science Instructional Materials Lesson Plans Life Science New Science Teachers News Physics Preservice Science Education Professional Learning Science and Engineering Practices STEM Teacher Preparation Teaching Strategies Technology Middle School Elementary High School Informal Education Postsecondary Pre-service Teachers

Asset 2