Skip to main content

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, November 28, 2023

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, November 28, 2023

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–12

Arizona STEM Teacher Archive
Imagine 500 of the best K–12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers in the state teaming up to create a collection of favorite STEM lessons to share with colleagues in Arizona and nationwide. The Arizona STEM Teacher Archive—a STEM-lesson database developed jointly by Arizona State University’s Arizona STEM Acceleration Project (ASAP) and The AZ Educational Foundation—features hundreds of high-quality STEM lessons for K–12 teachers. Lessons cover a range of science disciplines (physical science, Earth and space science, and life science) and STEM fields (technology, engineering, and math). Every lesson showcases at least two STEM fields and includes a ready-to-use Google slide deck to facilitate classroom implementation. 

Lesson titles include Design a Hand Pollinator (grades K–2), in which students learn about pollination and explore engineering design by creating a model of a pollinator from various craft supplies; Removing Oil from Water (grades 3–8), in which students work together to devise solutions and materials to clean up a simulated oil spill; and Car Lego and a Maze (grades 6–8), in which students develop computer coding skills as they create a robotic car and program it through a maze. At the high school level (grades 9–12), students complete lessons such as Bridge Design Challenge, in which student groups build a bridge to span a one-foot gap between tables using 200 popsicle sticks and glue, and Power Production, in which students learn about work and power and apply new knowledge to devise an experiment to measure power they produce themselves. 

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle Level

Why Does Earth Have Seasons?

Visit SciJinks—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather education website for middle level—to find straightforward answers to some of students’ most frequently asked questions, like Why Does Earth Have Seasons? To answer this question, the article provides a brief Short Answer summary, then addresses the most commonly held student misconception about why the Earth has seasons. The article continues with additional explanation and diagrams to explain the concept in greater detail. Read the answer to this question, as well as browse answers to many other frequently asked questions about topics such as storms, tides and oceans, atmosphere, water and ice, satellites and technology, weather forecasting, and space weather at the SciJinks website.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: High School

Concepts Across the Sciences: Cause and Effect

Cause-and-effect relationships are found in all disciplines of science. However, many students find identifying causal relationships difficult, especially in evaluating the available evidence. Concepts Across the Sciences: Cause and Effect, an activity described in the Library of Congress (LOC) blog Teaching With the LOC, uses primary source documents from the LOC along with guided teacher questions to provide opportunities for high school students to practice skills in evaluating evidence in causal relationships. In the activity, students’ examination of a Work Projects Administration (WPA) poster from 1940 promoting the idea that milk causes good teeth, vitality, endurance, and strong bones leads to discussion and a class-wide investigation into the validity of these cause-and-effect relationships. The activity includes teacher questions to frame students’ investigation and links to other primary source documents created around the same time as the poster for student analysis. The activity also includes suggestions for teachers for connecting the primary sources to course content in biology and chemistry. 

Opportunity for Grades PreK–12

Fund for Teachers Grants

Fund for Teachers, a national nonprofit, invites preK–12 teachers with at least three years of experience to propose their ideal learning experience through an online application. Also eligible are curriculum specialists or heads, special education coordinators, media specialists, and librarians who spend at least 50% of their time teaching students; they may apply as individuals or as teams. Those chosen for the award receive funds to put their plans into action. (Individuals receive up to $5,000; teams get up to $10,000.) All fellowships awarded are self-designed. 

See also (Deadline January 18, 2024

Opportunity for Grades K–College

Robert F. Tinker Fellows Program

The program aims to promote innovation, creativity, and cross-disciplinary conversations in educational technology for STEM teaching and learning. It includes a $5,000 honorarium. Fellows contribute and participate by

  • engaging in work that either extends or enriches a current Concord Consortium project or develops the possibility of future collaborative work related to its mission;
  • producing something to leave behind at the Concord Consortium (paper, proposal, lesson idea, tabletop exhibit, model, or other artifact);
  • spending meaningful amounts of time interacting with Concord Consortium staff;
  • writing a reflection on their residency and provide feedback on their experiences with the Concord Consortium’s approaches, platforms, research, materials, open educational resources (OERs), designs, and/or processes; and
  • hosting a presentation about their work, insights, and discoveries during their residency.

The Concord Consortium typically hosts one fellow per year. If possible, the fellow should plan to be in residence at the Concord Consortium’s Concord, Massachusetts, and/or Emeryville, California, offices for an extended visit of two consecutive weeks or up to 12 days in successive visits of several days. If the fellowship is virtual, the fellow must plan to meet with staff via videoconference meetings for a comparable time period. The timing is flexible and based on mutual agreement between the fellow and the Concord Consortium. (Deadline December 15)

Opportunity for Elementary and Middle Level

Edward C. Roy Jr. Award For Excellence in K–8 Earth Science Teaching

This annual award recognizes one teacher of grades K–8 (or Key Stages 1–3 in the United Kingdom) for their leadership and innovation in Earth science education. The award features a $2,500 prize for the winning teacher and a grant of up to $1,500 to enable the recipient to attend the NSTA National Conference in Denver in March 2024. The winning teacher and their school each will receive a plaque of recognition. (Deadline January 12, 2024)

Biology Chemistry Earth & Space Science Engineering General Science Instructional Materials Lesson Plans Life Science Mathematics News Physical Science Professional Learning Robotics STEM Teaching Strategies Technology Kindergarten Pre-K Preschool Elementary Middle School High School Postsecondary

Asset 2