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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, October 4, 2022

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, October 4, 2022

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–12

Grant Funding for Gardens Webinar Series

The nonprofit KidsGardening recently hosted a three-part webinar series on grant funding to help K–12 school and community garden program staff understand what to expect when applying for a grant (Part 1, Grant Basics for Youth Garden Programs), how to make a grant application stand out (Part 2, Crafting Your Narrative for Grant Applications), and where to find grants for youth garden programs this year (Part 3, Meet the Grantmakers Funding Youth Garden Programs). Each hour-long webinar includes downloadable materials summarizing key takeaways, as well as links to more information on the topic. Teachers can also join the Kids Garden Community discussion forum to ask questions about youth garden programs, discover gardening tips, and share garden program concerns and successes with colleagues nationwide.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle Level and High School

Primary Source Set: Natural Disasters 

Natural Disasters—a set of primary source documents for middle and high school teachers from the Library of Congress (LOC)—features 18 artifacts (including pictures, maps, films, recordings, sheet music, and newspaper articles) documenting various natural disasters. For example, the set includes a bird’s-eye map of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871; an iconic image of the Johnstown Flood in 1889; and a film simulating the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which led to fires across the city. The primary sources document historic natural disasters before, during, and after the events and provide an entry point for students to learn about these impactful historical events as well as to investigate topics such as climate science and community response and involvement surrounding an event. To view the images in the collection—and to access an accompanying Teacher’s Guide with background information, suggestions for working with these primary sources in the classroom, and links to additional resources on natural disasters from the LOC—read the post from the blog Teaching With the LOC and select the hyperlink for Natural Disasters.

Opportunities for Grades K–12

ORISE STEM Phenomena Lesson Plan Competition

ORISE wants to know how you incorporate STEM phenomena into your lesson plans. Teachers of any grade or subject are invited to create a math or science lesson plan that incorporates any STEM phenomena for the opportunity to win a mini-grant. Three teachers will be chosen to win mini-grants of up to $1,500 dollars. (Deadline October 31) Prizes are

  • First Place—$1,500
  • Second Place—$1,000
  • Third Place—$500

SeedMoney Challenge Grants

Each year, SeedMoney offers challenge grants to diverse food garden projects through a 30-day crowdfunding challenge running from November 15 to December 15. Grants are open to all types of public food garden projects (youth gardens, community gardens, food bank gardens, etc.), regardless of their location. The grants are offered on a sliding scale. The size of a grant a project can receive depends on how much funding it is able to raise over the 30-day period compared to other projects participating in the challenge. (Deadline November 12)

Opportunities for Middle Level and High School

Society for Science’s STEM Research Grants 

STEM Research Grants provide support to teachers engaging their students in grades 6–12 in authentic scientific research. Teachers can apply for up to $5,000 to purchase specialized equipment or $1,000 in preselected equipment, including Arduino starter kits, camera traps, and PocketLab sensors. Priority consideration is given to schools that support students from low-income communities and demographics underrepresented in STEM fields. Learn more about the program and apply here. (Deadline October 31

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