The National Science Foundation is awarding up to 18 multiyear grants for efforts that promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in preK–12 schools. The awards this year are expected to total $10 million to $20 million, with individual awards ranging from $400,000 to $2 million apiece. The program—Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)—is aimed at increasing awareness of STEM occupations among preK–12 students, motivating them to pursue STEM careers and helping them to develop disciplinary-based knowledge and practices, or promote critical thinking, reasoning, or communication skills needed for entering STEM workforce sectors. Proposed programs can be designed for engaging students within school, outside of school, or a combination of the two. Partnerships between preK–12 schools, colleges, universities, and other organizations are encouraged. Three types of grants will be awarded this year: a maximum of four two-year “Exploratory” grants of up to $400,000 each; a maximum of 12 three-year “Strategies” grants worth up to $1.2 million each; and a maximum of two three- to five-year “Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination” grants of up to $2 million each.
On August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will occur in North America. Those in the path of totality-parts of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina—will see the moon completely eclipse the sun. Observers in the rest of the contiguous United States will see a partial solar eclipse. The solar eclipse is a perfect teachable moment for students. Whether you plan to watch live with your students or plan lessons around the eclipse, here are a few resources for teaching about the solar eclipse.
You Be The Chemist Challenge, sponsored by the Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF), is an interactive academic contest that encourages students in grades 5–8 to explore chemistry concepts and their real-world applications.
On August 21, citizen scientists will have an opportunity to make scientifically valuable observations of many aspects of animal behavior as the solar eclipse is in progress. They can join the California Academy of Sciences in conducting research into behavioral changes in plants and animals during a total solar eclipse.