Zero in on the Best Innovative K–12 Learning Event for Teachers

Award-winning and innovative,  ASCD 's  EMPOWER  places your professional development at the forefront of its whole child focus. EMPOWER is ASCD's annual and highly acclaimed professional development conference for all K–12 educators.  Explore  vibrant sessions taught by education authors and thought leaders who are redefining instructional approaches and mindsets. You will find sessions covering access, assessment, equity, literacy, STEM, Differentiation, Coherence, Design Thinking, Social–Emotional Learning, trauma-informed practices, Restorative Justice, Growth Mindsets, and much more.

January 15, 2020
Funding & Recognition
Davidson Fellows Scholarship

The  Davidson Fellows Scholarship  awards $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000 scholarships to extraordinary young people, aged 18 and under, who have completed a significant piece of work. To date, more than $7.8 million has been awarded to 346 brilliant young people.  Application categories are Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Outside the Box.
Professional Growth
Harvard Institute with Jal Mehta and Alisa Berger

Experience and learn how to create the conditions for deep and powerful learning that prepares all students for the demands of the 21st century. 

In  Deeper Learning for All , participants will rethink old paradigms and consider what it will take to design a new 21st-century system that promotes deeper, more engaging instruction for all students. They will look at the conditions educators need to generate deeper learning in classrooms and the changes required at all levels of the system to make such learning possible.
Digital Learning • Learning Support
Mentoring Movement to Tap the Potential in Young People

January  is  National Mentoring Month , a nationwide campaign dedicated to celebrating and elevating the mentoring movement. Kicking off the campaign,  MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership  is celebrating the power of relationships with the video “ Because You Mentored Me ,” showing from the adult perspective what is possible when young people grow up with mentors. 

Mobile Learning
Directory of Diverse Books

We Read Too  is a directory of hundreds of picture, chapter, middle grade, and young adult books written by authors of color featuring main characters of color. Teachers, students, librarians, or parents can freely download the directory on any  iOS  or  Android  device.

Awards Inspired by Exemplary STEM Teaching

Are you the next award-winning kindergarten to sixth-grade teacher? For more than 35 years, the  Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching  (PAEMST) have rewarded and inspired teachers across the country. PAEMST, which have honored more than 5,000 teachers, are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. Awardees serve as role models for their colleagues and inspire their communities. PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, DC, to celebrate their achievements; a certificate signed by the US President; a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF); and the opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues from across the nation. NSF administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). To learn more about eligibility requirements, nominate a teacher, or apply yourself, visit .

Digital Learning • Learning Support
The Manhattan Project Electronic Field Trip

Students in grades 7–12 are invited to join  The National WWII Museum  for a  free  cross-country virtual expedition  on  February 4, 2020 , to discover the science, sites, and stories of the creation of the atomic bomb.  Two live webcast sessions  are available:  Session 1, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  ( CT ) and  Session 2, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.  ( CT ).
Funding & Recognition
NPR Student Podcast Challenge

NPR  invites students around the country to  create a podcast  and then–with the help of a teacher–compete for a chance to win NPR's grand prize and have their work featured on national public radio. This contest is for teachers with students between grades 5 and 12.

Digital Learning • Learning Support
Daily Updates to Track and Manage District-wide Spending

When district leaders have access to district-wide spending, they are better equipped to make equitable decisions that maximize opportunities for students. Keep high-level insights at your fingertips to quickly understand district-wide spending trends with  Allovue 's  Balance Manage ; no spreadsheets required. Nightly updates ensure you’re always viewing the most recent transactions so you can make decisions based on your district’s current financial state. 

Mobile Learning
Podcast Delivering Five Minutes of Poetry Once a Day

The Slowdown  is Tracy K. Smith’s  poetry podcast , produced in partnership with the  Poetry Foundation . Every weekday Smith delivers a different way to see the world through poetry. 

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
Funding & Recognition
Science Without Borders Challenge

The  Science Without Borders Challenge  is an  international art contest  that engages students in promoting the need to preserve, protect, and restore the world’s oceans and aquatic resources. This annual contest inspires students to be creative while learning about important  ocean science  and  conservation issues .
Professional Growth
Teaching Tools for STEM Education

STEM Teaching Tools  is a research-and-development initiative of the  Institute for Science+Math Education  at  University of Washington  in Seattle. Through this effort, the institute shares practice-based knowledge that it has accumulated through federally funded research over the years. The materials are provided for broad use and adaptation as  open education resources  (OER).
Digital Learning • Learning Support
Invitation to Read All of Shakespeare’s Works Throughout the Year

Anyone who loves Shakespeare’s plays and poems can join the  Shakespeare 2020 Project and read all of the Bard’s works or revisit an old favorite throughout the year. The project’s website will have videos, posts, artwork, and more to explore with each work.
NASA “Scientist for a Day” Essay Contest

Scientist for a Day  challenges students in grades 5–12 to think like NASA scientists. Students examine real spacecraft images of Uranus’s moon Miranda, Neptune’s moon Triton, and Pluto’s moon Charon. First they choose the destination they think would be the best place to return to with another spacecraft in order to learn more about these amazing worlds. Then they support their choice in an essay of no more than 500 words.
Funding & Recognition
Innovations in Reading Prize

Since 2009 the  National Book Foundation  has awarded the  Innovations in Reading Prize  to an individual or organization that inspires readers and engages new audiences with literature. From bicycle-powered libraries that serve a homeless community to empowering Harry Potter fans to build libraries around the world, the Innovations in Reading Prize recognizes literary activists who share the National Book Foundation’s aims to engage readers from all backgrounds.

Digital Learning • Learning Support
Realistic Simulations Involving Civil Discourse and Complex Decision-Making

Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions  is a national initiative of the federal courts that brings high school and college students into federal courthouses for legal proceedings stemming from situations in which law-abiding young people can find themselves. These court hearings (not mock trials) are  realistic simulations  that showcase jury deliberations in which all students participate, using civil discourse skills. 

Contest to Inspire Students to Excel in Mathematics

The  Noetic Learning Math Contest  is a semiannual problem-solving competition for elementary and middle school students. The goal of the competition is to encourage students’ interest in math, to develop their problem-solving skills, and to inspire students to excel in math.
Professional Growth
Sets of Standards for Virtual Education

To address concerns about quality and improve online learning, the  Virtual Learning Leadership and Alliance Quality Matters  recently released revised standards for virtual education–one set each for online teaching, online programs, and online courses. The revised standards are the first update since 2011.
Program Linking Practical Engineering Skills with Global Humanitarian Service

We Share Solar  empowers students to be global changemakers. By combining solar energy and engineering education with real-world applicability, trained teachers cultivate students’ interests in STEM subjects and inspire them to meet an immediate need in the developing world.


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