New Opportunities: April 13th, 2021

Pack Bionics presentation coordinated by BWF

An excellent opportunity for K-12 students to see bionics as presented by graduate students is being coordinated by a fellow program officer at BWF.  See below for a description of a session being coordinated by BWF for access by our awardee network and partners who may be able to provide their students with a wonderful opportunity.  Registration may be made directly on a first come first serve basis given limited capacity.  See the description below.

Pack Bionics, a student led design team at the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering will be hosting a demonstration and information session on their own powered prosthetic leg which was designed and built for the 2020 CYBATHLON international competition. Biomedical engineering students bring a broad wealth of knowledge and skills with backgrounds in biomechanics, biosignals, biomaterials and rehabilitation engineering as well as robotics and computer programming to this exciting project. Motivated by their desire to take classroom learning into the lab and directly to people in need, they registered to compete in the global competition. 

There is an opportunity on April 19th from 1:00-1:30 EST via ZOOM INFORMATION to learn about their journey and plans to compete in 2024.

Space is limited to first come first serve and we encourage you to register as soon as possible to secure your spot for the presentation.

Do you have a formal school day connection that may have interest in students attending this presentation?  Capacity is limited so we’re looking for opportunities whereby teachers may be able to complete a single registration with a classroom being able to witness the session.  If you have such a connection, I’ll forward the registration link that should be shared.




Alfred M. Mays
Director and Chief Strategist for Diversity and STEM Education
Senior Program Officer

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

(c) 919-612-7556

Twitter: @amays_bwfund

(o) 919-991-5103

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For news and highlights of BWF Science Education and Diversity in Science Programming, follow me on Twitter at @amays_bwfund.

2021 NEED Leadership Award Application

The NEED Project recognizes student leadership by awarding the Youth Energy Leadership Award to up to two students each year.
The $1,500 awards will be granted for use for college, university or technical school tuition and expenses to deserving students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, knowledge, and an interest in continuing their studies in STEMenergy, or education fields.
Click here for details and to apply!


The 2021 City Nature Challenge takes place in two parts:

April 30 – May 3May 4 – May 9
Taking pictures of wild plants and animals.Identifying what was found.

The Goal: Photograph and identify as many plant, animal and fungus species as possible in the time frame of April 30-May 3, 2021.

Join us to embrace the healing power of nature and encourage the collaborative aspect of the CNC. This will allow people to safely document biodiversity in whatever way they can, even from the safety of their own homes if necessary. We urge all participants to carefully follow public health guidelines provided by your local governments, as they are changing in real-time.

City Nature Challenge action steps

For more information: go to-

or reach out to 

North Carolina Zoo

Living with Nature 

North Carolina Zoo’s free distance learning event

Available to schools and home school groups. this event will be broadcast live on Zoom, highlighting Zoo experts, and will include an activity to promote interaction between the participants and the presenters.
What do you need to know about the event? The event has been designed with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in mind for grades 6th -12th.
The event is at 10:00 am (EST) and is  30-minutes in length. Participate live or watch the recording at a later date.
There are pre- and post- activities related to the event available for teachers to use in their classes.
You must preregister for the event. This year we are using Zoom for registration.
To Register: Green Practices (e.g., pollinator gardens and up-cycling) – Wednesday April 28, 2021 10:00 am (EST) (To register)This announcement is being sent on behalf of Leslie Wilhoit.  If you have any further questions please contact Leslie Wilhoit at 336.879.7718 or email:

North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR): Promoting public understanding of and support for bioscience research.
COVID-19: Vaccines, Variants and 
Where Things Stand —
A Special Virtual
Rx for Science Literacy Workshop 
Just Added For April 30, 2021
NCABR is excited to announce a new workshop for the 2020-2021 Rx for Science Literacy series. Because a limited number of seats is available, we encourage you to register as soon as possible. Registration is completely free.

COVID-19: Vaccines, Variants and Where Things Stand
— A special edition of the popular
 Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious
 Virtual Workshop
Friday, April 30, 2021
Duke University
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.Rx for Science Literacy is partnering with Duke University to present a special COVID-19 edition of the popular Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases workshop. This one-day virtual workshop will be held Friday, April 30, 2021, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This workshop will look at a host of COVID-19 issues, including SARS-CoV2 variants of concern, efficacy results of vaccines and next steps in vaccine development to combat COVID-19, including variant vaccines and pan-coronavirus vaccines.NOTE: If you have attended an “Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases” workshop with NCABR this school year, the curriculum overview component of this workshop will be the same as what has been provided at earlier programs. 

This workshop is virtual and seating is limited. All participants will be provided a link to the online curriculum manual shortly before the workshop. This virtual workshop will be offered live and will not be available as a recording after the program is over. To receive continuing education credits for the program, all participants will be expected to participate in the entire workshop from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and to submit an online program evaluation after the workshop. Substitute reimbursement will be provided.

About the Workshop: This workshop will feature an overview of the National Institute of Health’s Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases curriculum plus updates from biomedical scientists about current COVID-19 research studies at Duke University.
About the Curriculum: The National Institute of Health’s Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases curriculum addresses the different types of infectious diseases and how they are classified as emerging, re-emerging or endemic, how epidemiologist investigate mystery diseases, antibiotic resistance, and immunity and the effectiveness of vaccinations.
About the Workshop Series: The Rx for Science Literacy workshop series provides K-12 educators a unique opportunity to tour research facilities, hear from scientists about their latest research advances and take home a free curriculum and other bioscience education materials.
Register Now → At virtual Rx for Science Literacy workshops, educators hear from scientists about their latest research advances and receive free curriculum materials. They also receive:10 total program hours for certified educators to be used towards CEU credits (4 hours of additional work are optional in addition to the 6-hour virtual workshop)Free supplemental curriculum and other bioscience education materials to use in the classroom
Substitute teacher support (up to $80) 
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North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR)
P.O. Box 19469  |  Raleigh, NC 27619-9469  |  919.785.1304  |  |

Center for Public Engagement with Science logo

Exploring the Future of the Electric Grid
A year-long teacher professional development program for grades 8-12 STEM teachers in NC’s Duke Energy service territory

To be eligible you must teach in a school located in either the Duke Energy Progress or Duke Energy Carolinas service territory.  To see if your school is eligible click here and then in the upper left corner, click on North Carolina and follow the prompts.

 “We are missing an important component in renewable energy education. How can we teach renewables and not spend time discussing their often unique and challenging connection to the grid.” –  2019 Energy Literacy Fellow

Founded in 2017, the NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program is a year-long teacher professional development program designed to build teacher knowledge of the evolving electric grid as a strategy to authentically engage students in learning about renewable energy and prepare them for careers in the energy sector, with an emphasis on NC’s energy landscape.  By combining access to experts with hands-on investigations and place-based explorations of electricity generation facilities, energy research facilities, program activities showcase the benefits and challenges of modernizing the electric grid and highlight the knowledge and skills needed to prepare the next generation’s energy workforce and support the low carbon economy.  Want to find out if there is an Energy Literacy Fellow near you?  Click here for a searchable map.

This professional development opportunity will enhance NC Energy Literacy Fellows’ ability to deliver energy-related content, conduct STEM-based activities and promote relevant STEM career opportunities.

“I would say “when I was at the Amazon wind farm” and “when I was at the hydroelectric plant” – and my students would immediately become more engaged. Because I was telling a story rather than just giving facts, they connected and listened at a much higher level.”  – 2017 Energy Literacy Fellow

Connect with other teachers! Any 8th-12th grade STEM teacher who addresses energy in their teaching is eligible to apply. This program will benefit new and experienced teachers!

 Construct new knowledge and collect resources that align with the NC Essential Standards for Science and integrate science and engineering practices outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards.

 Receive numerous benefits including:
·  access to current science content related to emerging energy issues and technologies
·  resources to support classroom integration of content
·  over $250 worth of instructional materials to support hands-on STEM investigations
·  access to a peer learning network (2017-2020 Fellows) from across the state
·  opportunity to join a working group to develop an energy lesson alongside one or two program alumni
·  25 to 40+ credit hours towards Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits and credit in the N.C. Environmental Education Certification Program offered through the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs
·  support for sharing your energy-related STEM instructional strategies and successes with other teaching professionals at the district, regional, state and national levels

“The activities and materials I now have in my teaching toolbox…allow me to help students understand the complexity of the electric grid and the exciting career opportunities awaiting them in this field.” – 2018 Energy Literacy Fellow

Prospective Applicants MUST:

•    Be an 8th-12th grade STEM teacher at a North Carolina school located in a Duke Energy service territory

•    Have access to a working Internet connection with audio capabilities

•    Be available to participate in the following activities that will take place during this year-long program:

  • Virtual Professional Development Institute| July 13-15, 2021 (10AM-4:30PM daily with asynchronous “missions”)Participants are required to attend all three days in full; a 90-minute lunch break will occur from 11:30AM-1PM each day; during this institute we will dive into learning about the electric grid and we will explore NC’s energy landscape through online mapping tools, guest presentations, and other interactive activities. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in an electricity-themed Goosechase Scavenger hunt and compete for prizes.
  • PoWer Wednesdays | Monthly webinar series | October – March, Third Wednesday of the month from 4:15-5:45PM

Participants are asked to attend at least four webinars, representing an opportunity to customize this professional development experience. During these virtual sessions, we will explore a topic and discuss classroom integration strategies to support classroom application of program resources and materials and offer peer support in incorporating program experiences into instruction. Alumni will be invited to both attend and lead activities.

  • Regional Science Immersion Experience (In person*)
    Participants are required to attend at least one experience and are welcome to attend more than one as long as space is available. Meals, lodging, substitute teacher reimbursement and transportation stipend provided when applicable. These sessions will include place-based explorations of electricity generation and energy research facilities, hands-on activities, and discussions of local energy issues and relevant careers
    ; alumni from each region will be invited to attend and lead activities.
    • Western Region, Charlotte |Thurs, Nov 11, 2021 (School holiday for most teachers)
    • Eastern Region, Manteo | March 2022 ​(tentatively scheduled for a Fri/Sat either March 19/20 or 26/27, 2022)
    • Central Region, Chapel Hill | Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, 2022

    ​                         *Please note that in-person programs are subject to change, rescheduling or cancellation depending on COVID-19 restrictions.    

Health and Safety Precautions:
All in-person program components will follow current Universitystate and federal health guidelines and apply a range of safety measures to mitigate health risks, including:

  • Physical distancing
  • Requiring properly worn face coverings when social distancing is not possible
  • Smaller class sizes 
  • Leading activities outdoors as much as possible
  • Increasing sanitation efforts
  • If indoors, leaving doors and windows open to increase air exchange

Click here to access the online application

All applications due by 11:59PM Sunday April 25th Please note: There are a limited number of seats available for this program. All applicants will receive email notification of their acceptance status on or before May 3rd​, 2021. Upon notification of acceptance, teachers will be asked to submit a $100 deposit check to reserve their spot in the program. Your spot will be forfeited if your deposit is not received in a timely manner. The deposit check will not be deposited unless teacher cancels and spot cannot be filled; it would then be considered a tax-deductible gift to the Institute for the Environment. The deposit check will be returned after a teacher completes their first regional science immersion event. 

This program is offered by the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science with funding provided by the Duke Energy Foundation.

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NCSLA Announces
PBL Workshops
-Summer 2021-

The North Carolina Science Leadership Association (NCSLA) is partnering with the Center of Excellence for Research, Teaching and 

Learning (CERTL) at the Wake Forest School of Medicine to provide two 3-day workshops this summer. Both workshops are designed 

to provide K-12 teachers with inquiry-based lessons in Problem-Based Learning that integrate science, math, language arts and other 

areas of the curriculum.

To qualify for attendance at either workshop, educators must be a member of NCSLA.  Current NCSLA members may register for 

only $25.  The membership fee is only $40.  To find out more about NCSLA, go to

The non-member registration fee is $65.  (This is a $500 value.)

Upon Completion of the workshop, participants:

  • will have permanent access to hundreds of problems and projects from CERTL to use in their classroom.  
  • may apply for up to 2 CEUs.

(This means no additional fee, ever, even if you change schools!) 

Workshop Sites/Dates:

  Wilmington/June 21-23       or       Asheville/July 19-21

Registration website: 

For questions or further information contact Manley Midgett at or 919-218-7917.

Project Invent | Empowering Students Through Invention


My name is Jordan, and I am a recruitment manager at Project Invent. Project Invent is a national nonprofit organization that promotes learning through the power of invention at the high school level.

Our program operates as a teacher fellowship, in which high school teachers are trained in design thinking, engineering, and entrepreneurship. After training, our fellows lead their students through a year-long journey to solve a problem in their local community by creating an invention. We have had students invent everything from a headband to detect early signs of concussion, to a card dealing tool for individuals with mobility limitations. You can see videos of our students and teachers in action at

We are currently recruiting new teachers to join our 2021-2022 cohort, and are looking to expand to new schools and counties across the US! We have only had one NC-based team complete the program so far, and we’d love to up that number! I am a Raleigh native myself, so I would personally love to see young inventors sprouting up across NC 🙂  


Jordan Mareno
Partnerships and Recruitment Manager

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