New Opportunities: June 8th, 2021

Competitions for K-12 EducatorsEducator competitions increase students’ interest and excitement for science: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

In June, ORISE is hosting two educator competitions; please scroll down for more information.

June Social Media Contest

Deadline: on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Wednesday, June 30

Teachers! School may be out, but summer social media contests are just beginning! Throughout the month of June, we want to know over the summer, what are things you can incorporate into or remove from your life to help with teaching fatigue or burnout? To enter the contest, follow ORISE on social media, fill out this (very short) survey, and comment your answer on the post!


THREE randomly selected teachers will receive AirPods Pro!


  • The contest closes on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Wednesday, June 30.
  • Teachers must teach in the United States, a U.S. Territory, or a DoDEA school to be eligible to win.
  • Teachers are eligible to win two ORISE competitions in a 12-month period.

If you have any questions, please contact

To view the current ORISE lesson plan library, visit

STEM in the Great Outdoors Lesson Plan Competition

Deadline: on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, July 31

Teachers, June is National Great Outdoor month, and we want to celebrate with you! ORISE wants to see how you incorporate the outdoors into one of your existing content specific lesson plans. Teachers of any grade level or subject are invited to submit a STEM lesson plan that utilizes the outdoors. THREE teachers will be selected to win a mini-grant for their classroom up to $1,500! May the forest be with you!


  • 1st: $1,500 mini-grant
  • 2nd: $1,000 mini-grant
  • 3rd: $500 mini-grant


  • Interested educators are invited to submit an original lesson plan to on or before 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time, Saturday, July 31.
  • To avoid plagiarism, please a submit lesson plan that you have written. We understand that many activities are developed by other teachers; just make sure that you put your own spin on the activity.
  • Lesson plan may focus on any topic as long as the lesson plan incorporates students using a makerspace.
  • Lesson plans should include the following:
    • lesson title
    • teacher name and school
    • target grade level
    • time required for lesson
    • standards/objectives
    • materials required
    • instructional steps for introduction, activities, and closure
    • assessment strategies
    • differentiation strategies
  • Lesson plans will be scored using a rubric, and winners will be announced late August!
  • Teachers must teach in the United States, a U.S. Territory, or a DoDEA school to be eligible to win.
  • Teachers are eligible to win two ORISE competitions in a 12-month period.

Note: Lesson plans submitted for the competition may be shared with other educators via the ORISE website. Plans are subject to revision and edits by ORISE staff before they are shared, so please submit in an editable format (Not PDF).

To view the current ORISE lesson plan library, visit

Programmed Robotics 
Programmed Robotics in the School Makerspace (PRISM) is a project funded by the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund’s Student Science Enrichment Program (SSEP) (2020-2022) with a grant to North Carolina State University’s Colleges of Education and Sciences. The project trains 16 student and 8 teacher leaders from 8 middle/high schools per year at summer institutes on 4 targeted programmed robotics platforms that are popular in makerspaces (Cubelets, Sphero RVR, mBot, LEGO EV3). Four NC counties are targeted (Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba), but educators in neighboring counties are also welcome to apply (Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Wilkes). Training is intended to seed or expand maker clubs in schools with further students engaged in robotics challenges the year following training. The project introduces students to related STEM college and career tracks through industry experts associated with the NC Center for Engineering Technologies (NCCET) (spring field trip). Active recruitment is underway for educators for the August 2-4 programmed robotics workshop in Hickory, NC.

Receive training, stipends, CEUs, and equipment to use with a new maker club. 
Additional information can be found at:
Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching (PAEMST)

2021 NC Finalists for the Presidential Awards Announced

The applications review process for the 2021 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) has concluded. The North Carolina PAEMST state review panel has selected 3 applications in mathematics and computer science and 3 applications in science and engineering to be named as finalists. The finalists’ applications have progressed to the national review process to determine the awardees.

Please read the announcement here: 

The 2021 North Carolina Finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Announcement 

The 2022 Presidential Awards cycle will open for K-6 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science teachers at the beginning of the next school year. Please go to for more information.  

For any questions, please contact the North Carolina PAEMST State Coordinator, Joe Reaper at

BIG Congrats to the winners from Western NC!!

Grants - Free of Charge Creative Commons Hand held card image

Gravely & Paige Grants for STEM Teachers
Contact:AFCEA Educational Foundation
4114 Legato Rd. Ste. 1000
Fairfax, VA 22033

Phone: 703.631.6147
Email: (For questions)
Description:The AFCEA Educational Foundation, in partnership with AFCEA chapters, awards Gravely Grants for elementary-level teachers and Paige Grants for middle school teachers to promote innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education within classrooms and outside, such as through robotics clubs. Teachers working with students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds receive priority. Grant requests are evaluated on teacher skill level, potential for funds to be used well, and school financial need.

Eligible applicants are elementary and middle school STEM teachers in US public and private schools. Required is detailed information on the proposed project or program, including goals and objectives, methods and procedures, timetable, number of students served, and budget. The application is available during the submission period. It must be completed and submitted using the online system. A letter of recommendation from the school principal is required once an application is sent. Grants will be awarded in September for the 2020-2021 school year.
Eligibility:Public, Private, Charter
Award(s):Grants up to $1,000 are awarded.
Deadline(s):Applications are accepted May 1 through July 31, 2021.
Focus:Engineering, STEM/STEAM/STREAM, Technology Education/Computer Science, Underserved Populations/At Risk
Grade Level(s):K-2, 3-5, 6-8
Content Area(s):Mathematics, Science

STEM Minigrants

Contact:National Girls Collaborative
4616 25th Ave. NE #248
Seattle, WA 98105

Email: (For questions)
Description:The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) supports girl-serving programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to address gaps and overlaps in service and share exemplary practices. Minigrants are awarded as seed funding for projects that encourage girls to pursue STEM-related educational programs and careers, and are intended to promote cooperation between existing girl-serving programs. Preference is given to applications for innovative activities and that involve first-time collaboration between the applicant organizations.

Eligible applicants are organizations with a registered and approved program in NGCP’s Connectory prior to submitting the grant request. State or regional members of NGCP offer minigrants on their own schedules. Interested organizations should review the application guidelines on the NGCP website and check their state or regional collaborative for opportunities. A map of state and local collaboratives is available at
Eligibility:Public, Private, Charter, Other (including homeschool, 501 (c)(3) organizations)
Award(s):Minigrants up to $1,000 are awarded.
Deadline(s):Minigrants are awarded year-round, with application deadlines determined by state or regional collaboratives.
Focus:Engineering, STEM/STEAM/STREAM, Technology Education/Computer Science, Underserved Populations/At Risk
Grade Level(s):K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Content Area(s):Mathematics, Science
21st Century
Themes and Skills:
Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Innovation, Problem Solving

Bookmobile Grant Program

Contact:Alexis Covey
Lois Lenski Covey Foundation
PO Box 255366
Sacramento, CA 95865

Description:The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation offers grants for bookmobile programs across the nation that serve children from disadvantaged populations. Grants support organizations that operate a lending bookmobile that travels into neighborhoods populated by underserved youth. Funds must be used to purchase fiction or nonfiction books published for young people preschool through grade 8, from Early Reader books through Young Adult and Hi-Lo books.

Bookmobiles operated by nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, public libraries, and schools are eligible to apply. Priority is given to organizations that serve economically or socially at-risk children, have limited book budgets, and demonstrate real need. Applications must be submitted by postal mail.
Eligibility:Public, Private, Charter, Other (including homeschool, 501 (c)(3) organizations)
Award(s):Awards range from $500 to $3,000.
Deadline(s):Applications are due September 1, annually.
Focus:Library/Media, Literacy, PreK-12, Underserved Populations/At Risk
Grade Level(s):PreK, K-2, 3-5, 6-8
Content Area(s):Reading/English/Language Arts

Literacy Donations (How about STEM Careers as Lit. focus?)

Contact:Wish You Well Foundation
12359 Sunrise Valley Dr. Ste. 360
Reston, VA 20191

Phone: 703.476.6032
Description:The mission of the Wish You Well Foundation is to support adult and family literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs. Donations are made to programs and projects that relate to and aid in this stated mission. The foundation reviews donation requests with a wide array of funding needs. Previous grants were used to fund adult education, literacy programs, English language education programs, workforce development training, libraries, and learning centers for individuals with disabilities.

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to apply. Requests must be submitted by postal mail.
Eligibility:Public, Other (including homeschool, 501 (c)(3) organizations), Charter
Award(s):Awards range from $200 to $10,000.
Deadline(s):Donation requests are accepted year-round.
Focus:Family/Social Services, General Education, Literacy, Adult, Literacy, PreK-12
Grade Level(s):6-8, 9-12, Higher Ed, 3-5, K-2, PreK, Adult
Content Area(s):Reading/English/Language Arts

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This FREE educational app teaches kids about smart energy use and conservation through an engaging arcade of action-packed, energy-themed games. Unlock all the exclusive features using your unique access code: WRJTJ0.

🏽‍ 2021 Clubs Application: Our 2021 Clubs application is open and we are looking forward to welcoming new girls into our sisterhood! Apply today to see what new and exciting programming awaits! (Make sure to signup under STEM West for added benefits!)

 Closing The Gap: It’s no secret that women in tech — especially women of color — need more resources to feel supported. Tarika explains to The Wall Street Journal how we can help close the gender gap in tech.

 Code at Home Activity: Learning how to code doesn’t have to be difficult. With our simple, fun PDFs, you can code at the click of a button.

A couple of summers ago, the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences department hosted a professional development workshop for 3rd, 8th and HS science teachers about the hydrosphere (water science). We gave out 20 classroom kits of materials to teachers who participated, CEUs, a stipend, and ten mini grants for classroom equipment. We would love to offer this workshop again in the future, and are looking for feedback from teachers who teach about water in their science class. If you cover any water related topics, please complete this brief survey (if you haven’t already) so we can continue to improve our offerings:

Thank you!

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