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February 2016 Teacher Opportunities, Grants, Resources, and Student Competitions

Published: February 27, 2016   |   Categories: Science Matters

Science Matters is an initiative from the National Science Teachers Association that promotes quality science education, resources, and professional development opportunities. Each state has a Science Matters Coordinator whose primary role is to be the point of contact for distribution of science resources and opportunities to the state network.

Our Nevada network is built from this website and connected social media (Facebook and Twitter) – encourage your colleagues to sign up and become a part of this critically important network for science educators and involved community members!

Bret Sibley
Nevada Science Matters Coordinator


We hope you enjoy the February Newsletter of science and STEM education resources and announcements provided by the Science Matters Network. Please forward them on to other science/STEM educators in your school and/or school district. If there are any topics you would like to have us highlight in the next newsletter, please let us know.


Headline News Story

A Rising Call to Promote STEM Education and Cut Liberal Arts Funding

According to an article in the New York Times, “[m]ost of the top earners in the liberal arts end up matching only the bottom earners in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—known as the STEM fields—and some will earn less than high school graduates who have vocational skills, like welders and mechanics. … A recent salary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a nonprofit membership organization that connects campus career officers with business recruiters, found once again that new STEM graduates were expected to command the highest overall average salaries in 2016. New engineers, for example, are expected to earn nearly $65,000 a year.”


 Teacher Education, Professional Learning, and Grant and Award Opportunities

Lab Out Loud

Lab Out Loud is a podcast and blog that began in October 2007 to examine topics relevant to teachers of science and the science classroom. Lab Out Loud, hosted by two science teachers, discusses science news and science education with leading scientists, researchers, science writers and other important figures in the field.


Enter the DuPont Challenge Elementary Division

Attention K–5 teachers: Now is the time for you and your students to enter the DuPont Challenge Science Writing Competition–Elementary Division. The deadline is Tuesday, March 1, at 11:55 p.m. Pacific Time. The first 100 teachers to enter will receive a free copy of the e-book Animals That Fly and Birds That Don’t from Britannica Digital Learning. Deadline is March 1, 2016.


Mentor Action Guide

Million Women Mentors is excited to release the first of four new mentor action guides. The action guide provides mentors who are working with middle school students with 20 weeks/hours of activities to do with their mentees. Within the guide, mentors will find a mix of hands-on and online activities as well as touch points for conversations around things like goal setting. The action guide for middle school is integrated with Learning Blade®, an online STEM career awareness curriculum, and has information on how mentors can access an account to use with their mentees. To download a copy of the mentor action guide, visit the Resources Page on the Million Women Mentors website.


The ACT National STEM Report

The Condition of STEM 2015 reviews the 2015 graduating class in the context of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)-related fields to determine student interest levels in specific STEM fields and, more importantly, readiness in math and science of those interested in STEM careers. Download the full report »


FREE District Package at NSTA National Conference in Nashville: Teaming Up for STEM

Come as a team to the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Nashville March 31–April 3, 2016, and let us give you a personalized learning experience. Before, we’ll use survey data to inform the special sessions designed for your team’s experience. During, you’ll speed through an on-site express registration, network at an exclusive welcome reception, attend customized sessions that focus your STEM implementation efforts (including a district team planning session for teams to share their learning experiences at the conference and discuss how it may be implemented back in their district and keep your team on track). After, we will follow this all up with workshops and NSTA online professional learning experiences throughout 2016 to keep your team motivated and help you realize your goals. To read more and access the survey to sign up, click here.


NSTA Upcoming Conferences

NSTA Conferences offer the latest in science/STEM content, pedagogy, and research to enhance and expand your professional growth. Take advantage of these unique opportunities to collaborate with Science/STEM/NGSS education leaders and your peers. Each year, NSTA hosts a national conference on science education (in the spring), three area conferences (in the fall), and a STEM Forum & Expo. Learn more »

See you at these NSTA Upcoming Conferences:

  • NSTA National Conference in Nashville, March 31–Apr. 3, 2016
  • NGSS Summer One Day Institute: July 15, 2016 in Reno, Nevada
  • STEM Forum & Expo: Denver, July 27–29, 2016
  • Twitter hashtags: #NSTA16, #STEM


Student Opportunities

Send Kids to “Minecraft” Summer Camp at Home

Summer can be a tough time for kids if there’s nothing goal-oriented to focus on, and if getting them somewhere for a camp experience (whether day or stay) isn’t possible, what can you do to keep them stimulated, learning, and having fun? If your kids are into Minecraft, we have a great idea. Connected Camps run safe and dedicated Minecraft servers for kids to play and learn on in a secure, monitored environment. And over the summer, they run virtual summer camps for kids to play and take their Minecraft fun to the next level. Learn more »


Tulane Science Scholars Program (TSSP)

Tulane University is pleased to invite bright current 10th and 11th (in addition to exceptional 9th) grade students to take 3-credit college courses during the summer with professors in the School of Science and Engineering. The Tulane Science Scholars Program (TSSP) is selective program for high school students who have exceptional talent in the sciences and mathematics. TSSP is a residential program and students will have the option to live on campus in a dormitory for an additional fee. This year’s summer program includes eight courses: Animal Behavior, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Computers and Musical Creativity, Electronics, Materials Science and Engineering, Neuroscience, and Psychology.

More detailed information about these courses and how to apply is available at Each of the courses is offered for three hours of Tulane credit (may be transferable to another university) and has a $1250 fee.

The deadline to apply is April 1, 2016, at noon, and students will be notified of acceptance by May 2, 2016.


Fantasy Farming Challenge: Careers in Ag Scholarship Options (America’s Farmers)

America’s Farmers hosts information on the Grow Ag Leaders program. This program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives out over $500,000 in $1,500 college scholarships to students! The goal of Grow Ag Leaders is to encourage students to develop their skills in agriculture so they might work in one of the thousands of available jobs in ag-related fields. The program spans across 40 states, and while the FFA administers the scholarship, you don’t need to be a part of an FFA program to win. The Monsanto Fund also sponsors a scholarship called the 1890s Student Scholarship for minority undergraduate college students. Recipients can be awarded up to $10,000 per eligible year to go towards tuition and fees.


Please forward this news story on to your colleagues and friends.  If you have questions, comments, or future opportunities and resources that you would like included on future stories, please contact Bret Sibley, ( Nevada State Coordinator, NSTA Science Matters Network.