Category Archives: NSTA

Mars Education Challenge – Register by Dec 16, 2011

Artist Rendition of Mars Curiosity Rover

Artist Rendition of Mars Curiosity Rover

Teachers of grades 7-12 are challenged to develop ingenious ways to incorporate Mars science and exploration into the classroom. The grand-prize winner receives $5,000, a trip to the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Indianapolis, and a chance to do field research with a well-known NASA scientist. Other exciting prizes will also be awarded. For more information, please visit the Explore Mars web page and submit your intent to enter by December 16, 2011.

Final entries (lesson plans) are due by January 16, 2012.

  1. Lessons should use Mars (as an example) in your science lesson, while teaching the standard curriculum. Your entry can be one lesson, or several lessons. It can use technical equipment or simple pen and paper.
  2. Abstract: You will need to send an abstract providing a general description of your curriculum support The main body of your curriculum support materials should be no longer than 5,000 words in length.
  3. Your lesson(s) must be accompanied by 5 to 20 PowerPoint slides of your idea / your lesson(s).
  4. The PowerPoint slides will also be put on the web to elucidate your lesson idea to your fellow science teachers.
  5. Send in a letter from your school confirming that you teach at that school and indicating the science course(s) that you teach at that school.
  6. Include your own personal contact information (name, address, email address, telephone numbers, and school address)

Learn more at the Explore mars website


Free NASA / NSTA Professional Development Webinars

NASA’s Explorer School Program, in conjunction with the NSTA, will offer several free online professional development opportunities for middle school and high school educators. Each of these new learning seminars focuses on NASA developed STEM content for the classroom.

Title Dates
Electromagnetic Spectrum: Remote Sensing Ices on Mars 8/24/2011 11/15/2011 12/19/2011 4/3/2012
Meteorology: How Clouds Form 8/30/11 12/1/2011 1/17/2012 4/9/2012
High-Powered Microscopes: The Virtual Lab 8/31/2011 1/11/2012
Engineering Design Process: On The Moon 9/6/2011 1/19/2012
Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology 9/8/2011 1/23/2012
Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA 9/12/2011 1/25/2012

Visit the NSTA website for details:

NSTA Shell Science Lab Challenge – Deadline February 2, 2011

Are you a middle or high school teacher succeeding in science lab instruction with minimal equipment? Take NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Challenge and share your exemplary approach for a chance to win a school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000!

Over $93,000 in lab makeover prizes to be awarded this year, including a grand prize school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000. This program gives special attention to urban schools and underrepresented groups; schools in rural areas and those with limited laboratory resources are also encouraged to apply.

Educators who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences in schools with little or no lab equipment are asked to illustrate and submit their strategies to the Challenge. Entries will be judged on the basis of several criteria, including uniqueness, creativity, and ability to be replicated. Eighteen winners, including the grand prize winner, will be receive donated science lab equipment or gift certificates, a cash grant to purchase additional science lab tools and resources, a $300 gift certificate to the NSTA Science Store, memberships to the NSTA and the NSTA Learning Center, and support to attend NSTA conferences. All entries will be put into an online library to create a repository of strategies and ideas that teachers looking for exciting ways to create quality labs for their students can access and use. The deadline for entries is February 2, 2011.

For more information or to download an application, visit

Explore Mars Competition for High School Science Educators – Deadline January 5, 2011

The Mars Education Challenge asks high school science educators to develop and submit ingenious ways to fit Mars science and exploration into their classroom lessons.

“The science required to study Mars is largely the same ‘Earth’ science that is currently taught in school districts around the country,” said Chris Carberry, Executive Director, Explore Mars, Inc. “By showing that the study of Mars is highly relevant to the study of Earth, we want to find new ways to excite students not only in space exploration, but in science and engineering – both of which are vital to the competitiveness of this nation. We think that this program will create innovative ways to teach science in the classroom.”

The inaugural Challenge will recognize six curricula entries, five regional and one national. Regional winners will receive $2,500 grants and the national winner will receive a $5,000 grant. Winners will also have an opportunity to do field research with well-known planetary scientists. The national winner will receive an expense paid trip to NSTA’s 2011 National Conference on Science Education in San Francisco where he or she will be recognized at a special awards ceremony. Winning lesson plans will be shared with classrooms nationwide.

Learn more at the Explore Mars website:
The deadline for curriculum submissions is January 5, 2011

Free Web Seminars from NSTA

The NSTA, in collaboration with NASA, the NASA Explorer School program, The American Chemical Society, and other organizations has many free web seminars planned for K-12 educators. Dates for these 90 minute seminars vary (see below). These webinars will be hosted at the NSTA Learning Center, a professional development website created to help address your classroom needs and busy schedule. Using this site, you can gain access to more than 3,000 different resources and opportunities, including NSTA Web Seminars. Creating an NSTA Learning Center account is FREE.

Title: Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures
Dates: 10/5/2010, 11/29/2010, 1/20/20111, 3/2/2011
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Title: Global Climate Change and the Earth System
Date: October 6, 2010
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Title: Using Stories to Teach Chemistry
Date: October 7, 2010
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Title: How Can I Win ExploraVision?
Date: October 13, 2010
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Title: The Virtual Lab
Dates: 10/13/2010, 12/2/2010, 1/24/20111, 3/15/2011
Time: October 13 program will air 8:00p.m. – 9:30p.m. Eastern Time. All other dates will air 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Title: Effects of Climate Change: Oceans and Ice
Date: October 14, 2010
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Register for a free account at:

NSTA New Science Teacher Academy – Application Deadline May 30, 2010

If you’re a second or third year, secondary science teacher, don’t miss the deadline, May 30, to apply to the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy, co-founded by the Amgen Foundation. If selected, this Academy supports Fellows through mentoring and other professional development resources during their initial, challenging years. Striving for quality science teaching, enhanced teacher confidence, classroom excellence and solid content knowledge, the Academy provides the following additional benefits.

  • Full membership to the National Science Teachers Association
  • Access to the web-based Learning Center’s tools and professional development activities and resources including web seminars led by national experts
  • Use of vetted science websites, state and national standards sites, other professional organizations, safety tips, and more
  • E-mentoring with an experienced teacher in the same science discipline and grade band
  • Facilitated online curriculum devoted to science content and applicable classroom pedagogy
  • Access to a nationwide, online network of science educators and scientists for exchange of information, ideas, and resources
  • Participation in specialized conference pathway sessions, and a Research Dissemination Conference or a Professional Development Institute.
  • Paid accommodations, airfare, meals, and registration fees to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education.

Who is Eligible?

  • Applicants must reside in the United States
  • Applicants must be entering their second or third year of teaching
  • Applicants must be working a schedule with 51 percent of their classes in middle or high school science

Download and complete an application  at the following URL:
May 30, 2010 is the deadline for receipt of all applications.

NASA Sun-Earth Day Tweetup – March 19, 2010

Come meet the minds behind Sun-Earth Day, NASA Edge, and the Solar Dynamics Observatory!

When: Friday March 19th, 12:30 – 1:30pm, Happy hour 6pm (Location TBD)
Where: The NASA booth in the exhibit hall of the NSTA National Conference (registration to the conference is required)
What: Learn about using Twitter in the classroom, what Sun-Earth Day has to offer, new SDO educator materials, and meet the NASA Edge celebrities!

Please provide the information requested in the registration form.
Click ‘submit’ only once. Registration will be open through March 14th. You will receive a confirmation email on the 15th.

Free NASA/NSTA Web Seminar (Grades 3-12) – June 4, 2009

Join NASA, NSTA and WGBH for a free Web seminar that will put science concepts into context with resources from NASA and PBS’ Design Squad. The Web seminar will take place on June 4, 2009, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT.


Learn how six engineering activities from the “On the Moon” guide can help your students apply physical and Earth/space science concepts learned in class. Concepts like the moon, force, energy, simple machines, Newton’s Laws, EM-spectrum measurement, and technology related to living and working on the moon will be addressed. The fun, open-ended challenges not only put science concepts in a meaningful context, but they show students that the design process is a powerful way to develop solutions for problems.


Finally, see how easy it is to incorporate the activities into your curriculum. Each activity connects with topics taught in the Grades 3–12 curricula; maps to education standards; uses low- cost, readily available materials; takes one class period; and is easy to set up. Students have never had so much fun meeting a host of science, math and technology standards, all while putting what they know into practice by tackling engineering challenges.


To learn more and to register online, visit .

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