Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators

December 27, 2011

Are you a teacher, or do you know an outstanding teacher, who uses innovative approaches to teach about environmental education? The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who apply innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for exploratory and integrated learning.

As discussed in the “America’s Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations” report, in order to make environmental stewardship and conservation relevant to young Americans, environmental and place-based, experiential learning must be integrated into school curricula and facilities across the country.

This program recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students.

“This awards program will highlight and encourage innovative ways to getter integrate environmental issues into our young people’s everyday learning experiences—helping to turn environmental education into environmental action,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe.

Two teachers from each of EPA’s 10 regional offices will be selected to receive this award.  Visit EPA’s teacher award website at

Applications for the PIAEE are due on January 31, 2012.

Use Problem Solving Skills to Win Scholarship Money!

February 16, 2011

Attention high school students!  Use your problem solving skills to win scholarships totaling $100,000!

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge is an Internet-based, applied math contest open to high school juniors and seniors, in 18 states along the east coast. Participating teams have 14 hours to solve an open-ended, applied math-modeling problem focusing on a real-world issue. The goal of the challenge is to introduce applied mathematics to students as a powerful problem solving-tool, an exciting profession, and a vital contributor to advances in an increasingly technical society. The challenge also inspires and encourages those students who don’t favor math from textbooks or traditional math competitions.

Last year’s competition challenged participants to evaluate the U.S. Census Bureau’s figures and methods. Each team was asked to make recommendations for the under-count adjustment, the apportioning of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the fairest way to draw Congressional districts based on their evaluation of the Bureau’s figures.

What Moody’s Mega Math Challenge teaches high school students, above and beyond everything else, is that there is a purpose to math outside the classroom: that they can objectively evaluate issues by looking at the numbers and statistics behind the problem and use math to break down concepts and ideas they encounter in everyday life.
Be part of Moody’s Mega Math Challenge and experience it yourself! Register now! Challenge weekend is March 5-6, 2011. Teachers must register their teams before 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, February 25, 2011.

Click here to register.

Click here for more details.

Teens Feelings about STEM – New Data from Lemelson-MIT

May 27, 2010


The 2010 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, an annual survey that gauges American teens perceptions about invention and innovation, reveals some telling information about their feelings towards STEM subjects (science, technology, education and math). 

Of the teens surveyed for this year’s report: 

–  77 percent showed  interest in pursuing a STEM career

 – 85 percent wish they knew more about STEM in order to create or invent something 

  – 66 percent identified field trips and other activities outside of the classroom as the best way they can learn about STEM subjects

– 75 percent chose hands-on individual projects and hands-on group projects as the types of classroom-based educational methods they enjoy most

– 43 percent said that role models in STEM fields would increase their interest in learning about these areas

One program at The Center for Excellence in Math and Science that incorporates several of the needs identified in the Lemelson-MIT survey is the STEM Mentor Program.  Our STEM Mentor Program is a collaborative initiative with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester (BBBS) to increase interest, excitement, and exposure to informal STEM education and professionals.

 Mentors (or “Bigs”) in the program all have a background, career, or interest in the STEM fields.  The Bigs share their STEM excitement with Littles –  who have been identified by BBBS as having an interest in STEM subjects. 


“Littles” from the STEM Mentor Program have a hands-on STEM experience with a STEM professional from the Seneca Park Zoo.


The STEM Mentor Program facilitates field trips and hands on activities for the Big/Little pairs – things identified as important to teens in the Lemelson-MIT survey. 

The program also gives the Littles something the Lemelson-MIT survey found lacking on a national level – exposure to adults in the STEM fields.  Just 51% of teens surveyed said they knew someone who worked in a STEM profession.  

 Another mentor program aimed at increasing hands-on STEM learning and direct access to STEM professionals is Lemelson-MIT’s InvenTeams High School Invention Grants.

 InvenTeams is a national program.  Teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. such as a temperature-sensitive color-changing roof to combat global warming.

 For more information about Lemelson-MIT’s InvenTeams High School Invention Grants visit:

 For more information about the STEM Mentor Program email Caurie Putnam, program coordinator, at

Nominations for 2009 Excellence in STEM Teaching Award

December 17, 2008
Nominate a teacher today!

Nominate a teacher today!

We are excited to announce that nominations for the 2009 Rochester Area Excellence in STEM Teaching Award are now being accepted.

Last year was the first time the RAC Center for Excellence in Math and Science offered the STEM Teaching Award. We received nominations from many outstanding teachers, and in October, we narrowed our search down to three finalists. The Award Winner, Jennie Peck, was announced at the 2008 Collaboration Event.

The purpose of the award is to recognize effective, engaging, and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teaching in grades K-12.

To learn more, or to nominate a teacher you know, please visit the Excellence in STEM Teaching web page.

Originally published by Allison on 12/2/2008.

Teacher Grant Opportunities

June 9, 2008

Would you like to use a new assistive-technology strategy with one of your students with special needs, but just don’t have the funding?  The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services is offering $1,800,000 in grant opportunities for educators through their new Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities Grant.

The purpose of this grant is to promote academic achievement and to improve results for children with disabilities by providing technical assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by scientifically based research.  The application deadline is July 7th!

Share below any successes (or problems!) you may have had applying for grants in the past!  And, as always, check out a list of available grants on the RAC-CEMS website!


May 19, 2008

Do you have an art or music project in mind for your classroom, but need help with the funding due to program cuts?  Airborne, Inc. is providing teachers with a year-round grant opportunity, the Airborne Teacher Trust Fund, to assist with those projects.  Judges will select recipients each quarter from the pool of applicants.  According to Airborne, “Programs are evaluated based on need, projected impact to students, educational program elements and, of course, the teacher’s desire and passion to succeed,” and grants ranging from $200-$10,000 will be awarded.

Submit your application for the next round by July 31!

Grant Writing Tips for Teachers

February 13, 2008

As funding and budgets continue to be cut, more and more teachers are turning to grants to support their classroom projects. Even though grant-writing may seem daunting, there are many resources online for teachers that can make it a virtually painless process.


First, Education World has created a great guide for educators. Besides breaking down the grant process and including a list of other resources, the site also includes some expert tips for first-time grant writers.

Click here to view tips for writing grants!