Month: February 2021

It has been 11 months since schools first shut down across the country and around the world. Most students in the U.S. are still experiencing disruptions to their learning. To respond to this disruption, education leaders are calling for a reinvention of public education. Education experts, parents and students are thinking about what is going to be necessary to recover — and at the same time the things that are not worth returning to. Here are four key ideas: acceleration academies — aka summer school, tutoring, safer and more equitable schools — never going to go back to normal, and invest in a Moon Shot.

Earlier this month, U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, and Katie Porter, D-California, reintroduced the Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act. According to a news release, the act will more than double what families can set aside pre-tax in Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to pay for preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs and child or adult daycare.

Congress will now move forward with crafting the Democrats’ relief bill. A key aspect of the American Rescue Plan is providing additional support for the nation’s K-12 schools. This will include social distancing, layoffs and close budget gaps, health staff, and supporting learning via tutors and summer school.

Deadline: Monday, June 14, 2021
The 2021 Contest challenges students to explore and understand their connection to water and to creatively communicate the need to protect this vital resource and life-sustaining relationship. What are the stories we need to tell about water to sustain and conserve it for current and future generations of life on Earth?

Deadline: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Award: $1,000
The Cyber Security Scholarship is awarded annually to a student from a rural community anywhere in the United States. In order to be considered for this scholarship, an applicant must be planning to attend college to pursue a degree in a computer technology-related field, with a focus on security. This scholarship is awarded based upon answers to a series of essay questions that are designed to gauge the student’s passion for security and insight into the field, as well as the student’s sense of citizenship and pride in their rural community.

Enrollment deadline: Monday, March 1, 2021
National Geographic Educator Certification is a free professional development program that recognizes pre-K through 12 formal and informal educators committed to inspiring the next generation of explorers, conservationists and changemakers. These educators are part of a powerful movement to make the world a better place by empowering students to be informed decision-makers equipped to solve meaningful challenges in their communities and beyond. Do not just teach students about the world — teach them how to change it.

21st CCLC 2021 Summer Symposium, Tuesday, July 20 through Thursday, July 22, Virtual
Deadline: Sunday, March 7, 2021
The U.S. Department of Education seeks proposals for workshop sessions at the 21st CCLC 2021 Summer Symposium. Afterschool practitioners, researchers, program directors, evaluators, 21st CCLC state coordinators, network representatives and others are invited to submit abstracts for consideration. During the three-day event, approximately 90 breakout sessions that align with this year’s discussion strands will be convened.

Academy: July 19–21, 26–27 and 29, 2021
The focus of the academy is to prepare teachers to serve as Earth Science and STEM education mentors/leaders among their colleagues. The American Geosciences Institute is looking for teachers who have the potential to become Earth Science professional development providers and leaders in their home school systems. Participants will attend a 1-hour pre-academy orientation at 1 p.m. EDT on either Monday, July 5 or Saturday, July 17. The applicant review process will start April 1, 2021 and continue until the academy is full. Applying early is highly recommended.

History of Black History Month. This year marks the 45th consecutive celebration of Black History Month, which was first recognized by President Gerald R. Ford. In 1976, President Ford encouraged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Check out the Black History Month activities playlist for students grades K-12 and followMizzen #BlackExcellence on social media — #BlackExcellence.

Physics remains a space that is predominantly affluent, white, and male. Research has demonstrated that part of cultivating spaces that encourage underrepresented students in physics to persist consists of developing their identities as students of science and physics. This goes far deeper than the frequently touted “inspire” campaigns that are often seen in various outreach and SciComm efforts. Rather, developing identity is about helping students to find their own place and also to see people like them in spaces such as physics.

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