Penn State CSATS STEM E-Newsletter
Connecting you and your students to STEM opportunities!
January 2017
If you have questions or inquire about an opportunity, please contact Amanda Smith, CSATS STEM Outreach & Engagement Liaison, or the contact that may be provided in the announcement.
Center for Science & the Schools

Educator Opportunities
CSATS Teacher Workshops
Totally Rad: Exploring Radiation and Nuclear Science
January 19, 2017
Breazeale Nuclear Reactor Classroom 
9 AM - 2:30 PM

i-STEAM workshops are offered throughout the academic year on a variety of weekdays and even Saturdays.  

i-STEAM workshops are free for k-12 teachers.

Totally Rad
Want to find out more about isotopes, alpha, beta, and gamma decay? Want to explore fission and fusion and learn more about energy? Come find out how the atom is used in everyday life and how our understanding of nuclear processes spans across the disciplines.

  • Register through CSATS 
  • Lunch Included
  • 5 Act 48 hours ($10 processing fee)

Please contact Ashley Rapsinksi, CSATS STEM Outreach Specialist,

2017 CSATS Summer Workshops
Penn State University
Week-long workshop opportunities

Spend a week with Center for Science and the Schools getting an in-depth experience with Penn State researchers.  CSATS week-long workshops focus on engaging teachers in activities designed around cutting-edge research projects. Workshop activities may include field trips to site locations, working with researchers and graduate students in their labs or in the field, and professional development tailored to bring research-based practices into your classroom!
  • NEWBio- Renewable Energy alternatives are vital for the health of our planet
  • APPL-RED- plant pollinator workshop
  • Come away with many useable inquiry based lessons, materials and resources to take back to your classroom!
Want a more in-depth experience? Check out our RET program at   

This program suns for 7 weeks in the summer and immerses the teacher in a research experience.

National Science Teachers Association
Conference Opportunities
March 30-April 2 (National Conference) 
July 12-14 (STEM Forum and Expo)
K-12 Teachers, Administrators
NSTA conferences offer the latest in science content, teaching strategy, and research to enhance and expand your professional growth. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to collaborate with science 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.

NSTA Virtual Conferences
Do you have a limited travel budget and want to enhance your skills from the comfort of your own home? NSTA offers virtual conferences on key topics such as NGSS, STEM, and PreK-6 Science! Click here to register for the next live conference and/or purchase archives from a recent program.
  • NGSS discussions and integration
  • Collaborate with other NSTA teachers

Student Opportunities
Annual KidWind Challenge
Penn State University
March 15, 2017
9:00 AM- 3:30 PM
Middle and High School Students (Grades 4-12)

The KidWind Challenge is an event developed to allow students to explore the power of wind by building and testing their own wind turbines.  Over 10,000 have participated in KidWind Challenges all over the US!   Currently you can participate in two ways at EVENTS or ONLINE.

Teams from can register to participate in the Pennsylvania KidWind Challenge held at PSU through the KidWind website.  

Please contact Ashley Rapsinski at or 814-865-1713 with any questions!


Women in Science Profiles
WPSU Resource for classrooms  
Starting January 2017
For students and your classroom!

Despite tremendous gains in the workforce, women, and particularly women of color, remain underrepresented within Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Women in Science Profiles (WiSci Files) is a series of six, two to four-minute videos and interactive virtual chats with local women scientists aimed at inspiring young women to enter careers in the captivating world of science.

The videos and chats are slated to launch January 2017 but we will begin our social media outreach in Fall 2016. Follow and like us on social media @wiscifiles.

For more information on how your students and classroom can get involved with this exciting media project, please contact Cheraine Stanford, WPSU Senior Producer,

Expanding Your Horizons: STEM Career Day for Girls
Penn State University
January 28, 2017
9:00 AM- 4:00 PM
Middle and High School Students

Save the Date!
An inspiring full-day event for middle and high school girls that features speakers and interactive workshops on STEM topics and careers.  Registration will be posted in November 2016. 

Please contact the PSU Science Outreach Office at
 with any questions!


Other Announcements
Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research Student Contests 
Due date: April 2, 2017
Poster Contest: K-12 grade students
Essay Contest: 7-12 grade students

Do your students want to win cash prizes and more? Do they know how research has impacted their life? Challenge them to enter our essay and/or poster contests to discover the connection between their life and biomedical research. 


What Do Kids Really Need to Know about Computer Science? New Roadmap Wins Widespread Support

K-12 educators in the U.S. are struggling. Like everyone else, they know that computer technology is a well-paying, in-demand field that's desperate for a more diverse workforce. But many have had a hard time figuring out exactly how to prepare kids for tech careers and provide them with a basic understanding of computer science. Until now, that is. A coalition of computer science organizations - led in part by the Seattle-based nonprofit - recently released the K-12 Computer Science Framework. The document provides a roadmap for educators eager to expand beyond lessons in how to use a spreadsheet or build a PowerPoint deck.

FUNDING Opportunities

Click on these funding opportunities for details and information.

* It's About Life. Gift of Life Donor Program. Ongoing 
* Captain Planet Foundation. Project-based learning.Due January 31.
* Classroom Technology Grants. Due February 24.
* White-Reinhardt Mini-Grants. Agricultural literacy. Due April 15.

*Are you a science teacher succeeding in providing exemplary lab instruction with minimal equipment and resources? The Shell Science Lab Challenge offers you a chance to compete to win a school science lab makeover, valued at $20,000, by sharing your creative approach. Middle and high school science teachers (grades 6-12) in the United States and Canada are encouraged to apply. The deadline for submissions is January 23, 2017.

*Pets in the Classroom grants are offered to Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade classes only in both public and private schools. These grants are intended to support pets or aquariums in the classroom for the purposes of teaching children to bond with and care for their pets responsibly.

Sign up for our K-12 Newsletters!
Stay Connected
182 Chambers Building University Park, PA 16802