Competitions for K-12 Educators Educator competitions increase students’ interest and excitement for science

April Social Media Contest: Celebrate Diversity Month!

Competitions for K-12 Educators

Deadline: on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday, April 30, 2021.

Teachers, April is Celebrate Diversity Month, and we want to celebrate with you! Throughout the month of April, we want to know in your classroom, how do you promote the importance of contributions to STEM from people of diverse backgrounds? To enter the contest, follow ORISE on social media @ORISEconnect, fill out this (very short) survey, and comment your answer on the post!

Prizes:

THREE randomly selected teachers will receive an Apple TV!

Details:

  • The contest closes at 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, April 30, 2021.
  • Teachers must teach in the United States, a U.S. Territory, or a DoDEA school to be eligible to win.
  • Teachers are eligible to win two ORISE competitions in a 12-month period.

If you have any questions, please contact STEMEd@orau.org.

View the current ORISE lesson plan library.

Previous ORISE Educator Competitions and Winners

♬ Butterfly in the sky

I can go twice as high

Take a look

It's in a (STEM) book

A reading (STEM) rainbow ♬

Well, you don't have to take my word for it, but I have a feeling that song might be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Teachers, here’s an opportunity for you to win a Kindle Oasis and Bluetooth speaker. ORISE wants to see how you can incorporate STEM and literacy into one of your existing content specific lesson plans. Teachers of any grade level or subject are invited to submit a STEM lesson plan that relates literacy to STEM. Three teachers will win a Kindle Oasis with one year Kindle unlimited subscription and a Bluetooth speaker!

Prizes:

  • Kindle Oasis with one year Kindle unlimited subscription
  • JBL Charge 4 - Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The mental health crisis is at an all-time high here in the United States. At a time when isolation and stress seem like normal, everyday things, it is more important than ever to take care of our mental health. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, it takes 21 days to form a habit. ORISE wants you to follow a stress prevention technique for 21 days and document your journey. At the end of the 21 days, submit a video or podcast about your journey and the importance of taking care of your mental health. Teachers of any grade level or subject area are invited to join the challenge. The three winning teachers will receive a Fitbit and a TheraBox subscription to help continue their mental health journeys. Think you’re up for the challenge?

Prizes:

Three winners will receive:

  • Fitbit Sense
  • TheraBox 1 Year Subscription

What better way to celebrate the New Year than with a new social media contest! Throughout the month of January, ORISE wants to know your best at-home STEM activities that students can complete from the comfort of their homes. 

Winners:

  • Linda Bugg, Bess T. Shepherd Elementary, Chattanooga, TN
  • Claudia Bouchard, New London High School, Waterford, CT

Graphing is where I draw the line. *Ba Dum Tss* We hope not, because ORISE is asking you to whip out those ol’ excel sheets and graphing calculators for this month’s lesson plan competition!

Winners:

  • 1st place: Celeste Ferrson, Hubert O. Sibley Elementary, Miami, FL
    Lesson plan: Pizza Fraction Pie Graph
  • 2nd place: Chunhong Lin, Benjamin Tasker Middle School, Bowie, MD
    Lesson plan: Straw Rocket
  • 3rd place: Harlee Morphis, Blackman Middle School, Murfreesboro, TN
    Lesson plan: Wildebeest vs. Devils Weed – Human Impact and Invasive Species

December 7-13 is Computer Science Education Week! This week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). In the 1930s, the first programmable computer was created, but trying to teach this new skill must have been arduous and perplexing. Through the month of December, ORISE wants to hear your ideas on how to teach computer science without technology. Share an idea or activity that teaches computer science without the use of technology. 

Winners:

  • Jessica Everitt, Hardin Valley Elementary School, Knoxville, TN
  • Hemalatha Bhaskaran, James M Bennett High School, Salisbury, MD
  • Evonne Hackett, Lakeview Middle School, Tunnel Hill, Georgia

With the holidays right around the corner, ORISE thinks it’s time for a break from lesson plans. Here is an opportunity to put on your dancing shoes and creative hats for a chance to win an Apple Watch and AirPods. ORISE wants you to create a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) song music video with original lyrics. The song must be connected to at least one standard. Teachers of any grade level or subject are invited to submit a STEAM music video and song lyrics. Three teachers will win Apple Watches and AirPods. Put on your creative hats and let’s get boppin’!

Winners:

  • Covey Denton, Sallie B Howard School of the Arts, Wilson, NC
    Music video: Cloud Types
  • Heidi Fee, Charlestown, RI
    Music video: Don’t Treat Soil Like Dirt
  • Cheryl Burchett, Beaumont Magnet Academy, Knoxville, TN
    Music video: Art is Investigation

As teachers across the country settle into a virtual or hybrid model of a classroom this school year, ORISE wants to help your virtual teaching go as smoothly as possible. Here is an opportunity for you to win a complete video studio package for all your virtual teaching needs! Throughout the month of October, ORISE asked teachers to submit a lesson plan that converts an in-person interactive lesson to an at home digital lesson plan. 

Winners:

  • Tita Lovell, Flowery Branch High School Flowery Branch, GA 
    Lesson plan: Moon Landing Challenge
  • Greta Shipman, Green Acres Elementary Douglassville GA 
    Lesson plan: Who were the Algonquin Native Americans?
  • Allison Hardy, Hillwood High School Nashville, TN 
    Lesson plan: Stoichiometry explained through particle diagrams

Calling all teachers! To celebrate National Chemistry Week, ORISE wants to award a teacher with sets of thirty at-home reusable lab kits for their classroom. 

Winner:

  • Tabitha Birdsong, Oakhaven Elementary Memphis, TN
    Activity plan: PB&J Coding

Throughout the spring semester, teachers have put their flexibility to use in the digital classroom. ORISE wants to reward you for all of your hard work! Throughout the months of June and July, ORISE is asking teachers to submit a digital resource with a lesson or activity plan to go with it. The digital resource could be a video of a lab or experiment, creative video, virtual breakout, or anything that you have developed to teach online! Teachers should also submit the activity, lesson, or lab plan to go with the resource. 

Winners:

  • 1st place: Patricia Lawrimore, Riverwood International Charter, Sandy Springs, GA
    Lesson plan: Mystery Box
  • 2nd place: Lisa Buckner, Linden Elementary School, Oak Ridge, TN
    Lesson plan: Night at the Museum: A Social Studies & Biography Project
  • 3rd place: Marcela St. Onge, Stone Memorial High School, Crossville, TN
    Lesson plan: Career Infographic

Time for another social media competition! Throughout the month of July, ORISE wants to hear more about your experience in the virtual classroom. Last month, we found out about the resources that were helpful to your experience. This month we want to know what resources, tools, or platforms did you look for or need during the last two months but were unable to find?

Winners:
  • Dusty Carroll, Seneca High School, Mt. Laurel, NJ
  • Emily Sevenz, Maple Grove Middle School, Coon Rapids, MN
  • Jessica Sphar, Sweetwater High School, San Diego, CA

What a crazy year this has been! Throughout the month of June, ORISE wants to hear about your experience in the virtual classroom. What resources, tools, or platforms did you find most helpful in the last two months?

Winners:

  • Denise Wright, Ocean Bay Middle School, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Michelle Johnson, Maury Middle School, Dandridge, TN
  • Lisa Miller, West Central Middle School, Stronghurst, IL

How will you engage your students in exciting ways when you return to school in the fall? ORISE wants to see your best interactive lesson plans! Throughout the month of May, we are asking teachers to submit lesson plans that will engage students in hands-on, interactive learning. Think outside the box by not using traditional worksheets or online projects! THREE teachers will win a Touchjet Pond Touchscreen Projector!

Winners:

  • 1st place: Emily Butterfield, Bearden Middle School, Knoxville, TN
    Lesson plan: Invasive Species Mitigation
  • 2nd place: Lauren Wilmoth, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, TN
    Lesson plan: Demographic Data Dive
  • 3rd place: Patricia Lawrimore, Riverwood International Charter School, Sandy Springs, GA
    Lesson plan: What can we do to improve the air quality at our school?

Let’s get 3-Dimensional! ORISE supports educators teaching using the 3-Dimensional Framework of NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). ORISE wants to see your best 3D lesson plans! Teachers of any grade level are invited to submit a science or STEM lesson plan incorporating each of the three dimensions (Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas). Each should be thoroughly identified in the lesson plan. THREE teachers will win mini-grants to purchase supplies for their classroom!

Winners:

  • 1st place: Rebecca Van Duker, Griffin Creek Elementary School, Medford, OR
    Lesson plan: Sounds All Around
  • 2nd place: Emily Curtis, Van Buren County High School, Spencer, TN
    Lesson plan: An Argument Driven Inquiry for the Law of Conservation of Matter
  • 3rd place: Abby Cornelius, Blue Valley North High School, Overland, KS
    Lesson plan: SuperPowered Plushies

Ready, set, GO! ORISE is hosting a lesson plan competition for just math teachers! Throughout the month of March, ORISE wants to see your best math lesson plan! The lesson plan can be any math topic or grade level.

Winners:

  • 1st place: Hannah Painter, Bethany Christian School, Oxford, PA
    Lesson plan: The Interactive Coordinate Plane
  • 2nd place: Nicholas Corrigan, Jefferson Middle School, Oak Ridge, TN
    Lesson plan: A Mathematical Inquiry of Oak Ridge Cemesto Homes
  • 3rd place: Beth Flanigan, Willowville Elementary School, Cincinnati, OH
    Lesson plan: Math Olympics

Welcome to the New Year! Can you see it? A classroom filled with students eager to learn, engage, and explore... but as teachers, we know that is not always the case after Winter break, so here’s the challenge: ORISE wanted you to engage students using phenomena! For example, what are the molecular characteristics of water that cause it to form a “water hat” when dumped on a person’s head, and why does someone’s tears in space look different than someone’s tears on Earth?

Winners: