Excellence in Science Teaching Awards (ESTA) Nomination Page

Submit the easy way - do it online!

This page is for nominations, nominee materials, and letters of support.
Instructions to submit online or by mail are found below.


Be sure to read the ESTA Brochure before submitting nomination materials. 


ESTA Applications Include

1. A nomination letter
2. Two letters of reference*
3. An application completed by the nominee.
There is no application form for mailed submissions. The online submission form helps guide the submission process. The ESTA Brochure describes criteria and what must be submitted. 
*The nomination letter may serve as one letter of reference if the submission is not a self-nomination. 


Nomination Steps

1. Nominators begin the process.
2. Nominees complete an application.
3. References write supporting letters.   

Who May Submit Nominations

Nominators may be administrators, colleagues, parents, students, or others with knowledge of a teacher's work. Teachers may self-nominate. Download the ESTA brochure above for more information or contact the IAS office with questions. 

How to Use the Online Nomination Forms

1. Nominators and self-nominators use the form in STEP 1 below or submit by mail.*
2. Nominees use the form in STEP 2 or submit by mail. When submitting online this is your cover page.
3. To submit letters of reference complete STEP 3 to upload your letter or you may submit by mail.

* The nominating letter serves as one letter of reference unless the teacher is self-nominating. Self-nominations require two separate letters of reference. 


STEP 1: For Nominators and Self-Nominators

Use this form to submit a nomination online. If you prefer you may mail your nomination to the IAS office: ESTA Nomination, Iowa Academy of Science, BRC 50, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, 50614-0508. Nomination letters may be used as one of the required reference letters unless it is a self-nomination. Self-nomination must include two separate letters of reference.

Fill out my online form.


STEP 2: For Nominees

Nominees use the online form below or submit by mail.  When submitting online this form IS your cover page. When submitting by mail follow the directions near the bottom of this page or in the ESTA Brochure.
This form requires you to attach your essay questions to it as one file. Files may be .pdf, .doc, or .docx.

Fill out my online form.


STEP 3: Letters of Reference

To submit a letter of reference for an ESTA nominee please fill out the form below and attach your letter as a .pdf, .doc, or a .docx.

Fill out my online form.


Instructions to Submit by Mail

While we encourage you to submit online if you are a nominator or nominee who wishes to submit by mail please follow the directions below.

Nominators and nominees should mail their documents to:

ESTA Nominations
Iowa Academy of Science
BRC 50
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0508

Nominators please submit your nomination letter and inform your nominee of how to complete the application online or by mail.

Nominees should include the following information on a cover page: 

  1. Name, school address, city, zip, school & home phone, home address and email address.
  2. Award category.
  3. Science education experience including present responsibilities.
  4. Educational background (college, graduate work, institutes, etc.

The cover page must be signed by the nominee.

Essay Questions:

  1. Describe your professional development experiences, including membership, presentations, attendance at conferences, projects, and future goals. 
  2. Compose a list of the top 5 characteristics of an effective science teacher/coordinator, briefly explaining each characteristic's importance. 
  3. Describe the assessment strategies that you employ when evaluating in many different learning activities. 
  4. Select one unit, major concept, or noteworthy project/effort that is especially successful and describe the objectives, strategies employed, and why you consider it exemplary. 

Letters of Reference

Two letters of reference highlighting the nominee's competence are required. One must be a direct administrator at the nominee's current assignment. The other may be a colleague, parent of a student, or a student. Provide the name, title, telephone number and email address of each reference in the application. A nomination letter may be used as a letter of reference if it is not a self-nomination. If you self nominate two letters of reference are required in addition to your nomination letter.