Welcome to Science Connections

STEM Related Opportunities and Events
for Formal and Informal Education

Scroll down to view the Event Calendar and a list of events.
Visit the websites of the sponsoring organizations for changes and updates.  

The educational content of the programs, activities and events listed below is determined by the presenting organizations. Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by the Academy.

Event Calendar

The Event Calendar includes science related programs and events. Be sure to confirm dates with organizers. The Academy cannot be responsible for updating schedule changes because we may not be notified. Additional multi-event programs not listed here may be found below the calendar.


OCTOBER 2, 2016

11 AM-4PM









Fun, Information, great way to spend an afternoon; it’s FREE and a great experience for all ages.  Individuals, School Groups, Scout Groups, and Groups of all ages-something for everyone!

A great way to start Earth Science Week!


Blank Park Zoo Professional Development Opportunities



NASA - The Impact of Discovery – STEAM Experience


This NASA workshop on April 9, 2016 will be offered at multiple locations around the country; it is not only for teachers but also "informal educators" including librarians, camp professionals, and other out-of-school time program facilitators. Get to know active and upcoming NASA space missions from the scientists and engineers who make them happen and take away resources and activities for students in grades K-12. NASA's Discovery Program invites formal and informal educators to attend its annual educator workshop – this year with a special focus on STEAM (STEM plus art) engagement!


• Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA – 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. PT

• Think 360 Arts for Learning, Denver, CO – 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. MT

• Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX – 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT

• Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD – 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

*For those who cannot attend in person, the panel discussions will be streamed live and archived.


Register by March 18 at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/discovery/impact_of_discovery.asp


Send artwork to an asteroid!

You and your visitors can submit artwork to be included on a chip on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, launching this September for asteroid Bennu.



Want more frequent updates like these?  Check out LPI’s Explore Facebook group, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LPI.Explore/




Christine Shupla
Education Lead
Lunar and Planetary Institute Education, Universities Space Research Association


2016 COE College NSF RET Program for Teachers

The Coe College NSF RET program brings secondary education science teachers to campus for a research experience that focuses on spectroscopy. Participants have the opportunity to choose from the selection of projects in the REU program, attend weekly lectures, and use advanced instrumentation. A stipend of $7,210 will be paid to each teacher for the research term of June 8 through July 24. Additional funds are available to help support travel to a scientific conference and present research findings. Coe College will provide housing for teachers who cannot commute to the campus. 

For further information about RET visit the website at:


or contact the Coe College Program Coordinator:

Susan Noreuil
Department of Chemistry
Coe College
1220 First Ave NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402


Purdue University Sustainable Electronics Program for Teachers

Purdue University is seeking high schools interested in having their STEM teachers (biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, etc.) participate in summer research on sustainable electronics. Teachers would work on projects to make cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices greener. To learn more go to:


Iowa's Geological Resources Workshop for Teachers

Applications DUE: February 3, 2016
Online via Adobe Connect: March 8 – May 3, 2016
On the UNI campus: July 6 – 8, 2016

Think about taking advantage of the following opportunity –

UNI/ILPA - Iowa’s Geological Resources for Teachers course

On-line – One class a week March 8 to May 3

At UNI July 6-8


1.    1. Receive TWO graduate credits at a greatly REDUCED cost, only $200.00 for the class, (housing, food, and geology supplies ARE also included!!!)

2.    2. The on-line portion may be completed asynchronously at your own pace OR digitally ‘in-person’ through Adobe Connect (provided by UNI)  

3.   3. Learn more about Iowa’s fascinating geology, landscapes, and your local areas of interests!

4.    4. Create short geology units for existing biology, chemistry, physics, and STEM courses to address Iowa Core Curriculum and NGSS standards.


For more information and how to apply for the course follow this link - https://www.uni.edu/continuinged/distance/geology  OR email chad.heinzel@uni.edu


Deadline to apply is Wednesday February 3.  Apply early the class size is limited.


Chad Heinzel, Ph.D.
The University of Northern Iowa
Dept. of Earth Science
Latham Hall 116
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Hoover High School Distinguished Lecture Series
January 12, 2016
Hoover TLC (Library)
Hoover High School
Des Moines, Iowa


Hoover’s IB Middle Years Program and STEM Academy are excited to announce our next Distinguished Lecture Series speaker.  On January 12th Dr. Heather Case will join us in the Hoover TLC (library) from 6pm to 7:30pm.  Dr. Case will discuss her work in various aspects of veterinary medicine – from her work in Louisiana assisting with post-Katrina efforts to the creation of policy and licensing examinations for vet med professionals.
Everyone is welcome to attend!  See the attached poster for more information.
NOTE:  please forward to any teachers, vet med professionals or others who might be interested in this opportunity.  Thanks!

Eric Hall
Coordinator, International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

Sponsor, Hoover Academic Decathlon
Hoover High School
Des Moines, Iowa
(515) 242-7316

Women Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN) Annual Conference
November 6 - 7, 2015
Radisson Quad City Plaza

Women Protecting Pollinators, Protecting Food is the theme of the 2015 WFAN annual conference, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7, at the Radisson Quad City Plaza in Davenport, IA. Join 200 colleagues from all across the US to network, learn and enjoy the best locally grown foods Midwest women farmers have to offer! Our keynote speaker is Dr. Robin Kimmerer, distinguished teaching professor of environmental and forest biology at the State University of New York and founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. Field tours will be offered to showcase women-owned horticulture and livestock farms in Iowa and Illinois, urban farm projects including the Quad Cities Food Hub, and others. Friday afternoon intensives will focus on pollinator habitat and women’s leadership, as well as a combination tour and discussion for aspiring and beginning women farmers. Nine Saturday workshops will cover topics ranging from land access to marketing, financing, and conservation. Watch the new play about farm transition, Map of My Kingdom; enjoy delicious food and lots of networking! Visit www.wfan.org or contact Leigh Adcock at conference@wfan.org for more info. Limited exhibitor spaces available, as well as scholarships funded by Iowa REAP.

REAP Assembly Schedule for 2015

Learn about Iowa REAP - CEP and the Conservation Education Program at your local REAP Assembly. Assemblies are scheduled at 18 Iowa locations beginning on September 29th and concluding on November 5th.  

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program

October 11, 2015

Announcing: Major (G5-16) STEM Opportunity for School Districts Starting
February 2016 - Student Spaceflight Experiments Program - Mission 10 to the
International Space Station

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C.
Clarke Institute for Space Education announce Mission 10 to the International
Space Station. This STEM education opportunity immerses grade 5-16 students
across a community in an authentic, high visibility research experience, where
student teams design and propose real microgravity experiments to fly in low
Earth orbit on the International Space Station. The program nurtures ownership
in learning, critical thinking, problem solving, navigation of an
interdisciplinary landscape, and communication skills – all reflective of the
Next Generation Science Standards, the skills needed by professional scientists
and engineers, and the skills desired by 21st century employers.

Each participating community will be provided a real microgravity research
mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single experiment, and all launch
services to fly the experiment to the International Space Station in Fall 2016,
and return is safely to Earth for student harvesting and analysis. A 9-week
experiment design competition in each community, held February through April
2016, and locally engaging typically 300 students (if a pre-college focus),
allows student teams to design and formally propose real experiments vying for
their community's reserved mini-lab on Space Station. A formal 2-step proposal
review process, mirroring professional review, will determine the community’s
flight experiment. Content resources for teachers and students support
foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design.
Additional programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the
community, embracing a Learning Community Model for STEM education. This
includes a local art and design competition for a Mission Patch to accompany the
flight experiment to Station. SSEP is therefore more suitably characterized as a
community-wide STEAM experience.

TIME CRITICAL: all interested communities are asked to inquire by November 13,
2015; this allows schools and districts the time they need to assess interest
with their staff and, if appropriate, move forward with an Implementation Plan.
Communities must be aboard by February 15, 2016, for a 9-week experiment design
and proposal writing phase from February 22 to April 22, 2016. The flight
experiment will be selected by May 26, 2016. Launch of the Mission 10 to ISS
“Casper” experiments payload is expected in Fall 2016.

NEXT STEP: carefully read the SSEP Home page, which provides an Executive
Summary of the Program and the Mission 10 to ISS Flight Opportunity:

Of interest: SSEP was showcased in Scientific American, February 17, 2015

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, SSEP Program Director; cell 301-395-0770;

Water Rocks! Winter Summit

One day professional development for non-formal educators.

Iowa State University
December 3, 2015

Blank Park Zoo Professional Development for Teachers

The Blank Park Zoo would once again like to invite educators to professional development opportunities that will be held at Blank Park Zoo and other locations around Iowa on the dates listed below.  The workshops are good for one hour of license renewal credit and teachers will be eligible to schedule a free classroom animal program.  Our education department is willing and able to travel to districts across the state with our classroom programs (animals included!). 

Participants in our workshops engage in relevant inquiry investigations that are connected to the Iowa Core and Next Generation Science Standards, learn research-based instructional practices, and gain knowledge and ideas that will be useful in their classrooms. Lessons are flexible, allowing teachers to adjust for their students’ abilities; and relate to all age groups in several subject areas (science, literacy, mathematics, social studies, and the arts).  

Workshops will run Friday from 4-9:30 and Saturday from 8 – 5:30
Dates and Topics: A description of each workshop is found by clicking on the workshop dates on the calendar above.
November 6/7, 2015 - Habitats and Adaptations
November 20/21, 2015 - Conservation: People and Animals
January 15/16, 2016 - Wild Genes
February 19/20, 2016 - Climate Change

April 15/16, 2016 - Wonders of Water 

Registration forms may be found on the zoo website – www.blankparkzoo.com under Education/Just for Teachers.  They may be submitted electronically. Participants should contact Kathy McKee at 515-974-2557; kamckee@blankparkzoo.net or Angela Tague, 515-974-2546; altague@blankparkzoo.net  if they have any questions. 

Water Rocks! Summit

Professional development for licensed K-12 teachers.

Iowa State University
June 14 - 15, 2016 and June 22 - 23, 2016