STEM News Splash

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Office of Public Instruction



STEM News Splash

Superfund Communities PD Opportunity

EPA Grant Flyer Teacher PD

June 21-25, 2021, at Montana Tech

ATTN: Teachers, grades 5-12, in or near a superfund affected community, (such as Anaconda, Basin, Billings, Black Eagle, Bozeman, Butte, Columbus, East Helena, Helena, Libby, Livingston, Missoula, Monarch, Neihart, Somers, Superior)

The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program is excited to offer an opportunity for teachers to collaborate with environmental scientists and educators. You’ll learn best practices for engaging students in authentic research and community outreach within the nation’s largest superfund complex. In this program you will create a community outreach project tailored to the needs of your own superfund affected community. You’ll learn the CFWEP model of place-based science education and effective environmental communication. You’ll also learning grant writing skills and ways to uniquely engage your students in authentic scientific research related to environmental issues.

After the initial academy, you’ll participate in a facilitated online course (eligible for graduate level CE credits). During this course, you will be mentored in creating a community event that facilitates environmental stewardship and literacy. You’ll also get the opportunity
to apply for a grant worth at least $500 for your classroom.
Learn more through the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program Site.

Montana Learning Center Needs Great Educators

MLC Camp students exploring and categorizing fossils

Photo compliments of the Montana Learning Center

The Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake is Hiring for its 2021 Summer Camp Staff

The Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake (MLC) has been hosting STEM-learning camps for kids and teacher trainings since 1984. We are located on a 10-acre campus on the shore of Canyon Ferry Lake, approximately 20 miles outside of Helena, Montana. Each year, we hire highly qualified teachers and/or outdoor education personnel to be camp counselors and instructors, (college juniors, seniors and graduate students also). Get more information and apply for a position to become a part of the MLC family.

Professional Learning Needs Survey

OPI Logo

We are requesting your feedback on the numerous professional learning opportunities offered by the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI). Please visit the 2021-2022 OPI Professional Learning Needs landing page to learn more about this feedback opportunity.  This data will help us meet the needs of our state educators.  This survey is open from February 1 through February 26, 2021.  Please share this with your co-workers.

Montana Science Olympiad


The Virtual Science Olympiad date is set for Wednesday, April 7, 2021!  Registration is now open.  Middle and high school teams are encouraged to join the 2021 Science Olympiad season.  

Need more information? Interested in volunteering? Have other questions?

  • Contact MTSO via email or phone.
Montana Science Olympiad Logo

Zoo Montana Teacher Resources

Zoo Montana Distance Learning pic

Zoo Montana has a 30-minute program that is entirely free, scheduled through Calendly. They also have available:

  • A short (5-8 minute) pre-recorded video for you and your students tailored to student questions
  • An hour-long, live virtual program for you and your students, complete with zoo-made learning materials for $75.  Just email
  • Free resources as a content partner with FlipGrid, and through the Zoo MT website and their YouTube Channel


Montana Science Assessment

Currently, the new Montana Science Assessment (MSA) will take place this spring.  Reporting and accountability are addressed in the science waiver that has already been granted, but unless the participation portion of the strategic waiver is granted, we are still subject to State and Federal assessment policies around participation (95% participation rate). Please watch the Assessment Bulletins, which will reflect updates on these waivers.

This will be the first assessment to measure the three dimensions of science, assess fifth and eighth grades, (11th grade takes the ACT for science), and the assessment is completely online.  To help familiarize yourself with three-dimensional learning, the Teacher Learning Hub has the science standards foundational courses.  These are:

Rave reviews have come from educators who took them all in order. 

If you have a deep understanding of the three-dimensional standards, dig into the following resources for science assessment preparation:

STEM Teacher Opportunity

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams

The Lemelson-MIT Program is searching for high school STEM or Career and Technical educators who could receive a $10K InvenTeam® grant. Many teachers who pursued this opportunity report the InvenTeam experience enriched their teaching and was life changing for students, often inspiring them to pursue STEM pathways in college, despite having little or no prior STEM exposure. 


Header Women in Engineering Webcasts

Over the past three years, Design World has featured an annual Women in Engineering (WIE) issue. Now they are bringing this great editorial coverage to life through the NEW 2021 WIE CHAT SERIES. A dynamic team will be hosting Zoom-like panel discussions and interviewing some of these great women who are expanding the engineering field.  Register to attend, February 24, March 31, or Available on Demand for the Session January 27.

Student Driven Environmental Proposal

RISE Challenge Big Sky Proposal Guidelines

RISE stands for Resilience, Innovation, & Sustainability for the Environment.  Whether or not you go “all in” with the RISE Challenge Big Sky, you can still enter the Challenge by submitting a student-driven proposal. It’s a great way to showcase your students’ work and receive recognition from your community. Best of all, students will have a chance to win prize money (up to $1,000) and apply for funds to implement their projects!  Proposal submission deadline is March 12, 2021.

Stories Golden Eagles Tell: Migration on Changing Landscapes

photo of Golden Eagle flying

To truly understand the landscape, the Golden Eagles, and the habitat that is crucial for their survival, scientists from Raptor View Research Institute and MPG Ranch have partnered for a multiple-year study tracking eagles and reading the stories the birds tell with data placed on maps.  

As a teacher, you can choose to take your students on this learning journey at whatever level, in whatever way you professionally judge to be the best for your students’ needs. The resources provided support basic fact gathering and skill development but also the deeper levels of application, analysis, evaluation, and creation. The intent of the project is to ask students to think deeply and create their own meaning that can be applied to the work of the world.  Connect with Inspired Classroom to learn more.

2021 STEM for All Video Showcase

NSF's 2021 STEM for All Video Showcase is an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, policy makers and the public to learn about related work in the field, broadly disseminate their work, and receive new ideas and feedback. Last year's showcase included 171 videos from over 700 presenters. This year's themes include impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and approaches to STEM equity and social justice. Learn more and/or register as a presenter by February 12, 2021

STEM for All Showcase decorative picture

MedStart 2021 for Students


MedStart is a week-long summer program, hosted on five Montana college campuses, that gives priority to rural, minority, low-income and first-generation college students who wish to pursue a career in the health sciences.  The program provides an introduction to health science college pathways and careers, financial aid information, dorm life experiences and job shadowing opportunities.

This year there will be two options for MedStart: in-person and virtual. The in-person MedStart camp will be hosted at the University of Montana and will have a limited capacity for 15 students. Missoula MedStart camp directors will determine a month before the camp start date if it is safe to offer the camp in-person. If the situation with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has not improved at this point in time, the camp will be hosted virtually. The second MedStart option is a virtual camp, this camp has a capacity of 150 students.

Missoula MedStart: June 13th -June 17th

Virtual MedStart: July 19th - July 22nd

You can apply to both MedStart camps using the online application.

Articles & News

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Calendar of Events & Opportunities

Keep updated with new opportunities, professional development, and science resources at the Montana OPI's Science Page.  


This message was sent by Michelle McCarthy, Science Instructional Coordinator.  You can reach Michelle by email at or by calling (406) 444-3537 or (406) 860-6619 (cell).  If you want to share out this subscription or unsubscribe you can change your email subscription status.

The OPI is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, require an alternate format, or have questions concerning accessibility, contact the OPI ADA Coordinator, 406-444-3161,, TTY 406-444-0235.