STEM News Splash

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Office of Public Instruction



STEM News Splash

Investigating Pika as Climate Change Indicators


August 7th-9th Free Professional Development

Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association Virtual Workshop

(30 Renewal Units) Registration is now open!

Climate Change:     Global to Local Scale                         

Classroom Tools:     Utilizing Google Earth                         

Classroom Application:     Align Your Project with NGSS   

Connection to Field:     Practicing Scientists’ Expertise             

Citizen Science:     Partnership with Craighead Institute     

Collecting Data:     Current and Potential Pika Habitats

Craighead Institute logo
Sponsors for Pica PD

Superfund PBL PD for Teachers

EPA Grant Flyer

June 21-25, 2021, at Montana Tech, Free Professional Development

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 and sign up through the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program Site.

Montana Environmental Education Association

MEEA Slide

If you were unable to attend the Montana Environmental Education Association (MEEA) annual conference, then you are in luck!  Since the conference was virtual, they have uploaded all sessions of Montana's Many Voices for everyone to view! 

American Prairie Field School

2021 Teacher Workshop:             Date: June 22 -24, 2021

Join MOSS instructors in using American Prairie Reserve’s living prairie laboratory to explore the science of prairies. Get outdoors and investigate this unique ecosystem, learn from scientific researchers, and collaborate with your colleagues.

The workshop will be based out of the picturesque Enrico Education and Science Center on the Sun Prairie unit of the American Prairie Reserve, located about 50 miles south of Malta on the border with the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. 



  • Prairie immersion - spend time in this unique landscape • Content instruction - learn more about prairie plants, animals, systems, as well as methods and resources for teaching about these in your classroom • Learn from scientists currently studying the ecosystem • Plan for the future - brainstorm with colleagues about future opportunities for middle school residential learning using American Prairie lands and facilities

EPA Opportunities for the Science Classroom

EPA Region 8 Logo

The Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Environmental Education Program offers virtual presentations to teachers and students on a variety of environmental topics. Presentations can be tailored for any age group and are offered during the school week. Popular topics include food waste, recycling, air quality, environmental justice and water quality. Presentations can be created to match other environmental/conservation topics and your curriculum.

The EPA also has lesson plans, activity books, pre-recorded presentations and games available.

EPA Region 8 offers informal mentorships to young people who are interested in finding out more about environmental/conservation issues, projects and careers. Students are matched with a subject matter expert who can discuss with the students their environmental questions or career paths. Mentorships can be one-time visits, a phone call, virtual meetings or last a few months depending on the student’s needs/interests. Mentees can be of any age. Teachers or parents interested in finding out more about these offerings should contact Wendy Dew at or 303-877-0428.

Summer Writing Opportunities for Students

MSU Today Header

Science couldn't be recorded, tested, or validated without writing skills.  A lifelong skill for all students can be enhanced in the camps listed below.

Registration is now open for MSU’s Rural Journalism Camp, to be held July 11–16 on MSU’s campus. Applications are due by May 26.

Registration is now open for MSU's Youth Writing Camp, to be held July 12–16 on MSU’s campus. 

MLC logo

Montana Learning Center is Recruiting Teachers for its 2021 Summer Camp Staff.  Employment with the Montana Learning Center is a wonderful way to earn renewal units, learn at the lake, and engage with students in a less structured environment. 

Collaborate with other educators across the state and enrich your knowledge base. 

For more details, contact Executive Director Ryan Hannahoe via email:

Summer PD for Science (Free)

3D Poster

Plan your professional development for the summer. 

To accommodate a deeper understanding in the Next Generation K-12 Framework aligned Montana Science Standards, these highly rated facilitated online courses are made available back-to-back for the summer sessions.  If you are interested in attending both of these courses, please complete this interest form.

  • 3D Learning in Your Classroom - Registration opens May 16, and the course runs June 6 - July 17, 2021.  This course is 24 renewal units.
  • Crosscutting Concepts: Making Learning Real - Registration opens June 27, course runs July 18 - August 14, 2021  This course is 20 renewal units.

If you would like one or more of the free 3D Posters shown above, please contact Michelle McCarthy at

Grant Funds for Digital Connectivity

Introducing the Kajeet Digital Inclusion Grant.

Through this program, Kajeet will partner with school districts, cities and towns, libraries, and non-profit organizations in their vital efforts create a more digital inclusive community.

Grant winners will receive a pilot program with the Kajeet Digital Equity solution of their choice – WiFi hotspots, school bus WiFi, or building WiFi.

Grant applications can be submitted from May 3rd, 2021, through June 4th, 2021.

Kajeet Digital Inclusion Grant

NSTA Our Beautiful Planet Climate Videos

Our Beautiful Planet is a series of compelling 5-to-7-minute science films highlighting the cutting-edge research that climate scientists are doing to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. NSTA and Kikim Media have partnered to launch these films and this collection of classroom-ready lesson plans that highlight the science and engineering practices scientists use to explain the phenomena of climate.

Inspired Classroom and MPG Ranch

Inspired Classroom MPG Ranch

Join Inspired Classroom for a day of fun, collaborating, and co-creating great content at beautiful MPG Ranch in Florence, Montana.  The day includes work with researchers, exploring the Ranch and thinking about bringing learning to life in your classroom next year.  This workshop is FREE and OPI Renewal Units for Montana teachers are provided.  Lunch is provided!  Don't miss it!

Register and you will be contacted!

More Classroom Connections/Opportunities

NASA Online

  • NASA's STEM @ Home website helped bring learning and fun to students at home as the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools. NASA's Office of STEM Engagement is honored to be selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences as a finalist in the Education Category for the 2021 Webby Awards.
  • NASA STEM on Station is currently accepting proposals for organizations to host a downlink during International Space Station Expedition 66, which runs October 2021 to April 2022.  An in-flight education downlink is a 20-minute live video Q-and-A session between a U.S. educational organization and an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. Proposals are due December 1, 2021; email for more information
  • Want more opportunities like this?  Sign up for the NASA EXPRESS newsletter!  Subscribe to get NASA Express delivered to your inbox each Thursday. 

Montana Girls STEM Collaborative

  • As a result of a partnership between the National Girls Collaborative and Osmo, and in celebration of Women's History Month, The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative received a generous donation of Osmo Creative Kits. Osmo makes hands-on learning games in which students utilize real-world objects and virtual tools to create an immersive physical-digital educational experience.  Montana has several kits available for dispersal, which we are hoping to distribute to youth-serving organizations in Montana. If you are interested in obtaining a kit (specific to Mac), then please complete this form.  The deadline for requests is May 20, 2021, at 5:00pm.


MSU/MSSE Professional Development Summer 2021

  • Alpine Ecology, Solar Cells, Mineralogy, Physics by Inquiry, Flowering Plants, Plants- People-Health, Understanding Climate Change, Emerging Technology and the Science Classroom, and more.  Contact for more information after you review the summer course listings.

University of Montana REACH Program

  • University of Montana School of Public and Community Health Sciences’ REACH Program, Summer Teacher Workshop will run August 9 – 10, 2021, from 9:00am to 3:00pm. The workshop is being planned as an in-person event and participants will receive a $400.00 compensation, lodging, 12 OPI renewal credits, and breakfast and lunch will be provided each day. Registration is now open.

Climate Change Summer Workshop

  • CLEAN is leading a cohort of educators to the Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, hosted by Climate Generation in partnership with NOAA’s Climate Program, and The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program. You will gain the skills, tools, and resources to teach climate change concepts, empower students in all subject areas, and receive on-going support throughout the year. This Summer Institute is $390.00, but Scholarships are Available .  The workshop takes place July 28–30, 2021, is online, and the registration deadline is July 19


Articles & News



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.