Virginia Association of Science Teachers


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  • 01/06/2018 11:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     Secondary Teachers (6-12): Apply for the 2018 Donna Sterling Exemplary Science Teaching Award

    Donna Sterling was a visionary science educator with a passion for working with science teachers and developing habits of inquiry-based teaching. Most recently, her leadership in the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) focused on elementary and secondary teacher professional development. This award recognizes that exemplary teachers engage in continuous improvement, and is designed to support a professional development plan for the improvement of science teaching. In 2018, the award will be given to an exemplary secondary teacher. The award alternates between elementary and middle/secondary. 

    The awardee will receive a total of $4000. In addition, travel costs will be reimbursed to attend the 2018 VAST PDI to receive the award and to the 2019 VAST PDI to present a session on the professional development experience and outcomes. The awardee will receive $3000 at the VAST PDI in 2018. The remainder will be awarded after the awardee presents at the next VAST PDI and also submits an article to either the newsletter The Science Educator or the Journal of Virginia Science Education.  

    Deadline for applications: July 15, 2018

    To apply:

    1.      In your cover letter, include information on yourself, including your preferred name, your home and school addresses, and phone numbers and email address(es) where you can be reached. Tell us how many years you have taught, where, and what grade levels.

    2.      In no more than two pages, single-spaced, describe an inquiry-based science unit that you taught. Describe how your unit is student-centered and includes community engagement. Give evidence that the unit was effective. Evidence documents such as student work can be submitted separately, and will not count toward the two-page limit.

    3.      In no more than two pages, single-spaced, describe your plan for professional development, using the funds received through the Sterling award. These plans may include summer courses, attendance at workshops, study abroad opportunities, instructional materials development under the guidance of experts on-site, etc. Feel free to be creative in your plan. Submit the professional development description with anticipated outcomes, including plans for a presentation at the 2018 VAST PDI. Tell how this award will help you become a better teacher of science and will support the development of leadership skills. Tell about your plans for writing an article about your experiences.

    4.      Submit three letters of recommendation based on direct observations of teaching. One letter must be from the science supervisor or someone serving in that capacity, a second letter must be from the principal, assistant principal, or instructional leader, and a third letter must be from a fellow teacher or a parent. Letters should address the following: Why is this teacher a good candidate for this award? What qualities do they exhibit as teachers that make the recommender think they will use the funds from the award to improve their practice as teachers of science? 

    All materials must be submitted by 5 pm on July 15, 2018.

    Submit applications and letters of recommendation to Dr. Juanita Jo Matkins,

  • 01/03/2018 9:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2018 Spellman High Voltage Electronics
    Clean Tech Competition is here!

    Challenge your students to Solve Climate Change
    Registration is open!

    Win up to $10,000!

    Dear VAST member:
                Natural disasters wait for none, and only occasionally give warning, and it is only through preparation that damage can be mitigated. The human-changed climate will only make some of these disasters worse and it is with that in mind that we must act! The next great idea to help Solve Climate Change is out there! And it could be from one of the students from Virginia Association of Science Teachers! But without an event to showcase it, their idea could stagnate, we cannot have that. The Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition is that outlet, the chance to show the world next great idea!

    Registration is open and waiting for your students! 2017 saw 26 different nations sign teams up to be a part of the Competition and with your help, we can continue to grow that number in 2018, but we can’t do it alone. So far six different nations have signed up teams: France, Moldova, Spain, Singapore, Canada and the United States. This is a wonderful start but not enough for me. I want this to be an opportunity for the high school students that Virginia Association of Science Teachers serves to show their knowledge and passion for STEM to the world as we try to solve a very real issue the entire world is facing: Climate Change.  

    The Clean Tech Competition is an international research and design challenge for 15-18 year old pre-university students. This is an educational opportunity for students across the world that challenges students to be innovative while encouraging their passion for the sciences and we want the students of Virginia Association of Science Teachers to participate in this year’s competition! Now is the time to tell your teachers so they can spread the word to the students so they can gather their teams and get ready to register! There is no limit to the amount of teams per school/ organization and I hope with your help, to see many registrations from Virginia Association of Science Teachers. I hope that in your position, you can help get this information to the students your organization serves.

    Competition Information
    Each year, the Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition encourages scientific understanding of real-world issues and the integration of environmentally responsible energy sources.

    • The 2018 Challenge: Solving Climate Change asks students to develop a clean technology solution to the many problems associate with climate change.
    • Teams consist of 1-3 students, are assisted by a Team Leader (i.e. parent, teacher, or mentor), to develop a written proposal.
    • No limit to the number of teams per school!
    • There is no entry fee.
    • Online registration is open here!
    • First Round Paper Submissions are due April 20, 2018.
    • 10 Finalist Teams will be selected, given a $200 (USD) stipend and matched with a Mentor to help them prepare a Prototype and presentation for the Finalist Event.
    • Finalists compete for the $10,000 (USD) grand prize and a ‘Continued Mentorship’
    • Final event to happen at Stony Brook University, New York, USA July 13, 2018!

    How can your students get involved?

    To help bring the Clean Tech Competition to your organization’s students, we ask that you share information about this opportunity with students, fellow educators, and parents. Feel free to distribute the following informational documents:

    If you have any questions regarding the competition details, or how to incorporate the competition into your curriculum, please contact us. We look forward to having participants representing Virginia Association of Science Teachers in the Clean Tech Competition this year and in years to come!

    Contact Information
    Competition Administrator: Mr. Frank DiGiovanni     * Email:

    ( Phone: +1-516-764-0045
    : Website:
    Facebook & Twitter


  • 01/03/2018 9:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     Act now! Apply by January 15!  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recruiting teachers and education leaders to bring public health into classrooms across the United States and beyond. Selected fellows tour CDC’s state-of-the-art facilities and collaborate with CDC scientists to design innovative lessons, and to learn curriculum design and teaching strategies that engage students in math and science using today’s emerging public health topics (e.g. Opioid epidemic, Ebola virus, Hurricane preparedness, Zika virus, Teen violence, Obesity, and more).

    Who? Teachers and educational leaders

    When? July 16-20, 2018

    Where? CDC Headquarters (Atlanta, GA)

    How? Apply Now through January 15, 2018

    For more information, visit

  • 11/08/2017 8:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Journal of Virginia Science Education is currently accepting submissions for the 2018 edition of the publication. We would especially like to invite presenters from the 2017 PDI to submit articles based on their presentations to the journal. Submissions are due by February 9th. Please submit your articles to For more information or to view previous issues of the journal, you can find them here:

  • 11/02/2017 8:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition Application for the “Programs That Work” Competition in Mathematics, Science, and STEM are due December 5, 2017

    The Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition (VMSC) invites you to nominate effective student and teacher education programs for its annual "Programs That Work" Awards. The VMSC is interested in reviewing and recognizing exemplary mathematics, science, and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning.  Proposals will be evaluated on the extent that applicants are able to:

                  represent innovative, exemplary programs that have proven effective with all students or teachers;

                  demonstrate the important mathematics, science, and STEM concepts, skills or processes students and teachers learned as a result of the programs; and

                  document impact on teaching and learning.

    Application requirements and more information can be found at  Virginia’s public and private elementary and secondary schools, public school divisions, institutions of higher education, state agencies, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are invited to apply. 

    Applications are due on December 5, 2017 and will be evaluated on a competitive basis for programs that have been conducted during the past five years and have demonstrated positive results.  Awardees will be recognized on January 23, 2018 at a reception in Richmond at the Library of Virginia.  The VMSC will support the travel and lodging of award recipients for each program recognized.

    For more information, contact the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition by e-mail at

  • 10/27/2017 4:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thomas Jefferson Awards

    The Virginia Museum of Natural History is seeking nominations through December 5, 2017 for the various awards to be presented at the 31st annual VMNH Foundation Thomas Jefferson Awards.  This statewide awards ceremony will be held Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.  The VMNH Thomas Jefferson Awards ceremony is a statewide event that honors individuals and corporations for outstanding contributions to natural science and natural science education.  Nomination guidelines are available at

    Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science Education
    Presented to a Virginia educator who has made significant contributions to natural history or natural science education at any academic level.

  • 09/19/2017 9:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Performance-based Assessment for the Classroom: Practices for Promoting and Measuring Student Learning with Dr. Tonya Moon from University of Virginia

    November 4, 2017

    In Person or Virtual Workshop

    Workshop Description:

    Join the Martinson Center either in person or virtually for a 1 day workshop on Performance-based Assessment for the Classroom! In this session, we’ll explore the potential that performance-based assessments have to engage students in the application of content knowledge and skills in authentic situations. We’ll look at principles for effective performance assessments and explore a framework to facilitate the planning and developing of effective assessments. We’ll also examine how to develop high-quality scoring rubrics that align with performance assessments or as stand-alone rubrics that can be used with general classroom tasks.

    By day’s end, participants in this session will:

    · understand where and how performance assessment and scoring rubrics fits within the Virginia standards-based system;

    · be able to use an assessment planning framework for designing or modifying performance assessments and scoring rubrics for classroom, school or district uses;

    · be able to use rubrics for student feedback and learning;

    · be able to incorporate the use of scoring rubrics in student evaluation and grading.

    Date: November 4, 2017

    Time: 9:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m.

    Face-to-Face Registration Prices-Includes Lunch at Founders Inn

    Individual Registration Prices (5 Licensure Points):

    Regent Alumni or Current Students:                 $100

    Non-Regent Alumni or Current Students:        $175

    1 Graduate Credit Workshop Option:             $235

    Team Registration Prices (3 +1 free):                $550

    Virtual Workshop Times and Registration Prices


    9 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET
    8 a.m. – 2 p.m. CT
    7 a.m. – 1 p.m. MT
    6 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT

    Regent Alumni or Current Students:                 $50

    Non-Regent Alumni or Current Student:         $65

    Register here:

  • 09/07/2017 8:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Register your school for the 2018 USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) beginning October 2 at Let’s see one or more of our amazing Virginia students bring home the gold next year in Tehran. For more information, please contact Kathy Frame (

  • 09/07/2017 8:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Executive Director


    The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE), an internationally renowned education non-profit in the Tysons Corner area, seeks a full-time Executive Director for its USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) program. The Center's mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among leaders in the global community.

    The Executive Director oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects of the USABO program including planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling program activities. Tasks include outreach and dissemination; screening program applicants; monitoring all program databases; overseeing the completion of school, district, and state vendor paperwork; managing mailings, document development, and purchasing; soliciting questions and developing exams; developing and directing 2-week training program off and on site with host and staff; identifying instructors for training program based on needed expertise; setting up contracts for instructors. Salary commensurate with experience. More information about CEE and the USABO may be found at

    Position requirements:

    • Master’s or PhD degree in biological sciences  required
    • 5+ years’ experience teaching biological sciences at the high school or university level.
    • Ability to maintain workflow efficiently in a fast-paced environment.
    • Program experience preferred
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Proficiency with Windows, Microsoft Office applications and web editing
    • Strong attention to detail and ability to work independently, accurately and quickly
    • Applicant must be able to travel during the summer for two two-week periods to include weekends.
    • Flexible full-time work schedule

    Application requirements due by September 15:

    • Cover letter
    • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • 07/18/2017 9:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Got plans for the August 21 solar eclipse? Check out the eclipse viewing guide from NSTA:

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Virginia Association of Science Teachers

134  Twin Lake Circle, Newport News, VA 23608

(757) 897-3104

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