Offering a grant or contest to honor innovators is a great way to boost your visibility within the education industry. Several members of the CB&A client family are showcasing best practices with recognition programs this spring with a mix of programs for teachers and vendors.
PBS Teachers Innovation Awards – March 12 deadline
The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards will showcase best practices in support of the growth and advancement of the teaching profession. PBS and its local stations are calling all preK-12 educators who inspire and engage students through innovative classroom techniques to enter the program.
Ten of the most innovative teachers will receive a behind-the-scenes trip to the Annual PBS Showcase in Austin from May 17-20 to see sneak previews of PBS programs, meet producers, and attend premiere events. Forty winners will receive PBS gift bags that include best-selling and award-winning PBS programs in digital formats. All winners will receive free enrollment in a professional development course from PBS TeacherLine and will be invited to partner with PBS and local stations as leaders in classroom innovation.
For more information, or to enter, visit www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators/. Entries will be accepted until March 12. Winners will be announced on April 5. The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards are sponsored in part by Elmer’s Products, Inc.
Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge – March 15 deadline
The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are partnering to educate, empower and engage students and teachers nationwide to become “Agents of Change” in improving their communities through the “Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge.”
The second year of this national sustainability challenge – expanded this year to include an elementary category – encourages K-8 students to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their classroom (grades K-2), school (grades 3-5) or community (grades 6-8).
Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips, TV appearances, and much more. Fostering learning, team work and problem solving around sustainability, the www.wecanchange.com site offers robust resource guides for standards-based lesson plans, and teacher materials to accompany each stage of the challenge. The submission deadline is March 15.
Innovation Incubator Program – March 22 deadline
The Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is seeking applications for its Innovation Incubator Program. Developers of innovative educational products or services will be reviewed, and a select group will be invited to participate in the annual SIIA Ed Tech Industry Summit this spring.
The Innovation Incubator Program connects the developers of promising, new technologies with industry leaders, potential investors and established companies seeking partnerships or prospects for acquisition. The program is open to applicants from academic and non-profit institutions, pre-revenue and early-stage companies, and long-standing companies with newly developed technologies.
The deadline for applications is March 22. For more information about the Innovation Incubator Program, go to www.siia.net/etis/2010/incubator.asp.
Personalized Learning in Action – April 16 deadline
“Personalized Learning in Action,” a new video contest from netTrekker, gives educators an opportunity to win one of two $1,500 scholarships to attend ISTE 2010 in Denver this summer. Additional prizes include five BrainPOP classroom subscriptions.
The contest encourages teachers, with the help of their students, to create video clips illustrating how they use netTrekker (along with other resources) to engage students in a personalized learning experience. Submissions are due by April 16.
Contest details and links to submit videos can be found at www.nettrekker.com/pages/video-contest. For schools not subscribed to netTrekker, a no-obligation, 30-day free trial can be obtained by visiting www.nettrekker.com/pages/video-contest/extended-free-trial, enabling teachers and students to access and use netTrekker as part of their video submission.
Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes – May 3 deadline
The “Win a Wireless Lab” sweepstakes is co-sponsored by CDW Government LLC (CDW-G) and Discovery Education. The program gives K-12 schools nationwide the opportunity to win one of three grand-prize 21st-century classrooms. Each classroom includes tablet or notebook computers, a notebook cart, interactive whiteboard, student response system, projector, printer, and document camera. The sponsors also provide on-site training to the grand-prize winners.
The 2010 program gives eligible entrants additional opportunities to increase their chances of winning via Twitter. After entering at www.discoveryeducation.com/cdwg, entrants who post about the program on their Twitter accounts can receive an additional two entries per day, for a total of three entries per day.
Entries will be accepted through May 3. In addition, educators can participate in the Win a Wireless Lab community online via Twitter and Facebook.
Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge – May 27 deadline
Ten finalists will be selected to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to compete in the final challenge in October. The winner will receive $50,000 in U.S. savings bonds ($25,000 cash value), a tour of 3M’s celebrated Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., given by some of today’s top scientists, and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”
Evaluated by a panel of judges, all video entries for the 2010 science competition will be assessed on the basis of creativity, persuasiveness, classroom suitability, and overall presentation. Videos will not be evaluated on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or simple digital cameras. All video entries must be submitted online at www.youngscientistchallenge.com no later than May 27.
Honorable Mention – Various Deadlines
Califone International has hosted a wide variety of fun contests in recent weeks. For example, a Twitter contest in mid-February recognized that some of our nation’s greatest orators who have united and inspired us have been our Presidents. To celebrate President’s Day and to help educators convey their own messages, the week-long contest offered up to 10 PA25R megaphones to educators who tweeted about the contest. To learn about future fun contests, follow @Califone, monitor Califone’s blog, or become a Facebook fan.