News 2022-23

  • 23 Nov 2022 9:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    X-STEM All Access – presented by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, and Discovery Channel – is a free virtual conference series for middle and high schoolers designed to get students excited about STEM.

    Students will get an inside look into the exciting careers and inspiring personal journeys of diverse STEM role models through a lively Q&A session with a fellow STEM professional. The 30-minute max episodes will premiere throughout the school year and will be available on-demand to fit in your schedule.


    TSgt Terica Clewis

    TSgt Terica Clewis is an Air Force data scientist at the Pentagon with 15 years of experience.  Her current duties include designing innovative software systems to assist center personnel (as well as the rest of the Air Force) efficiently manage, store and process large-scale data. TSgt Clewis is exploring ways to apply algorithms to big data so analysts can provide more robust information to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a much faster rate. Learn more here

    Justin Shaifer

    Justin’s goal “to be for STEM what ESPN is for sports” and to inspire young people to “embrace their inner nerd despite their surroundings,” springs from his own life experience. Growing up in a single parent home on the South Side of Chicago, he had little awareness of the potential of a STEM career. Self-taught and fascinated by science, Justin earned scholarships from NASA and NOAA that covered 100% of his tuition and room and board at Hampton University. Learn more here

  • 22 Nov 2022 7:52 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    Diversity Field Trip Grants Applications Due January 15

                A new resource for those who teach diverse middle-school and high-school STEM students is available from the AEG Foundation.  The AEG Foundation manages the AEG Diversity Fund, which is for the benefit of Black, Hispanic or Latino/a, Pacific Islander, and/or American Indian/Alaskan Native students.  Earth science or STEM teachers who teach middle-school or high-school students with these heritages are invited to apply for the AEG Foundation Diversity Field Trip Grants.

                The purpose of these AEG Foundation Field Trip Grants is to introduce diverse students to professional practice in the geosciences.  Hopefully, a positive experience may encourage more students to consider continuing their college or university studies in the geosciences.

                It is planned that up to five field-trip grants (about $1,000 each) will be awarded to middle-school and high-school teachers annually.  The grants will pay for transportation, park admission fees, maps, field equipment and supplies, insurance, lunches, and related direct costs of the field trips.

                The Diversity Field Trip Grant applications are due February 1.  For more information and to apply, please visit

                The AEG Foundation supports the mission and members of the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG).

  • 21 Nov 2022 6:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) for K-12 teachers

    With generous funding from Bristol Myers Squibb, PRISM is excited to announce this 4-day mini-series 
    *:  January 10, January 24, February 9 and February 23 (*snow date March 9th)
    Time: 5:30PM-7:30PM
    Where:  PRISM - located at 1515 Broad St. Bloomfield, NJ 07003
    Receive a stipend of $200 when you attend all 4 days. 
    A non-refundable fee of $30 is required for registration..
    A light dinner will be served.
    A certificate will be provided for 8 PD hours upon completion.

    Registration is limited, reserve your spot now!
    Ambitious Science Teaching aims to support students of all backgrounds to deeply understand science, engage with science practices and solve authentic problems.
    In this workshop, you will learn about and engage with the four core practices of Ambitious Science Teaching, University of Washington. The Ambitious Science Teaching framework is based on 30+ years of classroom research. Each workshop session will center around one of the practices:

    1.   Planning for engagement with important science ideas
    2.   Eliciting students’ ideas
    3.   Supporting ongoing changes in thinking
    4.   Pressing for evidence-based explanations
    Ambitious Science Teaching can be done at all levels, therefore this workshop is suitable for K-12 teachers. As much as possible, workshop participants will be divided into groups depending on the grade level they teach so that grade specific content can be used to implement newly learned strategies. Teachers are encouraged to sign up with 1 or more co-workers.  
    NoteThe workshop will follow the Ambitious Science Teaching suggested pathway for groups of educators working together to improve their practice. This pathway includes a 10-15 page reading to support the discussions during each face-to-face session. Sessions will operate from the assumption that participants have engaged with the reading materials ahead of time.

    Petra van’t Slot has been teaching science (mostly Chemistry) at the high school and college level for 15+ years. She currently teaches at the Dwight-Englewood school in Englewood, NJ. Petra is fascinated by how people learn science and she loves to improve her practice together with other educators.

    Visit our website for other science and math mini-series.

  • 12 Nov 2022 10:30 AM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    Computer Science Curriculum Hack-a-thon

    at Montclair State University

    Teachers and Admins of all grades


    4 PD hours 

    The first 100 non-CS PLC* registrants will receive a $100 stipend for attendance.

    *PLC - Professional Learning Community participant of the CS grants

    Date: Saturday, January 21st

    Time: 9am-1pm - including lunch

    Location: Montclair State University Camus - CELS Building, 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ (Parking will be included at the CarParc Diem)

    **Registration required - $25 refundable fee to hold reservation to receive a stipend.

    Ready to shape the future of computer science education in NJ and earn PD hours? Come out to the First Annual CS Curriculum Hack-a-thon on the Montclair State University Campus! 

    Teachers and administrators bring your knowledge of what motivates your K-12 students to learn. Montclair State University will bring the Computer Science and Education experts. And together we will brainstorm curricula for all grades to help teachers with the new NJ Department of Education Student Learning Standards in Computer Science.

    We will develop new teaching modules as well as look at modules already developed and modify them to work with our New Jersey students.

    We will have other surprises in store for you including guest speakers and giveaways! 

    Register now for the Hack-a-thon 

    4-hours of professional development credit will be awarded.

    MSU HUB Grant is funded by the Computer Science for All: Expanding Professional Learning (HUB Grant) (22E00173)

    Questions: Feel free to contact us at or call 973-655-7753.

  • 24 Oct 2022 6:53 PM | NJSTA (Administrator)

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is currently accepting nominations and applications for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). PAEMST is the highest recognition that a Kindergarten through 12th grade science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science educator may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Since 1983, more than 5,100 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education. Up to 108 awardees may be recognized each year.

    Presidential Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States; a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; and a $10,000 award from NSF. They also join a prestigious network of award-winning teachers from across the country. 

    Anyone—principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public—may nominate a teacher by completing the nomination form. To submit a nomination, you’ll need the teacher’s name, email address, and school contact information. Teachers may also initiate the application process themselves at


    An applicant must:

    ·       teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science as part of their contracted teaching responsibilities at the 7-12 grade level in a public (including charter) or private school;

    ·       hold at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution;

    ·       be full-time employee of the school or school district as determined by state/jurisdiction and district

    policies, with responsibilities for teaching students no less than 50% of the school’s allotted instructional


    ·       have at least five years of full-time employment as a K–12 teacher during which science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science has been a part of the applicant’s teaching duties prior to the 2022-2023 academic school year;

    ·       teach in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. Territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands);

    ·       be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; and

    ·       not have received the PAEMST award at the national level in any prior competition or category.


    For 7-12 grade levels, the nomination deadline is January 9, 2023, and the application deadline is February 6, 2023. Grade levels K-6 will be eligible to apply during the following cycle but will not be considered for this cycle.

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    Contact Information

    If you have questions, please contact LaShona Burkes, Ph.D. at As always, the NJDOE appreciates your collaboration in nationally recognizing the great work of New Jersey’s outstanding STEM teachers.

  • 23 Oct 2022 8:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New Jersey Science Teachers Association Applauds Science Teacher Christine Girtain named NJ State Teacher of the Year 2022-23


    On October 12 the New Jersey Department of Education announced that Christine Girtain, a science teacher and the Director of Authentic Science Research at Toms River High School North and South, was named the 2022-2023 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.  It has been 17 years since a science teacher was recognized at this level–a drought of recognition for a state that prides itself on its technology industry.  The New Jersey Science Teachers Association congratulates Girtain on this monumental honor recognizing her passion for working with students and sharing with colleagues to solve global science challenges. 

    The Governor’s Educator of the Year program is constantly evolving.  It starts at the local level with those who are selected by their individual schools.  The local district Teachers of the Year are encouraged to apply for recognition as County Teachers of the Year.  The timely application process is fairly intense as it establishes criteria that a teacher is not only an asset at their own local school but is also connected within a larger societal footprint.  According to her County Teacher of the Year description, Christine has forged an alliance with the Army and Navy “to establish a K-12 STEM pipeline with a goal of ensuring the sustainability of the STEM workforce in the United States.” She has taken students on educational tours in Europe and to do research in Costa Rica.  Some of her students even presented their final work to a panel of scientists from the US, Israel, and Switzerland. Additionally, she has exemplified this same spirit of dedication to colleagues by funding local teachers and hosting others from 6 states in search of new potential antibiotics.  County Teachers of the Year are encouraged to apply for recognition as a New Jersey State Teacher of the Year (NJSTOY).  Criteria at this level "highlights educational innovation, student achievement, the rewards of teaching, and important services outside the classroom environment that lead to student success."  She is also a New Jersey state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching.  Christine clearly exemplifies that important aspect of societal impact in addition to her local excellence. 

    Congratulations to a homegrown New Jersey science teacher for 28 years of dedicated service affecting the lives of so many students and colleagues. On a daily basis, Girtain models the importance that work in science can have on the world by energizing the importance of the subject beyond expectations.  We are so pleased that the Governor and NJ Department of Education have recognized a brilliant ambassador who can best share the message that science education leads to not only employment in the STEM jobs for which our state is known but also the betterment of our planet. 

  • 22 Oct 2022 11:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NJSTA would like to congratulate and celebrate the following preservice educators for being awarded the 2022 Doris White Memorial Scholarship!

    1. Colette Cutrona, Seton Hall University. Secondary Education and Biology. Graduation - May 2024. Education Professor: Dr. James Daly
    2. Robert Onoz, Montclair State University, Dual Certification: BS Physics, MAT Physical Science & Teacher of Students with Disabilities Graduation - May 2023. Education Professor: Dr. Douglas Larkin
    3. Cat Rogers. Rowan University, MA STEM Education. Graduation - May 2023. Hopes to teach grades 6-12 Bio/Life Sciences. Education Professor: Issam Abi-El-Mona; Supervisor: Linda Smith
    4. Hannah Velarde. Ramapo College of New Jersey. Elementary Education. Graduation: 2023. Hopes to teach 5th grade. Education Professor: Eva Ogens

    Congratulations and best to you as you finish your degree work!  

  • 10 Oct 2022 7:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NSTA has FREE NASCAR lessons available on its website at Immerse K-8 students in real-life applications of STEM—and teach key science concepts at the same time—with lessons about a sport that many students enjoy. Check out these fun and engaging NASCAR-themed lessons and resources, free of charge to educators nationwide!

  • 10 Oct 2022 7:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Are you a K-12 Teacher? If so, the Rutgers Geology Museum is offering FREE rock and mineral teaching kits to K-12 teachers. Each kit contains an assortment of real rock and mineral samples. These kits are great for teaching students how rocks are classified and how to identify them. 


    To pick up your free kit, ask for one in the Museum gift shop while supplies last.  

    The Museum’s current hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10AM-4PM, and certain Saturdays (10/8, 11/5, 12/3) from 10AM-2PM. 

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