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 Teacher Resources

USDA/Agricultural Research Service FUTURE SCIENTISTS Project
This nationally recognized professional development opportunity for science teachers (grades 7 through 12) is offering four, 2-day summer workshops in June 2009. The focus is on insect life cycles, environmental science and ecology. The goals are 1.) To infuse excitement about cutting edge, scientific research into classroom; 2.) To increase use of hands-on, inquiry-based science activities; and 3.) To make the USDA/ARS labs nationwide accessible as an educational resource. Participating teachers: 1.) should work in schools within easy commuting distance of the USDA/ARS lab site; 2.) are paid a stipend of $300; 3.) are provided free insects during the school year for student research; and 4.) during the year, will select four students to return with them to the USDA/ARS lab in May 2010 to present the school’s research findings at a Student Research Presentation Day.

Dates/locations – Arizona: Tombstone USDA/ARS, June 9 and 10, 2009; Tucson USDA/ARS, June 11 and 12, 2009. California: Riverside USDA/ARS, June 15 and 16, 2009; Parlier USDA/ARS, June 18 and 19, 2009.  Download more information at


Create Your Own Podcasts Using Gcast
How great would it be for a student who’s absent to get his assignments and due dates straight from you over the Internet? Cut down on the time you spend catching them up when you should be delivering another engaging lesson to the entire class. After short tutorials, create a free podcast for your students at

National Power Plant Garden - Virtual Tour
In 2008, USDA developed a demonstration garden of plants with potential as renewable energy sources. As part of the outreach effort, the following website was developed for those who are not physically able to visit the garden. This may be of interest to educators who are interested in helping their students learn about alternatives energy sources.

The Race for Education Scholarship

Scholarship and educational program applications for the equine and agriculture industries for the 2009/2010 academic year are due Feb. 28, 2009. In 2008, The Race for Education awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships. Visit for the following applications:

  • Thoroughbred Scholarship (multiple awards; up to $6,000 per year)
  • Horsemen’s Scholarship (multiple awards; up to $6,000 per year)
  • Kentucky Horse Council Scholarship (multiple awards of $1,500)
  • K.E.E.P. Scholarship (multiple awards; up to $5,000)
  • Journalism Scholarship (one award; up to $10,000 per year)
  • A.A.E.P./Platinum Performance Winner’s Circle Scholarship (multiple awards; up to $5,000)

Putting Cell Phones to Good Use
While it may not be possible for students to use their cell phones during school, what about at meetings and leadership conferences? Get instant feedback by using this on-line polling system. It will certainly engage students and show them how they can be productive with their communication devices.

Cliff Weiss Memorial Essay Contest
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) sponsors an essay contest in the memory of former ACTE senior director of communications, Cliff Weiss (1951-2004). Weiss had a passion for career and technical education. He believed very strongly in the value of CTE and always felt privileged to be involved in bringing the message of this value to the public. Weiss shared his gift for writing and with it enhanced everything that was done at ACTE. The purpose of this contest is to recognize CTE students who share the same passion and talents. One entry in each category, secondary and postsecondary, will be selected to receive an award of $250. To read more about how to apply for this award, visit Applications for this award are due Feb. 13, 2009.

Rodale Institute 2009 Essay Contest
Rodale announces its 2009 essay contest open to high school students who are FFA members. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the first three winners and their instructors. See complete rules and regulations by visiting Deadline for entry is Feb. 15, 2009.