September Teacher Resources

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USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Teacher and Student Site provides teachers with standardized information created from sound scientific research in the field of environmental conservation. The site includes new interactive characters created to entertain and educate the youngest conservationists as well as links to materials appropriate for high school classrooms. Educators can download and order free resources for students of all ages. Materials include lesson plans, activity books, posters, informational brochures and more. NRCS wants to empower educators like you to teach about conservation and agriculture.

USDA Southern Regional Aquaculture Center presentation titled Introduction to Aquaculture: What is it? Is it Important? How Does it Concern Me? This is an introductory video that defines aquaculture, introduces several culture systems (ponds, cages, raceways), demonstrates some of the basic steps in aquaculture production and illustrates how aquaculture fits into the global food production scheme. The presentation is about 18 minutes long. You can download and view the presentation from the SRAC website or view it on YouTube.

Youth Service America: Youth Changing the World posts a regular service briefing that showcases grant opportunities for youth-related events. If you’re looking for additional funding for increasing service learning in your program, this is a great location to find those opportunities.

Other Grant Opportunities:

Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grants in amounts up to $1,000 and $3,000 are available. Applicants must have attended a PLT workshop. Proposed projects must:

  • Involve service-learning
  • Exemplify student voice
  • Involve at least one community partner
  • Secure at least 50 percent matched funds (in-kind acceptable)
  • Be completed in one year

For more information, contact Jackie Stallard,, or
Apply by Sept. 30.

Target Field Trip Grants
Target will be awarding more than 5,000 grants of $700 each to schools for the upcoming school year. Teachers can use grants to fund school field trips to connect their curricula to out-of-school experiences, including trips to art museums, cultural events, civic experiences and environmental sites. Grants will be awarded to educators, teachers, principals, para-professionals and/or classified staff employed by an accredited K-12 public, private or charter school in the U.S. that maintains a 501(c)(3) or 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status. Apply by Sept. 30, 2013.

Green Thumb Challenge $1,000 Award
Green Education Foundation and Gardener’s Supply Company have teamed up on an exciting funding opportunity for established youth garden projects nationwide. The organizations are calling on schools and youth groups to submit chronicles of their garden projects in a race to win a $1,000 prize. The award is designed to support the continued sustainability of an exceptional youth garden program that has demonstrated success, and has impacted the lives of kids and their community. Enter by Sept. 30.

Herb Society of America $5,000 Educator Grants - a grant opportunity for educators to deliver learning experiences to the public. The Herb Society of America's mission is to promote the knowledge, use and delight of herbs through educational programs, research, and sharing the experience of its members with the community. The Grant for Educators challenges individuals, groups or small businesses to develop and deliver learning experiences to the public. Each year, the grant committee anticipates funding one or two grants for a total of $5,000. The grant rewards innovative projects that enhance herbal education in school systems, in communities or in any public forum (electronic or person-to-person). It requires learning goals and a mechanism to measure the educational outcomes.

Applications are requested from educators (formal or informal teachers), persons engaged/employed in botanical or horticultural activities, museum directors, botanical / garden writers, small herbal business owners. Proposals from students will not be accepted. Apply by Oct. 1.

Science Common Core App NSTA is excited to announce, in partnership with MasteryConnect, a free app for the Next Generation Science Standards. The app also makes referencing standards in the Common Core simple by providing a linkage between the NGSS App and MasteryConnect's Common Core App. NSTA is providing additional free resources within the app, including several articles from NSTA's peer reviewed journals, and free chapters from its line of NGSS-related titles, including The NSTA Reader's Guide to the Next Generation Science Standards and Science for the Next Generation: Preparing for the New Standards. You can download the Next Generation Science Standards app (as well as MasteryConnect's other free apps) by searching "MasteryConnect" or "Next Generation Science Standards" in your app store or visiting the iOS Store or Android Marketplace. Look for the app to be available in the Windows Store soon.

The Pet Care Trust's Pets in the Classroom program is now accepting grant applications for the 2013-2014 school year. Pre-kindergarten through eighth grade teachers in both private and public schools who desire to introduce a pet into the classroom or already have a pet in the classroom are welcome to apply. Teachers can obtain a grant for the purchase of new pets, pet environments or pet food and supplies for existing classroom pets. Teachers can apply for a direct, no-hassle grant through the Pets in the Classroom website. The program offers seven different types of grants, giving each teacher the opportunity to choose which grant is right for them. Grant options include:

  • Rebate Grant in the amounts of $100 (for small animal or birds) or $150 (for reptiles or fish) for purchases at any pet store;
  • Sustaining Grant in the amount of $50 to maintain an existing classroom pet;
  • Petco Grant, which provides coupons for the live animal, pet habitat and supplies purchased at Petco;
  • Petsmart Grant, which provides coupons for the live animal, pet habitat and supplies purchased at Petsmart; and
  • Pet Supermarket Grant, which provides coupons for live animal and pet supplies purchased at Pet Supermarket.

New for 2013-14:

  • Pet Supplies Plus Grant, which provides coupons for live animal and supplies purchased at Pet Supplies Plus Stores, and
  • Petland Discounts Grant, which provides coupons for live animal and supplies purchased at Petland Discounts Stores.

The grant program began in 2010 and has awarded 22,793 grants to teachers through the 2012-2013 school year. With a goal of introducing 5 million children in 100,000 classrooms to pets and the benefits they provide, the Trust hopes that the 2013-2014 school year will see a large number of grant applicants.

The latest version of the Web Soil Survey 3.0 was recently launched by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and can be accessed at The web-based application provides anyone with computer access a wealth of free soils information along with soil maps, properties and interpretations aimed at helping with land use decisions. The web site originally launched in August 2005 continues to be improved and enhanced to meet the demands of its growing customer base of several million hits a year.