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Award and In-Kind Support to a USA Elementary School Science Teacher to Recognize an Outstanding Lesson Plan

Sylvia Shugrue Award for Elementary School Teachers


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Funding Source
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 12/21/23 Save

Grant Description
Award of $1,000 and in-kind support to a USA elementary school teacher to recognize an outstanding interdisciplinary science lesson plan. In addition to the award, the successful applicant will receive a stipend to attend a national science education conference and the lesson plan will be made available to other science educators.

This award honors one elementary school teacher who has established (or is establishing) an interdisciplinary, inquiry-based lesson plan. The lesson plan will fully reference sources of information and any relevant National Science Education Standards and benchmarks found in the Atlas of Science Literacy.

Award recipients agree to:  

  • Correspond by email, and possibly other means, with elementary science teachers to share experiences and  information related to lessons selected  
  • Encourage students to share their work on the project with children in schools around the world, via Internet and other means.  
  • Cooperate with NSTA as this information is collected in ways designed to improve the teaching of science in elementary school. 

Excellence in teaching that reflects the national science education standards and/or NGSS is the main criterion for selection of recipients. Among the criteria to be considered by the committee are:  

  • Effective planning skills as indicated by an interdisciplinary/inquiry‐based lesson that includes:  
    • Learning objectives 
    • Procedures
    • Quality assessment  
    • Samples of student work (limit of 3 pages)  
  • Ability to motivate & challenge students  
  • Proper assessment  
  • Proficiency in science and science education (e.g. publications, presentations)  
  • Proper safety procedures employed  
  • Reflects national science education standards and/or NGSS 


Additional Eligibility Criteria
- Elementary school teachers (grades K–6); applicants must be a full-time teacher with a minimum of five years of experience.
- Must be an NSTA member in good standing.

Pre-Application Information
Completed applications must be received by December 21, 2023.

Please be advised that you may apply for more than one award; however, you are eligible to win only one NSTA award per year. Each application must be based on a unique program and process.

Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
The award consists of $1,000 and up to $500 to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education; the recipient of the award will be honored during the Awards Event at the NSTA Conference.

Contact Information
Apply online:

Direct questions to

National Science Teaching Association
1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA 22201
(T) 703.524.3646 (F) 703.243.7177

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