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Highlights Archive
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Highlights Archive


Eagle Hill Middle School Science Olympiad Team Wins Meteorology Competition

Published May 2016

Each year, NOAA Education sponsors the Meteorology Division B - Middle School competition at the National Science Olympiad. The Science Olympiad National Tournament is the pinnacle of achievement for 120 of the country's best Science Olympiad teams, representing more than 2,000 students. This year, the Science Olympiad National Tournament was hosted on May 20-21, 2016, by the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UWS).

The teams that placed include:
1st: Eagle Hill Middle School (NY)
2nd: Community Middle School (NJ)
3rd: Daniel Wright Junior High School (IL)
4th: Mead Mill Middle School (MI)
5th: Piedmont IB Middle School (NC)
6th: Austin Area Homeschoolers (TX)

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No Foolin'! We Have a "Hall of Fame" Educator at NOAA!

Published April 2016

On Friday, April 1 the National Teachers Hall of Fame announced that June Teisan in NOAA’s Office of Education was one of five educators selected from across the nation as a 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee.

The surprise announcement was made at the National Science Teachers Association annual conference in Nashville where June was conducting professional development sessions on behalf of NOAA. Surrounded by her NOAA colleagues, fellow NOAA Teacher at Sea alumni, and many other friends attending the conference, June received a plaque, a gold lapel pin, and words of high praise for her years of dedicated service from the National Teachers Hall of Fame Executive Director, Carol Strickland. NOAA colleagues Bob Hansen and Jeannine Montgomery from the Office of Education worked with Carol to coordinate the surprise announcement.

June taught science to middle schoolers for 27 years in the metro-Detroit area. During her career June received the White House Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching and was named the 2008 Michigan Teacher of the Year, but she is most proud of the work her urban student scientists did conducting field research on the lakes and shorelines of Michigan. Connecting students to the natural world and fostering environmental stewardship skills was a top priority for June, and she authored thousands of dollars in grants to enable her “kids” to get outside the classroom and actively explore and investigate real-world challenges.

June was invited to the Office of Education in September 2014 as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow and has continued her work assisting with outreach, curriculum development, and other educator support efforts.

The National Teachers Hall of Fame ( was founded in Emporia, Kansas in 1989 to “recognize and honor exceptional career teachers, encourage excellence in teaching, and preserve the rich heritage of the teaching profession in the United States through a museum, teacher resource center, and recognition program which honors five of the nation’s most outstanding preK-12 educators each year.”

June and her fellow inductees will participate in induction events and celebrations this summer in Washington, D.C., at the Hall of Fame Museum on the campus of Emporia State University, and in Kansas City, Missouri. The National Teachers Hall of Fame is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and the 100+ past honorees from across 38 states are invited to join in this year’s alumni gala.

Congratulations June!

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The fall is a busy time for those of us in NOAA Education!

Published Dec 2015

Staff from NOAA Education participated in a number of science teacher conferences in the fall of 2015. These conferences included the regional National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) conferences in Reno, NV; Philadelphia, PA; Kansas City, MO; as well as the state science teacher conferences for Virginia in Chantilly, VA and Texas in Ft. Worth, TX. With a total attendance of nearly 15,000 educators NOAA education staff fully engaged with more than 2,500 and distributed materials to many more eager to receive them. Additionally, presentations at these conferences included topics on corals, data in the classroom, the water cycle, “NOAA in Your Backyard” as well as weather education.

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On Thursday, April 23, 2015 the annual “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”

Published April 2015

The annual “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” was celebrated and NOAA offices around the country participated in this annual event. In the Washington, DC metropolitan area, more than 600 children registered and participated in the event at NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, College Park, MD; Suitland, MD; and Germantown, MD., The day is a great way for girls and boys to explore career opportunities.

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NOAA Education Completes Conference Participation for 2014

Published Dec 2014

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) regional conference in Long Beach, CA.

NOAA Education completed it’s education outreach event participation in early December by ending the year with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) regional conference in Long Beach, CA. Nearly 6,000 people attended this science education event, the largest regional conference NSTA has ever held.

The NOAA Education Office received staff assistance from several regional NOAA programs including the National Weather Service Offices in Oxnard and San Diego, CA; the NOAA Fisheries Southwest Science Center, La Jolla, CA; the University of Southern California Sea Grant; and NOAA Teacher at Sea program.

The most important aspect of our exhibit presence is the NOAA staff making personal connections with the attendees- whether discussing: NOAA sciences, teacher professional development opportunities, pathways to STEM careers, hands-on science activities, weather preparedness, staff presentations at schools, or any of the other multitude of questions and issues that come up.

Look for our participation at science education conferences coming up in 2015!

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Education intern at NOAA

Published July 2014

Aliyah Shah, NOAA intern at the control of the Science On a Sphere in Silver Spring, MD

Springbrook High School's Aliyah Shah provides educators and community members across the country with valuable NOAA resources through her work as an intern this summer at NOAA's offices in Silver Spring, MD. Aliyah combines her interest in computer programming, web design, and robotics with the working world of NOAA data and research. Among her projects is activity with NOAA's Science on a Sphere.

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The 13th Annual WeatherFest

Published March 2014

The 13th Annual 'WeatherFest' was held in February 2014 sponsored by and in conjunction with the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Always a very popular feature before the AMS meeting begins, WeatherFest is an interactive, hands-on science and weather fair event open to the public. The event is designed to stimulate interest in STEM and has activities for children of all ages. This year, over 3500 attended the event at the Georgia International Convention Center. The theme of the 2014 AMS Annual Meeting was "Extreme Weather—Climate and the Built Environment: New Perspectives Opportunities, and Tools." Lots of NOAA staff were on hand engaging with the students and were all supported by materials provided by NOAA Education.

A view across the convention center shows the crowd participating in the range of activities.

Highlights of the event included "Mrs. Virginia International 2014" Cheryl Nelson, former Norfolk, VA area broadcast meteorologist with NWS mascot, "Owlie Skywarn" entertaining the audience.

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Office of Education Participates in Fall Conferences

Published December 2013

The fall conferences are upon us and among the conferences NOAA Education supports and participates in are the three National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) regional meetings around the country. Informal and formal educators are a primary audience/constituency of NOAA education and NSTA is the largest organization in the world, with a membership of 55,000 committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. The mission and goals of NSTA support the mission and goals of NOAA Education.

Einstein Fellow Britta Culbertson; Einstein Fellow emeritus Lindsay Knippenberg; meteorologist Jim Merrell, Morehead City WFO; Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tony Sturey, Greer WFO; Meteorologist in Charge Larry Gabric, Greer WFO.

Einstein Fellow Britta Culbertson and NOAA Teacher at Sea alumnus Marla Crouch.

Carolina Kid News reporter, Richard Parker, interviews National Weather Service meteorologist Neil Dixon from the Greenville-Spartanburg, SC Weather Forecast Office.

The first of these regional conferences was in Portland, OR (October 24-26). NOAA Education Einstein Fellow Britta Culbertson gave presentations on "Engage Your Students with NOAA's Coral Reef and Ocean Acidification Resources" and "Data: It's Not a Four-Letter Word". Following up in the next month was the conference in Charlotte, NC (November 7-9) where there were 7 presentations by several NOAA staff and Einstein Fellows.ranging from Estuaries, Engineering, Coral Reefs, Polar Science as well as 'NOAA in Your Backyard'. The last of the regional conferences takes place in Denver, CO (December 12-14). If you are attending this conference, please stop by the NOAA exhibit booth and say hello- speak with staff and see what resources we are distributing to the attendees.

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NOAA's Office of Education Meets Upward Bound Students

Published August 2013

During the summer of 2013, NOAA Education engaged with the Upward Bound program. Upward Bound is federally funded by the US Department of Education and provides students from low-income and/or "potential first-generation college students" with better skills and opportunities to attend college.

Specifically the Upward Bound program administered by The College Board in cooperation with The Catholic University of America has been working with students in the target schools of Anacostia, Ballou, and H.D. Woodson High Schools in Washington, DC. On July 18th a NOAA career panel convened at Catholic University to discuss a wide variety of science careers available to the junior and senior level high school students.

Lisa Discussing the role of Env. Policy
Lisa Nakamura discussing the role of Env. Policy to Upward Bound students
Panelists included: Dr. Maria Murray (Office of Education), Dr. DaNa Carlis (National Weather Service), Martin Yapur (NOAA Satellite and Information Service), Tyra Brown (National Weather Service), and LCDR Sarah Mrozek (National Ocean Service).

Also on July 18th a group of rising sophomores from the Upward Bound program went on a field trip over to the eastern Shore of Maryland to the NOAA laboratory in Oxford, MD hosted by Bart Merrick from the NOAA Chesapeake Bay office. Students engaged with a range of NOAA professionals on how NOAA related disciplines can lead to a diverse array of career tracks including studying oyster diseases, understanding ecosystems of commercially important fisheries, communicating complex data through computer visualizations, and translating science to policymakers. Students also had an opportunity to seine for fish to explore how different habitats affected the community of species.

Students on field trip
Upward Bound students on a field trip on the eastern Shore of Maryland at the NOAA laboratory in Oxford, MD

Later during the summer, several NOAA employees in the National Weather Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service mentored a number of students from the Upward Bound program. Students shadowed these NOAA employees for a week to learn about their jobs, to gain exposure to NOAA science, and to receive advice on pathways to different careers.

The plans are to continue working with the Upward Bound program to foster the next generation of NOAA scientists.

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NOAA Awards Two Students: 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Published June 2013

NOAA was pleased to present the Taking the Pulse of the Planet special award to two worthy students at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). These two young ladies conducted outstanding and innovative research projects addressing real-world challenges related to NOAA's mission.

Olivia Kay Joslin of Hilton Head Island High School in Hilton Head Island, SC received first prize for her project: The Replacement of Fishmeal with Formulated Sustainable Meals and its Effect on the Growth of Litopenaeus vannamei. Her research demonstrated equivalent growth among shrimp raised on a sustainable, mainly vegetarian food blend and those on the traditional fish-based food meal. Olivia will have the opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship at a NOAA research laboratory. Additionally, she will receive: 1) a $500 monetary award, 2) a certificate signed by Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator and Louisa Koch, Director of NOAA Education, 3) an engraved award plaque, and 4) an All Hazards NOAA weather radio.

Meagan Elizabeth Currie of Greely High School in Cumberland, ME achieved second place for her project: Effects of Environmental Stressors on the Filtration Rates of the Blue Mussel Mytilus edulis. She demonstrated decreased filtration rates under nutritional and chemical stress for this economically important mussel that serves as an indicator of harmful algal blooms. Meagan will receive: 1) a $500 monetary award, 2) a certificate signed by Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator and Louisa Koch, Director of NOAA Education, and 3) a Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World book.

First place winner Olivia Joslin shares her research project.

Second place winner Meagan Currie tells judges about her research.

We extend our most sincere congratulations to these impressive student scientists. You can learn more about NOAA's support for science fairs at:

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NOAA's FY14 Budget - Education Highlights

Published May 2013

The Obama Administration recently submitted its FY14 budget request to Congress. The Administration's FY 14 budget request proposes elimination or consolidation of education programs across the Federal agencies in order to improve STEM education overall. The following terminations of programs in NOAA's Education Portfolio have been requested by the Administration

NOAA logo
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
  • A decrease of $3.1M to terminate the NOAA's Competitive Education Grants Program, which supports the Environmental Literacy Grants Program; ocean education partnership grants; and grants that foster the integration of NOAA assets into geography education.
  • A decrease of $5.533M to terminate the Bay Watershed Education and Training (BWET) Regional Program for competitive funding to local and state education offices, government agencies, academic institutions and non-profit organizations.
  • A decrease of $600K to terminate the Teacher at Sea Program.
  • A decrease of $601K to terminate funding for the Nancy Foster Scholarship Program.
  • A decrease of $4M to terminate Sea Grant STEM education funding, including support for the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program and National Marine Fisheries Service-Sea Grant Fellowships.
  • A decrease of $900K to terminate funding for Ocean Exploration and Research education.
  • To see NOAA's overall budget request for FY14, see pp. 73 - 116 of the DOC budget document . Additionally, NOAA's budget details can be seen online at:

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    NOAA launches partnership with Johns Hopkins' Center for Talented Youth

    Published November 2012

    CTY event at Johns Hopkins
    Parents and students learn about NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) through the "Build-A-Buoy" hands-on activity and interactive lesson.

    Students enrolled in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth CTY) gifted program have the opportunity to attend programs hosted by CTY that focus on various academic areas of interest. The recent program at NOAA's Silver Spring headquarters campus was offered as part of the Fall Science & Technology series of Family Academic Programs for students in grades 7 through 10 and their families.

    Traveling from the DC metro area and six surrounding states, over 40 families attended the event and filled registration to capacity. The day program offered families a variety of hands-on experiences and presentations that highlighted the diversity of scientific fields in which NOAA specializes.

    The day kicked off with a keynote address via video tele-presence from Dr. Katy Croff Bell, Chief Scientist for the E/V Nautilus Exploration Program, Dr. Michael Brennan, Archaeological Oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island, and Dr. Bob Ballard, Professor of Oceanography, renowned ocean explorer, and mentor to both Bell and Brennan. The trio described several of their current research projects and stressed the importance of science education in developing the skills necessary to be successful in their work exploring the deep ocean. The address was followed by questions from the audience, giving the students and parents the unique opportunity to interact directly with Dr. Ballard and his students.

    Activities offered during the concurrent sessions throughout the day included:

  • A visit to the Ocean Exploration Command Center
  • Hands-on games to teach proper rain gauge measurement with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) precipitation monitoring program
  • Buoy-building competitions with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
  • An introduction to ocean acidification and its impacts on oyster fisheries
  • Analysis of the Earth system through exploration of the connections between global environmental satellite datasets with the GLOBE Program
  • Image analyses of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on our solar system's sun to predict space weather
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    Teachers Explore NOAA Science at Science Olympiad Summer Institute

    Published June 2012

    As the new sponsor for Science Olympiad's Meteorology event, NOAA co-led a workshop on weather-related science and technology at Science Olympiad's 2012 Summer Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 19th. Seventy-five middle-school teachers and coaches from all over the United States participated in the workshop, which focused on concepts and measurement techniques related to everyday weather. Ken Waters, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service (NWS) in Phoenix, gave a weather balloon/radiosonde demonstration for the teachers and shared information about resources and opportunities available through NWS

    A middle-school teacher tests out a homemade anemometer at the 2012 Science Olympiad Summer Institute in Phoenix, AZ
    offices in the teachers' home states. Sarah Yue from the NOAA Office of Education presented NOAA's new Science Olympiad webpage and helped teachers construct and field-test their own anemometers using a protocol from the activity book Discover Your World with NOAA. Mark VanHecke, Earth-Space Science Events Chair for Science Olympiad, kicked off the session and also led other hands-on activities with the workshop participants. Participating teachers were excited to bring these new resources and activities back to students and colleagues in their home states, ultimately impacting hundreds of middle-school students who participate in Science Olympiad competitions around the country.

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    NOAA Participates in USA Science & Engineering Festival

    Published May 2012

    Family looking at staff presentation

    A large contingent of NOAA staff, lead by NOAA Education, participated in the USA Science & Engineering Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on Friday, April 27 - Sunday, April 29, 2012.

    NOAA staff offered a considerable range of hands-on activities, among which included:
    • Water World - how much water in the world is potable?
    • A demonstration of the online "Young Meteorologist Program"- a new, interactive safety program for children developed in partnership with the National Weather Service.
    • A computer interactive game on the importance of Lightning Safety - how to prepare and what to do before lightning strikes.
    • Operating a small-scale underwater ROV (Remote operated Vehicle) with video of real-life underwater exploration in the deep sea
    • Build-a-Buoy - kids of all ages devised their own design of a navigational buoy, tested to see if it floated, then added as many instruments to see how long it could remain afloat.
    • Ocean Acidification demonstration - this shows how a global scale change in the basic chemistry of the oceans is a direct result of the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    • Turtle Excluder Device (TED) demonstration - how commercial fishermen can catch fish but decrease the numbers of sea turtles caught in fishing nets.
    • Find the shipwreck
    • Spin the Wheel of Marine Mammals - an identification of the diversity of marine mammals.
    • Identify all the specimens with a NOAA Teacher at Sea
    • Follow the Line - an instruction in basic hydrography
    • Build an isacahedron globe of the Earth.
    • Whale and sea turtle origami

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    NOAA at Science Teacher Conference

    Published April 2012

    NOAA exhibit at NSTA 2012

    The NOAA Office of Education was the sponsor of an exhibit booth at the annual National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual conference held on March 29- April 1, 2012 at the Indianapolis Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN.

    Nearly 10,000 science educators from around the country attended this 60th annual conference. NOAA was acknowledged for participating for over 20 years in the exhibit hall.

    Picture 2: An excited NOAA staaf member interacts with a visitor


    The NOAA exhibit booth was staffed by a well rounded representation of all the NOAA programs including staff from the Illinois/Indiana Sea Grant programs, and both the education programs and the National Invasive Species staff. Rounding out exhibit staff were science teachers: NOAA Teacher at Sea Alumni (TASA), NOAA Climate Stewards as well as an Einstein Fellow assigned to NOAA. Excellent education resources from the various programs were distributed to the attendees. There was also a 'hands-on-science' area within the booth which enabled the NOAA staff to demonstrate short science activities which could be used in the classroom or in after-school activities.

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    Education Resources Website

    Published March 2012

    Education Resources

    This portal website is designed to assist educators in accessing NOAA educational materials across the widely distributed network of NOAA websites. The content here is a sampling of NOAA's education resources and more can be found at each linked location.

    Go to the Website...

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