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Highlights Archive
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Highlights Archive


OUTREACH: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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OUTREACH: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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CITIZEN SCIENCE:On our Oceans and Coasts

Published March 2016

Participants in the Hudson River Eel Project enjoy their work.
(Credit: Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve)

NOAA Office of Education hosted the Federal Community for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science first monthly meeting of 2016 with a focus on how citizen science can be used to study oceans and coasts.

Four panelists from the NOAA Citizen Science Community of Practice showcased projects that are making a positive impact on the health of our oceans and coasts:

Chris Bowser, Education Coordinator for the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Science Education Specialist for the NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Project opened our session with a lively presentation "Respect Your Elvers! Migratory Fish Conservation through Citizen-Science." The Hudson River Eel Project is a citizen-science program where 500 trained volunteers catch, count, and release migrating American eels into Hudson River tributaries from NYC to Albany. Since 2008 this project has released over 250,000 eels above barriers to migration.

Jenna Jambeck, an Associate Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia discussed the success of the Marine Debris Tracker app she co-developed, highlighting the power of citizen science data collection to spread awareness and inform solutions. With over 12,000 downloads of the app and more than 81,000 marine debris entries, the project is growing strong!

With new legislation banning microbeads in soaps and toothpaste, the work of a specialized group of citizen scientists in Florida is particularly timely. Maia McGuire, a Florida Sea Grant Extension Program agent at the University of Florida, created the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project in 2015. Funded by a NOAA Marine Debris Outreach and Education grant, the project trains volunteer citizens to collect coastal water samples, filter the samples, then identify and report microplastics found.

Crowd-sourced bathymetry was the focus of Lieutenant Anthony Klemm's fascinating presentation. Lt. Klemm, with the NOAA Commissioned Officers Corp, works at NOAA's Office of Coast Survey and discussed NOAA's support of the International Hydrographic Organization's Crowdsourced Bathymetry Project

The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Richard G. Hendrickson, a citizen science volunteer extraordinaire who contributed to the Weather Service’s corps of Cooperative Observers for more than 80 years. You can learn about Mr. Hendrickson and his legacy from this article from the Washington Post and this op-ed.

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LEADERSHIP:FY15 NOAA Education Accomplishments Report

Published March 2016

The FY15 NOAA Education Accomplishments Report highlights 41 stories from across the NOAA Education community. The stories illustrate how NOAA Education is working improve the public's scientific literacy, promote conservation and stewardship, improve safety and preparedness, and develop the next generation of scientists and engineers.

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