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Teacher Innovator Institute

Opportunity for USA STEM Educators to Participate in
a Summer Training Program in Washington, D.C.

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

Deadline Date:



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Opportunity for USA middle-school STEM teachers to participate in a three-year summer training program in Washington, D.C. The training program helps teachers gain new skills, develop projects, incorporate museum learning into their curriculum, and meet fellow STEM educators from across the United States. The program is held over the course of three summers. There is no cost for teachers to participate.

Participants in the first cohort—and who continue for the entire three-year term—will grapple with the idea of “authentic learning,” which is a broad construct that could be defined in different ways by different educators. At its root, the authentic learning movement seeks to involve real-world problems, use open-ended inquiry, and engage students in social learning. The cohort will work to define the term as it relates to their practice and design content around it as they progress through the program.

Through hands-on activities, museum tours, visits to other museums, group work, and expertise from museum educators and content experts, teachers will use aerospace science, history, and technology to shape their ideas about authentic learning and bring informal education techniques into their classrooms.

What the program provides:
- There is no cost for teachers to participate. Teachers are provided with lodging, food, and travel (to and within DC).
- During the institute, teachers will be given VIP museum experiences and access to content experts in both informal education and aerospace content.
- Participants will also have opportunities to connect with their cohort and museum staff several times during the school year.

- Commit to two weeks each summer for three summers. (Summer three for the new 2019 cohort pending grant funding.)
- Propose an independent project and see it through to completion. Present the project to fellow Institute participants and Smithsonian staff. Participants will use approximately one-quarter of their time working on projects independently.
- Actively participate in sessions led by Smithsonian Institution staff and guests on the marriage of informal and formal learning.
- Assist in the evaluation of and iteration upon current educational programming at the National Air and Space Museum.
- During Year One, participants will connect. at least twice during the school year via video conference (the Museum will provide the video conference platform) to reflect and evaluate practices with fellow cohorts. They will also present at least one professional development session for teachers in their school or district.
- During Year Two, participants will support a new cohort by continuing to participate in reflective practice video conferences, and present at least two professional development sessions for teachers in your local district or region.
- In Year Three, participants will create curriculum and activities for a new cohort and actively mentor new teacher innovators, and present professional development to local teachers in the D.C. metro area.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185076

Number of Grants:


Term of Contract:

The program is held over the course of three summers.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Middle School (grades 5-8) STEM teachers with an interest in expanding their practice to include informal education techniques may apply. You may apply with colleagues from your school or district as a team. Teams can be no larger than three teachers. Efforts will be made to enroll a cohort that represents a diverse set of school types, geographic regions, teaching environments, and experiences.

Pre-Application Information:

The application for Summer 2019 will open in October 2018. Submit a completed application form by February 1, 2019.

Summer 2019 Program:
- Returning 2018 Cohort: Monday, July 8 - Friday, July 19, 2018
- New 2019 Cohort: Monday, July 15 - Friday, July 26

Video application tips:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Send questions to Shannon Baldioli:

National Air and Space Museum
Independence Ave at 6th St, SW
Washington, DC 20560

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming