Penn State Department of Meteorology
Outreach Luncheon
Research Experiences for Teachers (Nanotech RETs)
NASA Swift Video & Curricular Resources
Graduate Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Technology (GREATT)
Energy Education for the 21st Century (E-21)
Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP)
NanoDays Nanotechnology Teacher Workshop
CSATS Penn State STEM Outreach Database
MRI: Acquisition of a Scalable Instrument for Discovery through Computing & DC Small: Adaptive Spars
2016 CSATS Saturday Science Workshops
Science Notebooking and Content Knowledge Support (SNACKS)
Gateway to Great Graduates: Improving Science Teacher Education and Student Experiences
From Local to Extreme Environments (FLEXE)
2016 Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio)
Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST)
Carbon Educators and Researchers Together for Humanity (CarbonEARTH)
Research and Education on Buruli Ulcer, Inundations, and Land Disturbance (reBUild)
Pennsylvania Wind for Schools

2016 PA Kidwind Challenge Results

Congratulations to all the teams who attended the 4th Annual PA Kidwind Challenge! 7 middle school and 6 high schools teams from around the state built powerful small-scale wind turbines and put both their turbines and their new found knowledge of wind power to the test at the event held at Bald Eagle High School, Bellefonte, PA. Special thanks to the teachers and coaches who provided this opportunity for the students and to the judges, students and staff members who helped make this challenge the best one yet!  

Thanks to Penn State Engineering students for providing the following acitivites for participating students:

- Wind Energy Jeopardy                     - Pinwheel ProjectThe Power of the Wind                 -  Building a Better Turbine

- Spinning to Shock                              - Measuring the Wind                                                        -  Wind Powered Cars


High School Results

  • First Place: Axial Flux, Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences, Mr. Jeff Koch
  • Second Place: Stooges, Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences, Mr. Jeff Koch
  • Third Place: Shark Bucket, Northwestern High School, Ms. Cindy Murray

Middle School Results

  • First Place: We are the Best Around, Londonderry Shool, Ms. Judy Bower
  • Second Place: TBetter Than You, Londonderry Shool, Ms. Judy Bower
  • Third Place:  Absolutely Atrocious Aardvarks, Londonderry Shool, Ms. Judy Bower


  • Dr. George Lesieutre, Dept. Head and Professor, Penn State Aerospace Engineering
  • Michael Sell, Project Corrdinator, St. Francis University Institute for Energy
  • Evelyn Bateman, Penn State Schreyer Honors Scholar, Energy Engineering

Staff Support

  • Leah Bug, Assistant Director, CSATS; PA WindSenator, and WfS Co-Director
  • Amanda Smith, Outreach & Engagement Liaison, Penn State CSATS
  • Dr. Susan Stewart, Research Associate, Aerospace Engineering & Architectural Engineering, Penn State University and WfS Director
  • Dina Taucher, Educator and PA WindSenator
  • Jason Zalno, Educator adn PA WindSenator

Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Wind for Schools Program, the KidWind Project, and the Center for Science and the Schools.

Arctic Plant Phenology Learning through Engaged Science

July 25-29, 2016

Applications Due: April 1, 2016

Admission decision and notification will be sent to all applicants on May 2, 2016


One of the most widely documented ecological consequences of climate change is the earlier occurrence of springtime events.  Earlier flowering by plants, earlier arrival by migratory birds, and earlier emergence of invertebrates have been documented across all regions of the Earth, but such changes have been most pronounced in the Arctic, where warming has been greatest. 

The discipline of "phenology" is the study of the timing of such events and how they advance in response to climatic warming.  But how do we know that spring events, such as the blooming of flowers, are occurring earlier?  How do scientists study phenology in the field?  Teachers will have the opportunity to participate and collaborate with leading polar research scientists, CSATS science educators and PolarTREC Teacher Nell Herrmann, and schools from across the country. 

Since 1993, Dr. Post has been studying the effects of climate change on arctic plant phenology using three approaches:  direct human observation of plants, time-lapse photography of plants, and mini-greenhouse warming experiments.  These methods, the way they are used in the study of phenology, and what they can tell us about ecological responses to climate change will be a major focus of this workshop. Dr. Post's long-term data from his study of plant phenology at an arctic field site in Greenland will be used in exercises focusing on the use of such data in detecting trends toward earlier onset of springtime events.

Middle and high school teachers will spend a week at Penn State learning about how scientists identify key phenological stages of plant growth, and how to monitor plant phenological responses to climatic warming using time-lapse cameras and mini-greenhouses.  Teachers will participate in science inquiry activities which replicate the practices of scientists and the systems nature of research.  With support from the APPLES team, teachers will develop a research project to implement with students in the 2016-2017 academic year, integrating research practices into the research design.  The classroom research project will incorporate learnings from the workshop, including arctic data collected by Dr. Eric Post and his research team, and utilizing equipment and procedures used by the researchers.   This workshop is limited to 15 participants, so register early! 

Teacher Benefits:

  • Lodging and meals are provided during the week
  • Travel support included for partner schools, additional travel support to other teachers based upon funds
  • Equipment needed to carry out classroom research projects (experimental warming chamber and plant phenology camera)
  • $500 stipend for implementing classroom research project during the 2016-2017 academic year
  • Up to three teachers from the workshop will be considered for participation in fieldwork in Greenland with the research team during summer 2017
  • $500 stipend for presenting at the Arctic Research Symposium at Penn State in spring 2018

For more information, contact Pernille Sporon Boving from The Polar Center or Kathy Hill from CSATS.

While all teachers may apply, these partner schools are given travel funding priority:

  • Bald Eagle Area School District in Bellefonte, PA
  • Blue Hill Consolidated School in Blue Hill, ME
  • Durango Middle and High School in Durango, CO
  • Pribilof Island School District in St. Paul Island, AK

   APPLES Flyer   

NEWBio BBEP Renewable Energy Teacher Summer Workshop

July 11-15, 2016

Application Deadline: May 31, 2016

Meet STEM Research Experts
Spend a week at University Park learning about current bioenergy research from nationally recognized faculty.  Renewable Energy alternatives are vital for the health of our planet, and the NEWBio Project, funded by the USDA, is helping us learn more about how to best realize this vision.

Participate in inquiry-based classroom activities which replicate the science and engineering research practices being conducted by  researchers. Renewable Energy is a hot topic today, and this workshop will provide teachers with content knowledge and activities to immediately use in their classrooms.  This workshop is a STEM integrated experience, providing resources and skills to help teachers work with their colleagues to implement these concepts into their classroom. Classroom activities are tied to the NGSS and ACT48 credits are provided for $10.00.

Classroom Implementation
Participate in inquiry-based classroom activities which replicate the science and engineering research practices being conducted by the researchers. Topics include: biofuels, biopower, bioproducts, biomass, bioheat, sustainability, and systems thinking. Learn about the research being conducted in the field and how you can conduct your own research in the classroom.

Travel Expenses
Room and board, including travel expenses (up to $500), are provided to each participating teacher.  Single rooms are located in the Eastview Terrace complex at Penn State, located close to downtown and near the center of campus. Meals, including group lunches, are also provided.

Classroom materials
Teachers will receive up to $300 worth of classroom materials to use in their classroom. These materials include the BBEP Curriculum, CSATS developed lesson plans,  Grasses to Sugars Kit, Race to the Pumps Poster, and more.  Transportation to field trip sites is also provided.  Click on each word below to view a short video about the workshop.

Investigate                                    Engage                                        Utilize


           Register Now                

NEWBio Website

      NEWBio Flyer      

2015 Agenda


The broader impacts of this proposals involves two high school teachers and students joining the research team of Dr. Sukyoung Lee.  Together with Dr. Lee and her graduate student Cory Baggett, teachers and students working together have the potential to improve predictability of (severe) storm occurrence based on large-scale and possibly remote (tropical) precursors, and to improve modeling of Southern Ocean, an important part of climate system yet relatively poorly understood region.

High School Teachers

The broader impacts of this proposal involves working with two teachers, an advanced earth science and computer science teacher, from the State College Area School District.  These teachers will participate in a Summer Research Experience for Teachers (RET).   These teachers, along with the PI, graduate students, and CSATS education specialist, will learn about climate science data sets utilized for the proposed research (climate, atmospheric, and oceanic sciences), how to analyze these datasets using the NCAR Command Language (NCL), and how to translate this process into classroom instruction. These teachers will increase their understanding of authentic scientific research through research immersion, will participate in weekly science pedagogy sessions to learn how to translate the research into age-appropriate classroom activities for implementation the following school year; and utilize the experience to mentor two students selected to participate in a Student Research Experience during the academic year. 

High School Students

Two students will be selected by the high school teachers to participate in the academic year student research program, in which they will be working with the PI and graduate students on similar research as their teachers conducted during the summer.  Since the highest priority of this activity is to advance scientific discovery and understanding, promote learning on how researchers conduct research, and increase student interest and awareness of the climate change field, students will be invited to join weekly research group meetings.  The high school students will contribute to the science research and communicate their learnings by creating a poster regarding their research experience and knowledge to an audience of both high school students and the community at large to be displayed at Exploration-U, a community science night supported by a collaboration between Penn State and the local high school.  By completing the above activities, the students will earn two independent study college credits.

The broader impacts of this proposal included collaborating with Dr. Steven Feldstein, Dr. Sukyoung Lee, and graduate student Michael Goss in the design and implementation of a cohesive education outreach plan.  This plan included the development of a one-week summer teacher workshop for middle and high school science and mathematics teachers, with ongoing support for teachers during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Pushing the Limits of Weather Forecasting: Relationship to Climate Change

July 27-31, 2015

How do scientists predict weather 2-4 weeks in advance?  What scientific questions need to be addressed to improve these forecasts?  And how can understanding these processes help educators teach their STEM courses?  Teachers joined Meteorology professors and researchers Drs. Steven Feldstein and Sukyoung Lee, in a collaboration with CSATS science educators, in this NSF funded grant in Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics. Teachers became immersed into the practices scientists use to perform and understand medium-range weather forecasts.  Gaining relevant research experience along with collaborating with science educators, teachers translated this information into classroom lessons aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards that emphasized student learning about the practices of scientists.

  • The workshop helped educators learn how to apply important physics concepts to various phenomena:
    • diagnostic and modeling strategies utilized by researchers
    • relationships between probabilistic weather forecasts and climate change
    • data sites utilized by researchers and how to use them in your classroom
    • interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary aspects of meteorology
  • Increased teacher science and math content knowledge related to medium-range weather forecasts, including the following concepts:
    • tropical convection, wave propagation from the tropics to midlatitudes, probabilistic weather forecasts and the utilization of physics principles to explain weather phenomena

Academic Year Support

Four teachers were selected to participate in ongoing support during the academic year with classroom visits or a Skype session  with the science researchers.  As a result of this collaboration, classroom lessons were developed which incorporated cutting edge science research and translated into classroom inquiry-based activities.  Classroom visits by the science researchers and CSATS Science Educators support the incorporation of the activities learned from the workshop.

The broader impacts of this proposal included collaborating with Dr. Sukyoung Lee and graduate student Cory Baggett in the design and development of a series of two Saturday Science workshops for K-8 school teachers.  The workshops blended science content and pedagogy, providing teachers with implementation strategies for their classrooms, with the goal of promoting teacher and student science learning and the implementation of inquiry-based teaching strategies into classroom instruction. 

Climate Change: What are we Learning?

January 18, 2014

How do we know that climate change is occurring?  Teachers participated in activities to help their students learn about the Earth’s climate system, highlighting the oceanic and atmospheric components. Learn how humanity’s influence on the climate system can create problems and how technology is aiding scientists in learning more about our environment. This workshop provided inquiry-based activities which focused on the differences between weather and climate and ways scientists collect and represent data in learning about climate.  Teachers delved into the complexities of the Earth’s system, learning how the various systems interact with one another and the impact on climate.  Each teacher received a weather station and the book “
Climate Change”an Eyewitness Book by John Woodward to use in their classroom.

Climate Change and the Great Mountain

October 13, 2012

How do scientists model and predict the effects of human activities on Earth’s climate? What can Native American perspectives teach us about science? In a collaborative workshop featuring climate researchers Dr. Sukyoung Lee and Cory Baggett, teachers participated in activities integrating the science of climate change with the wisdom from the play, The Great Mountain. Teachers learned about Earth’s systems and their complexities, with a focus on climate change. Activities included the practices of science and how scientists observe the environment, ask questions, and formulate ways to answers these questions, discussing ways to integrate these concepts into the classroom. Each teacher  received a weather station and the book “Earth, The Operator’s Manual” by Richard Alley.  In addition, one participating teacher was selected for free matinee admission for one class (25 students) and partial bussing stipend support for the event on Monday, Nov 5, 2012.

Penn State Department of Meteorology

Center for Science and the Schools has assisted Dr. Sukyoung Lee and Dr. Steven Feldstein on three successful National Science Foundation (NSF) grant proposals.  The broader impacts' activities, focusing on teacher professional development,  range from a one day Saturday Science Workshop for K-8 teachers to a one week summer workshop for middle and high school teachers and Summer Research Experiences for teachers and students.

The Dynamics of Jets and Waves in the Atmosphere and Southern Ocean (2015)

The Impact of Tropical/Extratropical Interaction on Atmospheric Teleconnections (2014)

The Dynamics of Storm Tracks and Jets in the Atmosphere and Ocean (2011)

Information about the PA KidWind Challenge



2016 PA Kidwind Challenge Results!

Have your students try their luck at the PA KidWind Challenge! Students incorporate engineering and science to build powerful small-scale wind turbines and compete with students from around the state to generate the most electricity.  Be creative, have fun, and apply your knowledge of wind energy to win! 

The KidWind Challenge is a student-oriented wind turbine design contest. Over a period of a few months, students spend time designing and constructing their own wind turbines with the goal of creating a device that is efficient, elegant and highly functional. To accomplish this task, and arrive prepared at a Challenge, students must perform research to better understand the science of wind, be analytical about testing protocols, think creatively about solutions to problems and work collaboratively to get their project completed on time.

Any group of students who are of middle or high school age are eligible to enter a team in the KidWind Challenge. This includes students from public and private schools, home schoolers, after school clubs, boy and girl scout troops, 4-H clubs, etc. The challenge is open to teams from other states as well!  Bring up to 10 teams for only $25.00.  Each school is responsible for their students, so please ensure enough chaperones attend.

For more information, rules, and registration, visit KidWind. For additional information not found on the web site, contact  Leah Bug.


KidWind Challenge Rules

2016 KidWind Challenge Results

2015 KidWind Challenge Results

2013 KidWind Challenge Results

2012 KidWind Challenge Results

CSATS is hiring a STEM Education Outreach Specialist. Check out job #53467 at the Penn State Jobs website.

The Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS) seeks to hire a STEM Education Outreach Specialist. This is a fixed-term 1, 36-week appointment at the Research Assistant or Associate level funded for one year from the date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding. Salary is commensurate with education and experience; full University benefits apply. CSATS seeks an individual who will design and implement STEM outreach activities and support research and internal evaluation efforts examining aspects of CSATS-related outreach and professional development projects.

The candidate will work closely with the CSATS Director to collaborate with scientists and engineers on design and implementation of teacher professional development opportunities and classroom science activities as well as design of evaluation programs. This position offers opportunities to contribute to the development of high quality programs in science education. Primary responsibilities include; assisting science and engineering faculty university-wide in designing and implementing STEM education outreach relating to broader impact components of STEM research grants; engage in design, management, implementation, and evaluation of Center outreach activities such as curriculum development, teacher professional development, and K-12 science outreach activities; identify internal evaluation criteria for projects and develop data collection instruments; collaboratively plan research related to CSATS projects and write IRB proposals; collect data for research projects and participate in data analysis; develop and maintain an annotated digital library of science education research and evaluation literature relevant to ongoing CSATS projects; support existing and future CSATS projects as needed; and, contribute to developing ways to translate research related to science and science education into the school context.

Required qualifications includes a Master's degree in education, preferably in STEM education, educational leadership, educational policy, or a closely related field; at least three years of formal or informal K-12 science teaching experience, preferably in Pennsylvania schools. Desired qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline or with an emphasis in a STEM discipline; strong evidence of leadership experience in a relevant educational setting; advanced technology skills in Microsoft Office; experience in advanced educational technology strategies; experience in data collection and analysis, both qualitative and quantitative; outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to work in teams; demonstrated academic writing skills; and experience in data collection and analysis.

CSATS hosts a monthly luncheon during the academic year in which Penn State faculty and staff discuss their outreach projects, share ideas, and hear from guest speakers.   For more information about the luncheons and joining the conversation, contact Leah Bug at or 814-865-8397.

Research Experiences for Teachers (Nanotech RETs)

CSATS utilized their existing and ever increasing K-12 network to help recruit preservice and inservice teachers for the program. Through advertising and discussions among the CSATS network, preservice and inservice teachers participated in this RET, sponsored by the Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization. Four teachers were selected annually for three years.

NASA Swift Video & Curricular Resources

CSATS and Penn State Public Broadcasting (WPSU) co-authored the NASA Educational Guide Eyes through Time. CSATS designed standards aligned lesson plans that made use of the rich multi-media video clips developed by WPSU. These resources were developed to tell the story of the Swift Gamma Ray Observatory and gamma ray bursts. Geared for middle school students, these resources provide both Swift-related science experiences and insights into the history and nature of science. Lesson plans and video are available on the web at

NASA Swift Content Applets for High School Physics Classes

The Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium working with Penn State Public Broadcasting solicited CSATS educational expertise to develop content applets for high school teachers to utilize in classroom instruction. These applets highlight physics concepts related to the Swift mission of gamma-ray burst science.

For more information email Bill Carlsen or call 814-865-5664.

Visit NASA Swift Homepage

Graduate Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Technology (GREATT)

This five-year NSF-funded Graduate K-12 project (GK12) was directed by Prof. Daniel Haworth (Mechanical Engineering) and placed graduate science Fellows in precollege settings to provide hands-on instruction related to hybrid vehicles, fuel cells, crash testing, and other issues related to advanced transportation engineering. CSATS faculty and staff were instrumental in design of the program, contributed to science pedagogy training for the Fellows, and built and maintained the GREATT website. CSATS also secured a parallel grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to fund science education graduate students to work with fellows to develop and pilot instructional units related to transportation technology.

Although this program has been completed, web-based curriculum resources designed to enhance K-12 students' understanding and interest in science, engineering, and technology careers are still available on the GREATT website. Hybrid and electric vehicles and transportation in general are used as the basis for learning concepts of physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering.

For more information visit their website, email Bill Carlsen or call 814-865-5664.

Energy Education for the 21st Century (E-21)

CSATS and Penn State Public Broadcasting developed multimedia instructional materials focused on renewable and sustainable energy. Energy Basics, Clean Power, and Efficiency & Conservation are themes which include lesson plans and media resources highlighting these energy elements. Together, they built a state of the art web site with rich multi-media content and instructional materials developed by CSATS. The project was supported by the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund and resources for teachers are still available by visiting:

For more information visit E-21 Homepage, email Bill Carlsen or call 814-865-5664.

Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP)

From August 2007 to December 2009, CSATS, working in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, directed and managed the Aerospace Education and Services Project (AESP) until the project was made a separate entity by the University. AESP provides NASA-related educational services to K-12 schools in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Education specialists visit schools to deliver teacher professional development and in-class programming in subjects relevant to NASA's missions.

Teachers can request teacher professional development programs and find educational resources by visiting:

NanoDays Nanotechnology Teacher Workshop

Imagine, discover, and explore a world that's too small to see. NanoDays is a nationwide celebration of nanoscale science, and you're invited to explore the miniscule world of atoms, molecules, and nanoscale forces at Penn State and how nanotechnology applies to your daily life! Experience the world of nanotechnology and bring it back to your classroom!  CSATS collaborates with The Center for Nanoscale Science to conduct this yearly teacher workshop.

  • Network with University faculty on the cutting edge of research on the nano-scale
  • Tour the state-of-the-art research facilities at Penn State's Millennium Science Complex
  • Work with education specialists on learning activities to incorporate into your existing curricula
  • Learn about career opportunities that are available to your students
  • Discover ways in which nanotechnology impacts our society
  • Aligned to PA Standards
  • 6 Act 48 credit hours (available for a $10 fee)


General Information

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

8:00 am - 4:00 pm at N201/N202 Millennium Science Complex at Penn State Unversity: UP Campus

Register Now!

Question: What do nanotechnology & the emerald ash borer have in common?
The answers include biology, chemistry, physics, math, engineering & more!

For STEM teachers of grades 6-12 who want to learn about interdisciplinary research, resources, and careers at the nano-scale and bring it back to their classrooms and students!

Registration is FREE and lunch is included, so register soon!

Nanodays Flyer

CSATS Penn State STEM Outreach Database

CSATS is leading the effort to establish a database system designed to provide information about ongoing Penn State education outreach programs across the state that will inform design of future projects and benefit Penn State STEM researchers, K-12 educators, and STEM outreach providers.

STEM Outreach Database is under construction - please check back soon!


MRI: Acquisition of a Scalable Instrument for Discovery through Computing & DC Small: Adaptive Sparse Data Mining on Multicores

CSATS is working with Computer Science and Engineering and the Institute for CyberScience at Penn State to develop modules that motivate problem formulation and solution methods using computational thinking, and providing the accompanying teacher professional development. Modules will be available on the web.


CSATS Saturday Science Workshops

Saturday Science Workshops are held monthly on Saturday mornings (8:30AM-2:00PM) at Penn State, University Park during the school year (September - May).

These workshops provide opportunities for elementary and middle school teachers to learn science content from Penn State researchers and faculty, through K-8 classroom-friendly activities.

Hands-on activities, STEM content, and classroom integration discussions are designed to deepen K-8 teacher's understanding of topics which are aligned to the PA elementary and middle school standards.

All workshops are FREE for elementary and middle school teachers, and include a continental breakfast and lunch. Act 48 credit is available.

Learn more about Saturday Science Workshops

Science Notebooking and Content Knowledge Support (SNACKS)

In response to specific needs of local school districts, CSATS and school district administrators and teachers have developed a comprehensive, multi-phased "train-the-trainer" professional development program to increase student science and literacy skills and enhance K-12 teachers' skills with inquiry-based teaching through the incorporation of "science notebooking" into their science teaching.

For more information, contact Annmarie Ward

Gateway to Great Graduates: Improving Science Teacher Education and Student Experiences

This Howard Hughes Medical Institute project partners CSATS science education faculty with Penn State undergraduate Biology lab course instructors in the redesign of core laboratory activities and training for teaching assistants to reflect research-based science teaching practices.

From Local to Extreme Environments (FLEXE)

From Local to Extreme Environments (FLEXE) is a GLOBE project involving study of the deep ocean led by Pennsylvania State University in partnership with Ridge 2000 and InterRIDGE scientists. Through comparative protocols and online interactions with project scientists and partner schools, students gain an understanding of local and deep-sea environments, the interconnected Earth system, and the process of science. FLEXE is GLOBE's first project to examine the deep ocean environment-the largest ecosystem on Earth.

Visit FLEXE's website

Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio)

This grant, funded by US Department of Agriculture aims to build supply chains for biomass energy in the northeast region of the United States. The education component involves secondary educator and extension educators training based on the successful National Bioenergy and Bioproducts Education (BBE) Program. CSATS provides ongoing support in best practices in science teaching and learning with participating Pennsylvania educators.

Register Today!  Visit the NEWBio website for complete registration details.

Visit NEWBio's website

Renewable Energy Summer Workshop: Bioenergy & Bioproducts

Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST)

ASSIST is an NSF-funded Nanosystems Engineering Research Center that partners with scientists, engineers, and science educators from North Carolina State University, Florida International University, University of Virginia. The grant engages Tyrone Area Middle and High Schools and Grier School in Tyrone in multidisciplinary projects surrounding nano-scale engineering battery-less devices for sensing and transmitting environmental factors and physiological responses to the environment.

Visit ASSIST's website

Penn State NanoDays Teacher Workshop

Carbon Educators and Researchers Together for Humanity (CarbonEARTH)

CarbonEARTH brings Penn State STEM graduate fellows together with grade 4-8 teachers from Harrisburg and Philipsburg-Osceola Area School Districts to enhance graduate Fellow's non-technical communication skills, expand teachers' understanding of science content and research in fields related to carbon, and engage students in open-inquiry investigations related to matter, energy, ecosystems and earth processes.

Visit CarbonEARTH's website

Research and Education on Buruli Ulcer, Inundations, and Land Disturbance (reBUild)

The education component of this NSF science research project engages Ghanaian K-12 school districts with Penns Valley Area School District in science research activities on disease outbreak. This is an interdisciplinary cross-cultural sister-school partnership centered on the global nature of problems linking disease and environmental disruption.

Visit reBUild's website

reBUild Project in the news

2016 Summer Research Experiences for STEM Teachers

June 20, 2016- August 5, 2016

CSATS Summer Research Experiences for STEM Teachers actively involve K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math educators working alongside university or industry scientists and engineers on cutting-edge research and integrating related research projects into their classrooms, schools and districts.  

  • The 7-week summer session is designed as an immersion experience in a research setting within a university or in industry. As such, teachers will engage in a research project as well as contribute as a member of a research team. In conjunction with their research activities, teachers will be working with CSATS faculty and staff to develop classroom research projects (CLRP). Teachers will participate in weekly professional development workshops to facilitate the translation of the research experience into classroom projects. During the final week of the summer session, teachers will present their research at the Penn State REU/RET Symposium at University Park.
  • During the following academic year, teachers will implement and evaluate their CLRP. Teachers will participate in professional development workshops (approx. 4 days) with CSATS faculty and staff. Researchers in collaboration with CSATS will provide support with implementation. Teachers will complete an impact report as part of the evaluation of the CLRP.

Parts of the Program

  • Summer research experience with Industry or University researchers
  • Development of the Classroom Research Project (CLRP)
  • CLRP implementation and Impact Report during 2016-2017


  • Must be a teacher who teaches science, technology, engineering, and math content with at least 3 years full time teaching experience
  • Must be committed to implementing a classroom research project (CLRP) during the 2016-2017 academic school year
  • Must be a teacher serving students from culturally diverse, economically disadvantaged Pennsylvania communities

Stipend:  $6,500

  • $5,000 at the conclusion of the research experience and approved Classroom Research Project (CLRP) submission
  • $1,500 at the conclusion of the CLRP and Impact Report

Host Descriptions

Teacher Placement Timeline 


 Research Experience for STEM Teachers Flyer 


Frequently Asked Questions





Pennsylvania Wind for Schools

The Wind for Schools' (WfS) primary objective is to engage rural Americans in wind-related projects. By facilitating installation of small wind turbines at rural K-12 schools, the WfS program provides a knowledge base for alternative energy.

Penn State students and faculty assist in site assessment, design, and installation of the wind systems and act as consultants for the schools. CSATS, along with Wind Senators Leah Bug and Dina Taucher, coordinates and provides teacher professional development, assisting teachers with the implementation of the hands-on wind curricula, bringing wind energy education into the classroom through interactive wind-related activities.

Wind for Schools Flyer

Learn about the KidWind ChallengeContact Leah Bug for more information

  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge Tunnel Testing
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge Registration
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge HS Third Place Shark Bucket Team
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge HS First Place Team Axial Flux
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge Team Sonic Wind
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge HS Second Place Team Stooges
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge Team Magedon
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge Pinwheel Project
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge Wind Watts Team (2 members)
  • 2016 PA KidWind Challenge Wind Powered Cars
  • Seed germination
  • Pelletization
  • Race to the Pump activity
  • Eco-Machine at the Sustainability Experience Center
  • MorningStar Solar Home at the Sustainability Experience Center
  • Rock Springs Test Plots
  • Preparing for the wind tunnel test.
  • 2012 Wind Challenge
  • 2012 Wind Challenge
  • 2015 Challenge Poster Display
  • 2013 Wind Challenge Judging
  • 2013 Wind Challenge Turbine Data
  • 2015 Challenge High School Second Place Team: Team Ga
  • 2015 Challenge Middle School First Place Team: All Geared
  • 2015 Challenge Middle School Second Place Team Noah
  • 2015 Challenge Middle School Third Place: Blade Dancers
  • 2015 PA KidWind Challenge
  • 2015 Challenge Disaster Relief Station
  • 2015 Challenge High School First Place Team: Axial Flux
  • 2015 Challenge Pinwheel Station
  • 2015 Challenge Wind Trivia Station
  • 2015 Challenge Wind Tunnel Testing Prep

Host Schools

Penn State will work with these host schools to raise funding for and install a small wind turbine while integrating wind energy curricula into their programs.


Dr. Eric Post, Penn State

I am interested in the factors that shape population and community dynamics, especially in the Arctic, where climatic and ecological responses to global change are expected to be most pronounced. My research involves many approaches aimed at divulging and understanding ecological consequences of climate change. The techniques I use include observational fieldwork, large-scale field experimentation, and quantitative analytical modeling of long-term data.

Dr. Heidi Steltzer, Fort Lewis College

Interests include the effects of climate change on Arctic and alpine ecosystems, especially the function of these ecosystems as plant life histories and species composition change.  Areas of interest include ecosystem ecology, global change biology and global environmental health.

Dr. Russell (Russ) Graham, Penn State

His research focuses on the evolution, biogeography, and extinction of mammals.  He has extensive experience in the excavation and analysis of Quaternary mammal faunas and the taphonomy of fossil deposits. Graham has also worked with latest Eocene–Pliocene faunas of the north-central Great Plains.  Russ is co-founder and co-director of the FAUNMAP and NEOTOMA databases which are hosted at PSU..

Nell Herrmann, PolarTREC and Classroom Teacher

Nell is a middle school science teacher at the Blue Hill Consolidated School in Blue Hill, Maine. She has been teaching science for 15 years.  She traveled to Palmer Station Antarctica, as part of the PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) program, where she participated in research about ocean acidification. She also completed a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) with the Palmer Station Antarctica Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Education and Outreach Program. Nell serves on the Executive Council of Polar Educators International and as a member of the steering committee for the Polar Center at Penn State University.

Grant #1525636

This workshop is a partnership between The Polar Center and Center for Science in the Schools at Pennsylvania State University funded by the National Science Foundation
Grant # 1525636





NanoDays Nanotechnology Teacher Workshop


This project was funded through a generous Thematic Initiative Fund (TIF) and directed by CSATS, with support from Penn State Outreach entities.


CSATS is working with PI Padma Raghavan, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the Institute for CyberScience.


CSATS appreciates the generosity of Penn State Faculty, who contribute their time in collaborating with CSATS to provide these popular workshops for teachers.

Funding made possible by the Pennslyvania Space Grant Consortium.


This generous Thematic Initiative Fund (TIF) funded project brings together Bald Eagle School District and Bellefonte Area School District with CSATS faculty and staff.


As one of the world’s largest philanthropies, HHMI’s chartered purpose is the promotion of human knowledge within the field of basic sciences and the effective application thereof for the benefit of humanity. We carry out this mission in laboratories and classrooms at private and public institutions across the United States. Our international programs extend the impact of HHMI’s investment to 17 countries around the world.

Gateway to Great Graduates: Improving Science Teacher Education and Student Experiences


This NSF-funded project brings together Ridge 2000 (a network of ocean scientists), CSATS, and the GLOBE Program with Co-PIs from the Colleges of Biology and Education.


This USDA-funded project is led by Dr. Tom Richard, Director of Penn State Institutes for Energy and the Environment, along with Dr. Tim Volk (SUNY-Environmental Science and Forestry), Dr. Larry Smart (Cornell University), and Dr. Jingxin Wang (West Virginia University). Additional partners include Delaware State University, The Ohio State University, Rutgers University, USDA's Eastern Regional Research Center, and DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory and partner companies.


This five-year NSF-funded Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC) is directed by Dr. Veena Misra (PI - Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, North Carolina State) with partners from Penn State University, University of Virginia, Florida International, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Adelaide, and Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology.


This five-year NSF-funded Graduate K-12 project (GK12) is directed by Prof. Renee Diehl (PI - physics, College of Science) with Co-PIs from the Colleges of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, Agricultural Sciences, and Education.


This NSF-funded project reBUild is directed by Geography Professor Dr. Tschakert with Co-PI's from the Earth and Mineral Sciences Geography and Geoscience Departments, CSATS, and the following partners: the University of Mines and Technology in Ghana, KNUST, University of Ghana, Legon, University of North Texas, and The University of Iowa.


These opportunities are funded by the Boeing Corporation and are intended to provide experiences for urban teachers to work with scientists in an effort to gain valuable content knowledge as well as to participate in cutting-edge research.


Donated a total of $20,000 towards a wind turbine installation at a host school, a PA Kidwind Challenge, and teacher training.

Donate $5,000 (up to $25,000 in total over next several years) towards wind turbine installations at host schools.