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
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)
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)
Research Experiences for Urban Science Teachers
Pennsylvania Wind for Schools

Learn more about our two 2015 Summer Teacher Workshops

1. Pushing the Limits of Weather Forecasting:  Relationship to Climate Change
July 27-31, 2015
Penn State University: University Park

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?  Join 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 will become 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 will be able to translate this information into classroom lessons aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards that emphasize student learning about the practices of scientists.

This workshop will help educators learn how to apply important physics concepts to various phenomena. Through this one-week workshop, teachers will get a firsthand opportunity to learn about:

  • 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

Increase 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

There is no cost to teachers:  lodging, meals and travel allowances are included.  A limited number of teacher teams will receive ongoing support to implement workshop activities in their classrooms and receive $500 stipends.

Teachers will receive detailed information once they are selected.  In the meantime, don't hesitate to contact Leah Bug with any questions.

2. Bioenergy and Bioproducts Education:  NEWBio
June 20-July 3, 2015
Penn State University:  University Park

Click here for more information about this workshop, including registration information and informational videos from past workshops.

This workshop provides a $300 stipend, materials for classroom use, lunches, and a $175 travel stipend!

PA KidWind Wind Challenge 2016



Have your students try their luck at the 2016 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.  A limited number of partial scholarships are available to cover the cost of registration and the Wind for Schools program will provide support via webinars along the way! Be creative, have fun, and apply your knowledge of wind energy to win cash prizes! 

Register Now!



Saturday, March 19, 2016

9 am-10 am Open Testing (optional)
10 am-4 pm Wind Challenge


Bald Eagle Area HIgh School
751 S. Eagle Valley Rd.
Bellefonte, PA  16823

Get Directions!



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.  Partial scholarships are available, so contact Leah for more information.   Each school is responsible for their students, so please ensure enough chaperones attend. Each registered team will receive a wind kit specifically for the challenge.

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

KidWind Challenge Rules

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 leahbug@psu.edu 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 http://www.wpsu.org/swift/index.html.

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: http://www.pspb.org/e21/.

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: http://www.aesp.psu.edu/.

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

Research Experiences for Urban Science Teachers

CSATS operates a program funded by the Boeing Corporation that provides research experiences for urban science teachers in Penn State science and engineering labs or Industry Labs to support and enhance science learning in the classroom.

Opportunities include year-long or half-year sabbaticals, or 6-8 week summer research experiences. In addition to matching teachers with researchers and managing logistics, CSATS faculty and staff will provide professional development for teachers and researchers to optimize teachers' experience and ability to transfer learning to the classroom.

Experience Life as a Researcher

Work alongside scientists and engineers on cutting-edge science and engineering research. Learn new content and scientific skills by working with a research team in fields like astronomy, oceanography, or nanotechnology.

Build Networks

Meet other teachers and science professionals, increasing knowledge about other science outreach projects and resources.

Choose Your Home Base

Depending upon the project, you can be based at University Park or a number of other campuses and research sites.

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

  • Preparing for the wind tunnel test.

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.






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.