National, State, and Regional Opportunities

North Carolina Science Leadership Association (NCSLA)

NCSLA is hosting a spring meeting on Saturday, April 6, 2019 featuring resources for problem/project-based learning. Registration information about our upcoming bi-yearly meetings or more information about our organization, can be found at our website:

Thank you,

Christi Whitworth

Informal Educator

Asheville, NC

NCSLA – Informal Science Committee Chair

Space Apps Challenge Regional Collaboration Project

See information – Space Apps Challenge

WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA: We Need YOU to Observe Wild Plants and Animals!!! April 26 to April 29, 2019

The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is a friendly competition between cities and regions all over the world to see which one can observe the most nature over a 4-day period. By participating, you’ll not only get out and see some great nature, you’ll help scientists collect data on the biodiversity of our region– and help Western North Carolina win! PLUS: The top participants in Western North Carolina will win an awesome naturalist prize pack! THREE PRIZE CATEGORIES Adults: Add the free iNaturalist app for Android and iPhone to your mobile device and sign up for the project: City Nature Challenge 2019: Western North Carolina Schools and Youth Groups: You can create a group account at to enable your entire class or group to participate at your school, center or local park. Families and Kids: You can create an individual account at and explore anywhere you wish! In addition, keep participating after the City Nature Challenge to earn badges and cool prizes! For more information contact Jonathan Marchal, Youth Education Manager at The North Carolina Arboretum, at        City Nature Challenge

Update on the Apollo 50th   Student Challenge

Challenge Involves

  • Building a replica of the Apollo Lunar Lander
  • Using a Blue Heron Drone to fly over the high resolution map of the Apollo 11 landing site and endeavoring to land a Mindstorm Rover within a prescribed landing ellipse.
  • Modify a Lego Mindstorm to carry an Astronaut and Payload to move along a prescribed path on the lunar surface and deliver the payload at a prescribed location.
  • Complete the exercise in the shortest amount of time with the greatest accuracy to staying within the set exploration path.
  • Official announcement of challenge, mid- January, 2019
  • Registration opens February 1, 2019 and closes March 30.
  • Mission Patch mini-competition submissions due April 15.
  • Institutional Teams run local competitions, April-June – SCC date is May 4th, 2019
  • Mission Patch winners announce April 30.
  • Submissions for best practice video posted on social media with a hash tag of #Apollo50, #ACS2019 close June 15,
  • Awards for best social media video given June 30.
  • ACS Hub events run between July 16-20, depending on which Hub is selected.
  • Winner of the Hub Events are invited to visit Johnson Space Flight Center for August 7-9 showcase
  • Secondary awards may be provided at the ACS Hubs and may differ accordingly.


The Smoky Mountain STEM Collaborative Presents:

Apollo Next Giant Leap Student Challenge

Date:  May 4, 2019 (10am-1pm) Location: Southwestern Community College, 447 College Drive, Sylva, NC 28779 Cost: $0 – Registration closes March 31st  (to register send an email to

The ANGLeS Challenge aims to increase student interest in STEM pathways and careers, particularly in underserved communities. To support those students:

    • No experience is necessary to participate.
    • There is no cost to enter.
    • Professional development will be available to Flight Directors in select cities across the United States.
    • Free or discounted drones and robots may be provided upon request.
    • Travel assistance may be provided to teams from select Hub states; See the ANGLeS Challenge website for full details:
  • All teams will receive a NASA certificate of participation.

The Challenge:

    1. Design a Lunar Module that you’ll use to recreate the Apollo 11 moon landing. Fly a drone carrying your Lunar Module and land it on a designated landing zone on the lunar surface.
    1. Once your drone drops off your Lunar Module, place your Lunar Rover on the moon.
  1. Program your Lunar Rover to traverse the lunar surface and complete a series of objectives.

Smithsonian Science Education Center

Western Carolina University Announces New STEM Education Graduate Program

Are you an elementary or middle grades teacher who is interested in improving your STEM teaching?  Would you like to develop as a STEM education leader?  The School of Teaching and Learning at Western Carolina University is pleased to announce our new STEM Education Graduate Track for elementary and middle grades educators.  This track is part of the M.A.Ed. Comprehensive Education Degree Program and is designed for teachers who would like to improve their STEM teaching and develop as STEM education leaders.  The program is 100% online and includes 30 credit hours that can be completed in as little as two years.  We have affordable tuition and scholarships are available.  Participants can start any semester (spring, summer, or fall).  This program is for teachers who already have an “A” level elementary or middle grades education teaching license.   For more information, contact Dr. Patricia Bricker, bricker@email.wcu.edu828-227-3352.

NC Museum of History


[ON-GOING] – Free Online STEM Courses for Western North Carolina Educators

Registration Instructions; Website –

EVERFI, a leading education technology company, empowers teachers with digital STEM exploration courses. For educators in Western North Carolina, our resources are provided free-of-charge through generous sponsorship from organizations such as the National Hockey League, the Carolina Hurricanes and The ASME Foundation. Our STEM courses include Hockey Scholar, which teaches STEM principles using sport, Endeavor, which introduces students to growing STEM career fields, and Radius, which teaches students principles of coding and mathematics. Contact Peter Kelpin (980-247-1627 or to get started!

Registration Instructions; Website –

EVERFI is happy to schedule school and/or district wide professional development sessions for CEU credit! Please contact Peter (980-247-1627 or if you’re interested in setting a session up for your school or district!