Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Toyota TAPESTRY Program Now Accepting Entries for 21st Annual Science Grant Competition

/PRNewswire/ -- Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program, the largest science teacher grant program of its kind in the nation, is now accepting entries for the 2011-2012 program year.

Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, (TMS) U.S.A., Inc., and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the program offers $10,000 grants to K-12 teachers for innovative science projects that enhance environmental science education in their school and/or district over a one-year period.

Fifty $10,000 grants totaling $500,000 will be awarded this year. Individual science teachers or a team of up to five teachers can submit proposals in the category of environmental science education. Subcategories from which applicants may choose include: biotic (all living factors) and abiotic (all non-living factors such as pollution, oil, energy, human interventions, water, soil, air, temperature, etc.)

"For 21 years Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers have provided thousands of teachers and students the opportunity to further explore the wonders of science. The focus on environmental science for this year's awards is important and will help both teachers and students to better understand and appreciate critical environmental issues that can and will have an impact on our nation's future," said Francis Eberle, NSTA executive director. "We greatly value our relationship with Toyota and applaud them for their commitment to science education."

The focus on environmental education is a shift from previous years when proposals also were accepted in the areas of physical science and integrating literacy and science. The emphasis closely reflects Toyota's global mission to work in cooperation with society by building relationships with those making environmental preservation a priority, and also aligns with the trend that NSTA has seen in the rising percentage of applications submitted to the environmental science education category.

"The new concentration of this year's Toyota TAPESTRY program allows us to maximize our ability to encourage solutions that lead to greener communities and greener technologies," said Jim Lentz, TMS president and chief operating officer. "Toyota is honored to be celebrating more than two decades of recognizing exceptional teachers who inspire students to form passionate connections with science. We look forward to enhancing environmental education as a result of our continued partnership with NSTA and America's educators."

A judging panel convened by the NSTA will select the award-winning projects based on several criteria, including the teachers' innovative approach to teaching science and their ability to create a stimulating, hands-on learning environment.

Applicants must either be an elementary teacher who teaches science in the classroom or a middle or high school science teacher, with a minimum of three years teaching experience. Applicants must be residents of one of the 50 states or a resident of Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, or the U.S. territories including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For more information about the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program or to learn how to apply, visit http://www.nsta.org/pd/tapestry/. Applications must be submitted no later than February 23, 2011 to be considered.

Since the program's inception in 1990, Toyota TAPESTRY grants totaling more than $9.2 million have been awarded to science teachers across the country. More than 2,000 teachers have used those funds to develop and execute extraordinary programs that helped hundreds of thousands of students nationwide make real-world connections with science.

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