The 2017 Teacher of the Year Nomination Application is Here!

Teacher of the Year – Be an Ambassador for Teachers


New York State recognizes and celebrates the exceptionally skilled and passionate educators who exist in every school in the State. The purpose of the New York State Teacher of the Year program is to:

  • Support the development of programs throughout the State that recognize great teachers in their schools;
  • Engage exemplary teachers in professional development by completing the New York State Teacher of the Year application; and
  • Identify and celebrate one teacher per year as the New York State Teacher of the Year who will represent all of New York State teachers at events throughout the State and at national events with Teachers of the Year from across the United States.

Who is a Teacher of the Year?

A Teacher of the Year is a skilled professional who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom and in the community. This teacher is respected by colleagues and all stakeholders in education.

At all levels, the Teacher of the Year is also the face and voice of exemplary educators. As a representative of the profession, this leader is asked to engage and inspire other teachers and community leaders.

At the state level, the New York State Teacher of the Year represents excellence and speaks for 220,000 New York State public school teachers by engaging in presentations, attending meetings, and participating in professional development at local, state and national levels.

While all of these qualifications are considered, the most important one is the superior ability to inspire learning in students of all backgrounds and competencies.

Smith’s STEM Education Act Signed Into Law

Oct 8, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – The president has signed into law the STEM Education Act of 2015 (H.R. 1020), a bipartisan bill introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). The bill strengthens science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education efforts and expands the definition of STEM to include computer science. The bill recently was approved unanimously by both the House and the Senate.

Chairman Smith: “We must prepare our students for degrees in STEM subjects to ensure that they have the ability to thrive in today’s technology-based economy. This means motivating more American students to study STEM subjects, including computer science. Unfortunately, America lags behind many other nations when it comes to STEM education. American students rank 21st in science and 26th in math. The STEM Education Act expands the definition of STEM, encourages students to study these subjects and trains more teachers. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their work getting this important bipartisan bill on the president’s desk.”

Rep. Esty: “Enactment of our bipartisan STEM Education Act demonstrates that we can work together to help our students thrive and to help ensure that they are prepared for the careers of tomorrow,” said Esty, a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. “More and more jobs of the 21st century require science, technology, engineering, and math skills. We need to make sure that all of our students have opportunities to thrive in STEM education. This bill strengthens our efforts at the federal level and ensures that critical computer science skills are included among STEM subjects. I am grateful to my colleagues in the House and Senate for their unanimous support, and I am proud to join Chairman Smith in celebrating this new law.”

The STEM Education Act of 2015 directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue to award competitive merit-reviewed grants to support informal STEM education.  Informal education is work that takes place outside of the classroom at places like museums, science centers and afterschool programs. These types of efforts engage students in STEM subjects and fields in ways that formal classroom training often does not.

The bill amends the NSF Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship program to allow teachers in pursuit of Master’s degrees to participate in the program. This would allow more teachers the opportunity to compete for the grants. Computer science is also added as a subject for the scholarship program.

No new or additional spending is authorized in this bill.

114th Congress

AIAA Classroom Grants are open!

If you’re not an AIAA (American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics), you should be. Membership for educators is free! Grant submission time is now open and the deadline is Nov. 16th. The AIAA Foundation believes that one of the most significant means to inspire and advance the future of Aerospace is to fund grants to meet the unmet and unfunded educational need of students. Each school year, AIAA awards grants of up to $250 to worthy projects that significantly influence student learnin

STEM Career Day – November 3rd

Are you a high school teacher? Do you work with high school students? Do you have colleagues who work with high school students?
If so, please spread the word about the 4th Annual STEM Career Day on
Tuesday, November 3rd!
There are so many STEM careers in unexpected places. High school students interested in learning more about careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), are invited to participate in STEM Career Day on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 to learn first-hand about career pathways in these fields by visiting up to two New York City companies for an inside look. Participating students will get the opportunity to visit and chat with staff from the companies they visit. Sessions take place at individual companies from 10:00-11:30am and 1:00-2:30pm. All participants will receive a free t-shirt and a round-trip metro card. High school students should sign up now for this amazing experience! Click here ( ) for more information about the participating companies and to register. Registration deadline is Friday, October 23, 2015. For questions, email

Teacher Tuesdays at the NYC littleBits Pop-Up Store

This fall, the people at littleBits are starting a bi-weekly series called “Teacher Tuesdays” at their NYC Pop-Up store in SoHo!

The idea is to give educators an opportunity to learn about littleBits with a free workshop while sipping on wine, munching on tasty bites, and meeting other educators from across the tristate area.

See below for detailed information on three upcoming Teacher Tuesday events.

Questions? Send an email to

Teacher Tuesday #1 – Getting Started With littleBits

Oct 13th, 2015 – Tuesday
6:30PM – 8:30PM
SoHo Store – 355 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

The workshop will be led by the littleBits store team and will be an introduction to the world of littleBits. Attendees will play with Kits and build their own creations.



unnamedKristen Smith is the littleBits Store Leader. She is the co-Founder FabCafe NYC, Network Developer and Champion for Collaboration.

Teacher Tuesday #2 – Integrating littleBits into Classroom w/ Karen Blumberg

Oct 27th, 2015 – Tuesday
6:30PM – 8:30PM
SoHo Store – 355 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

The workshop will led by Karen Blumberg and will focused on best practices of using littleBits in the classroom in ways that empower student learning.


unnamed-1Karen Blumberg is a Technology Coordinator at The School at Columbia University working with faculty and students to integrate technology academically, creatively, and responsibly. Karen organizes TEDx events, Edcamps, and the Robo Expo. She is a former president of the New York Consortium of Independent School Technologists and was recognized as a Teacher of the Future by the National Association of Independent Schools. Karen has presented widely about using design thinking, reimagining professional development, developing technology-enhanced projects, and harnessing new media literacies.

Teacher Tuesday #3 – Design Thinking & littleBits w/ Nancy Otero.

Nov 17th, 2015 – Tuesday
6:30PM – 8:30PM
SoHo Store – 355 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

The workshop will be led by design thinking veteran, Nancy Otero. The focus of the workshop will be to explore the design thinking is an integral part of the littleBits Invention Cycle and how they can be used while educating our students.



unnamed-2Nancy Otero is a learning enthusiast and fan of A-ha! moments who dedicates her days to create the conditions for invention in learning environments. She is a mathematician, psychologist, and software engineer. She collaborates with the Transformative Learning Technology Lab at Stanford University and is the founder of Active Emergence,

Want to Start a School Garden?

Want to Start a School Garden? Check out these great school garden resources:

School Garden Checklist:

Starting School Gardens:

School Garden Tips:

5 Steps to Starting a Garden:

School Garden Start-Up Guide:

Getting Started: A Guide for Creating School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms:

Cornell STEM Workshop

The Cornell STEM Workshop is a collaborative effort to provide teacher professional development in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

When: Saturday, October 17, 2015

Attendees Receive: Certificate for 4-Hours of Professional Development, $20 Stipend, Breakfast and Lunch.


Weill Cornell Medical College
2nd floor
1300 York Ave, New York, NY 10021

Registration Link:

Cornell STEM workshop

Prepare for Possible Weather Events with our Resilient NYC Community Garden Guide

In light of recent forecasts, which include the possibility of Hurricane Joaquin making landfall over the Eastern United States next week, GrowNYC is advising gardeners to consult our 2014 publication Resilient NYC Community Garden Guide.


The guide, published in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, is a practical manual on making your garden more resilient, including step-by-step guidelines to minimizing storm damage.


From preventive pruning techniques to ways to secure garden features, we hope this guide will serve as a practical resource for you and your green space.


Register for This Exciting Virtual Field Trip on Climate, Soil Science & Elevation Biomes

Kilimanjaro Expedition
Discovering a Sense of Place
Taking Learning to New Heights

Follow an international team of students, educators, and scientists as they embark on an expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the world’s Seven Summits, and the tallest mountain on the African continent. Join them as they return from the summit for a virtual field trip exploring Mount Kilimanjaro and the scientific research involved in this expedition.

Virtual Field Trip
October 8 | 1:00 PM EST

Register Now