Supporting Excellent Science Teaching for Georgia

GSTA Awards and Grants

The annual GSTA Awards and Grants recognize excellence and innovation in Georgia science education and serves to raise awareness and exposure of the outstanding work being done in our state.

A distinguished panel of professional science educators will review applications and select the winners. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be current GSTA members and all work must be current and cumulative, as applicable. Recipients can receive one award or grant per school year. The same award or grant will not be awarded to the same recipient two consecutive years.

GSTA Awards and Grants recipients will be honored during an awards ceremony to be held in February.

The GSTA Awards Program is supported by member donations, the Georgia Science Teachers Education Foundation, and generous sponsors. GSTA Awards and Grants help support the science educators and their science educational programs, professional development and proactive efforts in the science education field.

For more information contact Dr. Nicole Page, the Awards Chair, or Justin Harvey, the Foundation Chair.

Click on an award below to learn more and apply.

GSTA District Mini-Grants

GSTA has changed the timeline for our District Mini-Grants. You can now apply this spring to receive your funds in July!  We will be awarding two mini grants per GSTA districtMini-Grant applications are due by June 3, 2022.

District mini-grants are designed to fund creative class projects. GSTA provides $300.00 per project award. Teachers who need funding for special, smaller classroom projects are encouraged to apply for mini-grants. Recipients of these district mini-grants are asked to complete the project during the 2022-2023 school year and submit a brief article for submission to communications@georgiascienceteacher.org for the eObservations/social media by January 31, 2023.

Application Requirements for District Mini-Grants

  • Section 1  Confirm active Georgia Science Teacher Association membership. You must be an active GSTA member to apply for a district mini-grant. Include the statement: "I am an active GSTA member."
  • Section 2 – Project title
  • Section 3 Brief and concise description of your plan or idea. Explain how you will carry it out and why you feel it is a worthwhile project. Include how the project will contribute to the scientific literacy of your students, colleagues, or school and/or enhance your ability to teach the Georgia Standards of Excellence for Science. Double-spaced, 12-point font.
  • Section 4 – Project budget. GSTA can grant up to $300.00 per project. If you need more funding, you may wish to seek additional funds from other sources.
  • Section 5 – Submit a photo of yourself to be used for publicity purposes should you be selected as a GSTA District Mini-Grant winner.
  • Section 6 – One letter of support from a supervisor familiar with your work.
  • All items should be uploaded as a single document in Section order here.


GSTA Teacher of the Year

The Science Teacher of the Year (TOTY) awards recognizes ongoing excellence in the teaching of science and commitment to its improvement.  GSTA’s TOTY award is available for elementary school, middle school, high school, and college science teachers. GSTA TOTY awards for each instructional level include checks for $1500.00.

Any professionally certified teacher with four or more years experience may be nominated by a supervisor or peer, for one of these awards. Recipients of the TOTY award are expected to make a presentation at the annual GSTA conference or submit an article for eObservations.  A complimentary registration to the annual GSTA conference will be provided to all TOTY award winners.

Application Components for TOTY

  • Section 2 – Additional Biographical Information / Professional Organizations.  Professional organizations may also include civic organizations.  State the organization’s name, offices held, membership dates, and honors received.  Describe how the organization has helped you improve your expertise as a teacher.  Limit – 2 pages, single-spaced. 12-point font.
  • Section 3 – Lesson/Unit Plan.  The submission should be from a lesson or unit that you have taught and that reflects your educational philosophy based on the grade level appropriate Georgia Standards of Excellence.  Lesson or unit plans should be teacher generated and illustrate how you utilize effective science practices to meet the diverse needs of the students in your class.  Components you may choose to include are: GSE standards addressed, assessment opportunities, instructional techniques, hands-on or laboratory experiences, and differentiation techniques.  
  • Section 4 –Educational Philosophy.  Describe how the lesson/unit plan you submitted reflects your educational philosophy.  Provide a reflection based on your experience teaching the lesson/unit.  The reflection should include both the successes and challenges you experienced with students.  Additionally you may wish to include how your educational philosophy impacts your current teaching assignment.  Limit – 3-4 pages, double-spaced, 12-point type. Photographs may be included in this section.  Please Note that pictures are limited to no more than 3 pictures.
  • Section 5 – Resume & Professional Activities.  This section may include attendance at professional conferences and presentations made.  Limit – 2 pages single-spaced, 12-point font.
  • Section 6 – Include one photo of yourself.  This photo will be used for publicity should you be selected as the GSTA TOTY.
  • Section 7 – Three (3) supporting letters from an administrator, a past student or parent, and a peer teacher.  One of these letters may come from the nominator and be so designated.  Letters of support are limited to one single spaced, typed page.

GSTA Teacher of Promise

The Teacher of Promise (TOP) award recognizes science teachers with one, two, or three years of teaching experience that show exceptional promise.  Sponsored by GSTA, Teachers of Promise are recognized at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.  Each TOP award includes a check for $750.00.  Nominations for these awards can be initiated by anyone. A complimentary registration to the annual GSTA conference will be provided to all TOP award winners.

Application Requirements of TOP

  • Section 2 – Continuing Education / In-service Activities / Professional Activities.  Compile a list and brief description of each.  Limit – 1-2 pages
  • Section 3 – Responses to the following items.  They are to be sequenced in the order they appear and identified by number and a shortened version of the response statement (e.g. 1.  Describe the major challenge).  Limit – 4 double spaced pages.
  1. Describe the major challenge you face in your school and how you have addressed it.
  2. How would you improve science education in your school and school system?
  3. Describe a recent science lesson that you felt was successful and reflected your view of science instruction.
  4. Provide an example and description of a unique or creative activity you have adapted or developed for the teaching of science based on the Georgia Standards of Excellence.  Please Note that pictures may be included, but are limited to no more than 3 pictures and must be mounted to or printed on an 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper.
  • Section 4 – Submit a photo of yourself to be used for publicity purposes should you be selected as the GSTA TOP.
  • Section 5 – Three (3) letters of recommendation.  Two letters should be submitted from individuals in these capacities:  department head, instructional lead teacher, principal, assistant principal, and supervising teacher during student teaching.  One letter of support may come from an individual of your choice (e.g. peer teacher, parent of a student, or a student.)  Give the following information to each person writing a letter of support:
This is an award to recognize a teacher early in his/her career who shows promise to be an outstanding science teacher.  Please indicate in what capacity you are familiar with the nominee; how long you have known him/her; and the specific qualities you are aware of that make this person a “teacher of promise”.  In your responses, please cite specific evidences of the qualities you mention.  Each letter of support is limited to ONE typewritten page.

Georgia Science Administrator of the Year

The Science Administrator of the Year awards recognizes ongoing excellence in the role of administrator of science education and commitment to its improvement.  This award was created to recognize a school administrator (Principal, Assistant/Associate Principal, etc.) who acts as a champion for science education and science educators!  One administrator will be recognized at the state level as the Administrator of the Year. A complimentary registration to the annual GSTA conference will be provided to the winner.

Application Components for AOTY

    • Section 2 – Resume or Academic Vita.  Please include membership in professional organizations, offices held, attendance at professional conferences, and presentations made in addition to academic qualifications and employment history. 
    • Section 3 – Leadership Philosophy.  Describe how you, in your current administrator assignment, incorporate new ideas and concepts; integrate related disciplines; promote leadership within your school; and promote educational excellence in your school and community.  Limit – 2 pages, single-spaced, 12-point font.
    • Section 4 –Responses to the following items.  They are to be sequenced in the order they appear and identified by number and a shortened version of the response statement (e.g. I.  Describe the major challenge).  Limit – 4 double spaced pages.
    1. What actions have you taken to improve science education in your school?
    2. Describe a recent science lesson that you observed and reflected your view of science instruction.
    • Section 5 – Submit a photo of yourself to be used for publicity purposes should you be selected as the GSTA Science Administrator of the Year
    • Section 6 – Three (3) supporting letters from an administrator colleague, a past student or parent, and a teacher or staff member.  One of these letters must come from the nominator and be so designated.  Letters of support are limited to one single spaced, typed page.

    GSTA Project Grants

    Project grants are designed to fund creative class projects.  GSTA provides up to $750.00 per project award.  Teachers who need funding for special, larger classroom projects are encouraged to apply for grants.  Recipients of grants are asked to complete the project during the year and submit a brief report.

    Application Requirements for Grants

    • Section 2 – Project title and a brief but concise description of your plan or idea.  Explain how you will carry it out and why you feel it is a worthwhile project.  Include how the project will contribute to the scientific literacy of your students, colleagues, or school and/or enhance your ability to teach with the Georgia Standards of Excellence.  Limit 2-4 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font.
    • Section 3 – A budget.  GSTA can grant up to $750.00 per project.  If you need more funding, you may wish to seek additional funds from other sources.
    • Section 4 – Submit a photo of yourself to be used for publicity purposes should you be selected as a GSTA Grant winner.
    • Section 5 – Two letters of support, one from a supervisor, and another letter from either your GSTA district representative or a colleague familiar with your work.

    ScienceQuest Teacher Scholarship

    The ScienceQuest Teacher Scholarships consist of monetary awards for teachers to use in continuing their education/experiences through summer programs.  The amount of the award (up to $2000.00) will depend on the cost of the program and the merit of the application.      

    Applicants should have a minimum of five years of teaching experience in grades K-12 or at the college/university level and currently are teaching in Georgia schools.  Board members of GSTA or the GSTE Foundation are ineligible for the scholarships.  Scholarships will not be awarded to the same recipients for two consecutive years.

    Application Components for ScienceQuest Scholarship
    • Section 2 – Description of the program being applied for including location and dates. Cost of the program to the participant, including travel.  Indicate if other funding has been applied for and/or will be received.
    • Section 3 – Discuss the following:
    1. How will this program help you in addressing student or professional needs?
    2. How will the completion of the program be verified? (Registration, attendance verification by instructor, director, etc.)
    3. How will you demonstrate competencies gained in this program?  Who will conduct on-the-job assessment? (Instructor, consultant, director, etc)
    • Section 4 – Submit a photo of yourself to be used for publicity purposes should you be selected as the GSTA  ScienceQuest Scholarship recipient. 
    • Section 5 – Two letters of recommendation from the teacher’s principal (or dean) and a colleague.

    GSTEF Conference Grant

    The Georgia Science Teachers Foundation Conference Grant consists of up to $750.00 for teachers to use in continuing their education through attendance at state, regional, or national professional science conferences. Applicants should be Georgia educators currently teaching in grades K-12 or at the college/university level. Board members of GSTA or the GSTE Foundation are ineligible for these awards. Grants will not be given to the same recipient for two consecutive years.

    Application Components for GSTEF Conference Grant

    • Section 2 – Leadership Philosophy. Describe how you, in your current teaching assignment, incorporate new ideas and concepts; integrate related disciplines; promote leadership within your school; and promote educational excellence in your school and community. Limit – 2 pages, single-spaced, 12-point font.
    • Section 3 – Responses to the following items. They are to be sequenced in the order they appear and identified by number and a shortened version of the response statement. Limit – 4 double spaced pages.
    1. What actions have you taken to improve science education in your school?
    2. Describe a recent science lesson that you observed and reflected your view of science instruction.
    • Section 4 – Resume or Academic Vita. Please include membership in professional organizations, offices held, attendance at professional conferences, and presentations made in addition to academic qualifications and employment history.
    • Section 5 – Submit a photo of yourself to be used for publicity purposes should you be selected as the GSTA Conference Grant recipient.
    • Section 6 – Three (3) supporting letters from an administrator colleague, a past student or parent, and a teacher or staff member. One of these letters must come from the nominator and be so designated. Letters of support are limited to one single spaced, typed page.

    Science Adventure Student Scholarship

    Science Adventure Student Scholarships consist of monetary award for students to use in continuing their education/experiences through educational programs. The amount of the award (up to $2000) will depend on the cost of the program and the merit of the application.

    Application Components for GSTEF Scholarship

    Applicants should be in grades 6-12 or at the college/university level in Georgia schools. Students may apply individually or as a group with a common goal. Applications can be student or teacher initiated. Board members of GSTA and the GSTE Foundation are ineligible. All entries must be typed and submitted in triplicate and included the following:

    • Section 2 - Description of the program being applied for including location and dates.
    • Section 3 - Cost of the program to the participant, including travel. Indicate if other funding has been applied for and /or will be received.
    • Section 4 - An explanation stating why you want to attend this program.
    • Section 5 - Plans outlining how you would share your experiences when you return.
    • Section 6 - Two letters of recommendation from the sponsor/teacher and the principal or dean.

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