Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award

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2011 Guidelines and Criteria

Reach for The Stars

Christa McAuliffe was an innovative social studies teacher who reached for the stars in an effort to make her dream of space travel a reality. She was the first classroom teacher to participate in space flight and planned to use the experience in teaching lessons from space. In 1986 the Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award was established to help classroom teachers "reach for the stars" and achieve a dream that under ordinary circumstances would not be fulfilled. The Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education (FASSE) was created in 1984 by the Board of Directors of the National Council for the Social Studies. The purpose of the fund is to support research and classroom application projects which improve social studies education, foster enlightened citizenship, and promote civic competence.

The purpose of the $2,500 grant is to help a social studies educator make his or her dream of innovative social studies a reality. Grants will be given to assist classroom teachers in: 1) developing and implementing imaginative, innovative, and illustrative social studies teaching strategies; and 2) supporting student implementation of innovative social studies, citizenship projects, field experiences, and community connections.

The Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award is a cash award up to $2500. Recipients of the award also present a session at the NCSS Annual Conference, and receive a commemorative award piece during the Awards Reception at the Annual Conference. The awards is sponsored by National Council for the Social Studies and Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education

Eligibility:

  • NCSS membership is required.
  • Full-time social studies teacher or social studies teacher educators currently engaged with K-12 students.
  • "Reach for the Stars" projects that represent excellence and innovation in social studies education and have the potential of serving as a model for other teachers.

Criteria for Selection:

  • Project activities and teaching strategies should represent inquiry based teaching and learning.
  • Projects should be designed to encourage students to develop understanding of concepts from the social science disciplines in order to communicate their ideas in a variety of formats spoken, written, graphic, statistical, and/or electronic.
  • Projects should enable students to become involved in exploring a range of options such as information technology, primary source material, community resources and local organizations, oral histories and interpretative centers as well as traditional resources, to develop their skills.
  • Projects should enable students to become involved in exploring a range of options such as information technology, primary source material, community resources and local organizations, oral histories and interpretative centers as well as traditional resources, to develop their skills.

Proposal Outline (no more than 8 pages, double spaced, 12 pt type in total):

I. Cover page (see attachment below).
II. Project proposal abstract Provide a 50-150 word abstract that summarizes the project and indicates how it represents an innovation in social studies education in your school.
III. Project proposal and narrative description must include the following information:
• Clear, concise statement of the project objectives.
• Brief summary of project activities and timeline for completion.
• Identify the population served, including relevant demographic information.
• Include a budget that shows how you will use the $2,500 award and if you are seeking additional funding from other sources.
• Briefly explain how the award can facilitate your project.
• Briefly explain how you will evaluate the success of your project.
• Describe a specific plan for sharing your project with local or state councils and with NCSS, e.g. in affiliated council newsletters and/or websites and/or an article for Social Education or Social Studies and the Young Learner.
• Briefly explain how your project can serve as a model for other teachers.
IV. Professional resume (include current teaching assignment)
V. Two letters of support including a brief statement of support from your supervisor acknowledging your teaching status and support for the project you are proposing. One letter may be from your state or local social studies council.
VI. Publicity Outreach Please provide the name, contact name, title, and e-mail for:
• Major local/community newspaper (up to 2)
• District Superintendent
• Direct supervisor
VII. Information Release Statement (On Cover Page)

Submission Requirements:

  • Submit full proposal application to excellence@ncss.org (Submit all required documents by 11:59 p.m. EST on the deadline date of the award in order to receive consideration)
  • Proposal application must be in a single PDF (scanned) document at 400dpi
  • Include subject headers for each Proposal Requirement Outline
  • No mail in copies will be allowed

For more information on NCSS Awards and Grants, please contact Prema Cordeiro, Program Manager at excellence@ncss.org or Phone: 301-588-1800, x106

Deadline by May 1, 2011 at 11:59p.m. EST

Send to:
Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award Subcommittee

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2011 Christa McAuliffe award criteria.doc98.5 KB
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