The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Posts Tagged ‘museums’

Educator Grants Available from the James Randi Educational Foundation!

Posted by mattusmaximus on October 16, 2011

I am happy to report that the James Randi Educational Foundation is now awarding education grants to help educators with the development and implementation of lessons and curriculum related to teaching skepticism and critical thinking skills.  Read on for more information…

… Right now, the JREF has a limited number of educator grants (up to $500 each) available to help offset the cost of developing or improving critical thinking and scientific skepticism programs in the classroom.  Preference is given to projects aimed at creating educational content related to science or critical thinking through examination of the paranormal and pseudoscience.

Funded projects can include (but are not limited to) working with JREF educational modules (and related media) or developing new content to be made available to the educational community through the JREF.

If you’re interested in working with the JREF to share critical thinking tools with your students at a time when it matters most, please reply and let me know. I’m happy to answer any questions you have, discuss your ideas for projects, and explain the simple grant application process. For more information or to apply, contact:


Posted in education, skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

JREF Provides Educator Grants for 2011 – Apply Now!

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 17, 2011

As a way of putting the ‘E’ in JREF, I wanted to pass along to you some info I received from my skeptical education colleague, Michael Blanford, that the James Randi Educational Foundation has opened up the application process for its 2011 Educator Grants.  These are grants provided to professional educators (elementary, middle, high school or college teachers as well as less formal educators) in the hopes that they will be able to develop and hone their teaching skills to help promote critical thinking.  Read on for more information…

Apply for 2011 JREF Educator Grants

The JREF awards grants to educators who are inspiring a new generation of critical thinkers. These grants help pay for developing and improving programs that teach critical thinking and scientific skepticism in the classroom and beyond.

We award grants to educators of children grades K-12 for projects that promote critical thinking through the examination of the paranormal and pseudoscience. Grants are not limited to traditional classroom teachers and those from museums, camps, community centers, and other informal educational institutions are encouraged to apply.

We’re accepting proposals for 2011 grants until July 1st, so please apply or share this information with a deserving educator you know. Here are the 2011 grant application forms and additional details.

So if you are an educator or know someone who is who might benefit from one of these grants, please pass the info along to them and encourage them to apply! 🙂

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A Challenge to Skeptics: Pithy, Non-Offensive Sound Bytes in Response to Creationism?

Posted by mattusmaximus on September 9, 2009

This will be a quick post, one which I hope garners a lot of attention because it addresses an important unanswered question: can the skeptical community come up with a quick, pithy, 30-second sound byte that is non-offensive which conveys the importance of teaching evolution whilst tamping down creationist pseudoscience?

Allow me to provide some context for this question… during my time last weekend at Dragon*Con, I participated in a panel discussion called “Darwin’s Bulldogs, Teachers on the Front Lines” which addressed the question of how educators can deal with creationism in the context of the classroom.


In the photo on the far right is Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, who was on the panel with me.

After the panel discussion, we had audience Q&A, and a woman who works at a history museum came up to the microphone and presented us with a tough question – the one I named above.  In museums, they don’t have the advantage of a science teacher who has many months to educate students and the luxury of being able to craft pro-science arguments & experiments.  A museum worker can find themselves in a sudden situation where they’re on the spot to explain to, potentially hostile, people the importance of evolution.  As Eugenie Scott said in our panel, this is a particularly tough situation to deal with, and we all agreed to try putting our collective heads together in an effort to address the issue because we do not yet have a good response.

So, if you have a suggestion for a sound byte, please leave it in the comments section below and pass this blog post on to everyone you know.  I’ll share my findings with others in the hopes that we can come up with something workable!

Posted in creationism, education, skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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