Ohio Social
Studies Signal

Ohio Social
Studies Signal

Other opportunities


National Geographic offers programs for teachers and students

GeoChallenge is an annual themed and standards-based competition from the National Geographic Society that challenges student groups in grades five through eight across the United States to develop a creative solution to a real-world problem. Participants must register to receive the program materials. Registration is now live!
Students form teams—between four and six people—and respond to a problem, challenge, or critical issue by using research, collaboration, creativity, and communication to create and present real-world solutions, just like National Geographic Explorers. Teams with the best projects can advance to the regional and national levels. The deadline to register for the GeoChallenge and to submit a project is Jan. 15.
National Geographic also offers profession learning opportunities for educators, including online courses.

C-SPAN’s 2019 StudentCam competition is open

StudentCam is C-SPAN's annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation.
This year, students in grades 6-12 are asked to create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the new 2019 competition theme, "What does it mean to be American?” Choose a constitutional right, national characteristic, or historic event and explain how it defines the American experience. With cash prizes totaling $100,000, C-SPAN awards prizes to 150 student documentaries and more than 50 teacher advisors. Videos with entry forms must be submitted by Jan. 20.

Geography Bee

Each year, thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades 4-8 are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge. Registration for the Ohio’s GeoBee is now open. Last day for registration is Jan. 25.

Facing History and Ourselves offers upcoming professional development opportunities

Facing History and Ourselves is offering a workshop on Teaching a Facing History Elective Class, Jan. 16, from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at Urban Community School in Cleveland. Please see the website for additional professional development in 2019. Scholarships are available for each offering. Register online or call (216) 321-9220.

Collaborative Classroom and Facing History and Ourselves are hosting “Embrace, Education, and Empower,” a convening for district-level and building administrators in support of the revision of the K-12 Social and Emotional standards on Jan. 30 from 8-10:30 a.m. at the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County in Independence. The $10 registration fee includes breakfast and materials.

The National History Bee

National History Bee is a competition with several divisions. The Middle and Elementary School History Bee is a social studies competition for students in grades 4-8. It uses a fun and exciting format to test knowledge of a wide range of historical topics. The bee starts in the classroom. Sponsors can choose from a variety of optional classroom stage activities to determine which students will take the online exam. Activities include an Intramural Bee and the National History Bowl. The sign-up period for the National History Bee’s Elementary and Middle School Divisions runs each year through around the end of January; on a case-by-case basis, students and schools may sometimes sign up later if space still is available for the Regional Finals in their regions.

The Varsity and Junior Varsity History Bee is a buzzer-based history quiz competition for individual students. Students compete against other students in a series of rounds where they attempt to be the first to ring in and answer paragraph-length questions about various topics in history. There are two divisions: Varsity for 11th- and 12th-graders and Junior Varsity for 10th-graders and younger.

We the Students - Bill of Rights Institute essay contest

The Bill of Rights Institute sponsors an annual We the Students Essay Contest that awards more than $20,000 in scholarships and prizes to students. This year’s topic is “What are the essential qualities of a citizen in your community in 21st century America?” Submissions are due by Feb. 14.

Teaching Slavery Conference

The University of Missouri is hosting a conference June 26-27 on the teaching of slavery and its aftermath. The conference, “400 Years and Counting: Teaching Slavery and Its Aftermath,” will take place in Columbia, MO. It is now accepting presentation proposals. Submission deadline is Feb. 28.

African American History Month

February is African History Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offers teacher fellowships

The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offers $24,000 James Madison Graduate Fellowships to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the states of their legal residence. As funding permits, the foundation plans to offer one fellowship per state, per year. The application now is open. The deadline to submit the 2019 application is March 1.

Law-Related Education Teacher of the Year award nominations is open

For the past 60 years, the American Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has recognized the vital role that educators play in preparing the youth of our country to be well-informed citizens. Some students in classrooms today will be in the voting booths in 2020 and for many years to come. The ALA is a charitable, educational and nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote understanding and respect for the American legal system.  In keeping with that tradition, the ALA is proud to sponsor the “2019 Law-Related Education Teacher of the Year” contest. This year, the contest is open also to elementary school teachers as well as middle school and high school teachers. If you, or someone you know, teaches Civics, U.S. history, social studies, U.S. government or if are involved in mock trial or We the People programs, or any other law-related education course, you are encouraged to apply for the award. Application deadline is March 15.

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Semester Research Program for Teachers

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Semester Research Program for U.S. Teachers provides an opportunity teachers of grades K-12 from the United States to take part in a three- to six-month professional development experience abroad. Teachers will pursue individual inquiry projects, take courses at a host university and collaborate with colleagues on best educational practices.