National Summer Teacher Institute: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

NSTI participants

 

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Who may apply?
Elementary school, middle school, or high school teachers who meet all of the criteria below:

  • At least three years of prior teaching in one or more of the following STEM or STEM-related areas:
    • biological sciences, physical sciences, computational sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics;
    • vocational and technical education courses such as mechanics, woodworking, welding, or rapid prototyping; graphic design; industrial design; computer-aided design; design thinking; invention education; creative thinking; visualization, intellectual property; or entrepreneurship.
  • A commitment in school year 2022-2023 to teach in one or more of the following STEM or STEM-related areas: 
    • biological sciences, physical sciences, computational sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics;
    • vocational and technical education courses such as mechanics, woodworking, welding, or rapid prototyping; graphic design; industrial design; computer-aided design; design thinking; invention education; creative thinking; visualization, intellectual property; or entrepreneurship.
  • A strong commitment to making, inventing, innovating, and exploring intellectual property and entrepreneurship with student audiences.
  • Approval from principal or school administrator.

 

When is the deadline for submitting applications?
The deadline to submit applications for the NSTI is extended to July 15, 2022.

 

When will NSTI be held?
NSTI will be held July 25-29, 2022.

 

Where will NSTI be held?
The 2022 NSTI will be held virtually on the Virbela platform. 

 

Will everyone who applies be accepted for participation in the program?
No, space may be limited contingent on the platform and level of interest. The selection process is based upon the responses on the application form and school and community demographics. 

 

What is the USPTO’s goal in the selection process?

Our goal is to provide opportunities for educators to explore the concepts of intellectual property creation, development, and protection as it relates to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, design, invention, and innovation. We desire to convene educators from across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines and school districts throughout the country. Factors to be considered include subject areas taught, involvement in student mentoring, diversity in size of school district, school type (private or public, rural or urban), and socioeconomic backgrounds of student populations and communities. Teachers from all schools and communities are encouraged to apply, and the USPTO hopes to have a wide variety of K-12 educators and interests represented in the cohort.   

 

What should I include in question 20 of the application?
Please include your interest, experience, and motivation for applying to NSTI. This is an opportunity to make your application stand out.

 

When will applicants be notified of their selection?
Applicants will be notified of their selection on a rolling basis beginning May 18, 2022.

 

If I am selected to be a part of the NSTI, when do I have to notify the USPTO of my acceptance?
The USPTO requires notification of acceptance by one week after the applicants are selected.

 

Do I have to attend all of the sessions planned for the NSTI?
Yes. Only teachers that can fully participate for the duration of the NSTI will be accepted into this program.

 

What are the primary objectives of the NSTI?

  • Increase public knowledge about the significance of intellectual property and innovation, especially as it relates to STEM, art, design, and entrepreneurship.
  • Help increase the number of students actively pursuing making, inventing, innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM fields of study and careers.
  • Offer tools and instructional strategies to encourage student learning about STEM, innovation, and intellectual property.
  • Highlight the accomplishments and contributions of inventors and the advances realized as a result of invention.

 

What is the content scope of the NSTI?

  • Sessions at the NSTI will cover a broad range of topics in intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets), STEM education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
  • The materials will help teachers incorporate making, inventing, and intellectual property creation and protection into STEM lesson plans.
  • Teachers will learn how to challenge young innovators and entrepreneurs to make, improve, and repurpose new inventions from expired patents, inventions, and designs.

 

Who will conduct the sessions?
Workshops will be conducted by USPTO experts, National Science Foundation-funded researchers, experts from other federal agencies, distinguished faculty inventors from U.S. universities, and representatives from Maker/Invention Education communities.

 

What are the learning outcomes of the Institute? What can I expect to learn by participating?

  • Apply the principles of intellectual property and innovation to help further motivate and engage students in authentic project-based learning in STEM.
  • Experience how innovators invent new things, improve upon old ones, and apply the creative design and engineering process.
  • Explore resources designed to encourage student inquiry, such as the Science of Innovation collection and other USPTO-generated materials.   
  • Become part of a national network of education professionals at the cutting-edge of integrating intellectual property, innovation, and STEM into K-12 learning environments.

 

Is there any cost involved for teachers?
No. 

 

Do teachers receive a stipend for attending?
No.

 

Can teachers receive continuing education credits for attending?
The USPTO will provide a certificate at the end of the professional development indicating the number of contact hours. Your school district determines if you can receive continuing education credits for attending. The USPTO does not issue credit hours but is happy to provide you with additional documentation of participation should you seek to get credit hours from your school district. For reference, the 2019 NSTI program consisted of 50 contact hours.   

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