Curriculum and Instruction

Awards for Excellence

The following list of award programs are administered by the New York State Education Department.

We seek your assistance in promoting these programs on an ongoing basis to assure awareness on the part of eligible candidates. We will be adding additional programs as they become available, so please visit often.

Currently Open New York State Awards

New York State Archives - Student Research Awards
The New York State Archives sponsors an annual Student Research Awards program to promote and recognize excellence in student research.  The main purpose of the awards program is to encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records in New York State.  A secondary purpose is to increase cooperation among schools and organizations that administer historical records useful for education. The Student Research Awards program is a statewide competition open to all New York State students in grades 4-12.  A total of three awards are given, one each for students in grades 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each award consists of a certificate and a cash prize.  Certificates of Merit are awarded to students, other than the winners whose, works show a heavy reliance on historical records to support research. Entries must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2018.  Recipients are selected by September 15, and winners are announced during Archives Week in October, 2018. A copy of the award guidelines, an entry form, and a PDF of this year’s poster is available at New York State Archives.

Currently Open Federal/National

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (2017-2018)

Each year the President of the United States recognizes outstanding teachers in mathematics and science from across the Nation at the Kindergarten through 6th grade level or 7th through 12th grade level and bestows upon them the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The 2017-2018 PAEMST program will be accepting nominations for eligible exemplary mathematics and science (including computer science) Kindergarten through 6th grade level teachers for this award. New York State is looking for nominations of outstanding mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers that spark students’ imaginations in STEM education through innovative teaching and learning. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House, the PAEMST is the highest honor in the Nation that teachers of mathematics and science may receive for outstanding teaching and leadership in their respective fields.

The nomination period is open from November 1, 2017 - April 1, 2018. The deadline to submit an application is May 1, 2018. For more information about the PAEMST program visit the New York State’s Education Department’s website at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/mst/paemstaward.html, or www.paemst.org.

Nominate an outstanding mathematics or science (including computer science) teacher today!
Math – Sue Brockley email: Susan.Brockley@nysed.gov
Science – Amanda Zullo email: Amanda.Zullo@nysed.gov

National Youth Science Camp
The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) offers a fantastic opportunity for graduating seniors who intend to pursue an education and profession oriented toward science, mathematics, engineering, or medicine. The NYSC is a residential science education program that honors and challenges the two most promising high school science students from each state. In a rustic setting, students from around the country are challenged academically in exciting lectures and hands-on studies, have many opportunities to press themselves physically in an extensive outdoor program, gain a new and deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and establish friendships that last a lifetime. For additional information, visit the NYSED Science Curriculum website.

New York State

Helen Bach Moss Memorial Better Beginnings Award
The award, which is sponsored by the Board of Regents, celebrates the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, a local NYS educator who passed away in 1988. Mrs. Moss touched the lives of many people, and her career was distinguished by a genuine respect for and love of children. She was ever caring toward students and their parents and acted as a worthy role model in all of her endeavors. Her family and friends petitioned the Board of Regents to establish a memorial fund and provided an endowment to award an annual cash stipend of $1,000 to an elementary teacher. This award competition recognizes early childhood education as the most effective investment for long-term educational success. The spirit of the award, which celebrates the life and career of Helen Bach Moss, is that better beginnings make for stronger completions. It strives to recognize elementary teachers who are gifted in finding and nurturing the strengths of each student and fostering trusting relationships among pupils, parents, teachers, and administrators. For more information on this, please visit Helen Bach Moss Memorial Better Beginnings Award.

Louis E. Yavner Teaching and Citizen Awards
The Board of Regents invites nominations for the Louis E. Yavner Teaching and Citizen Awards. The awards were established by the Regents and funded by the late Regent Emeritus Louis E. Yavner. State Education Department staff are not eligible for these awards. The teaching award was established to recognize public and nonpublic school teachers in New York State who made outstanding contributions to education about the Holocaust and other violations of human rights. The citizen award was established to honor Holocaust survivors, scholars of the Holocaust and human rights issues, and self-taught experts who help to educate students about these difficult topics. For more information, please visit Louis E. Yavner Teaching and Citizen Awards.

New York State Teacher of the Year
The purpose of the NYS Teacher of the Year award is to recognize and celebrate outstanding teachers throughout New York State. It is run in conjunction with the National Teacher of the Year program. Any exceptionally skilled and dedicated teacher, appropriately credentialed within his or her current teaching area, who works directly with children in a State-approved public or private school in any grade from pre-kindergarten through grade twelve who has a minimum of five years teaching experience is eligible. For more information on this, please visit Teacher of the Year Program.

New York State Science Olympiad
The New York State Education Department, in cooperation with the National Science Olympiad and the New York State Science Olympiad, invites students to participate in a Statewide Science Olympiad competition. Teams of students from public and nonpublic middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools are eligible for participation in this event. This New York State Science Olympiad will consist of academic, interscholastic competitions among teams. Registered teams will prepare during the year for scheduled regional and State competitions; if successful in these competitions, teams will advance to national competitions. Some events will follow the formats of popular board games, Olympic Games, and TV shows. These challenging and motivational events are well-balanced among the various science disciplines of biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, and technology. There are also events requiring knowledge of science content, concepts, process skills, and applications. Competitive teams will be made up of students from grades 6-9 and from grades 9-12.  Additional information is available at New York State Science Olympiad Competition.


United States Senate Youth Award
Each year the William Randolph Hearst Foundation sponsors a scholarship for two student leaders from each state and the District of Columbia to visit Washington, D. C. (all expenses paid), as guests of the Hearst Foundation. A $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies at an accredited United States university or college is awarded. During the visit to Washington, D.C., students engage in a series of seminars and briefings with Senators and members of the House of Representatives and meet with officials from the Executive and Judicial branches of government.  Information is available at New York State Senate Youth Program.

Last Updated: February 8, 2018