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ASHBURN, VA (August 18, 2023)—JASON Learning, a leading nonprofit provider of innovative STEM education programs, has been awarded the prestigious Educators Pick Best of STEM Award in the category of “Social Impact Award: Developing Citizen Scientists.” The award recognizes JASON Learning’s “Beyond the Water Bottle: Minimizing Microplastic Pollution” curriculum, developed in partnership with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), for its efforts in addressing the critical issue of microplastic pollution.

The “Beyond the Water Bottle” curriculum empowers students to investigate and understand the challenges posed by microplastic pollution while encouraging them to develop innovative solutions to mitigate its impact. Through this collection, JASON Learning empowers students to become citizen scientists and actively participate in shaping a sustainable future.

“The partnership between VIMS and JASON Learning is a transformative collaboration. Together, we created an innovative curriculum that addresses the critical issue of microplastics and empowers students to become environmental stewards. By providing this curriculum free of charge to all teachers and students in Virginia, we are bringing science directly into the classroom and community.” 

G. William (“Billy”) Beale, JASON Learning Board Chairman and CEO of Blue Ridge Bank, N.A

The Educators Pick Best of STEM Awards are highly regarded in the field of STEM education and are evaluated exclusively by STEM educators. In collaboration with esteemed organizations such as the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), MCH Strategic Data, and the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), the awards program recognizes products, technologies, and services that revolutionize STEM education.

“We are excited and honored to receive a Best of STEM Award for our ‘Beyond the Water Bottle’ curriculum. This recognition highlights our commitment to cultivating the next generation of citizen scientists and promoting environmental science education.”

Dr. Eleanor Smalley, President and CEO of JASON Learning

The evaluation process for the awards involved a rigorous two-part assessment. An expert panel of judges, including renowned professionals such as Dr. Linda Johnson-McClinton, Dr. Lance Brand, Dr. Jeffrey Crapper, Dr. Omah M. Williams-Duncan, Kim Collazo, Christina Wilson, Jamica Craig, and Erin Barr, reviewed the submissions. Subsequently, over 267,000 STEM educators were invited to evaluate the finalists through a comprehensive survey.

JASON Learning’s recognition with the Educators Pick Best of STEM Award underscores the organization’s commitment to providing high-quality STEM education programs that empower students to become active participants in addressing real-world challenges. Through their collaboration with VIMS, JASON Learning has developed an impactful curriculum that inspires young minds to take action against microplastic pollution.

For a complete list of the Educators Pick Best of STEM® 2023 Awards Winners, please refer to the table below:

Educators Pick Best of STEM® 2023 Awards Winners

 Best Educator Support for Teaching & Learning BrainPOP Science
Best Freebies for STEM CareersSTEM Careers Coalition (Discovery Education)
Best Freebies for STEM Curriculum IntegrationFILTERED (HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology)
Best Innovation for 2023ExploreLearning Frax
Best Integration of English Language Arts (STEAM)CS Connections—Coding with Poetry Module (
Best of STEM: Computer Science Grades PK– 5CodeMonkey
Best of STEM: Computer Science Grades 6–12            LUMA (Pitsco Education)
Best of STEM: Culturally Relevant Teaching Grades K–5STEM Sports® Supplemental Curriculum
Best of STEM: Culturally Relevant Teaching Grades 6– Culturally Responsive 6–12 Curriculum
Best of STEM: Most Comprehensive Culturally Relevant TeachingSmithsonian Science for the Classroom (Carolina Biological)
Best of STEM: Engineering Project KitDrone Maker Kit (Pitsco Education)
Best of STEM: Engineering Inquiry-Based ProgramA World in Motion (SAE International)
Best of STEM: Environmental ScienceCS Connections—Simulating a Marine Ecosystem (
Best of STEM: Life Sciences   Breakout Box: Body Systems Mission (Learning Undefeated)
Best of STEM: Phenomena-Based Teaching Grades K-5Collaborate Science ML-PBL Powered (Accelerate Learning)
Best of STEM: Phenomena-Based Teaching Grades 6-8BrainPOP Science
Best of STEM: PhysicsMeter Stick Optics Complete System (PASCO Scientific)
Best of STEM: Robotics: Most InnovativeEvo (Ozobot)
Best of STEM: Robotics: Most Flexible ImplementationFinch Robot 2.0 (BirdBrain Technologies)
Best of STEM: Video-Based LearningPASCO Academy (PASCO Scientific)
Bridging the Gap—Adaptive TechnologyALEKS (McGraw Hill)
Bridging the Gap—English Language Learners: Multiple Language Support
Bridging the Gap—English Language Learners: Science & LiteracyBuilding Blocks of Science 3D (Carolina Biological)
Bridging the Gap—Math Intervention ResourcesExploreLearning Reflex
CTE Champion: Mechanical EngineeringSphero Blueprint Build Kit
CTE Champion: Career ExplorationsPathways to Success (JASON Learning)
CTE Training: Health Science—ECG TrainingECG Simulators (Realityworks)
CTE Training: Health Science—Training KitsCarolina® Healthcare Simulations Kit Series (Carolina Biological)
Social Impact Award: Developing Citizen ScientistsBeyond the Water Bottle: Minimizing Microplastic Pollution (JASON Learning)
Trailblazer Award: Hybrid Learning SuperheroCarolina Distance Learning® Online Gateway
Trailblazer Award: Early Learning Grades PK–5CS Connections Curricula (
Trailblazer Award: Immersive RealityEduverse (Avantis Education)
Trailblazer Award: Inspiring Computational ThinkingEllipsis Education
Trailblazer Award: Cross-Curricular Coding     Coding with Vehicle Sensor Technologies Kit (PASCO Scientific)

About JASON Learning

JASON Learning is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit transforming science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education through real-world STEM curricula, project-based learning experiences for Pre-K-12 students, and high-quality professional development for teachers. JASON’s mission is to “inspire and educate students everywhere through real science and exploration.” For more information about Beyond the Water Bottle, visit: To learn more about JASON, visit  

JASON Media Contact: Jenna Davis,

About Catapult X

Founded by Daylene Long, Catapult X is a market and product development company that consults exclusively with science and STEM/STEAM education industry partners—organizations, businesses, and associations—to catapult their brand and products forward by using data-driven insights.

Long catapults brand, product, and sales growth through alignment of data and strategy, using progressive research techniques and customer discovery. Long publishes national surveys on STEM education and STEM marketing infographics to guide edtech marketers across the globe. Long is an affiliate member of the Council of State Science Supervisors, a member of NSELA, and a twenty-year member of NSTA. Long connects her clients to administrators, educators, distributors, and media to build strong global partnerships.

About MCH Strategic Data

MCH Strategic Data is a first-class leading provider of data and technology solutions in education, religion, healthcare and government. MCH is dedicated to providing superior solutions through its ongoing investment in people, data and technology. Learn more at or find them on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.  

About NSTA

The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high-quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field. For more information, visit, or follow NSTA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

About NABT

Since being established in 1938, the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) has been the recognized “leader in life science education.” Thousands of educators have joined NABT to share experiences and expertise with colleagues from around the globe; keep up with trends and developments in the field; and grow professionally. For more information about NABT, please visit