Science Educators' Best of Show Award

Introducing the Science Educators’ Best of Show Awards

Now there’s a program that recognizes and celebrates the breakthrough products and services that have the potential to transform science and STEM teaching and learning—as chosen by science educators.

Announcing The 2020 Winners

Outstanding Vendor
Winner: Carolina Biological
Finalists: HHMI BioInteractive, Girls Who Code, World Wildlife Fund, Bio-Rad Laboratories

Best New Technology Innovation for Science
Winner: Bio-Rad Explorer’s Out of the Blue CRISPR and Genotyping Extension kits

Best New Technology Innovation for STEM
Winner: PASCO Wireless Smart Cart & Accessories

Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Simulations & Video Based Interactives
Winner: ExploreLearning Gizmos

Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Earth Science
Winner: IRIS Earthquake Browser

Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Science & Social Impact
Winner: Bio-Rad Explorer’s Science of Opioid Dependence Kit

Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Chemistry
Winner: PASCO Wireless Spectrometer & Spectrometry Software

Best Tried & True Technology Teaching and Learning: Environmental Science
Winner: PASCO Wireless Weather Sensor & Sparkvue Software

Best Tried & True for Teaching and Learning: Games for Learning
Winner: Playmada Games

Best Tried & True for Teaching and Learning: STEM & Language Arts
Winner: Brod Bagart’s Heart of Science

Best Tried & True for Teaching and Learning: Pre-K to Elementary
Winner: ExploreLearning Science4Us


  • Receive a stamp of approval for your products and services from the professionals who matter, science educators.
  • Distinguish your brand during peak buying season.
  • Reach over 267,000 STEM educators.
  • Integrate the contest with your social media, and public relations campaigns.
  • Complete the simple entry form that includes your product name, and a brief description. No shipping of products or setting up guest user accounts for judges.
    It’s easy to participate.

Any organization that has spectacular product(s) and/or services for science and STEM education from Pre-K through higher education.

Award Categories


   1)    Outstanding Vendor, Attendees’ Choice – $395/entry – One entry permitted Recognizes science and STEM organizations who go above and beyond to deliver remarkable customer service. The winner will be determined by popular vote of NSTA National Conference attendees, available for voting on the NSTA app. Four finalists will also be recognized.

   2)   Best New Technology Innovation Award  – $395/entry – multiple entries permitted. Nominate products and services that use technology to increase student learning, that are demonstrably innovative, and that save time for educators. Product must have begun shipping on or after 1/1/2019 to be eligible.
– Best New Technology Innovation for Science Education (product must have begun shipping on or after (1/1/2019 to be eligible.)
– Best New Technology –Innovation for STEM Education (product must have begun shipping on or after (1/1/2019 to be eligible.)

   3)   Best Tried & True Technology for Teaching and Learning – $395/entry – multiple entries permitted. Nominate products that have stood the test of time and are backed by exemplary technical support, curricular materials, and professional development for science and STEM teaching and learning.

 Apps & software
Games for learning
Hardware (microscopes, sensors, lab technology, makerspace equipment etc.)
3D Printing
Simulations & video-based interactives

STEM & Language arts
Visual arts
Educational travel, field trips and after-school programs
The Social Impacts of Science

Lab Equipment & Supplies 
by Discipline
Biology/life sciences



Computer Science


Environmental/Earth Science

Earth Science

Integrated Science


Physical science

Space science

STEM education

Lab Equipment & Supplies by Grade Level
Pre-K-Elementary science

Middle school science

High school science

   4) Best Educator Experience – $395/entry – multiple entries permitted. Recognizes companies and organizations who give back to science and STEM education by contributing free time, talent, training, materials, and experiences to enrich the lives of science and STEM educators. 

All entry fees must be paid via credit card by the end of day on Friday, April 17, 2020 via invoicing.

Yes! Enter as many products as you choose. Each requires a nomination form and entry fee.

Yes. Information submitted on award applications will not be shared with anyone beyond the judges and the award administrators.

You will receive an awards seal to use for promotions, be included in a press release from NSTA and Catapult X announcing winners, and be showcased to 275,000 STEM educators during peak buying season. 

Also, because we know that 2020 takes a little brand awareness, we will feature winners in a one-page advertisement in the fall NSTA Journals.



Winners will be notified by email on April 29, 2020.

For 2020, due to COVID-19, The Science Educator’s Best of Show for NSTA 2020 was virtual only. There were a few components to the selection of winners.

First, it is important to note that when Catapult X created this award program they envisioned a program for STEM educators by STEM educators. The program was intentionally structured so that neither Catapult X or the sponsoring conference would select the winners. Catapult X partnered with The Teich Group to work directly with educator judges to determine winners. 

Next, all nominees in each award category were submitted to an open vote of the conference sponsor, NSTA’s, email list, which reached 267,000 educators in 2020. The competition was fierce, and more than one category was too close to call.

That’s where our judges were valuable. Each product entered was evaluated by an experienced educator judge, and when it came to final decisions, those judges who were led by the impartiality of the Teich Group named our winners. The final list submitted by the Teich Group may be found here. 

Didn’t see your favorite company or organization? Encourage them to compete next year. 

Science Educators’ Best of Show™ is a collaborative project of Catapult-X and NSTA. Catapult-X serves as the program’s administrator. For questions, contact: NSTA has engaged Catapult X, an independent consulting firm, to manage the process for the selection of the Award winners for the Best in Show Contest. Catapult X will act independently of NSTA in the process of determining the Award winners. NSTA will not be associated with decision making, nor will NSTA endorse or recommend any of the award-winning companies or products.


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