Whether you’re considering becoming a teacher, are working toward yourteaching certificateor are a new educator, it’s a good idea to start filling your toolbox with resources that will help you in the classroom.
For science, technology, engineering or mathematics teachers, there is a wealth of STEM teaching tools and websites that offer ideas for engaging youth in scientific modeling, encouraging kids to explore space together and taking a closer look at historical events to better understand how to prevent them in the future. Here are seven resources you’ll want to check out to help fill your toolbox.
1. STEM Teaching Tools Initiative
The STEM Teaching Tools Initiative website offers several tools that can help a STEM teacher introduce science, technology, engineering and math concepts to students. Funded through federal research grants from the National Science Foundation, the initiative focuses on supporting the teaching of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Included are briefs that discuss topics like getting students to learn science by productively talking with each other, how to engage youth in scientific modeling and promoting equity in science education. Within each brief are reflection questions, recommended questions educators can take to develop lessons and incorporate rubrics, and additional recommended STEM teaching tools.
From lesson plans that explore the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest space science telescope built by NASA, to a Mars landing toolkitthat includes videos and animations, this space agency is geared toward students interested in learning more about space exploration. The site also offers ideas for ways students and teachers can learn about space together in a collaborative environment.
Developed by teachers, the unit and lesson plans that Inteloffers combine STEM and technology to create engaging classroom projects.
Theunit and lesson plans offered on the technology giant’s website cover topics like learning computer science, exploring family history and food choices. The site also breaks down the teaching tools it offers by age, ranging from 5-7 years old to 15-18 years old.
There are also opportunities for educators to learn more about introducing coding to students through classroom activities like making a self driving car or creating series and parallel circuits.
4. Math Snacks
Math Snacks are educational animations and games that help students better understand math concepts. The site, which focuses on offering activities educators can use with the curriculum already in place, is geared toward students in grades 4-8.
Subjects include measurements, scale factor and pre-algebra. All activities are aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics as well.
Each “snack” comes with a teacher’s guide that includes videos that show how teachers can use the animation and games in the classroom.
5. Office Of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Energy.gov, the official site for the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy features free energy literacy videos that teachers can use as supplements to their lessons.
The videos feature a variety of topics, from how energy follows natural laws to how it plays an important role in everyday functions of the planet.
The U.S. Department of Energy also features additional videos that vary in length, from short snippets to longer presentations, on its YouTube channel. Topics include nuclear energy, Mars, marine and hydrokinetic energy, and exploration projects underway in sites like Antarctica.
6. National Science Digital Library
The National Science Digital Library features an extensive collection of materials that teachers can use when teaching STEM in their classrooms. When navigating the site, educators can choose a specific grade level and subject, including applied science, life science, mathematics and physical science.
The different tools available on this site help students make sense of problems and offer methods for successful problem solving. Other tools include videos from past historical events, such as the 1964 Alaska earthquake that explores what happened through original footage and animations of plate tectonics.
PhET is an interactive website that offers simulations that revolve around STEM education. Hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder, this site includes simulations like gravity and orbits, pH scale, wave interference, color vision, arithmetic, fractions and bending light.
The site also provides workshops for educators to learn how simulations can offer students benefits through open play and reflection time. There are additional free resources as well that offer tips on how educators can integrate simulations into their lesson plans and design activities that complement the simulations.
Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
The web offers a variety of STEM online tools for educators. Even organizations like the Texas Education Agency offer help in shifting to an inquiry-based STEM approach in the classroom.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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