A Compendium of Best Practice K-12 STEM Education Programs
All 38 K-12 STEM programs included in this report provide challenging content/curriculum, an inquiry-learning environment, defined outcomes/assessment, and sustained commitment/community support. Each program entry gives an overview, defines target population and learning environment, and presents highlights of results. Contact information is provided.
A Framework for Science Education
Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies
ACESS is a scientific/educational 501(c)(3) organization, run by unpaid volunteers, whose mission is to encourage increased interest in technical careers to provide a competent technical resource from within the area to help promote industrial growth, enhance the education of students in science and mathematics, provide a centralized resource for activities related to promotion of technology, the sciences and mathematics, provide effective community technical service and foster growth and professional development within the technical community and coordinate activities to improve program efficiencies.
AUTODESK Digital STEAM Workshop
Believe in Ohio
Believe in Ohio is a free new program from the Ohio Board of Regents and The Ohio Academy of Science designed to help prepare Ohio high school students for the future by introducing them to the “Innovation Economy of Future”, inspiring them to pursue their STEM educations and careers in Ohio, and encouraging them to become the future innovators and entrepreneurs Ohio needs to help develop the new products, services and jobs of the future.
Although Believe in Ohio includes many activities and incentives for teachers and students to participate, the centerpiece of the program is an “Annual STEM Commercialization & Business Plan Competition” that will begin in 2014-2015 in which students will compete for nearly $2 million in cash awards and scholarships to Ohio’s colleges and universities.
The website presents video clips of diverse women scientists and other STEM role models sharing career and education advice. Use the videos at this site to introduce middle and high school students to STEM careers or to initiate discussions on women’s role in the sciences. Currently the site offers more than 3, 700 video clips from 160 inspiring women from STEM and other professions. Featured careers include biochemists, biomedical researchers, chemists, forensic scientists, geneticists/genomists, geologists, ichthyologists, meteorologists, and oceanographers.
Careers in Nuclear Engineering
When the words “nuclear engineering” are mentioned, most people think strictly of nuclear power production. At this site, middle school through college students can learn about the applications of nuclear engineering in fields beyond nuclear energy, such as health physics, national security, space propulsion, and naval propulsion. The site provides information about schooling required to pursue careers in each field, as well as links to scholarship and fellowship programs.
Cleveland Technical Societies Council
Since 1942, the Cleveland Technical Societies Council has faithfully represented more than 20 area professional societies and organizations that serve the scientific, technical, engineering and education professions in Northeast Ohio.
The Council coordinates a scholarship program which annually provides $20,000 in scholarships to the brightest Northeast Ohio students – as chosen by their teachers – who plan to pursue science-based careers.
www.definedstem.com (Username: CYBER and Password: CYBER)
Design Challenge Learning
Teachers can access engineering-design lab lesson plans from California’s Tech Museum of Innovation. Produced as part of the museum’s outreach efforts, the labs use readily available materials and explore electromagnetism, solar energy, force and motion, chemical properties, engineering and earthquakes, and genetics, solar energy, and electricity. Most are targeted for the middle level, but some can be adapted to other grade levels (e.g., The Physics of Roller Coasters, Grades 2-12 and Engineering for Earthquakes, Grades 5-12).
eGFI: Dream Up the Future
This site promotes engineering education with K-5, 6-8, 9-12 lesson plans, activities, outreach programs, and links to web resources. Teachers and students can download the first three issues of eGFI magazine.
Engineer Your Life
This guide introduces girls in grades 9-12 to young women engineers and highlights careers. A section for parent and counselors furnishes background in engineering to better advise students. The site has a link to a companion site for girls in grades 5-8.
This site provides interactives, web features, activities, programs, and events for K-12. Saturday and summer professional development workshops are available through the Teacher Institute.
GAME: IT 10, 000-A STEM Initiative
This game-design course from STEM Fuse is basically a computer programming class with dashes of physics, math, engineering, and business mixed in. Students progress from simple “drag-‘n’-drop” programming to writing code and developing original computer games. Along the way, students learn the math and physics concepts use to develop games, how the engineering cycle is used to design games, and more. The course works as a stand-alone elective, a supplement to math or physics classes, or an after-school program. Teacher training is available.
Science games for students in grades 3-5. One activity asks students to replace the body systems of a character who sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The website requires free registration.
This site has interactive math and science tools and simulations for students in grades 6-12. All simulations and curriculum materials meet the new National Science Education Standards and National Math Education Standards.
National STEM Centre
Based in the United Kingdom, this science education website has an e-library of more than 7,000 digital resources for STEM educators. This site features a mix of instructional materials for K-college students (ages 5-19), including quizzes, fact sheets, lesson plans, videos and animations, and career advice. The site also offers news articles and opportunities for teachers to connect with an international community of STEM education enthusiasts.
National STEM Video Game Challenge
Middle school (5-8), high school students (9-12), and educators are invited to design games that incorporate STEM content or STEM themes in innovative and engaging ways. Home schoolers are eligible to enter as well. Sign up to be notified about the 2014 competition.
Navy STEM for the Classroom
Visit this site for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) resources highlighting the Navy’s innovative applications of science and math. Through lessons such as Jets in Flight, The Science of Diving, Future Fleet, and Oceanography and Meteorology, high school students learn how the principles of physical oceanography and meteorology affect ocean navigation and how gas laws apply to deep ocean diving. In addition, you’ll find profiles of science-related naval careers, including a Navy Seal, helicopter pilot, cryptologic technician, nuclear engineer, and linguist.
Next Generation Science Education Standards
Ohio STEM Learning Network
Physics With Portals
High school science educator Cameron Pittman likes teaching physics with video games. At this site, he shares his experiences using the 3D puzzle game Portal 2 to help students learn about the physical world. His posted lesson plans allow students to build their own experiments, which they then use to collect data. Titles include Terminal Velocity; Building an Oscillator; Gravity; Man on the Moon! (Grades 9-12); Getting Faster as You Fall; and Conservation of Momentum.
Spark 101’s Interactive Videos
Engage high school students in real-world problems and highlight inspiring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers using the videos at this site. In each video, a STEM professional presents a problem and potential solutions for students to explore. The videos incorporate natural stopping points for teachers and students to choose a solution, then compare it to the real outcome. Problems are posed by a podiatric surgeon, polar explorer, network engineer, estuarine ecologist, space scientist, and others, showcasing the diversity in STEM careers.
STEM Education Resource Center
PBS offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning through television and online content. On-line broadband access and digital media are dramatically changing the opportunities available to the nation’s educators improving STEM education.
This site provides nearly 4,000 science, technology, engineering and math resources for PreK-5, 6-12 as well as free, self-paced modules for teachers teaching global climate change to middle school and high school students.
K-12 teachers, mentors, volunteers, and other passionate about inspiring students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields will appreciate this site. Content is organized into high-interest subjects such as Crime Scene Investigation, Extreme Weather, Medical Innovations, Robotics, Space, The Animal Kingdom, Under the Sea, Video Games, and Wind Energy. Within each subject, users can access related articles, educational events, advocacy opportunities, activities, and interviews with STEM professionals (Cool Jobs). Click on Locations for an interactive map highlighting STEM-related destinations and related organizations around the country.
Sesame Street STEM
Elmo and his Muppet friends help young scientists learn age-appropriate information about everyday science topics like Experiments, Sinking or Floating, Measurement, Properties of Matter, Engineering and Force and Motion. The content is presented through short video clips and online games; and educators guide and a parent newsletter for each topic reinforce STEM learning in the classroom and at home.
STEM Educator Materials
Download posters, educator guides with activities and age-appropriate career information for your students. All activities meet national education standards of learning for math, science and technical literacy. Registration is required but free.
This educational video series from TED-Ed explores the scientific reasoning (or lack thereof) behind six “superpowers”: speed, strength, invisibility, body mass, immortality, and flight. Most appropriate for middle school and high school students, each video focuses on a single superpower and considers what is and what is not possible. After viewing, student can answer questions to reinforce learning (Think), access additional links (Dig Deeper), and have a guided conversation about the concepts (Discuss). Teachers can customize the lessons by clicking Flip This Lesson.
Educating Engineers is a comprehensive website that provides highly detailed information related to the engineering sector. We provide a thoughtful, intuitive, and meaningful analysis and review on nearly 2,000 engineering programs throughout the United States.