The 10 best resources for K-12 STEM projects (continued)

[Listed in alphabetical order]

1. FIRST Robotics:

FIRST is a not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for STEM and has attracted more than 300,000 youth and more than 120,000 Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers from more than 70 countries. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition. Programs include the Junior FIRST LEGO League, the FIRST Lego League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and the FIRST Robotics Competition.

2. Kinetic City:

Kinetic City is a collection of science experiments, games and projects for students of all ages both online and offline. Kinetic City is a production of AAAS and the NSF and was designed as an after-school standards-based science program in which kids complete activities in conjunction with the website. The more kids play, the more standards-based science content they learn.

3. MASTER Tools:

Developed by The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc.,  MASTER Tools are the result of on-going collaborations with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), George Mason University, and other education organizations. They are designed to be interactive tools and simulation environments that enable and encourage exploration and discovery through observation, conjecture, and modeling activities. MASTER Tools’ growing portfolio will soon be fully integrated with new collaboration tools and online research facilities to create an “authentic scientific experience,” says the site. All of the simulations and supporting curriculum materials are designed in accordance with the new National Science Education Standards and the National Math Education Standards.

4. NASA for Educators:

NASA’s special site devoted specifically to educators provides free lesson plans and project ideas to K-12 educators. Projects include understanding precipitation, constructing a cooling system for a spacesuit, and constructing a paper model of a satellite. Lessons and projects are divided by K-4, 5-8, and 9-12.

5. National Science Foundation (NSF):

The NSF Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education provides a list of activities and resources for K-12 teachers and students. Projects include “Is Pluto a Planet?” from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) under Science NetLinks, lake ice comparison lesson plans from Michigan State University’s W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, and much more.

(Next page: Project resources 6-10)

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