Our favorite free online resources for science teachers

Elementary, Middle, High School

While social distancing and stay-in orders are creating unexpected challenges, educators are finding creative ways to stay connected — and help one another. Honestly, it's inspiring, and we feel honored to help share the stellar online resources and tools we've found that support your distance learning needs.

Teachers are some of the most creative people on the planet. You also inspire creativity in your students.  While teaching online is a challenge, this is a perfect time to tap into your creativity to make it a success.

To help you along the way, we will keep a running list of some of the best teaching resources from around the web that support virtual lesson plans. Hey, drop us a line on Facebook or Instagram to share your favorites.

It's our fresh take on the 3 Rs. Reading, writing, and arithmetic meet our remote resource roundup! Tools that help you take on new challenges, serve your students, hone your professional skills, and continue making a difference. We hope you walk away feeling inspired!

Without further ado, we present to you our latest remote resource roundup:

 

ACTIVITIES & LESSONS

Kennedy Space Center free online activities

NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides educators and students alike with access to educational resources to expand their knowledge, and explore deeper into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Through the educational websites and resources listed in their Educator Resource Center, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex encourages teachers and students to explore the resources available from NASA for continued study in order to nurture and train the next generation of space explorers.

Disney's "Imagineering in a Box"

Looking for at-home learning experiences that are infused with Disney magic? One of Disney’s latest offerings, ‘Imagineering in a Box’ is sure to keep older kids entertained for days (and teach them some great skills along the way!) Disney partnered with Khan Academy, which has been offering online educational resources for students since 2008. The free Imagineering course features 32 videos that showcase real Imagineers from around the world sharing their skills and passions. Whether students are interested in story development,  conceptual design, or STEM subjects like math and engineering, they will be excited by these modules.

NASA Virtual Tour

Visitors view the NASA facility in virtual reality. Get an inside look at NASA Glenn Research Center's facilities.
 

Prodigy

The engaging, curriculum-aligned math platform loved by over 50 million students, teachers, and admins. No cost, ever. Easily motivate 1st to 8th-grade students to learn and practice math. Accessible at home or in class!

 

Mystery Science

Open-and-go lessons that inspire kids to love science! Popular K-5 science curriculum. Next Generation Science Standards and supports Common Core.

 

PhET Science Simulations

PhET provides fun, free, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations. PhET extensively tests and evaluates each simulation to ensure educational effectiveness. These tests include student interviews and observation of simulation use in classrooms.

 

National Geographic Kids

Find amazing facts about animals, science, history, and geography, along with fun competitions, games, and more.

 

National Education Association Lesson  Plans

A place where teachers, parents, school support professionals, and community members share ideas and resources to improve student success. It is free and open to all!

 

Stem Rising

The U.S. Department of Energy's STEM Rising is an initiative to inspire, educate, and spark an upwards trajectory to lifelong success in STEM through sharing the Department's National Labs, National Nuclear Security Administration, and program office's programs, resources, competitions, events, internship opportunities and more. View STEM resources for students, teachers, and the energy workforce on this site and sign up for the monthly newsletter to keep in touch.  

 

Kids Discover

This is a cross-curricular online platform for Elementary and Middle School learners. You can sign up for a free account or subscribe to one of their paid plans.

 

Exploratorium

From educational media to classroom activities, from a behind-the-scenes look at the museum's exhibits to the Explore section, the Exploratorium's teaching tools support educators and provide hundreds of ways to play and learn. For all ages, in both formal and informal learning settings, these essential tools spark curiosity, exploration, and understanding.

 

TED Ed

To support students, parents, and teachers, TED-Ed is working with expert educators and TED speakers throughout the world to create and share high-quality, interactive, video-based lessons daily.

You can also sign up for their newsletter to get lesson plans organized by age group that spans all subjects delivered to your inbox every day. Each newsletter will also include insights and tips collected from TED-Ed's global community of students, parents, and teachers.

 

NSTA Daily Do

Daily resources available from NSTA. In this new age of distance learning, students must be provided with experiences with relevant, intriguing phenomena that invite them to engage in science learning and help them to answer questions about what they've observed.

Both parents and teachers want students to do science outside of the classroom, and teachers need to give them something to figure out. The NSTA Daily Do does both.


 

RESOURCES & TOOLS

Science News for Students and the Science News in High Schools Digital Library

A variety of free, age-appropriate STEM resources for kids from 5th through 12th grades. 

Stay up to date on the latest news and science discoveries with articles written in a kid-friendly way. Science News for Students is a free, award-winning online publication dedicated to providing age-appropriate science news and resources to learners, parents, and educators.

The Science News in High Schools Digital Library has dozens upon dozens of original STEM-related exercises, all tied to Science News articles. Whether you're looking for material about evolution, space, chemistry, climate change, public health, or anything in between — they've got you covered. Use these resources to engage students with core high school concepts or to build virtual lessons for your students.

 

BioRender

This tool helps scientists create and share beautiful, professional scientific figures. It helps educators represent science with intuitive visuals that can be understood by everyone. The platform uses a standard visual language for science, so communication is seamless. Best of all, anyone can use it - no drawing or design skills required.

 

Ward's World

Shameless plug alert! Of course, we don't think any list of free resources to inspire students is complete without Ward's World. Ward's World is your go-to resource for free science education activities, classroom and lab safety information, science articles, lesson plans, how-to videos, and much more.

 

Ward's Digital Slides

Ward's Digital Slides

Zoom, focus, measure, and annotate real biology slides virtually from any device with an internet connection. To support students, teachers, and parents through this transition, we're making a trial of Ward's Digital Slides: High School Biology Life Science Set available to you for FREE through June 30th.

Get free access: https://media.vwr.com/emdocs/scied/wards_2020_digital_slides_trial.html

Learn more: https://wardsci.com/cms/covid_19_distance_learning_software_applications

 

NewPath Online Learning System

Flexibly designed for use in one-to-one blended and traditional classrooms, NewPath's Online Learning System is a ready-to-use curriculum resource. The system provides everything teachers need to easily assess, instruct, present and assign lessons and activities as well as track and report student progress.

To support teachers, parents, and students with remote teaching during this challenging time, NewPath Learning is offering free access to this program (a $99 value) for 90 days, exclusively available here through Ward's Science.


 

CURATED CONTENT & COLLECTIONS

COVID-19 Education Coalition

To help you keep the learning going, a coalition of education organizations has curated free tools, strategies, tips, and best practices for teaching online.  These resources provide information to teachers and parents on how schools can prepare for long-term closures, make remote learning a meaningful experience,  ensure equity as they move to online learning, and how to adequately supervise and help educate children at home. Learn more about the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

 

Bored Teachers

63+ Websites for Middle School Students To Continue Learning at Home. Covering all subjects, from math to science, language arts, social studies, art, and music, these are some of the best educational resources you can find on the internet for middle schoolers.

 

Around the Kampfire

This website, authored by a second-grade teacher, is designed to create new ways of learning for students, share with other teachers, inspire, and be inspired! On the site, you will find a huge list of (now over 120) free educational websites for learning at home with resources and online activities you can easily assign to your students to do remotely.

 

PBS Learning Media

PBS and its partners have curated, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more just for teachers like you. Explore natural phenomena and scientific practices with these tools. Set up your own assignments, projects, classes, and favorites. You can watch a video recording of their distance learning webinar here.

 

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections.


 

ONLINE COURSES

Khan Academy

Students practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning. Khan Academy's Library of standards-aligned practice and lessons covers math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. It's all free for learners and teachers.

 

EdX

EdX removes the barriers of cost, location, and access. Fulfilling the demand for people to learn on their own terms, edX is reimagining the possibilities of education, providing the highest-quality, stackable learning experiences, including the groundbreaking MicroMasters® programs. Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion, or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. EdX is where you go to learn.

 

Canvas Network

Lifelong learning and professional development for educators go hand-in-hand with Canvas Network's open, online courses, taught by experts and institutions worldwide.


 

Stay tuned for future posts of our must-see list of online activities and resources for teachers planning remote learning for their students during school closure, illness, or during summer break.

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