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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, May 16, 2023

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, May 16, 2023

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary

Welcome to the World of Elemental

Inspired by Disney and Pixar’s new movie Elemental, this free classroom program for grades 1–3 features activities that explore the four classic elements—air, land, fire, and water—of nature behind the film’s characters and challenges students to solve puzzles and design buildings as Element City architects. The activities additionally support critical-thinking skills, creativity, and teamwork while building empathy and celebrating what makes us unique.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary and Middle Level

Prehistoric Planet 2

Dinosaurs are returning to Apple TV+ with a five-night new season of Prehistoric Planet, beginning on May 22. This new set of free classroom activities will help students get ready for another journey into the past to learn more newly discovered secrets about dinosaur life. Created for grades 1–6 by the curriculum specialists at Young Minds Inspired in partnership with Apple TV+, these activities challenge students to use core learning skills as they explore the rulers of the Cretacious period. They will use math skills to calculate the size of the Tarchia and decoding skills to uncover facts about ankylosaurids, and more. All the activities are standards-based to support STEAM and English Language Arts curriculum. Students can then test their knowledge with the Journey to the Cretaceous Period digital quiz.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle Level and High School

Checkology’s STEM-Aligned Media and News Literacy Resources 
The News Literacy Project (NLP), a national nonpartisan education nonprofit, offers STEM-aligned lessons on Checkology®️, a free browser-based, standards-aligned e-learning platform. Topics covered include climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, medical misinformation, pseudoscience, and conspiratorial thinking. The STEM-aligned lessons—available with free registration—support the development of science and engineering practices, such as analyzing and interpreting data, engaging in arguments for evidence, and using mathematics and computational thinking. 

  • Evaluating Science-Based Claims explores how to recognize science-based claims and evaluate their credibility, as well as how to evaluate science journalism. 
  • Be Health Informed focuses on making sense of health and wellness information. 
  • Making Sense of Data examines how we create, interact with, and are influenced by data in all aspects of our lives.

STEM-related supplementary activities on Checkology include Levels of Evidence, With Dr. Kat, which models how to determine the reliability of scientific evidence; MisinfoQuest: Weather, which explores how to analyze weather-related misinformation; and Is It Legit?, which focuses on how to assess the credibility of news sources.

NLP will present a free educator webinar, Dive Into News Literacy: Summer School Ideas, on May 17 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will highlight new STEM Summer courses on Checkology. Register at

Opportunities for Grades K–12

Webinar: Scientific Media Literacy in K–12 Education
In media literacy education, students learn critical-thinking skills around media messages and information that comes from all sources, including news sources, movies, video games, websites, and social media. In this webinar on May 26 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time—presented as part of the 2023 Nobel Prize Summit—educators will gain an understanding of what media literacy is and how it helps people navigate the global media environment. Additionally, the speakers will

  • Discuss the reason that K–12 education is essential to the solution, and the landscape of media literacy education today and how policymakers are responding.
  • Examine the specific need for media literacy in K–12 science classes and specifics on how it works.
  • Examine barriers to implementing media literacy and progress in development of an alliance of stakeholders in science education and K–12 education in the United States that will address those barriers.

National Geographic’s Free Online Courses 

National Geographic’s online courses begin on June 21. Some courses focus on National Geographic’s project-based learning (PBL) strategy, the Geo-Inquiry Process. Courses are open to any educator worldwide who works with K–12 students in either a formal or informal setting. In many courses, learners can earn graduate credits through National Geographic’s university partnerships. Choose from

  • Collecting Data to Explore Plastic Pollution in Our Communities 
  • Teaching Global Climate Change in Your Classroom
  • Mapping as a Visualization and Communication Tool
  • Connecting the Geo-Inquiry Process to Your Teaching Practice
  • Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Geo-Inquiry Questions
  • Integrating Service With Learning Goals

Opportunity for Middle Level and High School

Free Workshop: Environmental Literacy and Leadership 
This hour-long Ecology Project International virtual workshop on May 25 at 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time will introduce educators to innovative teaching resources that examine how to help empower students to act on behalf of the environment by helping them understand and value the concept of environmental literacy. Teachers will act as students during parts of the workshop so they can fully participate in the learning activities and will receive free resources for teaching about environmental literacy. Presenters will discuss how to anticipate student needs while working toward meeting performance expectations.

Climate Change Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Environmental Science General Science Inquiry Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Literacy Mathematics News Professional Learning Science and Engineering Practices STEM Teaching Strategies Middle School Elementary High School

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