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Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, October 10, 2023

By Debra Shapiro

Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers, October 10, 2023

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Grades K–12

Edpuzzle Originals: Science Video Lessons

Check out the following video lessons for October.

  • One Million Bats! In this phenomena-based lesson, students will explore various ways to address a city’s challenge of having a million bats living under a bridge. This lesson is aligned with the third-grade NGSS standard 3-LS4-4.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Germs. What’s spookier than germs that glow in the dark? Engage your students in the experimental design process as they identify and develop components for a hand-washing efficacy experiment. This lesson for middle school and high school students provides an introduction to science and engineering practices.
  • Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating a STEM Trailblazer. In this lesson, middle school and high school students will explore the life of Ada Lovelace, a mathematician and computing pioneer who is often credited with writing the first computer program. Edpuzzle’s STEM biography lessons connect the scientists’ stories to the NGSS Nature of Science Themes
  • Solar Eclipse Exploration. In this lesson, students will investigate how changing positions in the Earth-Moon-Sun system cause lunar and solar eclipses. This lesson is aligned with the middle school NGSS Earth science standard MS-ESS1-1. This video is also available in Spanish

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Elementary and Middle Level

Kahoot! @Museum of Science 

Engineering is Elementary (EiE), the curriculum arm of Museum of Science Boston, has created Kahoot! quizzes to engage students in grades 1–8 in studying topics such as Animals, Climate, Data Science and AI, Engineering, Mars, Matter, Oceans, Plants, Space, and Weather. New quizzes are published monthly. 

2023 Annular Solar Eclipse U.S. Pinhole Projector Activity

Pinhole projectors allowed early scientists to view the shapes of illuminated objects, like the Sun, by shining the light from the object through a very small hole and projecting the image of the object onto the ground, wall, or other flat surface. Middle level students can be like early scientists and make a simple pinhole projector themselves. The activity, which was created by the NASA Heliophysics Education Activation Team, challenges students to experiment with the shape and size of the pinhole and to make predictions about how the size of the hole may affect the projection.

The activity coincides with the upcoming annular solar eclipse, which will cross North, Central, and South America on October 14, 2023. The eclipse will be visible in parts of the United States and Mexico, and many countries in South and Central America. Students who live in locations where the path of the annular solar eclipse is visible may be able use their pinhole camera to safely view the eclipse. Teachers can access additional information from NASA about eclipses and pinhole cameras using the QR codes on the activity PDF.

Freebies for Science and STEM Teachers: Middle Level Through College

Climate Science Virtual Field Labs

The U.S. Ice Drilling Program (IDP) offers Virtual Field Labs for use in middle to college level classrooms. The Virtual Field Labs, which can be viewed independently or as a class, take students on a trip with a climate scientist as they collect and analyze data to answer a climate question. Climate Warnings from Alaska relates how snowfall and snow melt events have changed since fossil fuels became the dominant fuel source for humans. Comparing Climate Change Past and Present explores what climate change was like in the Earth’s past, then compares rates of climate change in the Earth’s past to those of today. The labs support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and provide opportunities for students to work with authentic data to develop skills in calculating averages, creating data tables, constructing graphs, analyzing and interpreting trends in data, and making predictions.

Opportunities for Grades PreK–12

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program Educator Listening Sessions 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) advances ocean acidification science, education, and outreach. As knowledge about our changing oceans has advanced, so have the needs of OAP’s audiences around the country—including those of K–12 educators. To assess nationwide stakeholder needs, the OAP staff are holding listening sessions to identify gaps, priorities, and the ways in which they can support people impacted by ocean and coastal acidification. 

The listening sessions will help NOAA OAP staff understand your priorities and needs, how ocean acidification and ocean change intersect, and how they can best support you through education and outreach projects and initiatives. The next virtual session will take place on October 12 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time via Zoom.

Massachusetts Science Education Leadership Association (MSELA) Fall Conference 
MSELA invites NSTA members to its fall conference, taking place on October 27 in Marlborough, Massachusetts, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The conference theme is “Disciplinary Literacy and Sensemaking.” Presentations will be relevant to all grade bands from preK to secondary. Presenters will address a variety of topics supporting learning and sensemaking in science, including Instructional Leadership: Supporting Teachers Through Key Levers to Support Equitable Science Sensemaking and Helping Elementary Teachers Ask Questions to Encourage Student Science Talk. Keynote speaker and bestselling author Sam Kean will discuss Spoons and Thumbs: Funny, Spooky, Poignant, and Completely True Science Stories.

Opportunity for High School

Knowles Academy’s Free Online Courses

Led by experienced teachers, Knowles Academy courses are designed to improve science and mathematics teaching and learning. Participants will engage in interactive discussions with instructors and other participants as they explore new tools and strategies to use in their classrooms. Course topics and dates include these:

  • Exploring the Science Practice of Mathematical Thinking to Deepen Physics Understanding, October 16, November 1 (offered twice)
  • Exploring a Physical Science Phenomenon Through the Practices of Science, October 18
  • Exploring a Life Science Phenomenon Through the Practices of Science, November 2
  • From Blab to Lab! How to Leverage Engineering Design for Increased Student Engagement in Science Labs, November 6, December 5 (offered twice)

Biology Climate Change Climate Science Computer Science Distance Learning Earth & Space Science Engineering English Language Learners Equity Evolution General Science Inclusion Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Leadership Lesson Plans Life Science Mathematics News Phenomena Physical Science Physics Professional Learning Science and Engineering Practices Sensemaking STEM Teaching Strategies Kindergarten Pre-K Elementary Middle School High School Postsecondary

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