TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 9, 2020

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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OK2Ask: Low-Tech and No-Tech STEM - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from November 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is a necessary component...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from November 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is a necessary component in all classrooms today. As educators, we need to find ways to reach all students and help them to understand the topics within STEM better. In this session, we will share a few no-tech and low-tech STEM activities, for those educators with limited tech options or simply looking for a no-tech or low-tech STEM lesson. Management is key in any classroom, but when working in cooperative groups, it is imperative. During the session, we will reflect on the activity suggestions and discuss possible management concerns. Participants will: 1. Explore no-tech and low-tech STEM activities; 2. Understand the engineering design process; and 3. Plan for the integration of no and low-tech STEM activities in the classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): professional development (200), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Nepris - Nepris, Inc.

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K to 12
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Nepris is a mostly STEM-based resource that connects teachers with experts without having to leave the classroom. Choose from a variety of resources, including live industry chats,...more
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Nepris is a mostly STEM-based resource that connects teachers with experts without having to leave the classroom. Choose from a variety of resources, including live industry chats, virtual volunteer opportunities, and archived video sessions. The Career Explorer shares video sessions featuring popular career choices in engineering, computer design, video game creation, and more. Create an account to bookmark favorites and participate in live sessions

tag(s): careers (148), computers (106), engineering (132), financial literacy (110), graphic design (42), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

Include Nepris with your other bookmarked sites for career exploration and STEM lessons. Use the provided templates to request sessions with subject matter experts. Browse the video library to share sessions on your interactive whiteboard with students or to find specific topics that match students' interests. Include items from this site and others and build a webmix using Symbaloo, reviewed here, for students to explore on their own based on their career interest or topics they want to learn. Have students share their findings by creating a digital book using Book Creator, reviewed here. Use Book Creator to add videos, images, drawings, and more to highlight and share students' knowledge of their topic. Use BookCreator for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation.

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Those Amazing Engineers - Those Amazing Professions Inc

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6 to 12
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Those Amazing Engineers provides an introduction to engineering and careers in engineering through vibrant images, text, and video. Scroll through the home page to explore the many...more
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Those Amazing Engineers provides an introduction to engineering and careers in engineering through vibrant images, text, and video. Scroll through the home page to explore the many different types of engineers and follow links to learn more about each specific field. Additional links share information on workplaces, getting started in the field of engineering, and exploring options to find the type of engineering that appeals to individual interests. If your school blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): careers (148), engineering (132), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as part of career exploration lessons. Instead of creating a list of sites to share with students, replace the list by saving bookmarks with Symbaloo, reviewed here, to make information easy to find and access. After researching the different engineering fields ask students to extend their learning and create a web page sharing a day in the life of their chosen field. Carrd, reviewed here, is a free webpage creation tool that provides many tools for professional-looking pages. Find many other resources to encourage creativity and engineering at TeachersFirst Makerspace Resources, reviewed here.

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STEM Resource Finder - The Concord Consortium

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K to 12
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Do you struggle to find quality resources for teaching STEM lessons? Check out over 260 lessons and units provided on this comprehensive website. Use filters to choose grade level,...more
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Do you struggle to find quality resources for teaching STEM lessons? Check out over 260 lessons and units provided on this comprehensive website. Use filters to choose grade level, content, and type of activity, or use the keyword search to locate specific content. All resources include correlation to science standards and most include several interactives and online response options.

tag(s): animals (324), cells (105), earthquakes (52), engineering (132), equations (156), measurement (177), plants (179), pollution (67), problem solving (294), space (232), stars (71), STEM (215), temperature (35), weather (210)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this site as a resource for many interactives and activities for teaching STEM topics. Place students in cooperative groups to complete activities or share ideas from this site for science fair projects. Ask students to share their research and projects and extend their learning using a tool like PortfolioVillage, reviewed here. PortfolioVillage offers a variety of options for building a personalized webpage without knowledge of coding.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Curious George STEM Collection - PBS Kids

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K to 6
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The Curious George STEM Collection contains a variety of hands-on lesson plans teaching STEM concepts through Curious George videos. Concepts taught include simple machines, measurement,...more
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The Curious George STEM Collection contains a variety of hands-on lesson plans teaching STEM concepts through Curious George videos. Concepts taught include simple machines, measurement, sorting, and more. Each lesson begins by watching a video, then using the concepts presented in the video to participate in a variety of learning activities. In addition to the complete lesson, each activity also includes a variety of additional resources for extending learning. Lessons align to National and Next Generation Science Standards.

tag(s): air (141), architecture (83), careers (148), charts and graphs (205), engineering (132), measurement (177), recycling (58), rockets (18), senses (32), simple machines (33), soil (21), sorting (12), STEM (215), water (139)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lessons and videos to add to your current STEM teaching resources. Ask students to blog about their experiences as a substitution for handwritten journals using a tool like Seesaw, reviewed here. This tool makes blogging easy, even for the youngest students. To enhance learning for students, take pictures of class activities, then have students annotate images using ThingLink, reviewed here. Use ThingLink for students to modify their learning by adding a voice recording of their understanding of science and math concepts learned during lessons.

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Welcome to ASCEVille - American Society of Civil Engineers

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about civil engineering through games, timelines, and career descriptions at ASCEVille. View a timeline of civil engineering projects beginning with dams built in 2850 BCE (BC)...more
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Learn about civil engineering through games, timelines, and career descriptions at ASCEVille. View a timeline of civil engineering projects beginning with dams built in 2850 BCE (BC) up to modern road and transit systems. Find your dream job through career descriptions and interviews with civil engineers. At the Just For Fun link try your hand at some engineering challenges like The Skyscraper Challenge and Shapes Lab. Don't miss the section for parents and educators loaded with many resources and activities for learning about careers in civil engineering. The interactive requires Javascript.

tag(s): architecture (83), bridges (12), earthquakes (52), engineering (132), forces (47), STEM (215), transportation (47)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site as part of career or STEM lessons. Include games and resources on your class website for students to access. Have students research careers in civil engineering, then challenge them to enhance learning and share their information in an infographic using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Extend student learning with the challenge for them to create a simple, one-page website sharing career information using an easy webpage creation tool like Carrd, reviewed here. Canva's infographic maker includes many templates and allows users to customize content including images, backgrounds, and design. After researching careers and engineering accomplishments, have students stretch learning and use a tool like Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create virtual field trips to engineering accomplishments around the globe.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MakerSpace Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the MakerSpace movement and mindset. Engage your students, challenge their...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the MakerSpace movement and mindset. Engage your students, challenge their minds, teach cooperative learning, and more. There is no right or wrong way to do a MakerSpace. Use the tools provided to find digital options to use in your MakerSpace area. Read the professional information to educate yourself about the mindset of MakerSpace.

tag(s): circuits (21), coding (77), creativity (115), engineering (132), makerspace (28), musical instruments (48), robotics (24), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

Use these resources for your digital MakerSpace. Find tools for all grades. Don't miss the Twitter Chat for teachers just starting a MakerSpace. There are also a few sites that have more information for educators just learning about MakerSpace. Some of these resources are ideal for individual devices.

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SciGirls Connect! - Twin Cities Public Television

Grades
3 to 12
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SciGirls Connect! provides resources to connect and encourage girls to engage in STEM (Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) activities including videos, interactives, and hands-on...more
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SciGirls Connect! provides resources to connect and encourage girls to engage in STEM (Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) activities including videos, interactives, and hands-on activities. Browse the site to find resources divided into topics including technology, role-model profiles, and various science themes. Additional information provides resources for teachers including participation and lesson guides. SciGirls Connect! places a heavy emphasis on providing resources in Spanish, these include Latina role-models and Spanish versions of most content.

tag(s): animal homes (67), animals (324), careers (148), earth (226), engineering (132), environment (320), graphic design (42), heart (41), nutrition (160), space (232), spanish (108), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

Bookmark SciGirls Connect! as a resource for finding interesting classroom activities for both girls and boys. Consider creating an after-school club for girls to explore different STEM careers and activities; if possible, bring in female STEM leaders from your community to help host the club or provide ongoing activities and support. Encourage the use of technology by incorporating and embedding digital tools throughout your STEM lessons. For example, instead of asking students to take notes using pencil and paper, use Google Docs or Microsoft Word. As students continue through their learning activities, use editing tools in these office products to add comments, images, and additional information. Be sure to demonstrate how to view editing changes to your students so that they can look back and reflect on their work throughout the process. Encourage your students to reflect upon their work both during individual activities and throughout the year with the use of a digital portfolio tool like Seesaw, reviewed here. Use Seesaw to create individual accounts for students to take pictures, add video, and add written commentary as part of their reflection and assessment of activities. Really enhance student learning and technology use by letting them become the teacher. Extend learning and technology use by asking students to create podcasts using Anchor, reviewed here, to teach others about concepts in science and technology, or share information about STEM careers. In addition to podcasts, you can also extend technology use and learning by asking students to use a video explainer tool like Biteable, reviewed here, to demonstrate and share the procedures of experiments.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Manufacture Your Future - Discovery Education & Alcoa Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Manufacture Your Future offers STEM-based lessons, virtual field trips, and information about careers in the manufacturing industry. Virtual field trips take viewers on tours of Alcoa...more
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Manufacture Your Future offers STEM-based lessons, virtual field trips, and information about careers in the manufacturing industry. Virtual field trips take viewers on tours of Alcoa plants featuring the use of robotics and the expertise of engineers and designers. Parent modules include information on facilitating conversations in careers at home. Lesson plans challenge students to design shoes, robots, and explore manufacturing careers.

tag(s): careers (148), design (91), engineering (132), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

Discover the many free resources on this site as part of career exploration lessons. View videos together, or have students view on their own. Take a virtual field trip to a manufacturing plant to learn more about design and the manufacturing process. Enhance student learning by challenging them to create a simple infographic sharing information about manufacturing careers using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or by having them create a multimedia, interactive poster using Lucidpress, reviewed here, or ask them to use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a week in the life of an engineer or designer.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Full Steam Ahead - Brunel's ss Great Britain

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn the science and practical knowledge of ship building with this interactive based on one of Britain's most historic ships. Complete the interactive as an apprentice or master builder...more
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Learn the science and practical knowledge of ship building with this interactive based on one of Britain's most historic ships. Complete the interactive as an apprentice or master builder as you choose designs for different components of the ships including the hull, propellers, and engine. Download the apps for Apple and Android devices for use on any platform.

tag(s): 1800s (52), DAT device agnostic tool (169), engineering (132), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

Share Full Steam Ahead with students as part of any STEM lesson on engineering or sink and float. After using the interactive several times, have students create a simple infographic sharing their ship-building observations using Easel.ly, reviewed here. The original ship was launched in 1843, have students compare the structure to other ships of the time or as a contrast to modern ships.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Try Engineering - IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Grades
8 to 12
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Try Engineering offers a wide variety of resources focused on engineering, computers, and associated careers. Explore the site as a student, teacher, parent, or counselor to learn more...more
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Try Engineering offers a wide variety of resources focused on engineering, computers, and associated careers. Explore the site as a student, teacher, parent, or counselor to learn more about planning a career path in engineering. Student information includes career profiles and student opportunities to learn about different engineering options. Choose the teacher link to find complete lesson plans, activities, and featured engineers. Some of the lesson plans use YouTube for videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): careers (148), computers (106), engineering (132)

In the Classroom

Include the Try Engineering website when exploring career options with students, be sure to point it out to students with an interest in engineering and computers. Use the site to help students understand the various options available in engineering and computer careers and the education necessary for different roles. Have students create online posters detailing requirements of their chosen career using a tool such as PicFont, reviewed here, or Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here. Alternatively, have students create an infographic showing the steps needed to advance to a career in computers. Use an infographic tool such as Easel.ly, reviewed here.

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Instructables - Project Based Engineering for Kids - Autodesk, Inc.

Grades
K to 8
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Discover a collection of problem-based learning engineering lessons for building models in the areas of physics and structural and mechanical engineering. For each topic, a video with...more
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Discover a collection of problem-based learning engineering lessons for building models in the areas of physics and structural and mechanical engineering. For each topic, a video with step by step construction directions accompanies a necessary list of materials. Create your project, and let the explorations begin. Explore ideas given for basic explanations or ideas to test for some of the buildable models. Create a collection, share, or add some ideas for activities. Topic ideas include slingshot rockets, rubber band helicopters, extending grabber, simple pneumatic machine, cork shooter, catapults, slingshot cars, truss bridges, simple sail car, marble roller coaster, gliding car, tower tornado, and crash test cars, among others. Share this awesome find on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, or email. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): engineering (132), makerspace (28), Problem Based Learning (3)

In the Classroom

Bring out the "inner engineer" in each of your students! During physical science units, visit this collection to get directions for students to build simple models to supplement content. You might want to visit the accompanying site How to Teach Project Based Engineering to Kids before getting started. Students can work in small groups to create a project. Different groups can demonstrate different laws of physics. Add this to your class website as a do-at-home project to encourage exploration at home. During language arts when focusing on using concise, clear, language, listen to the directions and use as a model. Enhance learning by having students write the scripts for creating other models using Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Using these online documents affords many benefits, including the ability to add comments, highlight information, and add links to online information. Extend learning by having students create a multimedia presentation featuring the directions and construction of the student model using Thinglink, reviewed here. With Thinglink students can annotate, narrate, and add related links to an image. In gifted and talented classes or pull out programs, consider for a beginning of a deeper understanding of the concepts. Move forward with virtual field trips to see the "real" machines at work. Find ideas for after school clubs, camps, and more.

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Biomimicry in Youth Education - Biomimicry 3.8 Institute

Grades
10 to 12
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Inspire your students to SEE the natural world differently! Biomimicry is the imitation of nature's best design ideas to solve human problems. This tool provides a free resource toolkit...more
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Inspire your students to SEE the natural world differently! Biomimicry is the imitation of nature's best design ideas to solve human problems. This tool provides a free resource toolkit for K-12 educators. View the desktop or mobile version of the toolkit. Immerse yourself in the lessons, videos, activities, and tools offered in this resource. Be sure to check out the links along the side that include Resource Types and Resource Audiences (Youth (K-12), and University). Be sure to notice the extensions, homework, assessments, and other ideas offered with each of the activities. Lessons in the toolkit are arranged in sections: Introduction (exploring what is Biomimicry), Exploring Nature (connecting students with nature), Case studies, Function (how strategies of other organisms can help with our own functioning), Pattern, and Design Projects (to teach the design process). Battle of the Beaks and Velcro Race Game are lesson examples in the Function section. Join the Biomomicry network and connect with others. Find examples of Biomimicry and Cool Biology topics under the Categories section of this resource. Note: Not sure what Biomimicry is? Learn more about Biomimicry in this article.

tag(s): design (91), engineering (132), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

It will be very beneficial to spend some time with the toolkit to see all that it offers. Use the resources to engage students in content that would otherwise be considered dull to some students. Use the lessons to change from teacher-led information about topics to research-driven student investigations. Use the lessons to provide a vital connection students need to the natural world that is becoming increasingly lost with each generation. Find simple activities found on the Core Concepts pages. Each section has articles and other resources for better understanding. Many of the resources encourage questioning, the creation of ideas, and formation of solutions. Other resources (such as in the Core Concepts), encourage students to look at nature differently and understand how we are part of nature and the biodiversity on Earth. Expand many of the Patterns lessons to identify how humans have copied patterns found in nature around us and how these patterns improve our designs (ex. the shape of an egg/strength of an arch). This resource would be a wonderful extension of the classroom for motivated students, especially gifted! Include it as a challenge level during a unit on plants and other science topics for your gifted middle schoolers. Assign each group a specific concept of Biomimicry to learn and understand. Enhance student learning by having students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here.

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Discover Design: A Student Design Experience - Chicago Architecture Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about architectural design and construction of buildings and more and about design in general. This site also gives teens a forum to post design ideas and receive feedback from...more
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Learn about architectural design and construction of buildings and more and about design in general. This site also gives teens a forum to post design ideas and receive feedback from others their age as well as teachers and design professionals. Discover Design also promotes challenges every year for student teams to create an innovative remake of something (community market, lunchroom, food stand, library and community center, etc.) for their community. Another design challenge is a CIRT Nation Design and Construction Competition. Examples of past challenges are designing Water Resource Management and Preservation, a National Pavilion, and a Gastronomic Center (a space for cultural exchange through styles of cookery). Check registration deadlines as one is usually in the spring and another at the end of the year. View the contest requirements and rules in great detail with forms on the site. Use this site for lessons and information without an account, but to use the forum tool you need to create an account.

tag(s): architecture (83), engineering (132), makerspace (28), measurement (177), modeling (8)

In the Classroom

Teach students about applied science and math through the use of design. Students will see real life applications, get energized about a possible career, and go beyond repetitious facts or abstract theories. Use this site to spark ideas for your students. Use one of the smaller past challenges for your class. Have students compete to create a new student locker or lunch tray. Have them do research and design prototypes. Have students display their work locally for the school and community. Judge work by the public or by classmates on a rubric. Even if you are not part of the larger Maker's Faire movement, your students can be involved in hands-on design and innovation.

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