RE@L Serial Blog Repost: Guide To K-12 STEM Resources For Teachers : Part Two - Middle School and High School Resources

student-learning-science

RE@L is pleased to bring to our many K12 EdTech Readers, Part Two of a comprehensive guide to STEM resources for teachers, students and parents.

UnknownWe are grateful to the online graduate extension resources of Norwich.edu and the assistance of blog writer Amber Harris.

This well-written STEM Guide report will be useful to teachers everywhere who are exploring STEM instruction for their K12 classrooms.

Provided in this blog are comprehensive overviews and lists of various resources to help teachers develop and use STEM courses throughout K12. Parents and students will find it useful, too.

Here is the second in a two-part series on a “Guide to K-12 STEM Resources For Teachers” and our RE@L closing comments.

Part Two: Middle School, High School and Other STEM Resources:

STEM Ideas for Middle School Students

school-computer-lab     “Courses become more rigorous and challenging in middle school STEM classwork. Students are well aware of STEM subjects and job opportunities in the future that are available to them, and they tend to already have an awareness of their interest in the topics at this stage.

Popular Plans for Middle School STEM Lessons

  •     •   Beach Erosion: Saving our Shores:  Students learn about coastal erosion, both its causes and effects. Then the role of engineers come into play, as this lesson shows how they protect shorelines by applying engineering design into structures and policies to reduce erosion on our shores.
  •     •   Soil Biosolarization: In this lesson, students learn about sustainable pest control and techniques like soil biosolarization that uses organic waste as an agricultural engineer. Engineers apply science and math to create sustainable and eco-friendly processes. Through this lesson, students become familiar with these processes.
  • Fun with Bernoulli: Engineers understand Bernoulli’s principle and manipulate air pressure by utilizing it. Students can use this principle in a series of fun activities so that they can observe its influence on objects around them, from helicopters to blimps.
  • Kids Ahead: Students learn about the cool side of STEM through videos, articles and activities. There is also a job board for students to learn about potential careers in the math and science field.
  • Sally Ride Science: Sally Ride was the first female astronaut and this site is dedicated to providing lesson plans that enhance STEM education. It promotes STEM literacy by providing STEM books and free lesson plans. It also utilizes virtual reality for a unique and fun experience!
  • PBS SciGirls: This resource provides free videos that follow the life of a different group of middle school girls in each episode as they learn about the exciting future in the STEM field. It is a great resource to introduce middle school girls to the vast potential of career opportunities available.

STEM-in-the-middle-school-classroom-Explore-STEM-careers-with-your-studentsExample STEM Lesson for Middle School Students

One example of a lesson plan for middle school-aged students that develops STEM skillsets is the Car Balloon Experiment. This is an engaging project that excites students.

Objectives: When the car is built, mimicking the way real cars are, it is fueled forward by the air that rushes out from the balloon, causing the car to propel forward.

  • The principle at work is Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which describes the equal and opposite reaction of every action.
  • The movement of the car is the reaction, powered by kinetic energy. This lesson illustrates potential energy, kinetic energy, and Newton’s Third Law of Motion, while allowing students to build and make their own creation.

Click here for the full plan of the Car Balloon Experiment.

STEM Projects for High School Students

notebook-and-electronic-partsBy high school, students begin to study the application of the subjects of STEM. Courses are offered in STEM fields and occupations, as well as more intensive preparation for postgraduate coursework in these subjects.

Popular Lesson Plans for High School STEM Students

  • Urban Planning: Map the Green Space: As students observe the environmental standards of their own community, they learn about urban planning by taking a walk around the neighborhood. The lesson encourages students to understand an area’s eco-friendly strengths and weaknesses.
  • Tech Rocket: This site is designed for students 10-18 years old and will introduce them to the various types of programming such as Python, iOS, Java, and Minecraft. They also offer courses on game design and graphic design.
  • Arrick Robotics:  This site provides resources and manuals for robotics. It provides a comprehensive overview for robotics enthusiasts from beginners to experts. They provide resources on robotic competitions and contests allowing students the opportunity to build and battle their bots.
  • Code Academy:  A free interactive resource designed to help students learn to code. Students that have the ability to code will be in higher demand as the future career opportunities will cater more toward these individuals.
  • Student Science:  This resource provides science news for students in an effort to build a society for science. It offers a blog for “students who compete”.

Example: Engineering Lesson for High School Students

46643A hands-on experiment for high schoolers to perform through STEM curriculum is developing wind power for a home.

Objective: Students learn how engineers generate energy by harnessing the wind through specially designed wind turbines, as well as where to place the wind turbines for maximum energy harnessing.

  • Students will be able to effectively describe how wind turbines transfer energy into electricity.
  • They’ll identify different types of wind turbines and understand the differences between them and their purposes.
  • Evaluate wind power advantages over other energy sources, and to be able to use the engineering design process to innovate their own wind turbine prototype.

Click here for the full lesson plan for creating wind power at home.

Engineering is the core focus of this lesson plan, as they are responsible for developing, designing, testing, and improving the ways electricity is generated for many uses within society today, such as for homes and businesses.

A fantastic element of this lesson is that it even delves into the types of engineering, such as civil, mechanical, and electrical, as they all play a part in designing and testing wind turbines. They work in tandem to determine locations for wind farms based on conditions of the area.

Additional STEM Resources for Teachers

0b0f91232d7b2a91761f8ae5715c8b12There are many credible associations that offer STEM resources for teachers to utilize when modeling their curriculum for STEM subjects. Click on the graphic to the left for more information on resources.

NASA for Educators

NASA has made a commitment to “investing in the Nation’s education programs and supporting the country’s educators who play a key role in preparing, inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and nurturing the young minds of today who will be the workforce of tomorrow.”

NASA provides hundreds of resources specific to various subjects and grade levels that assist in the lesson planning process. See more at https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html

The Exploratorium

galleries-previewThe Exploratorium is a learning laboratory in California that designs teaching tools for K-12. They offer professional development opportunities for teachers and interactive resources for students that make STEM courses more entertaining and engaging. [Click on the graphic to the right for more information.] 

The core elements for teachers to know when considering Exploratorium are:

  • Its philosophy: to inspire through phenomena, and exploration.
  • Its mission: it works to shape the way the world learns and to empower equal learning globally. Exploratorium aims to influence the design of learning environments all over the world.
  • Its process: research and dialogue are integral to innovating and creating, as well as pausing to evaluate the learning process itself to always be making improvements accordingly.

This framework encourages inclusion in learning, to allow students to be engaged and interact with exhibits and in afterschool settings. It encourages students to ask questions and observe science, like biology and space, and to participate in workshops.

Discover more helpful ideas at https://www.exploratorium.edu/education

The Concord Consortium

Unknown-1The Concord Consortium is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the education for STEM fields in all grade levels. [Click on the graphic to the left for more information.]

UnknownThe Consortium incorporates digital technology in the lesson plans and makes learning interactive. Resources are broken down by subject and by grade level which allows educators the opportunity to plan lessons around specific areas.

Concord focuses on innovation and technology when it comes to STEM curriculum. Using computational models, students can watch biological evolution, interpret data, understand genetic science, form their own conclusions about evidence, and analyze models. It is real-world learning in the classroom.

More useful STEM links worth bookmarking:

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RE@L thanks Norwich University and Amber Harris for this comprehensive, helpful information on how to make STEM successful! Here is the link to the Norwich STEM Guide site.

RE@L believes the resources provided by this Guidebook will enable many teachers, students and parents to be far more successful in promoting greater K12 STEM achievements.

Dale Paul Photo 2017REV2NAMESSTEM circlesRE@L Chairman Dale LaFrenz, and our CEO Paul Gullickson, believe there’s much more coming to make it even better for all the STEMers:

     “Sound Classroom Learning:

Connected to….Real World Experiences of field-based experiential learning 

Connected to…..Career Exploration via our unique RE@L View™ of….Classroom to Classroom sharing of experiences, and….

Connected to….Skilled, Inventive and Successful Future Career Practitioners.

Read this RE@L link for more STEM-changing RE@L VIEW™ information:
Yes, effective teacher training goes a long way to make STEM goals happen for all!
 RE@L and our highly-capable team will assure that training goals and resources are in place for all who need them.
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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.