Online Activity Resources for Teachers

  • The American Geophysical Union's Outreach Resources
    The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has made available presentations, lectures, classroom activities and videos from last fall's GIFT workshop in San Francisco. The workshop, cohosted by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts, is for K-12 classroom teachers. Presentations and activities at the 2011 workshop included tsunamis, clouds, climate science, Antarctic glaciers and volcanic ash. You will find links and descriptions for the all of the materials within this valuable web site.
  • American Museum of Natural History Online Courses
    Registration is open for Seminars on Science from the American Museum of Natural History for anyone seeking professional development and graduate credit. Each six-week course if fully online, coming to the museum is not necessary, and they can be taken for up to 4 graduate credits each.  All courses are led by both an experienced classroom teacher and a PhD research scientist. Courses include: Evolution; Climate Change; Earth: Inside and Out; The Solar System, Genetics, Genomics, Genethics; The Diversity of Fishes; Water: Environmental Science and more. Sign up today and get $50 off your registration cost! For more information, visit: www.amnh.org/learn.
  • ARKive.org - Bring the Natural World into the Classroom
    Arkive.org offers an extensive collection of videos and images of plants and animals. You can navigate the galleries by selecting one of the broad categories and then choose a subject within that category. The videos can be downloaded for classroom use. ARKive also offers dozens of online games and age-appropriate activities for students. For example, Butterflies and Blooms challenges students aged 7-11 to think about the relationship between summer flowering plants and the butterflies that depend on them. Design a Conservation Program helps students aged 14-16 to learn about the importance of biodiversity as well as the economic benefits and services ecosystems provide. The Animal Survival game requires students to keep a sand lizard alive by correctly answering questions about the lizard's daily life.
  • Aviary Mini-Series Resource for Teachers
    Scientists at Indiana University have produced The Ordinary Extraordinary Junco, a series of free, short videos and teacher resources that cover a myriad of science-standards-related topics. The project is designed to engage teachers, students and adults alike.
  • BirdSleuths
    BirdSleuth aims to help educators build science skills while inspiring young people to connect to local habitats, explore biodiversity, and engage in citizen science projects. Studying birds is an accessible and fun way to bring real science to students! From making observations and asking questions to collecting data and publishing results, BirdSleuth creates practicing scientists with resources that engage youth in their own investigations! For more information, please visit: www.birdsleuth.org
  • Climate and Energy - Free and Vetted Online Teaching Resources
    In order to further advance your students understanding of the climate and topics in energy science. The CLEAN (Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network) collection offers 500+peer-revieweed, online teaching resources on climate and energy for grades 6-16. These offer activities, visualizations and even videos. You will be able to search the collections based on the topic, resource type, or grade level. The CLEAN site will provide guidance on climate and energy using strategies and principles in relation to teaching different aged groups. Join the CLEAN network today and fill in on educational policies, science, and discussions with experts in the field. Weekly telecoms, conferences and workshop announcements are also in the network. With an ever more increasing emphasis on Earth systems in the NGSS standards, CLEAN resources have become even more relevant. Visit the link below and share with colleagues and students or even bookmark it for yourself!
  • ClimateChangeLIVE: A Distance Learning Adventure
    ClimateChangeLive offers a series of webcasts, webinars and online climate education resources. This distance learning adventure will provide an amazing collection of science-based resources and programs that are aligned with national science education standards.  These "electronic field trips" are a great way to learn about climate change science directly from climate experts and educators, and to have the chance to interact with them during the live webcasts. Don't miss this free learning opportunity for your classroom. The Webinar series "Teaching Climate Change" begins in September, 2013 and will continue until February, 2014. The two-part Webcast for Middle and High School students takes place on March 5 and 12, 2014. To register and for more information on webinar and webcast content, as well as great climate change resources, please visit www.climatechangelive.org.
  • Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Resources
    The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) provide a digital collection of evaluated teaching materials for students in grades six to college. The materials contain activities, visualizations, and videos on climate science, climate change, and energy concepts. In addition to searching through the various topics, users can join the CLEAN community to participate in webinars, workshops, and discussions about climate change.
  • Climate Research Applications Online Course - Stipends Available
    Take advantage of this newly opened online graduate course in Climate Research Applications. Students will receive a $1,500 tuition stipend upon successful completion. This three-credit-hour course, offered through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, begins August 20th. Designed for science educators, the course uses climate-change issues to develop research questions and design a discrete, locally oriented research project aimed at potentially impacting decision-making in their community. The credits earned from this course may be taken on its own, used as transfer credits, or used towards the university's 36-credit-hour Master of Applied Science specialization in Science for Educators - a 100% online master's degree program. The course was developed through a grant from the NASA Innovations in Climate Education Program. Stipends are only available on a first-come basis. Apply now at www.unl.edu/gradstudies/prospective/steps by clicking the "Non-degree, Post-baccalaureate" option. For more information, contact Dr. Russanne Low: rlow2@unl.edu.
  • Community Space for Educators
    Bioneers has a new community space for educators to provide inspirational and practical materials and events. Read articles and interviews with educational innovators and visionaries. Explore and share curriculum and teaching ideas. Create a blog to share articles and thoughts. Propose and conduct interviews with Bioneers speakers.
  • Cornell Lab Bird Cams – Virtual Bird Watching at Its Best
    Check out the birds at the feeders at the Cornell Lab Feeders in Ithaca, NY. Please visit: http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/40/Cornell_Lab_FeederWatch_Cam/
  • Dawn Junior Wildlife Champions
    Dawn has committed itself to helping to save wildlife for more than 30 years. To continue this tradition, Dawn and Discovery Education have launched the Junior Wildlife Champions education and activity program to help teach student the importance of saving wildlife. The program gives access to new in-class lesson plans (available in English and Español) that range from investigative research projects to hands-on experiments and offer innovative and engaging ways to get involved. Participating teachers will also receive a free gift for the classroom from The Marine Mammal Center, in return for their honest feedback. For more information or to view lesson plans, visit the Dawn Junior Wildlife Champions Web site.
  • Discovery Education STEM Camp Content: Free Urban Infrastructure Curriculum Now Available
    As part of Discovery Education's commitment to STEM education for all students, Discovery Education STEM Camp is a dynamic series of standards-aligned curricula available to schools at no cost. It is a 5-day, 40-hour curriculum that combines hands-on labs, engineering challenges, digital investigations, and more! Each segment is designed to immerse kids in the grand challenges of science set forth by the National Academy of Engineering. Simply login with your existing Discovery Education account, or create a free account and access the world of STEM Camp. Stay tuned for the third curriculum in the series - Energy (coming soon). Check out the newly released Urban Infrastructure curriculum if you are interest in helping students understand the challenges designing cities of the future.
  • Earn a Master of Environmental Management Online
    The Duke Environmental Leadership Program offers a two year Master of Environmental Management degree through both an online and on campus program. It provides a broad perspective of interdisciplinary and global themes, strategic approaches to environmental management, and effective leadership and communication skills.
  • Facing the Future: Educating & Inspiring a Global Generation
    Are you interested in continuing professional development? Would you like to learn at your own pace? "Facing the Future: Educating & Inspiring a Global Generation" is an online, independent continuing education course for educators of grades 5-12, to build upon their teaching expertise and to think creatively about how to integrate global issues, sustainability, and local solutions into their curricula.
  • Free Award-Winning Science Publications, Videos, and Materials
    The Howard Hughes Medical Institute makes science publications, videos and materials available to K12 teachers. These materials are intended to enhance science education at all levels. There is no specified deadline for applying for these materials.
  • Free Resources for Science Teachers
    To find free resources and services can help you develop your teaching strategies for next year.
  • Free Scientific Method Poster
    This free classroom poster offers a great visual overview of the six steps of the scientific method as described on the Science Buddies Web site. Request a free copy for your classroom today. There are no shipping and handling charges and supplies are limited.
  • Free Summer Online Course Using Technology in Environmental Education
    The online course "Using Technology in Environmental Education," is free and developed by the EPA to teach and update environmental educators with new and useful technologies to enhance and improve educational programs. The course lasts 8-weeks and is self-paced, allowing users to choose which technologies they wish to learn.
  • GLOBE Virtual Student Conference is Online Now
  • There are 50 extraordinary student projects in: Atmosphere, Earth as a System/ Phenology, Hydrology, Land Cover/Biology and soils. On May 6 through 31, you will have the opportunity to learn about how students use GLOBE to engage in scientific research to impact the quality of life in their communities. This is the programs largest interactive online student conference yet. These are accessible to anyone but if you already have a GLOBE website login you will be able to post comments and post questions to our student presenters.
  • Introducing Teachers and Administrators to the NGSS - A Professional Educator's Guide, published in May 2014 by Eric Brunsell, offers professional development activities, advice, and tools to enhance a greater teacher understanding of the framework of NGSS for successful implementation practices. Brunsell and colleagues identify shifts in the three the three dimensions of science (core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices), and how such shifts can be carried over in their instruction. The activities assist teachers in understanding the curricular and pedagogical issues related to teaching the standards, address workshop difficulties, and provide a practical guide for implementing NGSS in the classroom. The entire book can be found at www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781938946189.
  • GLOBE - Investigate Seasonal Change in the Environment
    The GLOBE Seasons and Biomes Project guides students through an investigation of seasonal changes and biomes. Students and teachers have the opportunity to use GLOBE resources to conduct scientific inquiries in their local environments and biomes. By monitoring the seasons in their biome, students will learn how interactions within the Earth system affect their local, regional and global environment while contributing to critically needed science measurements. For more information, visit www.globe.gov/do-globe/measurement-campaigns/past-projects/earth-as-a-system-projects/seasons-and-biomes.
  • Hubble Web Site for Educators
    This web resource from NASA provides activities and resources to educators centered on the Hubble Space Telescope. The site offers activities and resources focused on three themes: Hubble Careers, From Galileo to the Great Observatories, and the Hubble Walk: Spacesuits and Spacewalks. The website will continually be updated as it follows the Hubble journey into 2010, Hubble's 20th anniversary year. This site celebrates Hubble as a unique tool of exploration and has been launched in conjunction with the fall 2008 launch of the space shuttle Atlantis as it goes to service the Hubble space telescope.
  • Invitation for New Science Teachers
    Applications are now being accepted to participate in the online science-mentoring program, e-Mentoring for Student Success (eMSS). The deadline to apply is September 30, but space is limited. eMSS is becoming one of the nation's largest mentoring networks of secondary science teachers. Since its inception in 2002, the eMSS professional learning community has grown to over 300 mentees and mentors from 10 states. In 2008, eMSS will be available nationwide. Applications are currently being accepted from new science teachers in their first through third year of teaching in grades 6-12. In order to apply you must visit the Web site linked above. Click on Beginning Science Teachers and use the enrollment code: MI1S. Then you fill out the online application.
  • K-12 Educational Online Seminars
    The National Science Teachers Association has come together with a group of providers to offer science educators a chance to engage in some exciting opportunities. A series of free 90-minuete online seminars are available to all those interested in furthering their understanding of many important science related issues. Teachers can learn about everything from coral ecosystems and polar bears, to Mars exploration and food science. To register for these events follow the link provided to the NSTA webpage.
  • Launch and Propulsion Educators Guide for Grades 6-12
    The fifteen lesson plans in this guide help students learn about the science of rockets, principles of rocketry and the laws of motion. Student texts are included so that students may read about variables, forces and motion, and NASA's history and future. Students learn which variables affect the performance of a rocket. In the assessment, students engage in a competition wherein they apply what they have learned about rockets to build a launch vehicle that flies as high as possible.
  • Marine Fisheries Series Activities Guide
  • This is an online activity guide geared for middle to high school students. It is a guide created by the Marine Fisheries Series project to help students dive deeper into the topics covered in the documentary series. The guide includes six engaging, peer-reviewed activities, correlated to national science and social studies education standards. These activities work well in classrooms as well as non-traditional educational settings such as nature or science centers, aquariums and zoos.
  • Michigan Merit Curriculum Science
    In preparation for implementation of the new high school graduation requirements, the Michigan Department of Education, in collaboration with partners across the state, has developed Course/Credit Content Expectations to provide all educators with a common understanding of what high school students should know and be able to do at the completion of each credit/course.
  • Molecular Workbench
    Developed by the Concord Consortium the molecular workbench is a free, open-source software tool that helps students grade 5 to college overcome challenges in understanding the science of atoms and molecules. The Molecular Workbench models electrons, atoms and molecules, which make it applicable across physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.
  • Monthly Lessons - September, May - Science of Birds
    Pennington Wild Birds in association with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have created educational and engaging activities to help teach science content year round through bird watching. These innovative resources help build science skills to inspire students to connect and participate in citizen science within local habitats. Free downloads are available. Free Activities can be found here: www.birdsleuth.org/pennington/. View related activities at www.birdsleuth.org/penningtonresources/.
  • NOAA Online Ocean Exploration and Research Workshop
    From October 5-16 NOAA will be offering a workshop introducing the new Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection built around the themes: Why Do We Explore? How Do We Explore? and What Do We Expect to Find? The workshop is free for all participants and will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Educators will have the option to receive graduate credit (fee for the credit) or obtain a certificate of completion.
  • PreK-4th Grade Activities Needed
  • U.S. EPA is looking for preK-4th grade activities to be used in its new Kids Club. In the club, kids receive recognition for completing environmental projects and activities. Previous activities have been on water conservation (turning off the water while brushing your teeth) and energy conservation (turning off the lights when leaving a room). We are also looking for activities a teacher can do within their classroom. Recognition will be given on the Web site: www.epa.gov/students/
  • Premiere Presentations of the Cleaning for Healthy Schools Toolkit
    The free, online Cleaning for Healthy Schools Toolkit will educate you about green cleaning. It can also be tailored to create state or local educational programs for agencies, education officials, workers, and parents and communities. The externally reviewed training tools are also ‘open-source' and ‘industry-free'-- in short, a unique, comprehensive program to advance policy and practices that help safeguard child and adult health, reduce the use of toxic chemicals, cost-effectively improve cleaning, and improve school IAQ.
  • Schoolyard Habitat Project for Grades 3-5
    Through this Schoolyard Habitat Project, students become engaged learners as they research, design, and implement a way to enhance their own school campus. This is done by creating wildlife habitat, planting native plants, or even removing weeds or invasive species from school grounds. Teachers are encouraged to participate in either summer or fall courses. A Schoolyard Habitat Project for secondary teachers will be available for the Fall course dates. Sign up for a series of online classes designed to walk you through the Project Based Learning (PBL) essentials. With these you can learn how to apply PBL to capstone projects and engage your students in practicing math and language arts while helping the wildlife habitat of their own school campus. Such projects are also implemented through low or no cost strategies. For more details and to register go to www.pblu.org/projects/schoolyard-habitat-project.
  • Solar and Wind Energy Production at Schools
    A total of 34 renewable energy systems have been installed at 28 schools statewide participating in Energy Works Michigan's Renewable Energy Program. The Renewable Energy Program provided incentives for schools that installed one or both of the solar PV or wind systems. Students can compare the daily performance of the solar PV or wind systems that were installed at different schools throughout the state. The performance data is collected by a data logger and weather station that are installed at each school. For more information or to view the live production, visit the Energy Works Michigan Solar and Wind Systems Web site.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Virtual Tour
    Is it too far away but you wish you could still go? Now you can, and you can take your students right along with you on a virtual field trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The tour is a 3-D virtual, room-by-room walking tour of the whole museum, all while remaining in the classroom on a desktop computer or mobile device. The systems that are compatible include Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, or Android. This self-guided tour allows visitors to navigate room to room in a manner in which they choose, and at a pace that is comfortable to them. But do not worry, there are maps and arrows to follow if one gets turned around. If used on a desktop, there are camera icons that show certain areas in which a close-up view may be seen.
  • Solar and Wind Energy Production at Schools
    A total of 34 renewable energy systems have been installed at 28 schools statewide participating in Energy Works Michigan's Renewable Energy Program. The Renewable Energy Program provided incentives for schools that installed one or both of the solar PV or wind systems. Students can compare the daily performance of the solar PV or wind systems that were installed at different schools throughout the state. The performance data is collected by a data logger and weather station that are installed at each school. For more information or to view the live production, visit the Energy Works Michigan Solar and Wind Systems Web site.
  • SOPHIA
    SOPHIA is a first-of-its-kind social education platform that offers more than 25,000 free tutorials created by multiple teachers. The activities encourage students to learn in their own way. For more information or to enter the SOPHIA Summer Challenge please visit their Web site www.sophia.org/
  • The Online Science Assessment Tool
    This site provides access to released items from various state and national standardized tests. All items have been coded to current Michigan Benchmarks and Assessment Standards. The database contains both multiple choice and constructed response questions and can be searched to develop a test built around specific content or assessment standards. After making your selections, a test will be created as an editable Word document. www.misd.net/scienceassessment/.