As parents across the country find themselves managing unprecedented new challenges with the closure of most schools, we are proud to announce the release of the STEMx Parent’s Guide to STEM. 

The STEMx Parent’s Guide to STEM offers more than 30 pages of research and interviews examining how to understand STEM education. This guide is based heavily on a guide created for parents by the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative. We also benefited from conversations with the members of the STEMx network and the national labs managed by Battelle.

Download the guide here. Please feel free to share with credit to the STEMx network.

Finally, all our readers supported this launch. Below, you’ll find a list of supplements to the parent’s guide, submitted by our readers.

The STEMx Parent’s Guide to STEM and these resources offer a long term resource. But what about parents looking for ways to support learning during temporary schools closures?

Battelle’s education team, which manages the STEMx network, has pulled together a list of some of our favorite online learning tools or special promotions created to help out during the COVID-19 crisis. Know a great school closure resource? Submit it in the comments below with a link and a one to two sentence description.

  1. Supplements to the STEMx Parent’s Guide to STEM
  2. School closure resources
  3. Resource collections

One special resource just launched. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has coordinated with American technology companies to create TechforLearners.org.  The site provides a searchable online database of education technology tools for online classrooms and teaching, allowing educators to search for free and discounted tools and services by grade level, product type, and subject matter.

Supplements to the STEMx Parent’s Guide to STEM

Name of resource Description
“What’s Math Got to Do With It?” This book, by Jo Boaler, titled “What’s Math Got to Do with It?: How Parents and Teachers Can Help Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject” was published in  2009.  In this straightforward and inspiring book, Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford for nine years, outlines concrete solutions that can change things for the better, including classroom approaches, essential strategies for students, and advice for parents.
Discovery Education: 5 Ways Digital Content Can Support Virtual Learning (including support for Parents): Looking for meaningful and engaging learning activities for your children? The “Daily DE” features a grade-band appropriate learning activity for every day of the week. From digital interactives to virtual field trips to fun science experiments and more, these daily activities are great for keeping the learning going at home! Visit here to learn more:
ASM Materials Education Foundation Provides Materials Camps for teachers and students in a variety of locations. Teachers learn about materials science lessons that can be inserted into chemistry, physics, and other courses. Students participate in group projects with professionals. The flagship camp at ASM headquarters is free for students to attend.
Be WISE Camp They have two STEM camps:

Residential Camp At Kenyon College. Gambier, Oh for girls going into grades 7 and 8 in fall of 2020.  This will be our 32nd year.

Day Camp at Liberty Middle School, Newark, Ohio for girls going into grades 5 and 6 in fall of 2020. This year will be our 9th year.

The camp is designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in middle school girls in  STEM.  They hope to provide the girls with the confidence and motivation to enroll in more STEM classes at the high school and college levels to prepare them for careers in a STEM field.  The camp is designed to provide real-life, hands-on experiences in STEM using problem solving and thinking skills.

This camp is provide by a nonprofit organization Be WISE Camp.

They welcome all girls with no restrictions on states or communities.

Buildit Challenge Buildit Challenge is a 501c-3 charitable organization. We coordinate STEM project fairs for schools and community groups in the Miami Valley. Our mission is to build communities of hands-on learners who are discovering ways to apply STEM to fix, make, build, and change the world.
GrowNextGen This free resource, sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council, includes career videos and information, online games, and science fair projects related to agriculture and soybeans.
Key Ideas to Consider when Implementing STEM This article provides strategies for how to successfully integrate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts.  Research-based instructional strategies are introduced and described. A problem focused on constructing a bridge that supports five apples is used as an example to illustrate the instructional strategies. The strategies are divided into three themes with multiple subthemes. The themes are classroom environment, evaluation, and purposeful teaching.
Learning Blade STEM4Parents STEM4Parents are parent-ready handouts designed to stimulate STEM conversations at home, help fill ESSA requirements for parental involvement, and encourage research and simple at-home experiments. The Learning Blade platform offers a STEM4Parents handout for each of its 12 missions. A sample of these is available at the link below. Each handout includes:

• Table Talk: STEM conversation starters for parents and students to discuss together that focus on common experiences and require no previous preparation,

• Dig Deeper: Career research topics and links to allow families to research STEM careers,

• Home Lab: Home experiments that require only common materials and encourage fundamental STEM practices, and

• Signature Sheets: For parents to return to the teacher indicating completed activities.

Science Fair Fun Parent Resources Blog posts, newsletter & social media feed that will help parents to effectively support your child while they lead their Science & Engineering Fair projects.
The Gender Gap in STEM Fields: Theories, Movements, and Ideas to Engage Girls in STEM The 2010 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology indicated that there was a need to provide individuals with strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) backgrounds in order to be a competitive country internationally. Additionally, it has been found that there is a gender gap in STEM related fields. Therefore, this article describes theories related to the gender gap in the STEM field and ways to engage girls in STEM related fields in order to close the gender gap. The researchers of this study did extensive research to review the current literature, condense and summarize the findings from various studies, and provide steps for educators to engage in that will create an early atmosphere of positive learning environments for girls to be curious about STEM concepts.

 

School closure resources

Organization Description
American Chemical Society The American Chemical Society has ChemMatters magazines, targeted for high schoolers, available online. In addition to chemistry, there are article that are biographies of chemists, and historical articles.
Bedtime Math Bedtime Math is a national nonprofit that ignites kids’ curiosity and learning by unleashing the fun in math. It offers playful online math problems for parents to do with their kids every day, as well as lively hands-on games.
BrainPOP:

Fill out this form on the website and watch for an email with instructions.

BrainPOP is a playful, educator focused platform that has learning games, animated movies, and activities that cover universal topics.  There are three platforms: BrainPOP Jr (K-3, encourages young learners to ask questions and form their own ideas in STEM, Social Studies, Reading/Writing, Health, and arts); BrainPOP (Upper Elementary and Middle School, STEM, Social Studies, English, Health, Arts & Music); and BrainPOP ELL (proficiency-based English language learning program appropriate for all ages with vocabulary, grammar, listening and reading & writing activities).
Britannica Britannica has made available COVID-19 emergency resources to every school in the U.S. Get free access to Britannica LaunchPacks, for social studies and science.
CK-12 Foundation Each lesson has a reading passage, videos, optional review questions, and self-graded practice questions. The lessons can be assigned to Google Classroom and it puts the grade in that students got on the practice questions (Students must get 10 practice questions correct to get 100%).
Comcast Parent Resources A variety of resources including details on free hotspots and unlimited data caps for many plans.
Discovery Education Discovery Education Experience is an online K-12 service combining curated curriculum resources with on-demand teaching strategies. Its standards-aligned content is assignable and meets the varying needs of diverse student populations in a safe and secure environment.
Discovery K12 Discovery K12 provides a complete online curriculum for pre-k to 12th grade. All main subjects are covered, plus extra curriculum courses.
Disney’s Imagineering in a Box via Khan Academy  32 videos in which Disney Imagineers share how they use a wide range of skills – from story development and conceptual design, to math, physics and engineering – to create immersive experiences.
Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari Videos (Facebook Live streams, YouTube videos, online)
GrowNextGen E-Learning Courses These self-guided digital resources allow students to work independently. Pre- and post-tests can be used to check knowledge gains.
Henry Ford Archive of American Innovation Explore artifacts and stories about Agriculture and the Environment, Design and Making, Power and Energy, Communications and Information Technology, Mobility and Society and Social Transformation.
Khan Academy Daily livestreams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for students, parents and teachers navigating school closures and parent guides.
Learning Blade STEM4Parents are parent-ready handouts designed to stimulate STEM conversations at home and encourage research and simple at-home experiments.
Mystery Science To help all these teachers during school closures, Mystery Science pulled the easiest lessons to do from home and published them all for free on a page to make it easy. No signup required, no student login.
National Geographic Resource Library/The Real Time Curriculum Project Curated access to relevant news and events as they happen
National Inventor’s Hall of Fame  Blog offers ideas for at-home STEM activities
National Science Teaching Association Free 30-day membership with access to online materials and web seminars
OASIS Free online STEM Club for STEAM kids, parents, and educators
PAST Foundation The PAST Foundation is compiling resources for parents/guardians and educators with a series of at-home activities that can be downloaded.
Scholastic Scholastic has created a learning hub that provides 20 days of learning experiences for students in grades PreK-9+ across the content areas. The company is also providing free access to other digital learning programs. Information provided in this link. Please feel free to share
Scholastic Learn at Home ‘Learn From Home’ website with four categories: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+. Each section is already equipped with one week of content for students with 15 additional days on the way.

Each day of content is filled with exciting articles and stories, videos, and fun learning challenges. The students can even go on virtual field trips or meet best-selling authors.

Science Journal for Kids Hundreds of scientific articles. Written for kids. Approved by scientists. Articles and STEM teaching resources are free to download.
SciGirls SciGirls is a show for kids ages 8-12, showcasing bright, curious, real tween girls putting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to work in their everyday lives. In each half hour episode you’ll meet a new group of girls, whose eagerness to find answers to their questions will inspire your children to explore the world around them and discover that science and technology are everywhere!

Each episode goes beyond science “factoids” to highlight the process of science and engineering. Girls can see how choosing, questioning, planning, predicting, observing, interpreting and communicating actually take place.

Smithsonian Learning Lab The Smithsonian Learning Lab puts the treasures of the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex within reach. The Lab is a free, interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources, creating content with online tools, and sharing in the Smithsonian’s expansive community of knowledge and learning.
Storyline Online Members of the Screen Actors Guild read children’s books online.
Texas Instruments Range of free resources from Texas Instruments including math, think-like-a-scientist experiences, and easy-entry programming.
USA Science and Engineering Festival XSTEM video collection includes presenters from prior festivals
Virtual Field Trips Virtual Field Trips offers videos covering K-8 social studies, life science, geography, and ancient civilization curriculum content. Videos are standards-aligned and provide quizzes. Site includes 300+ learning activities that have been designed to accompany videos.

Resource collections

Organization Description
SchoolClosure.org List of 100 enrichment activities
American Federation of Teachers Range of resources for both parents and teachers on guiding learning at home.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute Expert-curated list of the best YouTube channels, educational videos on streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime), podcasts for kids, and free online instructional materials.

 

 

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