For the first time, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing thousands of science educators to teach from home. Not surprisingly, remote science experiments pose some big challenges for teachers. In the physical classroom, your students all have access to the same materials, but the online classroom is far less equal. At home, students have access to different materials and resources, and some less than others.
Luckily, there are resources that can help. “Science at Home,” a free online resource from the UCLA Science ProjectX, contains a series of at-home science explorations for students in English and Spanish, which are accessible over Google Drive. The lessons are designed to make it easy for students to experiment with science. The experiments don’t require students to rely on specific materials to complete them. Rather, they focus on the “Big Idea” principle, in which students choose how to creatively solve experiments using whatever they can find in their homes.
“We believe that making sense of the world around us is foundational for science. Sense-making is the mental and physical practices to generate a deep understanding of events or processes in our environment,” state the project organizers.
There’s a more universal resource every kid can explore: the sky. The My Sky Tonight Project, a free resource from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, contains a number of fun astronomy activity guides and videos for preschoolers. It also includes a resource for teachers on how to keep young students engaged, according to its website.
If you’re interested in teaching space exploration to your students, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers great resources for U.S.-based science teachers of all grade levels. The group is currently offering a free “Teaching Space with Nasa” webinar series for educators. Past and upcoming webinars include: “Revealing the Universe With Infrared,” “Exploring Water Worlds,” and “Engineering the Deep Space Network.”
Learn more about free STEM resources for educators available through IEEE TryEngineering.
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