I Need Quality STEM Activities
Are you looking to do more STEM in your program? If so, you may be on the lookout for quality STEM activities and curricula. Note the word quality in front of activities and curricula. Doing STEM isn’t just about doing an experiment, watching a chemical reaction, or working on math homework, it is about youth engaging in the science inquiry and engineering processes while exploring STEM concepts. If you want to do more STEM, you also want to be sure youth are really learning during the activities and not just doing a cool experiment.
How do you know if you have a quality STEM activity? There are free resources available for you and your staff to use to evaluate STEM activities. STEMfinity and Click2Science teamed up to write the article for National AfterSchool Association, Selecting STEM Activities: 15 Questions to Ask. This easy-to-use copy of the article in PDF form is also a great resource to share with your staff. The Click2Science meeting resource, How do I Know If It’s a Good Activity?, includes another great resource and activity for helping staff evaluate the quality of STEM activities. An important point to remember when selecting STEM activities is to make sure the activity fits the interests of your youth and the needs of your program.
Where to Find Quality STEM Activities
During our recent webinar, we shared some websites that have quality STEM activities and curricula. Some of the sites offer free STEM activities, while other sites sell their curricula at reasonable prices for programs. Here are some of the favorites shared by Click2Science staff and the webinar attendees:
- Howtosmile.org: a collection of the best educational materials on the web designed for educators of school-aged kids in non-classroom settings.
- Nebraska 4-H Curriculum: affordable curriculum about a variety of STEM and STEAM topics aligned to national standards designed to be used in out-of-school time (OST) settings.
- Techbridge: curriculum designed so that girls not only have fun, but also explore scientific concepts and increase knowledge and interest in related STEM careers.
- STEMfinity: project based and hands-on resources for any budget.
- National 4-H Curriculum: youth activity guides and kits for a variety of STEM topics that build life skills as well as content knowledge through engaging activities and projects.
- NASA: free themed units and camps of NASA content including hands-on, problem based activities for grades 4-6 and 7-9.
- SciGirls: activities and videos from episodes of SciGirls, a PBS show that showcases real tween girls putting science and engineering to work in their everyday lives
- let’s talk science: quality STEM learning resources using web-enabled technologies for increased access.
- Engineering is Elementary: high quality free and for purchase curriculum and kids that develops engineering literacy.
- Hot Wheels – Speedometry: math and science curriculum that incorporates Hot Wheels® cars and tracks.
Hopefully this list is a start to some amazing STEM programming with high-quality activities that challenge and engage the youth in your program! Remember to use the Click2Science skills during these activities to deepen the STEM learning for youth and make a lasting impact.