Below you will find a variety of STEM lessons, activities and resources that can support PK-12 STEM educators in providing quality, equitable, teaching and learning experiences for their students.
All of the lessons and activities in the highlighted boxes were developed with guidance by the STEM Education Center. If you are interested in learning more about our professional development opportunities, please visit our PD website.
As additional resources for educators, we have compiled several resources on anti-racism, as well as promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM. The journey towards just and equitable education starts with our own learning.
Seeds of STEM
Seeds of STEM is a year-long, standards-aligned, STEM curriculum for preschool and pre-K classrooms that engages early childhood students in problem solving activities.
To encourage teachers and parents to solve problems with their young children at home, Seeds of STEM is offering weekly STEM activities, derived from the curriculum and simplified for the home environment. A full year classroom curriculum is available after PD training.
I am STEM Lesson Library
The I am STEM lesson library was created by teachers for teachers thanks to a grant from the MA STEM Advisory Council. It consists of a wide variety of STEM challenges which follow the engineering design process to have students solve problems in books! The 5-day lessons are aligned to grade-level science or math and ELA standards and incorporate culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices.
STEM Certified Projects
Since 2019, the STEM Education Center has hosted nine co-horts of PK-12 educators for the STEM Educator Certiticate Course. During that time, educators developed more than 70 high quality, integrated STEM Challenges. We are excited to provide a sneak peek of a few challenges that were recently featured at our Project Presentation Day celebration. More lessons are expected to be released in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Research Experience for Teachers
During the summer of 2022, WPI hosted a Research Experience for Teachers(RET): Engineering for People and the Planet. Five in-service and five pre-service teachers participated in authentic research experiences on campus for six weeks. During this time, they also received weekly professional development and worked to translate their research experience into a lesson that could be used with middle or high school students.
Engineering Design Activities
These three real world problem activities were developed by the STEM Education Center for Massachusetts STEM Week in 2019. They include a short opening bridge design activity (one lesson or shorter), a 2-lesson STEM challenge related to properties of materials, and a full week STEM project about natural disasters connected to K-12 engineering standards, as well as more specifically, grades 3, 4 or 7 earth science standards.
Over the past several years, AweSTEM! has provided the STEM Education Center with the opportunity to recognize educators and education leaders for their outstanding work in STEM education. In addition, educators have presented dozens of STEM lessons and projects and have shared student experiences.
You can find links to numerous resources and project ideas by clicking on each year provided in the column on the right..
Anti-Racism Resources for STEM Educators
How do we address inequalities and opportunity gaps in STEM education? This resource provides articles and classroom tools for helping educators grapple with these critical issues. While this is not a complete list, our Center has found these resources useful for our own journey toward becoming equity-minded educators. We hope you will find them useful as well.
Defining Race, Racism, and Being Antiracist
16 ways to help children become thoughtful, informed, and BRAVE about race (Article) - EmbraceRace
5 Things You Should Know About Racism (Video: @ 6 min)
Talking About Race (Website) - National Museum of African American History & Culture
16 Words and Definitions to Kickstart Your Anti-Racism Journey (Article) - Medium
Are you racist? 'No' isn't a good enough answer (Video: < 2.5 min) - Marlon James, The Guardian
Dismantling Racism Works Web Workbook (Website) - DR Workbook
Anti-Racism Resource List (Resource List) - 100Kin10
Seeing White (Podcast) - John Biewen, Chenjerai Kumanyika
Anti-Racism Resource Roundup (Website) - Caise Informal Science
Understanding Implicit and Systemic Racism
Lesson About Privilege (Video >2 mins)
Systemic Racism Explained (Video @4 mins)
Harvard Implicit Associations Test (Website) - Harvard
Social Identities And Systems Of Oppression (Website) - National Museum of African American History & Culture
21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge (Resource List) - Edit Moore Jr.
5 Tips for Being an Ally (Video) - Franchesca Ramsey
Racism and Education
10 Ways Educators Can Take Action in the Pursuit of Equity (Article) - Cult of Pedagogy
How Ibram X. Kendi's Definition of Antiracism Applies to Schools (Article) - KQED
10 Ways Well-Meaning White Teachers Bring Racism Into Our Schools (Article) - Everyday Feminism
A Guide to Equity and Antiracism for Educators (Article) - Edutopia
Coded Language Is Part of Our Racist Education System (Article) - Teen Vogue
Teachers on the Frontlines: Dismantling White Supremacy from Within the Classroom (Video: <1 hr 15 min) - Davis Square Consulting
Black Students Need Changes, Policies, and Structures Beyond Higher Education (Article) - Inside Higher Ed
Racism and STEM fields
In an Era of Pandemic and Protest, STEM Education Can’t Pretend to Be Apolitical (Article) - Truthout
The racial politics of STEM education in the USA: interrogations and explorations (Article) - Taylor and Francis Online
An Open Letter: Scientists and Racial Justice (Article) - The Scientist
Decolonize science – time to end another imperial era (Article) - The Conversation
Responses to 10 Common Criticisms of Anti-Racism Action in STEM (Essay) - Anti-Racism in STEM
Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in STEM
Make STEM more relevant and meaningful for students so they can "see themselves in STEM." This list of resources can assist you in incorporating a diverse array of STEM professionals including stories not often found in traditional textbooks. We hope this is a useful tool!
Diversity in STEM
Making Room for Diverse Populations in STEM (Article with links)
Inclusive Science Communication Starter Kit (Article) - NSF
Unsung Heroes (Article) - Society of American Archivists
The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology (Article) - The White House
16 black STEM innovators who have defined our modern world (Blog) - iD Tech
31 Highly Influential African American Scientists (Article) - Interesting Engineering
6 Important LGBTQ Scientists Who Left a Mark on STEM Fields (Article) - Orlando Science Center
ACS Celebrates the Achievements of Women Scientists in American History (Resources) - ACS
Closeted discoverers: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender scientists (Article) - Science Mag
Women in Auto History (Article) - AAA
Teaching STEM with Diversity in Mind
How do we present gender, sex, and sexuality as part of inclusive and accurate science teaching? (Article) - STEM Teaching Tools
20 Years of Data Shows What Works for LGBTQ Students (Article) - Edutopia
How to Make Your School More Welcoming for LGBTQ Families (Article) - Edutopia
Attending to Race & Identity in Science Instruction (Article) - STEM Teaching Tools
A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction (Website) - Equitable Math
Why it is crucial to make cultural diversity visible in STEM education (Article) - STEM Teaching Tools
How to avoid possible pitfalls associated with culturally responsive instruction (Article) - STEM Teaching Tools
Diversity And Inclusive Teaching Practices In STEM (Handout/Resources) - UVA Center for Teaching Excellence
Incorporating the Stories of Women, People of Color, and LGBTQ+ Scientists Into the Physics Classroom (Article) - National Science Teaching Association
Culturally Responsive and Social Justice Focused Science Lesson Plans (Resources) - Science in the City
Diversity in STEM Role Models and Careers
500 Queer Scientists (Website)
I am a Scientist (Website)
STEM Career Coalition (Website)
Minorities in Engineering and Technology (Resources) - PBS Learning Media
STEM Careers: Just for Students (Resources) - National Alliance for Partnership and Equity
Women of Mars (Videos) - NASA
Additional Online STEM Teaching Resources
We did our best to compile a list of resources that are free, engaging, easy to use and aligned with state standards and STE practices. Since there seem to be so many resources available, we focused on high-quality STEM & PBL resources and activities.
General Science/STEM Online Resources
Great resources for science/STEM lessons and activities.
- Classroom Resources (NSTA)
- Daily DE
- Data Nuggets
- DESE - MA STEM at Home List of Resources
- Engineering Resources for Teachers (TryEngineering!)
- Engineering Resources PK-12 (Purdue University)
- Model Curriculum Units (MA DESE)
- NGSS Quality Examples of Science Lessons
- NSTA Daily Do
- PBS Learning Media
- Phenomena for NGSS
- Science Friday
- Skype a Scientist
- STEM Curriculum for K-12 (TeachEngineering)
- STEM Ecosystems - Resource Library
- STEM Engagement (NASA)
- The Wonder of Science
- Wide Open School
Interactive STEM Activities
Need materials? Check out the Central MA STEM Network Ecosystem Lending Library of STEM Kits!
Project ideas, activities, and simulations for teachers to use with students.
- Activities with Connections to STEM Careers (Learning Blade, 4-8)
- Citizen Science
- Design Squad Global
- Explore Engineering with Games & Activities (TryEngineering!, K-12)
- Fun STEM Activities to Do at Home (NASA, K-4)
- Hacking STEM Library (Microsoft, 6-12, activities may require microcontrollers)
- Interactive STEM Activities (Concord Consortium, K-12)
- NSTA e-Books (K-12) - free during school closures
- OkGoSandbox (3-12)
- Science at Home (Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago)
- Simulations (Explore Learning, 3-12)
- Simulations (pHet)
- STEM Challenges to do at Home (Technovation Families, modifiable for grades above or below 4)
- Teacher- and Parent-Friendly STEM Resources (Seeds of STEM, PK)
- Videos, Simulations (PBS Learning Media, 3-12)
- Explore - LabXchange
Ideas and ways to engage yourself and your students in project-based learning.
- Buck Institute for Education (My PBL Works)
- Project-Based Learning for Educators (Edutopia)
- MIT Blossoms Project Based learning Units (9-12)
- Student Projects and PBL Project Ideas (High Tech High, 9-12)
- WPI STEM Education Center
Coding and Computational Thinking
Introduce students to coding or allow them to explore or practice their skills.
Remote Learning Tools
To get you started:
STEM Teaching Tools—Supporting Students’ Science Learning
These tools and resources may assist you with communicating with your students/classes online.
- ASSISTments - a web-based mathematics assignment and analysis tool
- Book Creator - an online tool for creating and publishing digital books
- Brush Ninja - a web-based tool for creating hand-drawn animated GIFs
- Canva - a web-based graphic design platform
- Coggle - a web-based tool for creating collaborative concept maps and diagrams
- EdPuzzle - an online tool that allows you to create interactive video lessons
- Educreations - an interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool
- Edulastic - an online student assessment tool
- FlipGrid - a video discussion platform
- Go Formative - a web-based student response and assessment tool
- Graspable Math - a web-based interactive tool for math
- Jamboard - an online, collaborative whiteboard tool
- MathShare - an online tool for students to organize and share their processes
- Milanote - an online workspace and project organizer
- NearPod - an online tool that allows you to create interactive, media-rich presentations
- Padlet - an online bulletin board
- Pear Deck - a tool that allow you to create interactive presentations with Google slides
- Scoutlier - an online learning platform
- Screencastify - a Chrome browser extension that allows you to record your computer screen
- SeeSaw - a platform for student engagement
- Storyjumper - a website that lets students create and publish their own stories
- Whiteboard.fi - an online whiteboard tool
- Zoom - a cloud platform for video and audio conferencing
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