Teaching STEM virtually sounds almost impossible right? Well, we have found 15 STEM Websites to Keep your Students Learning at Home, and hopefully take a little prep work off of your plate. Website #15 is by far my favorite!
We are now entering month 9 of the strangest school year including summer school for some that we have ever experienced. With almost no notice in March, we were catapulted into remote learning online and through packets followed by some return to school either with full face to face or some hybrid programming. I know for me, personally, planning continually to keep students engaged and learning through all of this has been challenging for the core subject areas, much more with expansion into STEM.
How do you get students to want to complete work outside of what is required when many are just struggling through this pandemic? How do you get family involvement to be more engaging? With some research, we at Education to the Core have discovered some surefire websites that your students will love and many families will want to participate in with their children; tapping into a variety of STEM topics and requiring a minimal amount of home materials. All of these sites have been checked out for you but we are sure you will have fun exploring them before sharing with your families!
Website #1 – Reading Rockets (Start with a Book)
This site has 24 high-interest topics that include nonfiction and fiction books, hands-on activities, writing ideas, and more. If your students are interested in dinosaurs, art, sports, and more, this site explores them all.
#2 – Reading Rockets (Literacy in the Sciences)
Another component of Reading Rockets, Literacy in the Sciences, is a site with more focus on science and math. Kids may find activities, watch videos, and book lists all aimed towards connecting literacy to science and math.
#3 – Plum Landing
Plum Landing is an animated series offered by PBS kids. It centers around Plum, a video game designer, who explores nature, healthy ecosystems, and sustainability. It is aimed at learners aged 6-9 and will be of high interest to firsties!
Website #4 – Wild Kratts
Another offering by PBS kids is Wild Kratts, starring the Kratt brothers. The brothers travel to many animal habitats around the world making observations and doing investigations. Besides videos, there are kid-friendly games on the site that will help kids hone their own animal science skills.
Sticking with our animals, National Geographic for Kids has countless videos and games. Each episode focuses on the appearance, behaviors, and habitats of animals as well as the world we live in. Coding, geology, geography are all explored in short videos that grab a student’s attention. The site also has a homework section that encourages students to get outside and do their own experiments!
#6 – Code.org
No computer? No problem! This site also has a smartphone app that like the website, allows students to explore everything they could possibly want to know about computer science. Kids can follow tutorials and complete various coding activities such as creating a dance party or building worlds on Minecraft. A bonus is that this site has a pre-reader express course designed especially for non-readers aged 4-8!
Website #7 – Science Buddies
A huge plus to this site is that it is so perfect for teachers with lesson plans, worksheets, assessments, and STEM activities. A negative is that this site is so cool with its science experiments. Parents may be tempted to purchase these expensive science kits rather than gathering items from around their homes. This site also shares information on STEM careers as well, such as giving the steps needed to reach each career destination!
No list for STEM is complete without a nod to Bill Nye and his website jammed packed with experiments on topics related to all types of science. He is so engaging and fun that kids will be clambering to copy some of his best experiments. Items are easy to find at home and parents won’t mind watching his videos with their budding scientist!
This is the site for all young engineers. It has 44 free challenge cards that encourage kids to get intuitive, excited, and creative about engineering. Examples are kids attempting to skewer a balloon without popping it or working with potatoes to create power. These challenges expand their thinking and are fun for the whole family!
Website #10 – Scholastic Learn at Home
This website is organized by grade level and offers activities and projects that students can do independently. Following articles, students have follow-up projects and a daily reading reflection. It is a paid subscription site ($5.99 per month).
#11 – Hello Ruby
The Hello Ruby website is a site based on the book Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding. Students will meet Ruby’s friends, play games, complete exercises, and see additional stories all related to technology and programming. This is designed for all students 5 and up, and is an inspiring site especially for young girls who may fancy themselves a bit like Ruby!
#12 – Tinkergarten
This may be a website but its big encouragement is to get kids away from technology to get outside and get exploring. It has tons of DIY activities, all free, that will send kids outside to explore their worlds!
Website #13 – Chrome Music Lab
I love this site for the exploration of all things sound! It is fun and very hands-on as kids learn about sound waves, rhythm, melodies, etc. Best of all, kids can create their own songs and sounds!
This museum site is full of a huge variety of science topics. Included on the site are games, videos, and activity projects covering all things related to the sciences. Students explore sea animals, space, aquatics, and more while remaining engaged!
#15 – NASA STEM Engagement
This STEM website to keep students learning at home may be saving the best for last! It may be one of the coolest sites ever for all things space with science, technology, math, and engineering activities. My personal favorites: launching rockets and building a Moon habitat. If you don’t encourage your students to access this site at home, it must be because, like me, you are saving all these activities for a space unit when students return to in-person full time!
I am sure looking at this list of websites, several more sites came to your mind that we could have included other than these 15 websites. Please share with us any additional STEM Websites to Keep Students Learning at Home that you have found. As a team, we can combat this remote learning and hybrid learning fatigue by sharing great website finds with each other and engaging our students one site at a time!
Written by: Suzanne Kelley
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