STEM Teacher Resources

Find Stem educational ideas and activities

Showing 1 - 20 of 1,348 resources
A comprehensive lesson on acceleration awaits your physicists and engineers! Two YouTube videos pique their interest, then sample F=ma problems are worked and graphed. The highlight of the lesson is the building of a Lou-Vee air car! Emerging engineers find its mass and compute its acceleration in order to figure out the force provided by the "engine." Math and science collide in this forceful feat!
Not meant to be shown in the classroom, this video teaches the teacher how to display Brownian motion using microsized polystyrene balls and how to model it with a speaker and Ping-Pong balls. When you use these vivid demonstrations, make sure your physicists understand that they are not viewing microbes in motion, but inanimate objects that jiggle because of the bombardment of water molecules. 
Learn how to demonstrate the workings of a capacitor by viewing this valuable video. A technician walks you through the use foil and plastic, from a bin bag (a plastic garbage bag), to represent the plates and dielectrics. With capacitors being an important component in today's computers and cell phones, this lesson will be of particular interest to aspiring engineers and physics classes. 
As the cost of oil continues to rise and the environmental impacts of emissions become more widespread, the demand for alternative energy sources for cars is huge. In an engaging and challenging week-long instructional activity, your upper-elementary or middle schoolers are transformed into mechanical engineers as they design and build solar powered cars. If you live in an area that doesn't get much sun, it may be best to do this activity when you have the best chance of clear skies so the cars can be tested outside. Cover multiple Next Generation Science Standards, as well as Common Core literacy standards in a fun and exciting way.
Aspiring space engineers design a rocket launch platform together to explore materials. The platform needs to be lightweight so that it can be transported easily, but super strong so that it can support the weight of the rocket and its crew. This is an engaging challenge for an astronomy or STEM unit.
Following this procedure, eager engineers construct a working model of a piston system, similar to that in an internal combustion engine. Perfect for STEM or automotive technology classes, the activity comes complete with analysis and conclusion questions.
A well-designed, comprehensive, and attractive slide show supports direct instruction on how sonar and echolocation work. Contained within the slides are links to interactive websites and instructions for using apps on a mobile device to explore sound. The concluding activity involves using echolocation to create a model using sonar data. This STEM-based lesson is too deep to thoroughly explain here, so check it out!
After reading about how engineering has made adaptive devices possible for people with disabilities, pupils work in groups to discuss different devices to determine whether or not they are adaptive. They also disassemble a pair of eyeglasses in order to analyze the materials and design. This is a hands-on critical-thinking activity that you can use in a STEM or engineering unit.
Some interesting reading on the history of barcodes opens this technology lesson. Readers find out how engineers contribute, and then they gather into groups to discuss possible improvements to our current UPC barcode system. Know that though the publisher lists national education standards met as early as third grade, this lesson would be above the heads of most third graders. Use it with a middle school STEM lesson.
It's time to soak up the sun! Youngsters read about active and passive solar heating systems, then they collaborate to create a miniature solar-heated building. Provide a variety of materials for them to incorporate and watch their designs take shape! This is a splendid instructional activity for sunny weather and can be used in a middle school physical science, earth science, STEM, engineering, or environmental studies class! 
After reading about marine engineers and naval architects, it's all hands on deck to design and test a speed boat. This lesson is designed for the Next Generation Science Standards in engineering and can be a centerpiece for a STEM lesson or a physical science unit on kinetic and potential energy and Newton's laws of motion.
Have small groups in your class construct working hygrometers as an example of the benefits of using sensors in engineering. This lesson can be used during a weather unit when covering humidity or in a STEM lesson as a preparation for learning how to use specific sensing equipment. 
A comprehensive lesson on product life cycle, energy consumption, and personal carbon footprint is described in this resource. Lead high school environmental science buffs through the complex process of product production and discussions on the environmental impact of the process and our government's policies. By following a series of 18 questions with an online calculator, individuals calculate their own personal carbon footprint. Data is gathered into a class spreadsheet and analyzed.
After reading up on the history of sports racquets, engineering teams design and construct a racquet for batting a Velcro-striped ball at a target. Teams evaluate their design by aiming for the target three times each and answering reflection questions. Each team's top six scores are added together for a competitive component. This would be a fun challenge for your STEM or engineering design curriculum. 
It's a neat idea, but the task of designing a system for filling jars with consistent specific amounts of a product may be a little out of reach, especially for younger pupils. Intended as an engineering design lesson plan, this may be better used in a measurement unit. A well-written handout about scales and manufacturing engineering is provided; this piece alone has value for an engineering or STEM lesson plan.
After reading about radio transmission, application, and the difference between AM and FM, small teams of engineers use a kit to construct an FM radio and then send and receive broadcasts. This is an ideal activity for middle school STEM or physical science classes that are studying electromagnetic waves.
"By the hair on your chinny-chin-chin, I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in," says the big, bad wolf! Engineering hopefuls are challenged to design and construct a hurricane-proof building from simple office and craft materials. The objective is to have it withstand the weight of a tennis ball and the force of air from a fan. A wonderful, complete resource to foster engineering and design skills in youngsters!
Hear a complete explanation of how a DVD player works. Data is stored in the spiraling groove of a compact disc, and a laser follows the groove, reading the peaks and valleys as 1s and 0s. The teacher even explains the difference between the traditional DVD and a Blu-ray disc. A good idea would be to precede this video by watching the clips on diffraction and binary code, both by the same filmmaker. Your engineering or STEM class will especially enjoy learning this information.
Here is a fascinating find for future techies: a video about how various light bulbs work. Because it begins with the incandescent bulb, it covers a bit of history of the light bulbs. It concisely and creatively describes how halogen lamps, fluorescent bulbs, metal halide vapor lamps, and LED bulbs work. It makes a high-energy enrichment to your STEM lessons. Follow it with some hands-on activities with LED bulbs in circuits or by assigning it some further research on the different types of bulbs. 
Plasma television screens display images made of pixels. The varying colors of light in the pixels are produced by electric charges to the neon and xenon gases in them. Phosphorescent material absorbs the ultraviolet light, allowing the colors to shine through. This flashy film would be of particular interest to a STEM or engineering class.

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