Part 4: Over 150 STEM Resources for PBL and Authentic Learning… Math

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Welcome to number four in a series of four posts bringing you over 150 amazing resources for STEM education. I hope you enjoyed  my thoughts of  STEM being a Verb  a few posts back.  You will also find posts filled with resources including Science, Technology, and Engineering in STEM. Check it out if you have not had a chance! This post is dedicated to Math. I know you will find these over 45 links valuable as you facilitate your students in both designing, innovating, and building. Before investigating these resources,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way …So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code.

Math STEM Resources

Since there are over 45 amazing resources below I will keep my comments short. While STEM incorporates so many disciplines, I thought you might enjoy looking at some the best sites I could find in the area of Math. As you look through the possibilities, be sure to take some notes. It really is OK to get lost in one or two and leave the rest for later.  Please take a moment to share this post with fellow educators with a tweet. Enjoy your journey and please let me know others I should add.

  • MathSite – You will enjoy this amazing interactive journey in math. The exhibits found at MathSite are intended for people of all ages who are interested in or are curious about mathematics. No specialized mathematical knowledge or special expertise is assumed. You will find it a place to see, hear, and do mathematics.
  • Emergent Math – Looking for ideas that just might spark a PBL math idea? Emergent Math is dedicated to brainstorming interesting and dynamic math problems and projects. The facilitator of the blog is employed by the New Technology Network of Schools. The posts really do allow for real mathspiration (inspirational combined with math). As stated in the blog, “interesting math problem/project can come in the form of a picture, a video, a tweet, something your child says, etc”. This blog really does attempt to use all of the preceding ideas, plus more! The posts generate ideas on how these concepts just might fit in the classroom and/or provide some driving/guiding questions. The best place to begin your exploration is at the first page of the blog and read the index! You will enjoy your immersion in Math!
  • Three Act Math Tasks – This is a wonderful collection of Math Tasks made to help students really understand Math by Dan Meyer and others.
  • Desmos – Their mission is to help every student learn math and love learning math. We accomplish that goal by building products and partnerships.

    Check out a best-in-class HTML5 Desmos graphing calculator, which millions of students around the world use for free, including students who are blind or visually-impaired.  Discover hundreds of digital activities,

  • Exploring Space Through Math – This amazing NASA site promotes inquiry through real world applications. Students assume the role of NASA scientists, engineers and researchers who work in teams to accomplish tasks. These projects promote cooperative learning, problem-solving and the use of technology. The problems in this project follow the 5-E’s Instructional Model with a segment for each phase of instruction – Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend and Evaluate. The projects cover the scope of Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Precalculus.
  • Geogebra – Get this free online math tools for graphing, geometry, 3D, and more!
  • Estimation 180 – A site created to build number sense one day at a time. You will find all kinds of ideas and lessons.
  • Annenberg Learner Math Lessons – Annenberg Learner uses media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools. This mandate is carried out chiefly by the funding and broad distribution of educational video programs with coordinated Web and print materials for the professional development of K-12 teachers. The math lessons could be a footprint to a PBL unit or scaffolding for an entire PBL. While at the site… take a look at the interactives.
  • Figure This – This wonderful site is the work of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in cooperation with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Widmeyer Communications, and the Learning First Alliance.  Its mission is to challenge middle school mathematics and emphasizes the importance of high-quality math education for all students. While it was created to allow for family interaction, it is also figures into the Math PBL classroom. The site allows students to have the opportunity to face some every day real life math challenges.
  • Rich Math Tasks – This site from the UK has some amazing math tasks that will be sure to engage your students and promote math understanding.
  • NZ Math – These rich learning Math ideas come from New Zealand. They represent both the procedural and conceptual approach.
  • Mathematical Moments – Authenticity is important in Math PBL. It seems that Math educators are always looking for ways they can show how math is used in the world around us. Discover a site that will help you achieve this goal of real world application. The site is cleverly titled Mathematical Moments and it is well worth the time! It contains free printable posters that are 8.5″ x 11″ PDF documents. These informational posters are available on many different topics in science, nature, technology, and human culture. As you take a closer look many of these posters note that many have a  link to some short feature podcast interviews with experts in the field. These posters and podcast could spark the idea for a PBL math unit that brings authenticity into your math teaching.
  • MIT Blossoms – All of the lessons in the MIT Blossoms library have been contributed by BLOSSOMS partners from around the world. There is a watch the Teacher’s Guide Video Segment included with each lesson to learn more about it. The final segment of each BLOSSOMS video lesson is a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and the “virtual teacher.” Best of all, these lessons can be part of a PBL unit. The provided link brings you to the Math (English Language) Section.
  • Get The Math – Get the Math is about algebra in the real world. See how professionals use math in music, fashion, video games, restaurants, basketball, and special effects. Then take on interactive challenges related to those careers.
  • Mathalicious – While this is a paid site you will find several free projects on the homepage. Perhaps you will find that the paid lessons are really well worth it!  This site does demonstrate that math is about more than just numbers and equations. Students find that math is a tool to explore the world around us. Mathalicious provides teachers with lessons that help them teach math in a way that engages their students–in a way that helps students understand how the world works. Lessons are aligned to Common Core Standards and explore real life questions.
  • TedEd – The makers of TED… these really are some wonderful flipped lessons with formative tools built in. These are definite lessons worth sharing! You can even make your own.
  • CK12 – Not only are the free flexbooks amazing  you will also find simulations, PLIX, and Adaptive Practice This is an organization raising the bar with interactive learning activities and practice that adapts to individual student performance.
  • How to Smile –  Discover this group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. Find new ways to teach kids about math and science.  Discover activities that meet you where you live, whether your “classroom” is an active volcano, the shark tank at the local aquarium, or your own kitchen table. SMILE is collecting the best educational materials on the web and creating learning activities, tools, and services.
  • Khan Academy – Help every student succeed with personalized practice. 100% free.
    Find standards-aligned content and assign practice exercises, videos and articles
    Track student progress and best of all join millions of teachers and students
  • NRICH – The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice.
  • Illuminations – Illuminations works to serve you by increasing access to quality standards-based resources for teaching and learning mathematics, including interactive tools for students and instructional support for teachers.
  • PHET – This simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery
  • CanFigureIt – Created by teachers, this highly interactive tool provides an easy-to-use work space where students can practice proofs while exercising their deductive reasoning muscles.
  • Hub Page – This page contains some great PBL ideas in the area of math. Once you visit be prepared to stay awhile
  • Less Helpful Math – Great blog filled with engaging and real world resources. The author Dan Meyer provides out of the textbook ideas that will make math authentic.
  • Share My Lessons – Welcome to a place where educators come together to create and share their very best teaching resources. It was created by teachers for teachers. It is a free platform giving access to high-quality teaching resources.  It provides an online community where teachers can collaborate with, encourage and inspire each other.
  • PBL Pathways – This is a website dedicated to Math and PBL. In the supplied link you are directed to the PBL Projects. Here you will discover some project ideas covering many areas of advanced math. Each is a complete project that you may wish to include. Please be sure to read their Terms of Copyright Statement when using the materials.
  • Curriki Algebra – This is an Open Education Resource (OER) Algebra course that consists of five units aligned to the Common Core. Each of the units culminates in a project that utilizes mastery of conceptual understanding taught in the individual lessons. These units include:
    • Unit 1: Relationships between Quantities and Reasoning with Equations
    • Unit 2: Linear and Exponential Relationships
    • Unit 3: Descriptive Statistics
    • Unit 4: Expressions and Equations
    • Unit 5: Quadratic Functions and Modeling
  • Math and Sports – What an amazing website from Cambridge University! These free online mathematical resources explore math and science through sports. These resources include activities designed to develop problem-solving and mathematical reasoning skills for students aged 5 to 18. You will also find  articles aimed at older students. Also, be sure to visit  video maths challenges which is produced with input from Cambridge by BBC Two Learning Zone. Another must visit site includes activities on Maths and Football (European style). It is possible to discover articles and activities that are arranged by Key Stage. The site also allows the user to access  tabs at the top of the page, or view content by sport or topic.
  • Plus Magazine – That is right… it is a magazine. Another plus… it is free. Most important it is all about the world of Math. This is a wonderful resource that will bring the authentic world of math to your students. Stories and activities can be a scaffold in a PBL Unit or possibly the catalyst for an entire project. This is one that I could have spent an entire post on.
  • Mathematics, Learning, and Web 2.0 –  “Mathematics, Learning, and Web 2.0” is written by Colleen Young. Her posts provide thoughts and ideas in a very math practical manner. It is a wonderful blog that will allow any math teacher to dream up a new PBL, or scaffold an activity inside an existing project!. Not only that… it is just wonderful reading… so enjoy!
  • SAS Curriculum Pathways Math – While SAS contain free curriculum for many areas be sure to check out some great math possibilities all fro free.
  • Real World Math – Welcome to a collection of free math activities for Google Earth designed for students and educators. Mathematics is much more than a set of problems in a textbook. In the virtual world of Google Earth, concepts and challenges can be presented in a meaningful way that portray the usefulness of the ideas
  • PBS Learning – You will find thousands of multimedia possibilities in the math portion of the PBS site. Get ready to search!
  • NCTM Real World Math – Visit this collection of previously published articles from Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School and Mathematics Teacher that make strong connections between mathematics and other disciplines. The articles contain activities, experiments, investigations, or problems that are appropriate for use with middle school or high school students. Many of the articles can be adapted for use with students at different grade levels or in different kinds of courses.
  • Education World – Check out this article filled with  online collections of real-world math activities, math activities with a specific real-life focus.
  • Graphing Stories – Check out these 15 second videos and then get your students graphing!
  • OER Commons Math – This is a large collection of online resources that are part of the open education resource field.
  • Math Snacks – Smart educational animations, games, and interactive tools that help mid-school learners better understand math concepts.
  • WolframAlpha – This is an amazing search engine based on data and mathematics. If you think the search engine is amazing then check out their educational site. There are some amazing resources.
  • Gap Minder – Explore this amazing world of data. Do you want to use Gapminder tools in your classroom? Check out our resources on this page and the downloads page to get started. You are free to use them today in your classroom!
  • Math Lessons – this site has some great lessons by Robert Kaplinsky. Make your own PrBL with these ideas.
  • CT4Me – This site has some awesome resources to take a look at for teachers of math. You will find all kinds of ideas including thoughts on PBL and Math.
  • Math Hooks – The goal is to introduce challenging, inquiry-based activities to every middle school math classroom in order to foster student participation, enthusiasm and improvement through rigorous discussion.
  • YouCubed – This site from Stanford University has a main goal to is to inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on math learning into accessible and practical forms.
  • Week for Inspirational Math – These WIM lessons have been used millions of times, in every state across the US, as well as many other countries in the world. Teachers and students love the activities and mindset videos. In previous years of WIM, 98% of teachers said their students were engaged when working on the lessons and 96% of the students surveyed said they now believe they should keep going even when work is hard and they make mistakes. And that is a wonderful thing!
  • MAISA – Check out this data base from the state of Michigan that provides resources and lesson ideas aligned to standards. You will find rich math possibilities for students.
  • MARS Classroom Challenges are lessons that support teachers in formative assessment. There are 100 lessons in total, 20 at each grade from 6 to 8 and 40 for ‘Career and College Readiness’ at High School Grades 9 and above. Some lessons are focused on developing math concepts, others on solving non-routine problems.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

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Part 3: Over 150 STEM Resources for PBL and Authentic Learning… Engineering

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Welcome to number Three in a series of four posts bringing you over 150 amazing resources for STEM education. I hope you enjoyed  my thoughts of  STEM being a Verb  a few posts back, along with the 40 resources geared toward STEM Science and 35 resources geared toward STEM Technology.  Check them out if you have not had a chance! This post is dedicated to Engineering. I know you will find these links valuable as you facilitate your students in both designing, innovating, and building. Before investigating these resources,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way …So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code.

Engineering STEM Resources

Since there are a gold mine of resources below I will keep my comments short. While STEM incorporates so many disciplines, I thought you might enjoy looking at some the best sites I could find in the area of Engineering. As you look through 42 possibilities, be sure to take some notes. It really is OK to get lost in one or two and leave the rest for later.  Please take a moment to share this post with fellow educators with a tweet. Enjoy your journey and please let me know others I should add.

  • Design Squad Nation – Another great service from PBS filled with some entertaining and engaging ways to integrate STEM into any classroom. Teachers can explore and use Design Squad Nation activities, animations, video profiles, and episodes in classrooms and after-school programs, in libraries and museums, at events and at home.
  • Engineer Your Life – This engaging website is the centerpiece of a national campaign, and is meant for high school girls and the adults in their lives (parents, counselors, teachers, and other educators) who want to learn more about what life and work are like for engineers. It is a great place to explore outstanding engineering possibilities.
  • Teach Engineering – This is a comprehensive collaborative project between faculty, students, and teachers associated with five founding partner universities, with NSF National Science Foundation funding. This real world collection continues to grow and evolve with new additions submitted from more than 50 additional contributors, a cadre of volunteer teacher and engineer reviewers, and feedback from teachers who use the curricula in their classrooms.
  • Discover Engineering  – This organization coalition of volunteer engineer professionals works together to celebrate engineering and give students hands-on experiences with engineering.
  • eGFI Dream Up The Future – Be ready to discover a variety of tools to boost your students’ math and science skills, enliven the classroom with engineering projects, expand your own professional horizons and stay informed. There is also an amazing free newsletter with updated features that will arrive in your in-box every month. This is a site that is a must visit for any STEM teacher.
  • EIE – Engineering is Elementary supports educators and children with curricula and professional development that develop engineering literacy. EiE serves children and educators in grades K- 8 with research-based, teacher-tested curriculum materials for schools and out-of-school time programs. The program also helps teachers build skills and confidence in teaching engineering and technology in their professional development workshops.
  • The Lemlinson Center -Take a moment to visit this amazing website that showcases the study of invention and innovation. It is part of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, the center documents, interprets, and disseminates information about invention and innovation; encourages inventive creativity in young people; and fosters an appreciation for the central role that invention and innovation play in the history of the United States.
  • Cooper Hewitt Lesson Plans –  Take a look at the design possibilities covering all subject areas and grade levels. There will surely be something to promote design thinking!
  • Try Engineering – Here a place to visit for the latest information, resources, and research. It will provide numerous ideas to bring engineering to the classroom.
  • The Engineering Place – This might be the right place to get the idea you need. There are wonderful lesson plans for K-8 students.
  • Spark!Lab – Discover the Spark!Lab Process for design which includes, Identify a problem or need (Think It), Conduct Research (Explore It), Make sketches (Sketch It) Build prototypes (Create It),  Test the invention (Try It), Refine the invention (Tweak It), Market the invention (Sell It). You will want to explore the links to these these resources and the amazing Spark Lab Free Design Book.
  • Tinker Ball – This is a great simulation that allows students to see there are multiple iterations and possibilities when designing.
  • Curiosity Machine – Explore this wonderful program that puts an emphasis on artificial intelligence and engineering.
  • UL Explore Labs – Solve real problems through science and engineering and become part of the movement to make the world a safer place.
  • STEM Career – Find your STEM type. Explore different careers and see where you might fit. Your students may find that they are an engineer!
  • Sketch Up Free – One of the easiest ways to draw in 3D. Say hello to SketchUp Free: 3D modeling in a web browser
  • AutoDesk TynkerCad – It is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!
  • Physics Games – Check out these great Physics games that are all about constructing something.
  • Energy in a Roller Coaster Ride – This interactive roller coaster ride produced by WGBH illustrates the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. As the coaster cars go up and down the hills and around the loop of the track, a pie chart shows how the relative transformation back and forth between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy.
  • CK12 Roller Coaster – This is a wonderful example of the many simulations that teachers can work with student on at CK12.
  • Engineering For Good –  This is a three-week, project-based learning unit for middle school science classrooms focused on developing solutions for negative impacts of plastics on the environment. In this NGSS-aligned unit, students use the engineering design process to define a problem, brainstorm solutions, develop prototypes and iterate on their designs. The project culminates with students producing videos about their solutions to share with the community.
  • ITE Resources – The activities and presentations in this site are specific to introducing K-12 kids to what ITE does – transportation!
  • Bridge Designer – One of my favorites which had been known as the West Point Bridge Design Program. It teachers physics as students create and test their simulated bridge.
  • Link Engineering – This is a site that connects PK12 engineering to experts and resources for teachers and students.
  • Go Explore – A wonder website on transportation engineering from the people at Iowa State.
  • OK GO Sandbox – Helping students learn through the joy, wonder, and fun of OK Go’s music videos. You will find some real engaging possibilities!
  • Super Bowl Engineering – A great collection of activities, lessons, and videos to help students see the engineering in football.
  • Engineering Americas’ Favorite Past Time – If you liked the above link for football then check out this baseball site.
  • Engineering Education Pod Casts – These are a series of educational podcast to help students understand engineering in the real world.
  • Engineering Video Snippets – Discover this collection of Illuminating short videos that take you inside the elementary engineering classroom.
  • Engineering Map of America – In this interactive map from American Experience, learn about the most challenging and important engineering projects that transformed America. Each project is described with a variety of supporting materials, including archival images and documents as well as videos excerpted from American Experience episodes.
  • NASA: More To Explore – Check out the links at this website to find games to play, videos to watch, things to make and stories to read for students in grades K-4.
  • Big DIY Ideas – Here are 35 fun DIY engineering projects just for kids that you and your students will enjoy. Notice that some are perfect for tiny tots and other projects are terrific for older kids and teens. Use your best judgement and provide adult supervision and guidance when needed.
  • Engineering Projects for Grades 7-9 from NASA – These are all some neat projects from the NASA Summer Innovation Program. There is a lot to pick from.
  • Design Squad Activity Guide – Check out this PDF document that includes the design process along with some great build possibilities. This comes to you from Intel and PBS.
  • Dyson Foundation Challenge Cards –  Are you ready for a challenge. Check out these easy to support ideas for students who want to build it better!
  • NBC Learn Science of Innovation – You will enjoy this great collection of videos that can fit into a lesson based on all types of design and technology principals.
  • US Patent Office For Kids – At the USPTO, they are always thinking of ways to promote innovation. Here are a few fun activities for makers, builder, tinkerers and all to enjoy. Check back for new activities from time to time.
  • NASA Robotics Alliance Project – The Robotics Alliance Project seeks to provide a clearinghouse of robotics-related educational materials. Click on the links provided and below to find lessons, materials, and robotics education discussion forums.
  • PBS Learning Media Engineering and Technology – Discover resources and projects that connect students to engineering design practices and future careers.
  • Atkins STEM School Pack for Engineering – Discover this wonderful PDF booklet filled with great build possibilities for student to explore,
  • Ted-Ed Engineering – Build a lesson around any TED-Ed Animation, TED Talk or YouTube video

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

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Authentic PBL: Santa Believes in Project Based Learning … Do You?

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Did you know that Santa believes in Project Based Learning? It’s true… in fact, I have worked quite hard at finding evidence that supports this conclusion.  Upon further reflection, it occurred to me that not only does Santa believe in PBL, he practices many of its positive attributes at his workshop. By now you are thinking… what is this connection? Let me explain my reasoning by giving you an overview some of the essential elements in PBL.  Of course, I will attempt to show you how I believe Santa has put these elements into his practice.  Before continuing, I would appreciate having you take a moment to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email and follow me at (mjgormans). Taking that moment ensures that we can continue to network, something that is very magical to me. Also, please share this post with others and even provide a re-tweet. Check the provided  BIE link for some great free material on PBL and some awesome PD services offered by BIE … of which I am on the National Faculty. Last, please check my Booking Page to see how I could be part of your school PD or Conference plans.  May your holiday be filled with magic! – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code

Authentic PBL: Santa Believes in Project Based Learning … Do You? – Mike Gorman  https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com

It all started on a recent visit I had the pleasure of taking to the North Pole.  It was actually a once in a lifetime experience, one that I will always remember. While I promised Santa I would not divulge secrets I discovered, he did hand me a manuscript and gave me a wink. I could see the amazing sparkle in his eyes as he waited for me to discover a power he was already aware of. I looked at the cover of this torn and faded, yet delightful looking, old book.  I could tell it had been constantly used due to the lack of North Pole magical dust on its soon to be engaging pages.  I spent the next few hours looking through a wonderful collection of written journals. This manuscript was entitled “The Santa Projects”.  How did he know my yearning to learn more about projects?  I then remembered that, of course, I was sitting in front of Santa. He probably had quite a database of everything I had ever dreamed of or desired from my very first teddy bear. Here was a compilation of all of the important projects ever done at this amazing place… at the top of the world. Here were the projects that Santa had brought to his entire staff in order to engage, motivate, educate, and provide means of collaboration and communication. The first project caught my eye. I couldn’t help but smile as I read each of Santa’s journal entries. Allow me to share one of his projects with you.

The Santa Projects –

Project Name – Mission Possible…. The Big Delivery

Need To Know – (An outstanding project is based on a student need to know. It is this desire that promotes engagement and excitement in children. It provides the motivation for learning significant content.)  Santa Notes – It will be important to communicate with all of the elves and various staff my desire to travel the world in one night delivering toys to all of the good girls and boys. We will have a meeting, record everything in Santa Docs, based on what we will need to know to make this mission possible. As we answer these important questions I will mark them off our collaborative list. I anticipate a few questions such as,  “Given that the earth is rotating… how many hours do we really have for our trip?”

The Driving Question – (The Driving Question is the key to any effective PBL project.  This question must be direct and open a student-centric understanding of what is to be eventually accomplished and learned. While giving the students a sense of mission, it is proactive and open-ended.)  Santa Notes – After working with various teams we have decided that a good driving question could be as follows: How can we devise a plan to deliver presents to all the good children in the world in one night? I know this will be exciting for the elves and I am sure the reindeer will be clamoring to get their hoofs into it. I am certain our journey to finding this answer will not only raise more questions but will also provide the rigor my staff thrives on.

Voice and Choice – (An effective project must allow for all students to have a voice and a choice. This might allow students to pick an area of study or may give a selection of various final products to demonstrate learning. This voice and choice allow the project to have individual meaning and relevance to each student.) Santa Notes – I must allow all of the workers at the North Pole to participate in a meaningful way while holding them accountable to the Driving Question. Who knows what contribution each group and individual might be able to come up with. In fact, I have already heard that my engineers are drawing a picture of a sleigh. Not sure I know why, but maybe I will learn from them.

21st Century Skills – (Students must be allowed to use skills that are authentic and provide real world opportunities. Teachers must provide learning opportunities and facilitate important skills including collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. It is important to also assess these skills as part of PBL.) Santa Notes – I plan to utilize team building activities to help facilitate project success. At the North Pole, we must realize that in order to pull off this miracle it will involve a collective wisdom from the entire crowd. We will use modern North Pole technology including Santa Docs, Twinkler, and Elfmodo to collaborate. In fact, I noticed the elves are already building a new system “The Magic Net”. It is supposed to connect the North Pole with the entire world of children’s desires. I am not sure why, but I am sure I will learn from them.

Inquiry and Innovation – A good PBL study will allow students to not just come up with answers… but also discover new and amazing questions. This will allow students to think outside the box as they remix, create, and innovate. It assures a final product that shows the learning that was acquired from the initial Driving Question.) Santa Notes – Everyone at the workshop is finding out that there is not an easy answer to our Driving Question. It seems we are getting more questions than answers right now. I have encouraged our staff to use Santapedia and NorthPoleOogle but they say it does not always give the answer… again more questions. I have told everyone to tinker… something they have experience with at the toy shop. They did come up with a new gift they called Tinkertoys which could be a hit. I had to get them back on track. Outside, I have noticed the reindeer jumping from the fir trees and one is even playing with a red light bulb. I know it seems very hectic… but I do feel we might be on to something.

Feedback and Revision – (Students must be allowed to obtain feedback through critiques from their teacher, peers, real world mentors, and themselves. Through this, students must learn to reflect and revise to create a better product as they travel a road of formative assessment.) Santa Notes – I am finding myself encouraging all my workers to reflect and critique themselves and others. This is can be more valuable than always using one of my NPARs (North Pole Assessment Rubrics). In fact, I saw the engineer and elves constantly critiquing each other on what they called OBETB (Operation Big Enough Toy Bag). Perhaps if I do a little check with one of my formative assessment rubrics I will find out what that is all about.

Publicly Present The Product – (Providing students with a public and authentic audience is crucial in the design of a good PBL learning unit. It brings meaning and provides motivation for a final product that represents the quality and rigor that should be expected. This audience can be face to face or could be virtual using the World Wide Web.)  Santa Notes – I am so excited for the workers here at the North Pole. Tomorrow night they will be presenting their plan for Mission Possible…. The Big Delivery to a live audience of the North Pole Geographic  Society, Magic Bag Engineers, Animal Aviator Experts, Portable Light Bulb Innovators, The Association of Sleigh Vehicle Workers, and NEXRAD.  It will all be available on Santa Vision. Having all of these experts in the audience will ensure that all involved will take great pride in their work while demonstrating what they have learned and have now made possible.  I am still puzzled as to why we have invited the Animal Aviator Experts and NEXRAD. Sound like a high flying idea!

Significant Content – (A PBL final outcome should provide evidence that students learned the required content set forth by curricular standards. While the 21st-century skills are important… they should complement and be used as tools for learning this content. The project is the process!) Santa Notes – Wow… while everyone has become better communicators, collaborators, and critical thinkers I see that the important concepts needed to make this project a success have become a reality. All of the workers, elves, and animals understand the important North Pole curricular concepts of magical engineering, animal aviation and linguistics, possibility planning, and bottomless bag technology. Most of all, they have discovered the wonderful skill of miracle manicuring. I really do believe in PBL!

As I was sitting in front of Santa there were two more elements that appeared before me like magic. I read the text as fast as it appeared. He looked at me as he winked and smiled… as if he was about to go up a chimney. I soon realized he had even been aware of some of the new ideas found in the new Gold Standards. Of course, he was aware! I continued to read with delight as I discovered even more amazing magic!

Reflection – (It is this process that demands the important skill of metacognition. It is not until a learner thinks about the learning… that real learning takes place. Educators must allow students time to reflect as they build their own understanding of important content and concepts.)  Santa Notes – I have always enjoyed the work of John Dewey… after-all he was always on my good list. I encourage all the workers at the North Pole to reflect on what they learn while as they build and innovate on all the products at the workshop! It is amazing to see all the learning that takes place as we constantly create a wonderful experience for all the boys and girls throughout the world!

Authenticity – ( It is important that students have an authentic learning experience that is meaningful. Allowing students to make a difference to their surroundings and the world outside the classroom is essential. Education must be real and provide the students that important… so what… to learning.) Santa Notes – Authenticity might be one of the most important qualities we promote. After-all like PBL… the North Pole experience is about making it real!

As I handed this precious manuscript back to Santa,  I thanked him for confirming my belief in how powerful a project can be. Upon my return, I continued to learn more about Project Based Learning and discovered the power it has for providing authentic and powerful learning experiences for students. This knowledge just might be the very best gift I ever received from Santa. I’m still smiling as I recall the other projects I read about in the wonderful book on my very special visit. Projects with names like the ones you find below.

  1. I Can Get Down the Chimney… How Do I Get Up?
  2. The Big Blizzard… Can We Find a Way to Light the Path?
  3. Conquering the 24 Hour Cookies and Milk Dilemma!
  4. Reindeer… Keeping their Minds to the Ground!
  5. Making and Keeping It Real!

I hope you enjoyed this very special message that Santa shared with me. Please take a moment to share this post with other educators across the world.  Please accept my present to you,  which is another year of postings, by subscribing by email or RSS and follow me on Twitter (mjgormans). You will also find a treasure of resources covering 21st-century learning, STEM, PBL, and technology integration for the classroom. Again, take a moment to share this blog and even give it a re-tweet so that other educators can experience the magic of PBL. May you find the peace, joy, blessing, and magic of this very special season… and to all a good night! Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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A Special Letter From Santa in 2018 … Why Teachers Must Be Magic!

santa

Welcome to a very magical entry for 2018… one that has been a traditional post each holiday season. (For those following my 150 Resource STEM Series it will follow my holiday posts). It is a time of year that I wish to express my gratitude to those wonderful educators that have welcomed me at their schools, webinars, and conferences and also join me at this blog and on twitter throughout the year. I would like to share with all of you a very special letter I found under my Christmas Tree  many Christmas Eves ago. I have made it a practice to put it away, until just a few weeks before Christmas each year, with the idea of sharing it with educators across the world! Please take a moment to read this very special letter from Santa! He takes a moment to describe the magic that you as an educator make happen every day! While you are at it, I would appreciate that you take a moment to subscribe to this Blog  and follow me on Twitter at (mjgormans).  Also, please take just a moment to share this letter by providing a retweet, and feel to copy and distribute (please give the reference).  In this way, you can help spread the magic!  My next seasonal post is… PBL at the North Pole.  May your holidays be filled with magic! – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code

A Special Letter From Santa … Why Teachers Must Be Magic! …. by  Michael Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com) ….Twitter (mjgormans)

Dear Teachers,

I have been meaning to write this letter for a long time! It is a letter that I feel is long overdue and with the elves getting all ready for my long ride, I finally found the time! I have been watching teachers for many years and I am amazed at the work they do. I have come to a conclusion that the teaching profession, like my own, must be filled with bits of  magic! Please let me provide ten statements of evidence for my belief.

1.  I travel the world one night of the year visiting all the boys and girls of the world. The teaching profession works with every boy and girl all year long. This equates to each teacher fulfilling educational needs for 30 – 200 children each and every school day. Seems like magic to me!

2. I deliver presents to all the boys and girls. From my Toy Repair Shop statistics, I find many of these gifts are broken or no longer garner a child’s interest within months!  Yet teachers find inner gifts in every child. Teachers nurture these inner gifts  until they develop into true presents that will last a lifetime.  These kinds of gifts sure seem like magic to me!

3. I keep my naughty and nice list for every child. Some people believe this job is pretty amazing! Yet when I look at the teaching profession, teachers provide a constant evaluation of all their students! Their list covers all the aspects of developing and learning which they report to children’s parents and to the children themselves! This evaluation is based on a wide variety of observations, data, and student performance.  Teachers will then use this list to help improve each and every student! Wow, keeping track of every student’s ability and prescribing ways to be successful must really be magic!

4. I leave presents to students who are on the nice list and who believe in me. Teachers work with all children because they believe in every student. Teachers continue to do so, even when students stop believing in the educational system’s ability to help them achieve.  That type of persistence has got to be magic!

5. I have operated my workshop using the same technology for hundreds of years and it has worked for me. Then again, I work with children when they are asleep, delivering presents in my own way. Teachers work with children when they are awake and they have spent time learning how to engage children using googles, blogs, phlogs, glogs, prezis, and all these other words I really don’t know! Being able to teach, transform, and accommodate for this new digital generation must really be magic!

6. I have made it a practice to leave coal behind for children who do not make my good list! It seems every year the same children always get the coal. Teachers refuse to leave coal, in fact, they are working hard at leaving no child behind. To work towards a goal of leaving no child behind is a true act of magic!

7. I read the news and I am always so thankful to read all the nice articles about my work. It really does provide me with motivation to keep up my vocation. I read news articles about the education profession and it seems that most articles are unsupportive. Yet, teachers keep working hard at providing success for their students! These teachers must be operating on a little bit of magic!

8. I have thousands of elves, of course, the reindeer, and the  community of the entire North Pole to assist me. Teachers work every day, many times by themselves, as they provide new opportunities for their students! Carrying that load alone must be much heavier than my bag of toys. It must really be magic!

9. I receive many a thank you and millions of pictures of happy faces as children open their presents each year. Teachers don’t always get a thank you, or may never see the present get eventually opened. When they do, appreciation may come from decades later!  A thank you that appears after many years must be the result of pure magic!

10. I discovered a light in Rudolph brightens up a dark, foggy, or snowy night so that I can deliver joy to all the children across the world. Teachers provide the light that brightens our world in both the darkest night and brightest day! It is the light of learning and knowledge!  The ability to keep that light burning  bright  must take a quite a bit of magic!

You see, I have found that magic does not come easily! It is made possible only by those who work hard and keep believing, and seek what they know is possible! As you can see, there must be a great deal of magic in the education profession! Please continue to keep this magic alive and know that you are all on my good list! After all, I had to learn all that I do from somewhere! So from across the years, I know I have many teachers to thank!   Last, to all teachers across the world… I really do believe in you!

Thanks for all the magic,

Santa

I hope you enjoyed this very special message from Santa. Please take a moment to share this letter with other educators across the world. It will truly help bring out the magic in our profession! Please accept my present to you,  which is another year of postings by subscribing  and following me on Twitter (mjgormans). Think about contacting me (Booking Infoto see how I might fit into your conference or school PD plans. (mjgormans@gmail.com)! Again, take a moment to share this blog and even give it a re-tweet so that other educators can experience the magic.  Next post… PBL at the North Pole  (subscribe now) ! May you find the peace, joy, blessing, and magic of this very special season… and to all a good night! – Mike Gorman  (21centuryedtech.wordpress.com)

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Part 2: Over 150 STEM Resources for PBL and Authentic Learning… Technology

150a

Welcome to number two in a series of four posts bringing you over 150 amazing resources for STEM education. I hope you enjoyed  my thoughts of  STEM being a Verb  a few posts back, along with the 40 resources geared toward STEM Science in the last post. In this series of posts my goal is to provide you with practical resources in each of the STEM areas. This post is dedicated to Technology. Before investigating these resources,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way …So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code.

Technology – STEM Resources

Since there are a gold mine of resources below I will keep my comments short. While STEM incorporates so many disciplines, I thought you might enjoy looking at some the best sites I could find in the area of Technology. As you look through over 34 possibilities be sure to take some notes. It really is OK to get lost in one or two and leave the rest for later.  Please take a moment to share this post with fellow educators with a tweet. Enjoy your journey and please let me know others I should add.

  • Code – Educators interested in computer programming need to visit this site dedicated to expanding participation in computer science. The vision of CODE is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming. STEM educators will discover ways to integrate core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.
  • TEDed – Check out these wonderful lessons that really allow students to view the ideas behind future technology.
  • Scratch –  With Scratch, kids can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively . All of this is possible while essential skills for life in the 21st century are facilitated. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.
  • Computer Science Unplugged – CS Unplugged is a wonderful collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. The activities introduce students to underlying STEM concepts such as binary numbers, algorithms, and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details we usually see with computers.
  • Tynker – Along with great programming opportunities, the Hour of Code activities are designed to teach students computational thinking and the basics of computer programming. Students solve each puzzle by programming visual code blocks to achieve a goal.
  • TED Talks – Great talks that will give some wonderful technology ideas for both teachers and students.
  • NASA Robotic Lesson Plans – Some wonderful lesson ideas that cover all grade levels to engage students.
  • Accelerator Nation – It is time for you to bring aerodynamics to life in your STEM Classroom. You and your students can  dive into hands-on aerodynamics experiments and dynamic STEM activities that support core science lessons in force, momentum, and speed. Along with the main link…  check out this special area for teachers
  • National STEM Video Game Challenge – You and your students will enjoy this site inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.  The National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.
  • Tech Museum of Innovation – Check out these challenges available from an amazing museum. While you are at the site check out all the other possible resources that might just work for your classroom.
  • Tech Rockets –  Students ages 10 to 18 can create a Tech Rocket account and gain access to amazing tech courses. These include Python, iOS, Java, Minecraft, 3D printing. Each course contains lessons, support materials, and interactive challenges. Students can even gain points and badges along the way.
  • NASA Kids Club –  Students take part in some amazing technology based missions as they engage in various missions. This is a place where students learn and enjoy as they possibly even blaze through space.
  • Center for Game Science – Discover this unique site that has created games focused on the importance of scientific discovery, discovering optimal learning pathways for STEM education, cognitive skill training , and unique games that explore collective over individual intelligence.
  • Smithsonian Science and Technology – Make sure you take the time to look at these lesson plans that emphasize the idea of science and technology through culture and history. You will find great ideas!
  • Makezine – This might be a great place to start. I recommend checking out the projects area just to begin to get some ideas. While many of the projects are prescribed, you may wish to find some ways to open up ideas for thinking outside the box and providing for innovation. Explore the different areas including science, electronics, art, and design. How might something you discover allow your students to Make something that will connect to learning?
  • Instructables – Here you will find ideas to make so many things that could Make a great connection to learning. When first opening the program give the Search Engine a try. Put in keywords of some possible learning ideas. It might be planets, insects, civil war, or nutrition. You can even filter the results using multiple categories.  Give it a try… you will be amazed at what you find and what your students might Make!
  • The Exploratorium Tinkering Studio – Tinkering is at the very heart of formative learning, allowing for iterations that encourage revision and reflection.  Kids develop an understanding of how to learn from failure and setbacks in order to experience eventual success. The Tinkering Studio is primarily an R&D laboratory on the floor of the Exploratorium, but whenever possible they try to share their projects, activities and developing ideas following an “open source” model. Learn how you too can enjoy their activities in your classroom while allowing your kids to Tinker and Make!
  • The Exploratorium Tinkerer Collection – Speaking of Tinkering, you may wish to introduce your students to some amazing Tinkerers and the occupations that surround them. Perhaps this could be part of a Makers’ Unit of Study that focuses on College and Career Readiness and 21st Century Skills. It might be fun to see what your students can Make of it!
  • DIY – Do It Yourself is a platform for students to discover skills and share what they make and do with each other and the global community. You can explore skill-based learning and introduce collaboration into your classroom – during homeroom, Genius Hour, after school, and even regular classes. Discover ways to blend the DIY Skills platform into the core curriculum, or let students explore new subjects while practicing skills and Making.
  • HowToons – Take a moment and see what happens when you take a comic book artist, an inventor, and a toy designer and have them work together.  It seems you end up with HowToons, a place of engaging content that teaches kids how to build things, combining instructions with storytelling.  You will discover that Howtoons has a foundation of science and engineering education, inspiring creativity through art and imagination. Take a look at the library and get set to Make!
  • Science Toy Maker – This really is a site for people who like to roll up their sleeves and make science toys and projects. As the author states, “You won’t find slick, well-designed web pages here–more like the digital equivalent of a messy workshop. If you tinker around, though, you’ll find some good stuff.” Science Toy Maker is a resource for inspired kids and their teachers to really Make something out of it!
  • Global Cardboard Challenge – This is a project from the Imagination Foundation inspired from Caine’s Arcade. It is a great way to inspire kids with mostly cardboard. It is amazing and exciting to see cardboard innovation at its finest. In fact, how might your students think outside the box and Make!
  • Maker Camp – Here is an opportunity for students to join other young inventors and artists from around the world on Google+ to make awesome projects, go on epic virtual “field trips,” and meet the world’s coolest Makers. You will find that Maker Camp inspires kids ages 13-18 to embrace their inner maker, get their hands dirty, fix some things, break some things, and have a lot of fun doing it. Everything is archived so all lessons and projects will be available at Maker Camp even after the summer so you and your students can Make all year long.
  • Makey Makey – OK… it is not free but is also pretty amazing at less than fifty dollars a kit. Take a moment to explore this  invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touch pads and combine them with the internet. It’s really is a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in-between. It comes ready to use out of the box with everything you see above: MaKey MaKey, Alligator Clips, USB Cable. Four students can work with one kit. Make sure you look at the project possibilities on the website. It is here that you just might see curricular connections
  • High Low Tech – This site from MIT Media Lab really does have some tech for everyone. HLT’s work integrates high and low technological materials, processes, and cultures. Their primary aim is to engage diverse audiences in designing and building their own technologies. It is their belief that the future of technology will be largely determined by end-users who will design, build, and hack their own devices. Furthermore, their goal is to inspire, shape, support, and study these communities. Take a look at these projects that explore the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design
  • Squishy Circuits – What kids don’t want to Make something with play dough… now add circuits and they have an even greater Making opportunity. Squishy circuits are a project from the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas.  The goal of the project is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough. Be sure to check out the Ted Talk, White House Maker Faire, and the Ready to Use Kits. As with any circuit activity… read any precautions.
  • How Stuff Works – As students make they may want to learn more and even have further questions, this is a great place to get information and explanations when Making. You are bound to find some curricular connections.
  • The Kids Should See This – Be sure to visit this amazing wonder-filled resource site. You will find ideas for making along with some great learning opportunities.
  • Activity Village – Not everything in the 21st century has to be digital. How about allowing students to create games in the non-digital world, like using cardboard and markers? Think of the learning standards their games could connect to.
  • Sphero – Not only is this robotic ball a lot of fun, be sure to check out the included SPK Lab. The SPRK Lightning Lab app is your student’s hub to create, contribute and learn with Sphero Robots. The visual block-based building interface makes learning the basic principles of programming approachable and fun. Browse through activities, keep track of your class and collaborate with users around the world.
  • Ozobot – Using these unique little robots presents an innovative way to teach subjects like programming, math, and science in classrooms, after-school clubs or at home. See kids become engaged and inspired when topics come alive with the help of Ozobot. Check out the site for awesome resources and lessons.
  • Edutopia Makers Area – Take a moment to discuss, watch,and  browse through amazing topics and possibilities. Discover how educators are harnessing the energy of the maker movement to inspire student exploration across the STEM subjects.
  • Chibitronics – Discover an interactive kit designed to introduce students to the world of paper circuits. Inside each Kit is everything students will need to set up simple LEDs, switches, and sensors with only a bit of knowledge on how electricity works and a little ingenuity! With these kits, no soldering or sewing is required, simply peel each LED sticker and place them in specific areas designated in the included guide sketchbook and watch each creation glow.
  • Ignite My Future –  Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Discovery Education are proud to bring you Ignite My Future In School. This dynamic training and thought leadership will drive TCS’s mission of changing the landscape of computer science education with the goal of reaching 1M students over 5 years
  • Twine – Welcome to a site that combines interactive technology with language arts. Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

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Part 1: Over 150 STEM Resources for PBL and Authentic Learning… Science

150a

 

Welcome to another STEM related  series of four posts bringing you over 150 amazing resources. I hope you enjoyed  my thoughts of  STEM being a Verb in the last post. In this series of posts my goal is to provide you with practical resources in each of the STEM areas. This post is dedicated to Science. Before investigating these resources,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10% *There could be an expiration date on code.

Science – STEM Resources

Since there are a gold mine of resources below I will keep my comments short. While STEM incorporates Science and so much more I thought you might enjoy looking at some the best sites I could find in the area of Science. As you look through over 40 possibilities be sure to take some notes. It really is OK to get lost in one or two and leave the rest for later.  Please take a moment to share this post with fellow educators with a tweet. Enjoy your journey and please let me know others I should add.

  • Science Net Links – A premiere site for STEM resources. What a wonderful place for educators to find quality teaching tools, interactive, podcasts, and hands-on activities, and best of all… it’s free!
  • Arkive – Explore this amazing online encyclopedia of life. It will engage your students while fitting into any project.
  • Frontiers Science For Kids – Not only are these articles for kids… they are written by kids. Perhaps your students could be the next contributor.
  • National Science Foundation – Check out this diverse collection of lessons and web resources for classroom teachers. Materials are arranged by subject area to help teachers quickly find resources in any interest area.
  • Journey North –  It started with the Monarch Butterfly and is now so much more. Track migration and seasons with students across the country.
  • Globe – Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment.
  • PHet – These are interactive simulations from the University of Colorado in Boulder. They include a large selection of simulations in biology, earth science, physics, chemistry, and math. On a Teacher Page, you can browse for teacher created activities that go with a simulation. Best of all, you can download simulations to a local computer if you do not wish to rely on an internet connection.
  • Learning Reviews Science – More than 500 free interactive science websites and apps. Kids and high school students can choose from games, lessons, experiments and projects. They include topics in earth sciences, animal, human and plant biology, astronomy, and high school physics — even computer science and engineering.
  • NSDL – The National Science Digital Library has some outstanding resources that include numerous links to some great STEM programs and organizations.
  • Understanding Science… How Science Really Works – Discover this assembly of resources to help educators increase student understanding of nature and the process of science. There is a collection of wonderful lesson plans, teaching tips, and pedagogical strategies You can also visit a Teacher’s Lounge or explore the all-level resources. It is fun to discover how science really works.
  • New York Hall of Science – Wonderful site presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and participatory activities that explain science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • CK12 – Starting with their amazing free digital books is really just a start. Continue to explore all of the simulations, formative assessments, and lessons.
  • Nova Science Education – NOVA is the most-watched prime time science series on American television, reaching an average of five million viewers weekly.
  • MIT and Khan Science – Khan has so much more than Math, in fact… visit this Science site that includes resources with Khan Partner MIT K-12. Here you will find great lessons involving Physics, Natural Science, Resources, and Measurement. This is an area that may just help you flip your STEM classroom
  • Smithsonian Science Education Center – This website of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), the only unit at the Smithsonian Institution that is solely dedicated to formal preK-12 science education reform.
  • California Academy of Science –  The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth.
  • Science News For Kids – Wonderful collection of the latest news written for kids that will fit into any project.
  • Science Friday – Covering the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies, Science Friday is the source for entertaining and educational stories about science, technology, and other cool stuff.
  • HHMI BioInteractive – It really is through innovative science education programs that HHMI seeks to strengthen education in biology,and related sciences from elementary school to graduate studies and beyond. Educators will find a wealth of information and resources including sources from Biology, Chemistry, Physiology, and even 3D Printing. There is something for just about any STEM classroom  that is ready to engage students.
  • Project Noah – Visit tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.
  • Click To Science –The basic foundation of Click2Science is their 20 Skills to Make STEM Click. These are skills they claim are necessary to implement science effectively in an out-of-school time settings. Click2Science really is an indispensable resource for staff working directly with youth and for coaches and trainers working with staff. It also a resource that classroom teachers may just want to get some STEM ideas from.
  • National Geographic For Kids – Nat Geo Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, apps, games, toys, videos, events, and this website.
  • Nova Labs – Discover this site that provides real labs, real data, and you. You will feel the engagement.
  • Learn Genetics –  Visit this site from the University of Utah. You will find that there is more then genetics here.
  • MIT K12 – This site was built around a simple idea: K12 educators and MIT should be working together to make movies for K12 students. Educators submit ideas for experiments or demonstrations they would like to see an MIT student perform and explain in a short video. MIT students can then “check out” these assignments or they can come up with their own ideas and check them out themselves. The result is an amazing K12 STEM video online to be used in the classroom.
  • Concord Consortium – You can bring out the inner scientist in all your students with our scientifically accurate models and activities. Search at the site or head over to their NGSS Pathfinder!
  • NASA Wavelength – Now is the time for you to explore NASA Wavelength, an initiative dedicated  to providing education a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels.  The incredible resources at Nasa Wave Length were developed through funding of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD). You will find that all the resources have undergone a rigorous peer-review process.
  • The Big History Project – Discover this world of history so full of science information. It is multimedia at its best!
  • NSTA – I cannot leave out the amazing resources at the National Science Teachers Association. I especially like their resource page and their amazing Feebies Page.
  • Institute of Physics – Check out this amazing resource page that will provide many ideas on physics.
  • National Geographic Explorer – Bring National Geographic to your classroom through lesson plans, maps, and reference resources.
  • SAS Curriculum Pathways Science – Check out these amazing lessons, inter-actives, and assessments that are free and engaging.
  • OER Commons Science – Check out this great resource that connects to hundreds of other amazing free resources. Check out all the science areas.
  • Science Snacks –  Are your students hungry for fresh, exciting science activities based in amazing phenomena? Science Snacks are hands-on, teacher-tested, and use cheap, available materials. They are sure to satisfy your students’ curiosity without ever getting full.
  • Scientix – Visit a page that  promotes and supports a Europe-wide collaboration among STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers, education researchers, policymakers and other STEM education professionals. Make sure you explore this resource page.
  • Science Journal for Kids – Your students will enjoy these Cutting edge peer-reviewed
    science research adapted for students.
  • Big Picture Science – Browse over 1,200 resources by filtering for topic, education level or type. If you’re looking for something specific, you can use the search field at the top of the page.
  • Smithsonian Tween Review – Check out this e-magazine resource filled with amazing science based articles for tweens and teens. You will also find resources and lessons. Best of all the same article can be transformed by grade level or lexile.
  • PBS Learning Media – While this link goes to videos in all areas, be sure to open up the Science link to dig deeper in science only subjects.
  • Learning Reviews 100 Science Fair Projects – Help your students kick-start their science fair project with one of these great options!  Here is your connection to some of the best free project plans available.
  • Science Hub – Here are hundreds of free detailed plans for projects for elementary, middle and high school students. The plans are sorted by discipline – astronomy and space, chemistry, engineering and architecture, physics, technology, and earth, life sciences, physical sciences, and… well, “other” for no clear fit.
  • PTA Web Cams – If you cannot be there then go there virtually. Science is about observation. What type of observation activity can be part of your science class. Check out these possibilities.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

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STEM across Curriculum…. Ten Ideas to Transform STEM from Nouns to Verbs… and Facts to Thinking

stem_1

Welcome to another STEM related post. I hope you enjoyed  the 35 STEAM Ideas in the last post. There are a lot of ideas floating around in regards to STEM education. As I reflect on my observation of STEM practice in my travels across the country I have become more convinced that STEM is a verb, and not just a set of nouns. In fact, STEM action is something all content areas can embrace as they engage students in authentic learning. Before investigating this idea further,  please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way this school year…So Sign Up Now and please pass this on with a retweet!   – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

STEM across Curriculum…. Ten Ideas to Transform STEM from Nouns to Verbs… and Facts to Thinking

“We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts.”  – John Dewey

Let’s take a moment and investigate the STEM acronym, after-all it is being used quite a bit across the United States and the world. Often we hear the content areas; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math as being the basis of STEM. While this is a wonderful collection of nouns that can be used to put together a cross-curricular, transdisciplinary, or project based learning unit of study; it seems to leave out many of the other disciplines through this content definition. By focusing just on these four areas we are losing the powerful and authentic learning opportunities that STEM thinking can bring to the classroom.  In fact, we are also leaving some of the most important teachers from other subject areas  out of the equation, or the limited definition does not make them feel a part of an exciting possibility!  Perhaps that is why we see schools and districts adopting STEAM (infuse the arts), and STREAM (add on some Reading. As we see these new models perhaps we should turn it into STREAMIE (include everyone), from there we can go to STREAMIER and STREAMIEST! Better yet, how about STREAMING… wow… it’s a verb! While the idea could make everyone smile, let’s take a look at what STEM might and could actually look like if we facilitated and promoted and all-inclusive subject area model.

I have often stated that one could look at STEM as the content and PBL as the process, but even in this mode of thinking, it seems to leave out important content. Perhaps it is important to think of STEM as a verb and not a noun.  What if all disciplines viewed STEM as a thinking process?  This is what many true STEM leaders have been promoting. Yet many programs and initiatives focus on STEM as a noun. It could be due to the many logos we see promoting the four disciplines. John Dewey stated:

“We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts.”  

Think beyond the STEM content nouns and facts, contemplate the skills and thought process it takes to work within a STEM content area. Consider the skills that must be learned for an eventual career, or multiple careers. The action found in the STEM process allow students to practice and develop the ability to problem solve, authentically learn, think in critical ways, invent, produce, persevere, collaborate, empathize, and design.  In doing so, the nouns of STEM work with the important acts of doing and thought. This STEM style thinking opens up a whole new world of possibilities to facts! The facts in the curriculum become real and understandable, opening up a world of real learning to students.

With this mind, it is possible to include all subject areas including language arts, social studies, the fine arts, the practical arts, foreign language, business, plus so much more! Every subject should own STEM thinking! In fact, this style of metacognition becomes even more important as teachers begin to infuse grit and rigor into their lesson plans. Activities that incorporate such thinking build a strong and necessary foundation for project-based learning and transdisciplinary learning. In fact, I ran across a Discovery Education statement that suggested STEM as “Students and Teachers Energizing Minds”.  Wow, verbs that allow students to do can be powerful! All of us have to step out of the STEM nouns and find a way to bring the verbs of STEM to every student!

The Ten Ideas to Transform STEM Thinking from Noun to Verbs and Facts to Thinking

  1. Think of STEM as a verb, not a noun. What are the skills that make up that STEM-based occupation? It can be seen that these skills not only include the Four C’s, but also components of each C.
  2. Create a clear vision and mission for STEM in the school or district. Make sure this definition is understood by everyone including those educators that may not think of themselves as STEM.
  3. Incorporate STEM thinking into lessons in all content areas. This STEM thinking includes the ability to problem solve, authentically learn, think in critical ways, invent, produce, persevere, collaborate, empathize, and design.
  4. Emphasize the skills that are needed in those future careers, not the career itself. While it is beneficial to learn about different careers, it is important to note that these will change and students may go through multiple careers. Many of the important skills will remain the same.
  5. Integrate digital technology in STEM when appropriate, and it is able to amplify the standard. An example might be to teach with real protractors before using a digital protractor.
  6. Incorporate PBL (Project Based Learning) and/or Transdisciplinary Learning with STEM thinking.  These methods can provide the process for student ownership, engagement, and authenticity.
  7. Look outside of the classroom to incorporate STEM as an authentic learning experience. Use the community, country, and world to allow students to contribute  while allowing them to see  real world connections to content and skills being taught.
  8. Intentionally facilitate and assess not just content, but also the STEM (21st century and beyond) skills. Find, or build rubrics, that address the 21st-century skills which include the 4 C’s of Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Understand that each of these C;s includes indicators and subsets that can be assessed. An example might be that  empathy is a part of collaboration or active listening is part of communication.
  9. Make sure that students are doing. This doing must include not only hands-on activities but also important metacognition. Students must not only do, but also think about what they are doing (which should be connected to the standards). It is only when students do… and then think, that real learning takes place.
  10. Go beyond STEM activities and making. Build a STEM culture that builds inquiry, is supported by authenticity, promotes rigor, and allows for student self-regulation and  ownership of learning. Always keep the necessary curricular standards and skills at the forefront of STEM. As you examine those standards you will note they also containing those important verbs.

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of the 21st century (and even before that) learning. Join me in future weeks as together we continue to explore several more posts devoted to the Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work,  have a great week.  Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

FETC 2019 – How does Orlando in January sound for an educational conference? I will be providing workshops and featured sessions on STEM, PBL, Inquiry, Maker Space, and Computational Thinking! Check out this link to see these sessionsDo you want to save some cash? Use Promo Code TW19 & Save an extra 10%

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, Makerspace, Inquiry, Computational Thinking, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  My calendar is filling.

 

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