Common Sense


10 Best Science Tools for Middle School

Once students have a foundation in elementary science, they move on to more advanced skills like planning experiments and developing evidence-based explanations based on their findings. Kids will see the real-world impact of science, motivating them not only to ask "why" but also to find out "how." The picks found on this list let student scientists play with simulations, design creative engineering solutions, engage in citizen science research, and gather and analyze data from the world around them.

Continue reading

Top Picks


PrintPrint list


Visually super NASA-backed treasure trove may overwhelm

Bottom line: A visually stunning way to get kids interested in science and space exploration.


Real research powered by volunteers makes classroom content relevant

Bottom line: Engage in meaningful, relevant research with citizen scientists from around the world.

Design Squad Nation

Classmates can compete to solve fun engineering problems

Bottom line: Design Squad Nation makes engineering fun through hands-on activities and easy-to-understand scientific explanations.

ExploreLearning Gizmos

Vast array of science and math simulations impresses

Bottom line: This powerful set of math and science tools puts the learning in students' hands.


Clever animated hosts Tim and Moby masterfully tackle complex topics

Bottom line: Cartoon videos in this extensive collection break down ideas in clever and thoughtful ways.

iBiome -- Wetland

Smartly designed environmental sim great for learning about ecosystems

Bottom line: iBiome -- Wetland is a fun, interactive way to learn about ecosystems without the hassle of getting wet.

Mosa Mack Science

Engaging design challenges turn kids into actual science detectives

Bottom line: An engaging way to weave some engineering into your middle school science lessons.


Virtual labs epitomize the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

Bottom line: Earth, life, and physical science simulations coach kids through the NGSS Practices.

NOVA Elements

Info-packed science resource great for teaching the elements

Bottom line: NOVA Elements is an awesome tool that can be used to build knowledge and understanding while keeping students engaged in the learning process.

The PocketLab

Gather and analyze live data anywhere

Bottom line: A science sensor that pairs with your mobile device to gather and analyze data is perfect for inquiry-based learning.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

See related resources