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Resources Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards

With their three-dimensional blend of Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science & Engineering Practices, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have tons of potential to reshape how students learn science. However, teachers know that it can be a tall order to find apps, games, lessons, and other activities well-suited to NGSS's unique style of inquiry-driven and conceptually focused STEM learning. These tools are the best we've found for investigating phenomena and doing science, not just learning content. 

Analyze Real-Life Data

Lawrence Hall of Science: 24/7 Science

Outdated site still useful for science games and investigations

Bottom Line: Many of these interesting and highly educational activities, though a bit disorganized, still challenge and engage kids in important ways.

Grades: K–5
Price:
Free

Playground Physics

Fun video app lets students track motion to explore physics concepts

Bottom Line: This is a cheap way to get students out of their chairs to make physics real and tangible, empowering learners and encouraging curiosity.

Grades: K–10
Price:
Free

Tuva Labs

Dynamic data-exploration tool offers large collection of data sets

Bottom Line: Partner with another teacher (preferably a data whiz) and work together to develop cross-curricular activities.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free, Paid

uHandy

Microscope attachment for mobile devices inspires field investigation

Bottom Line: The use of stickers instead of slides helps students examine their world at the microscopic level with safety and convenience.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free, Paid

CODAP

Drag and drop data to investigate nearly any subject

Bottom Line: A bit awkward to use, but far more engaging than traditional spreadsheet/graphing tools.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

DataClassroom

Statistical analysis for science classrooms made easy

Bottom Line: Perform a t-test or chi-square analysis using your own data or provided data sets.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

High-Adventure Science

Highly relevant site teaches how to construct arguments, defend claims

Bottom Line: Provides a crucial and timely earth science backdrop to lessons on analysis, data, and modeling that are important for all students to grasp.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Lab4Physics

Bring physics to life using lab sensors built right into your smartphone

Bottom Line: Use your smartphone to gather data and study speed, gravity, waves, and other physics concepts.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free, Paid

NOVA Labs

Online science, mastered: exceptional content within meaningful tasks

Bottom Line: Serious, sophisticated science engagement -- but be prepared to take some prep time to connect these labs with your classroom.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Arduino Science Journal

Turn your phone into a lab sensor to collect and analyze data

Bottom Line: Science Journal does a good job recording real-time motion, sound, and light data using phones.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Scoutlier

Collect and share class data, pictures, and videos

Bottom Line: Works within Google Classroom to help kids record and share observations of the world around them.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

The PocketLab

Gather and analyze live data anywhere

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

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free, Paid

BioInteractive

High-quality multimedia brings biological research to life

Bottom Line: Superb multimedia tools and lesson plans help kids explore biology through real-world examples.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free

Explore Global Phenomena

Mystery Science

Big questions, kids' curiosity drive impressive science curriculum

Bottom Line: Powerful, quirky science units encourage inquiry and experimentation, inspiring students to ask and answer big questions.

Grades: K–5
Price:
Free to try

Generation Genius

Vibrant videos and lessons get students thinking about science.

Bottom Line: NGSS-aligned science lessons include videos, experiments, and quizzes.

Grades: K–8
Price:
Free to try

Zooniverse

Real research powered by volunteers makes classroom content relevant

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

Grades: 2–12
Price:
Free

Climate Kids

Kid-friendly, expert site explores key climate issues

Bottom Line: A great launching point for engaging in accurate and timely climate change information.

Grades: 3–6
Price:
Free

EarthViewer

Earth's deep geologic history and real science data at your fingertips

Bottom Line: An unbeatable Earth Science app for its data, scope, and potential for learning.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

NASA Global Climate Change - Vital Signs of the Planet

Tons of climate change info from expert sources in one easy place

Bottom Line: This is a one-stop shop for climate change info, from basic intro content to practical guides and raw data; good for middle schoolers and up.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

OER Project

Expansive world history courses powered by great open-source materials

Bottom Line: With tons of support for teachers along the way, a stellar program for exploring foundational concepts in history, humanities, critical thinking, and science.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free

Engage in Engineering Practices

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

STEM lessons creatively build off of NASA data and real space missions

Bottom Line: These hands-on lessons approximate the work of NASA scientists, engineers, and astronauts and make use of actual NASA satellite data.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

OK Go Sandbox

Creative music video-inspired STEAM design challenges

Bottom Line: After watching OK Go music videos, kids will be excited to make new creations by integrating art, science, and math.

Grades: 1–12
Price:
Free

Design Squad Global

Fun engineering problems encourage classroom competition, innovation

Bottom Line: Design Squad Global makes learning STEAM concepts fun through hands-on activities and easy-to-understand scientific explanations.

Grades: 3–8
Price:
Free

DIY Sun Science

Exciting astronomy resource brightens learning in the classroom

Bottom Line: Excellent, free reference tool inspires and teaches kids about the sun.

Grades: 3–8
Price:
Free

Mosa Mack Science

Engaging design challenges turn kids into actual science detectives

Bottom Line: A thorough, engaging way to weave some engineering into your middle school science lessons.

Grades: 4–8
Price:
Free to try

UL Xplorlabs

Safety engineering site blends in-class experiments with online sims

Bottom Line: Middle school students get to design and test solutions to actual safety problems.

Grades: 6–8
Price:
Free

Autodesk Design Academy

Outstanding project-based tutorials for popular engineering software

Bottom Line: The projects found here are a great way to teach and learn digital design; all are truly fantastic (and free!), with everything you need ready to go.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

WhiteBox Learning

Design, analyze, and then build STEM applications

Bottom Line: Complete learning modules include simple CAD design simulation tools, a digital competition, and options for hands-on building.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Play with Simulations and Sandboxes

Nico & Nor Wonder Farm

Fun and engaging app will help basic plant growth concepts take root

Bottom Line: There's little doubt that this app will help students understand the basics of plant growth, especially if the included lessons are used.

Grades: Pre-K–1
Price:
Free

Tinybop Schools

Collection of STEM simulations that students will love to explore

Bottom Line: Tinybop Schools offers meaningful scientific exploration to students, particularly when partnered with good teaching and discussion.

Grades: K–8
Price:
Free to try, Paid

PhET Interactive Simulations

Massive collection of excellent (and free!) science and math simulations

Bottom Line: Instantly add meaningful lab experiences to math and science classrooms for exactly $0? It's tough to beat that.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

ExploreLearning Gizmos

Vast array of impressive, interactive science and math simulations

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

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free to try

Algodoo

Sandbox tool enables engaged, conceptual physics inquiry

Bottom Line: A robust, free pedagogical tool that's like a digital workbench where kids build and apply conceptual science knowledge.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free, Paid

Inq-ITS

Virtual labs epitomize the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

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

Grades: 5–10
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Tyto Online

Ambitious science role-playing game has bright future

Bottom Line: Diverse characters, immersive experiences, and useful teacher tools make this life science RPG worth checking out.

Grades: 6–8
Price:
Free to try, Paid

The Concord Consortium

Vast collection of science resources emphasizes written reflection

Bottom Line: A selection of online science simulations paired with a teacher dashboard to track progress.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Prepmagic

Customize science simulations to highlight phenomena

Bottom Line: Science simulations become more effective with teacher-added edits and formative assessments.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

HoloLAB Champions

Immerse students in a fantastic VR chemistry lab

Bottom Line: Students can safely experiment, play, fail, succeed, and learn in this engrossing virtual chemistry lab.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free, Paid

Kerbal Space Program

Design and launch a rocket into space in realistic astrophysics sim

Bottom Line: This accurate rocket sim encourages trial-and-error learning and makes for great (and often explosive) physics and engineering experiments.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

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