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Top Tech for Advanced Science Students

This list focuses on science-related content for the gifted young scientists in your classroom. Students who need just a little extra freedom and a lot more science will find much to love here, whether it's simulations they can run, activities they can do outside of class, games that will test their perseverance, tools to explore STEM careers, or sites for designing and creating the next big idea. From biology to chemistry to physics, they'll make observations, notice patterns, conduct research, run experiments, formulate conclusions, and generate solutions with the help of these great tools.

Advanced Biology

Learn.Genetics

Dreamland of multimedia resources for budding biologists

Bottom Line: Biology teachers and students will find a lot of useful multimedia here to help them teach and understand complex genetics topics.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

BioDigital

Explore every bit of the human body in this powerful, interactive 3D tour

Bottom Line: This visually stunning, incredibly useful way to virtually explore the human body is a must for the anatomy classroom.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free

Niche - a genetics survival game

Immersive genetics sim puts evolution in students' hands

Bottom Line: This hands-on genetics game allows students to experiment, explore traits, and come away with a sophisticated understanding of the subject.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
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

Cogent Education

Think like a scientist: Solve biology case studies

Bottom Line: Practice problem-solving skills and learn biology through interactive case studies.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Scitable

Useful teacher tools, with articles suited for advanced bio students

Bottom Line: Good resource for teachers looking to make a virtual classroom; the articles on current issues in science are great for more advanced students.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free

Labster

Impressive, advanced virtual biotech labs contain glitches

Bottom Line: Take it out for a spin to get a sense of its limitations and those glitches, and then embrace this amazing virtual tool as an introduction, a review, or (sometimes) even a wet-lab replacement.

Grades: 10–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Citizen Science

NASA NeMO-Net

Learn about ocean life and help NASA map the ocean floor

Bottom Line: Simple actions to save the reefs empower students as citizen scientists.

Grades: 1–8
Price:
Free

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

Mars Student Imaging Project

Take science research out of this world with NASA's Mars project

Bottom Line: One of the best authentic inquiry space experiences out there: Use this tool to grow the next generation of researchers in your classroom.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free

Foldit

Challenging protein-folding puzzler helps science research

Bottom Line: While this still remains best for advanced students looking for a challenge, the education mode helps everyone give it a shot.

Grades: 11–12
Price:
Free

Engineering and Design

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

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

Tinkercad

Amazingly simple yet powerful online CAD tool turns kids into makers

Bottom Line: Full-featured site and app make iterative 3D design accessible, social, and relevant.

Grades: 3–12
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

Game-Based Learning

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

Tyto Ecology

Well-developed biome sim provides cheap, endless learning

Bottom Line: This affordable ecosystem balancing game teaches life science skills while keeping students engaged.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Paid

Portal 2 Puzzle Maker

Mind-bending level editor for beloved physics game

Bottom Line: For STEAM educators with the right tech and know-how, it'd be puzzling not to use this tool.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Paid

Collisions: Play Chemistry

Game-based challenges build crucial chemistry concepts

Bottom Line: Learn about atoms, ions, and bonding through challenge-based gameplay.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Free to try, 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

In the Lab

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

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

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

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

VelocityLab

Turn anything with wheels into a handy motion sensor

Bottom Line: Pair your device with PocketLab sensors to gather position, velocity, and acceleration data on anything that rolls.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free, Paid

My Experiment

Collaborative scientific social network best for advanced HS students

Bottom Line: While not for everyone, this resource can be useful for advanced students conducting their own scientific research.

Grades: 11–12
Price:
Free

Interest-Driven Learning

California Academy of Sciences

Expert research and diverse, rich lessons inspire future scientists

Bottom Line: A perfect companion to (or substitute for) the Academy, this site delivers highly interactive resources and research with a lot of depth.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free, Paid

NASA

Visually super NASA-backed treasure trove may overwhelm

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

Grades: 2–12
Price:
Free

Science Friday

A weekly dose of curiosity for teachers and students alike

Bottom Line: For a weekly rejuvenation of scientific learning, Science Friday is a source of inspiration for both teachers and students.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

Science Buddies

A magic wand for those seeking science project support and success

Bottom Line: Take the jitters out of science or engineering projects and fairs; this remarkable site coaches and supports students, parents, and teachers.

Grades: 4–12
Price:
Free

TED-Ed

Support kids' sense of wonder with outstanding short video lessons

Bottom Line: TED-Ed includes excellent, engaging videos and support for flipped-class lessons with an incredible community of thinkers and doers.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

JASON Learning

Excellent immersion in science community; digital tools could do more

Bottom Line: Despite a few shortcomings, it's a gem among science sites because of the way it brings professional science into classrooms.

Grades: 6–10
Price:
Paid

Brilliant

Challenge top students with self-guided math, science, and CS courses

Bottom Line: This learning and practice site can be an exciting challenge for passionate, independent students but may be too much for struggling kids.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free to try

Simulations and Experiments

The Earth by Tinybop

Explore challenging concepts with beautiful, interactive free play

Bottom Line: When used in conjunction with the handbook, this interactive model is a good way to help teach kids about Earth.

Grades: K–2
Price:
Paid

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

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

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

Exploratorium

Science experiments and activities abound in this comprehensive resource

Bottom Line: A host of mostly at-home activities are available if kids stick to the Explore tab of online resources.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

Universe Sandbox

Superb sandbox for astrophysics experimentation

Bottom Line: An impressive -- and complex -- tool that encourages a playful, systems thinking-oriented exploration of the universe and astrophysics.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free

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