Website review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2020

Science News for Students

Cool STEM articles with learning supports make for fun, informative reading

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 9 reviews
Privacy rating
53%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
5–12
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Math, Science, Critical Thinking
Great for

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Pros: The interesting and age-appropriate articles get kids reading about science.

Cons: All articles are in English and readability levels are limited.

Bottom Line: Free, fascinating articles make science relevant to students.

Teachers can use Science News for Students to find reading materials to supplement units in science, math, and language arts. Since many articles contain “Power Words” and their definitions, you can review the words in advance so kids can better understand the text. Some articles also contain questions for kids to answer while reading.  Teachers can search for articles based on readability range, NGSS standard, or keywords.  Buttons on each reading make it easy to post the resource to Google Classroom, so you can assign readings for homework.

Because new articles are posted daily, you can them as a part of your classroom routine. Or you can turn students loose to find topics that fascinate them and flip your classroom to let kids teach each other. Using the articles is also a great way to introduce core concepts by showing students how they apply to science and discovery outside of the classroom. And the profiles of scientists are also a great way to inspire kids within a unit about careers.
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Science News for Students provides engaging stories appropriate for elementary through high school students. All articles offer educators a readability score (based on grade level) and Related Readings take students to earlier stories on a topic. In terms of other support, there are many articles with Classroom Questions so you don't have to develop your own. Some readings are streamlined versions of articles on the adult Science News site and provide helpful tools for tackling the task of reading scientific texts. Topics are interesting and relevant, from American cannibalism (eeew!) to predicting tsunamis.  

Their Explainers Collection provides understandable summaries of key science topics such as “What are Antibodies?” and “How do our eyes make sense of light.” There are also Experiments, Cool Jobs, and Analyze This collections that inspire kids to do their own experiments, analyze data, and learn more about science-related jobs. Science News for Students also features a Word of the Week to help kids build discipline specific vocabulary. Words are defined, used in a sentence, and come with an audio recording to help with pronunciation.

New articles are posted daily featuring age-appropriate coverage of the emerging STEM research. Citations at the end of stories (and linked to within the text) point to the original research or adult versions of the articles. Kids can use the simpler versions on Science News for Students as support articles to build their basic understanding before moving on to more complex text on the same topic.

The readings in Science News for Students help kids think about complex scientific problems -- from how we calculate the age of the universe to how to build a better battery. Kids can also see examples of student research and learn tips on how to start their own research projects. Power Words at the bottom of each article give kids a tool to attack complex text and make sense of it. They can analyze scientific reading using questions provided and cite evidence from the article in their answers. 

Science News for Students is particularly effective in helping students analyze and interpret data. The Analyze This series on data literacy presents data tables and figures from actual research projects. Then the Data Dive questions help students make sense of the information. On the downside, while Science News for Students provides readability scores for each article, a tool like Newslea provides leveled text so that students of different reading levels can all discuss the same article. That functionality would be ideal for teachers, as would translations into multiple languages. As it stands, however, this free resource is bound to get kids excited about real-world science and give teachers enough support to get started.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Articles are up to date and address fun topics that will intrigue kids, such as cool science jobs and cannibalism, and students can find articles that challenge them at the right reading level.

Pedagogy

Kids can use the site’s articles to analyze and cite scientific text including tables and figures. The activities, glossaries, questions, and range of article types make this more than a collection of articles.

Support

Articles come with classroom questions, readability levels, and Power Words. Readings are only available in English.


Common Sense reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Pat D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Falcon Creek Middle School
Aurora, United States
Great source for articles to support literacy through science topics.
As we work across our curriculum to support reading, I can find a variety of articles of high interest that students become engaged in as they read and discuss with other students. It is sometimes difficult to locate articles of various reading levels but this site has great variety.
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users and/or students.
Personal information is displayed publicly.
User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
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Users can create or upload content.
Unclear whether this product provides processes to access and review user data.
Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
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Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is displayed.

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