Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2013

Science News for Students

Cool STEM articles make for fun, informative reading

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Great for:
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (8 Reviews)

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

Cons: It may take some digging to find readings that line up with your curriculum.

Bottom Line: Science News for Students articles are free, fascinating, and easy to read.

Teachers can use the site as in-class reading material to supplement units in science, math, and language arts. The readings are streamlined, age-appropriate versions of articles on the adult Science News site and provide helpful tools for tackling the task of reading scientific texts. The Going Deeper link for each article takes students to a related article on the companion Science News site with more detailed information. Kids can also use the simpler readings on Science News for Students as support articles to build their basic understanding before moving on to more complex text of the same topic. If you scroll to the bottom of the articles, many of them contain “Power Words” and their definitions. Reviewing the words in advance can help kids better understand the text. Some articles also contain questions for kids to answer while reading.

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Science News for Students has engaging science news stories appropriate for elementary and middle school readers. It's the kids' version of the Science News magazine site by the Society for Science & the Public. The site can be a great source for kids who need practice analyzing and citing scientific text. Kids will find the topics interesting and relevant, from American cannibalism to predicting tsunamis. Readings are organized by science topic: Atoms & Forces, Earth & Sky, Human & Health, Life, and Technology & Math.  

Science News for Students has support resources and extension activities to help teachers use the articles in their classrooms. Information is also available for those who want to follow or get involved in youth science and math competitions, including Intel Science Talent Search, Intel Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS. Reading articles about past winners may inspire the budding scientist in your home or classroom. 

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Readings 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 highlights news stories on the world’s leading youth math and science competitions. The resources provided to help kids with science fair projects can be useful for kids designing classroom experiments, too. The Science News for Students Competition portion is less organized, making it difficult to find what you need. The site would be improved if teachers could search by science standards to find related articles.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Articles are up to date and address fun topics that will intrigue kids, such as cool science jobs and cannibalism.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids can use the site’s articles to analyze and cite scientific text.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Info on student math and science competitions could inspire further research and learning. However, the extensions and resources section for kids is pretty limited.

Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 8 reviews) (8 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Pat D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Falcon Creek Middle School
Aurora, CO
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. Read full review