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Teachers will find many useful lessons on STEM on Station. The STEM Lessons from Space page is organized by topic: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Learning Launchers page has "Teacher Toolkits" focusing on research and activities going on at the International Space Station (ISS). Each month there's a featured theme with previous topics archived in a list. As with STEM Lessons from Space, each Learning Launcher feature contains a few lessons along with other supplemental resources.
These lessons and resources are great for teachers looking for ways to connect the science that kids are learning to the ISS. Many of the activities are lab activities that vary in the degree of inquiry, student-led experimenting, and critical thinking that are involved. Most lessons give plenty of background for the teacher and information about standards. However, many lessons were created before the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), so teachers may need to figure out their own NGSS correlations.Continue reading Show less
STEM on Station is a NASA website devoted to learning about the International Space Station (ISS), including the process of how it was built, the science and research related to the ISS and space, astronauts on the ISS, and more. This reference site has a lot of articles, videos, and lesson plans for teachers that are loosely organized by the pages listed in the navigation sidebar. Each page displays content as a running feed, jumbling articles, videos, resources, and lessons all together, through which you scroll to see all of the content.
Most of the resources seem to be for educators and include lesson plans, video playlists, background info, and related web resources. There's a smaller section that's geared toward students, to help them explore the space station, get involved with the station, watch Q&A sessions with astronauts, and find out how to spot the station from home.
STEM on Station is a good place to learn about the ISS, with a variety of resources for kids to use. The articles vary in complexity; all have at least one image and sometimes a few vocabulary definitions at the end. The videos include useful computer animations, real-time demos and interviews with ISS astronauts, and promos about the benefits of the space station to humanity. While there are a few spotlights on female scientists and astronauts, many of the resources give little representation to people from different racial backgrounds.
The biggest downside of STEM in Station is the organization. The feed seems great if kids are just on the site for the purpose of exploring. But if they're trying to find specific info about the station, there's no easy way to see all of the topics and resources available in one place. While there's a search box, you'll get results from the whole NASA site. The navigation menu sometimes changes depending on what you click, and some of the links take you to other NASA pages or outside websites without an easy way to find your way back to Stem on Station.
Key Standards Supported
Expressions And Equations
Understand solving an equation or inequality as a process of answering a question: which values from a specified set, if any, make the equation or inequality true? Use substitution to determine whether a given number in a specified set makes an equation or inequality true.
Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set.
Solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving equations of the form x + p = q and px = q for cases in which p, q and x are all nonnegative rational numbers.
Write an inequality of the form x > c or x < c to represent a constraint or condition in a real-world or mathematical problem. Recognize that inequalities of the form x > c or x < c have infinitely many solutions; represent solutions of such inequalities on number line diagrams.
Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation. For example, in a problem involving motion at constant speed, list and graph ordered pairs of distances and times, and write the equation d = 65t to represent the relationship between distance and time.
Apply properties of operations as strategies to add, subtract, factor, and expand linear expressions with rational coefficients.
Understand that rewriting an expression in different forms in a problem context can shed light on the problem and how the quantities in it are related. For example, a + 0.05a = 1.05a means that “increase by 5%” is the same as “multiply by 1.05.”
Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. For example: If a woman making $25 an hour gets a 10% raise, she will make an additional 1/10 of her salary an hour, or $2.50, for a new salary of $27.50. If you want to place a towel bar 9 3/4 inches long in the center of a door that is 27 1/2 inches wide, you will need to place the bar about 9 inches from each edge; this estimate can be used as a check on the exact computation.
Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
Solve word problems leading to equations of the form px + q = r and p(x + q) = r, where p, q, and r are specific rational numbers. Solve equations of these forms fluently. Compare an algebraic solution to an arithmetic solution, identifying the sequence of the operations used in each approach. For example, the perimeter of a rectangle is 54 cm. Its length is 6 cm. What is its width?
Solve word problems leading to inequalities of the form px + q > r or px + q < r, where p, q, and r are specific rational numbers. Graph the solution set of the inequality and interpret it in the context of the problem. For example: As a salesperson, you are paid $50 per week plus $3 per sale. This week you want your pay to be at least $100. Write an inequality for the number of sales you need to make, and describe the solutions.
Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships represented in different ways. For example, compare a distance-time graph to a distance-time equation to determine which of two moving objects has greater speed.
Use similar triangles to explain why the slope m is the same between any two distinct points on a non-vertical line in the coordinate plane; derive the equation y = mx for a line through the origin and the equation y = mx + b for a line intercepting the vertical axis at b.
Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Find the volume of a right rectangular prism with fractional edge lengths by packing it with unit cubes of the appropriate unit fraction edge lengths, and show that the volume is the same as would be found by multiplying the edge lengths of the prism. Apply the formulas V = l w h and V = b h to find volumes of right rectangular prisms with fractional edge lengths in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices; use coordinates to find the length of a side joining points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve problems; give an informal derivation of the relationship between the circumference and area of a circle.
Use facts about supplementary, complementary, vertical, and adjacent angles in a multi-step problem to write and solve simple equations for an unknown angle in a figure.
Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.
Know the formulas for the volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
Making Inferences And Justifying Conclusions
Understand statistics as a process for making inferences about population parameters based on a random sample from that population.
Decide if a specified model is consistent with results from a given data-generating process, e.g., using simulation. For example, a model says a spinning coin falls heads up with probability 0.5. Would a result of 5 tails in a row cause you to question the model?
Recognize the purposes of and differences among sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies; explain how randomization relates to each.
Use data from a sample survey to estimate a population mean or proportion; develop a margin of error through the use of simulation models for random sampling.
Use data from a randomized experiment to compare two treatments; use simulations to decide if differences between parameters are significant.
Evaluate reports based on data.
Key Standards Supported
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11–12 texts and topics.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11–12 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy.
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
Earth and Human Activity
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.
Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history.
Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the life span of the sun and the role of nuclear fusion in the sun’s core to release energy that eventually reaches Earth in the form of radiation.
Construct an explanation of the Big Bang theory based on astronomical evidence of light spectra, motion of distant galaxies, and composition of matter in the universe.
Communicate scientific ideas about the way stars, over their life cycle, produce elements.
Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.
Evaluate evidence of the past and current movements of continental and oceanic crust and the theory of plate tectonics to explain the ages of crustal rocks.
Apply scientific reasoning and evidence from ancient Earth materials, meteorites, and other planetary surfaces to construct an account of Earth’s formation and early history.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.
Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.
Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.
Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects.
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.
Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.
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