Top free resources for teaching and learning Science
(also check out open source curriculum)
National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…
The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit, membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents and concerned citizens working to keep evolution in public school science education.
The National Science Digital Library is the nation’s online library for education and research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It provides free math lessons and activities aligned with the Math Common Core Standards, as well as STEM-related blogs and other free teacher resources and lesson plan ideas. Targeted for K-12 teachers, higher-education professionals, and librarians, NSDL also provides science literary maps and iTunes multimedia files.
National Science Resources Center is provided by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academies to improve the learning and teaching of science for all students throughout the world.
Science Netlinks is an Internet-based free learning activities, tools, reviewed websites to support K-12 standards-based teaching and learning. Affiliated Organization: American Association for the Advancement of Science.
NOAA (NOAA Educational Ocean Service) joins hundreds of organizations and agencies in a celebration of science to make science more accessible, personally meaningful, and locally relevant. Be sure to check their lesson plan library. Students will be thrilled to engage in activities and games in the Planet Arcade .
Science Education Resource Center is an office of Carleton College, works to improve education through projects that support educators. The office has special expertise in effective pedagogies, geoscience education, community organization, workshop leadership, digital libraries, website development and program and website evaluation.
National Science Teacher Association is dedicated for Science teacher’s needs, online free resources inlcude interactives and freebies. The Learning Center is NSTA’s e-professional development (PD) portal to help you address your classroom needs and busy schedule.
USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) is an unbiased, multi-disciplinary science organization that focuses on biology, geography, geology, geospatial information, and water, our natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten us.
Xpeditions is home to the U.S. National Geography Standards, and to thousands of ideas, lesson plans, activities, and interactive adventures that bring them to life.
National Geographic has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888, the education resources and games are the sites teachers and parents must visit. There is an education channel full of resources for teaching, programs, multimedia and mapmaker for you to customize your own map.
Geocube calls itself the world of Geography at your fingertips. Geocube is based on the principle of the Rubiks Cube with six faces and 54 topics. Move the Geocube around with your mouse and explore the faces and topics. Learning about Geography has rarely been more fun. (from ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
Discovery Education is also a massive site full of free lesson plans, featured contents in many fields, not only science. Home resources and teacher professional development are also included.
- Bookmark : Top 10 resources from Discovery Education – all free ! by David Andrade
The Macaulay Library from Cornell University is the world’s largest and oldest scientific archive of biodiversity audio and video recordings.
Our mission is to collect and preserve recordings of each species’ behavior and natural history, to facilitate the ability of others to collect and preserve such recordings, and to actively promote the use of these recordings for diverse purposes spanning scientific research, education, conservation, and the arts. Teachers use our sounds, videos, and curricula to illustrate the natural world and create exciting interactive learning opportunities.
The Education department at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has developed a curriculum for elementary, middle and high school. The lessons use rich media including sounds and videos from the Macaulay Library to spark student interest in understanding the physics underlying biological adaptations. More information can be found at the Physics of Animal Behavior homepage. Physics of Animal Behavior Curriculum resources for elementary, middle, and high school.
Why do birds do what they do? How can we tell what they are doing? This online course uses video, online discussions, and tutorials to help you develop skills and learn concepts that will increase your enjoyment and understanding of birds.
eGFI is brought to you by American Society For Engineering Education (ASEE), who’s mission is to dream up the future, is committed to promoting and enhancing efforts to improve K-12 STEM and engineering education.
ARKive is for you to learn about earth’s life while creating/remixing ! It originates from UK, its mission is to create a unique audio-visual record of life on Earth.Wildlife films and photos are vital weapons in the battle to save the world’s endangered biodiversity.
NASA for Educators includes featured articles with information about NASA’s various missions; image galleries on a wide variety of topics; information about NASA careers, internships, fellowships, and scholarships; NASA-produced multimedia materials; and more. Users can search resources by keyword, grade level, and subject.
Science Multimedia resources selected (videos, podcasts, and interactives):
- The Wild Classroom : podcasts and videos
- Science Magazine’s Video Portal : videos across a variety of topics in science. There is an article going with each video
- Simple Science video on Vimeo : for elementary and middle school students
- 125 Great Science Videos : From Astronomy to Physics & Psychology
Smithsonian Wild lets students explore 206,340 camera trap images collected at research sites around the world. Animals are searchable by species name or location in the world. The site is amazing, it puts students up close and personal with animals and the research being done on the animals around the world. Students can view still images, videos, and information about the animal. In addition, students can learn more about the research being conducted concerning animals around the world. (introduction http://www.technologybitsbytesnibbles.info/)
PhET: Interactive Simulations – Fun, interactive, research-based simulations on physics, chemistry, biology from the PhET project at the University of Colorado.
SHODOR is a national resource for computational science education, Shodor is a nonprofit organization serving students and educators by providing free online education tools such as Interactivate (gr.3-12) and curriculum which are transforming learning through computational thinking. It’s a resource from CSERD.
The Computational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD) is a Pathways portal of the National Science Digital Library and funded by the National Science Foundation. CSERD aims to help students learn about computational science and to help faculty and teachers incorporate it into the classroom.
The Concord Consortium, a non-profit organization that develops technologies for math, science and engineering education, has been a leader in developing free, open source software that teachers can use to model concepts. One of their most extensive projects is the Molecular Workbench, which provides science teachers with simulations on topics like gas laws, fluid mechanics and chemical bonding. Teachers who are trained in the system can create activities with text, models and interactive controls.
Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) Winners: (explore more from the essays by SPORE winners)
Open Source Physics is an online curriculum resource, created and edited by a group of college professors, that provides students new ways to understand and predict physical phenomena through computational physics and computer modeling. For students who learn best by exploring and doing versus just reading this is an outstanding resource.
DNA Learning Center is a portal with 18 content sites reaching more than seven million visitors per year, provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is a private, not-for-profit research and education institution at the forefront of molecular biology and genetics.
The Earth Exploration Toolbook is a freely available online resource made up of investigations or “chapters” that help teachers and their students become competent data users. The purpose is to help students develop decision making and research skills through exploring scientific questions using the same data and data analysis tools that scientists use. Teaching resources are available.
Universe Awareness (UNAWE) is an astronomy education and outreach program targeting young children, from 4 to 10 years old, in underprivileged environments. Educational resources, generously contributed by the network of volunteers to UNAWE, have been collected and published here.
Beckman Institute’s Bugscope is a free educational technology outreach project, which enables kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) and undergraduate students and teachers to remotely access and control the microscope in real time from their classroom computers. The benefits include the ability to see insect anatomy details too minute for the classroom microscopes; the development of the skills necessary to acquire their own images; and the opportunity to ask scientists questions.
The Molecular Workbench (MW) software, developed by the Concord Consortium, models atomic-scale phenomena on the basis of molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics calculations, which enables students to carry out computational experiments to investigate and learn a wide range of science concepts.
PlantingScience makes science experts accessible to secondary school classrooms with the goal of improving understanding of science while fostering an awareness of plants. Plant biology research projects and student dialogue with online mentors about the student-generated research are part of the online learning community.
Ask A Biologist – An educational Web site adds new twists to learning by promoting direct conversations between scientists and the public.
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears consists of 20 thematic issues relating elementary science concepts to the real-world context of the polar regions. The online magazine format provides professional development content and instructional resources with a focus on integrating science and literacy. It’s for elementary schoolers.
Understanding Evolution is a site providing educational materials targeting teachers of kindergarten through college, students, and the general public, the one-stop source for information on evolution has resources engage students with data, explore scientific reasoning and science as a human endeavor, and demonstrate the relevance of evolution to everyday life.
immunopaedia.org is a South African web site imparts basic immunology information to clinicians and other health-care workers for learning immunology.
Sloan Digital Sky Survey had over eight years of operations to obtaine deep, multi-color images covering more than a quarter of the sky and created 3-dimensional maps containing more than 930,000 galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars. SDSS data have been released to the scientific community and the general public in annual increments.
The Rutgers Physics Teaching Technology Resource engages students from middle school to college in the process of physics. It contains more than 200 videos of real-life physics experiments that students can view and analyze as they learn new material, perform labs, carry out independent projects, or do homework.
Neuroscience for Kids is a site was created in 1997 with the primary goal to help children, adolescents, teenagers, and their teachers learn about the nervous system. Games, information, and discussions with scientists bring neuroscience knowledge to all hands.
Exploratorium Ten Cool Sites is a collection of cool, interactive websites with focus on science/arts/technology/culture subjects without commercialism, hand-picked by the Exploratorium.
Visible Body – Explore high quality anatomical structures and annotate within the application to explain concepts.
Google Body Browser – a virtual human body available for you to “dissect” or strip away layer by layer whenever you wish. You can toggle between a female and a male body by clicking the male/female icons. ( this product needs browsers that support WebGL, like Firefox)
SpongeLab Interactive provides interactive immersive environment with scientific and medical 3D modeling – collection of science digital resources including unique images, powerful animations, and fun games and videos – for Biology teaching and learning. Most contents are offered free but some aren’t. By interacting with the site users gain credits and experience points that can be used to unlock special features. Credits can also be purchased for minimal cost.
Interactive Biology is a website offering a series of videos, quizzes, and study guides(not free) for biology students. The best free resource found on Interactive Biology is the Interactive Biology YouTube channel. There are ten multiple choice quizzes based on information in the videos and study guides, with immediate feedback and hint.
Biology Labs Online by Dennis Anderson, Professor of Biology, OKC community college.Virtual Dissections, Labs, and Field Trips – from Access Excellence® Resource Center, which is a national educational program that provides health, biology and life science teachers access to their colleagues, scientists, and critical sources of new scientific information via the World Wide Web.
The Molecular & Cell Biology department at North Dakota State University hosts a nice collection of virtual cell animations. The collection of virtual cell animations introduces students to seventeen molecular and cellular processes.
The Biology Department at Davidson College has put together a large collection of videos and animations of cell biology processes. The collection is divided into five categories; Movies of Cells, Movies of Cellular Calcium, Movies of Molecular Methods, Molecular Movies, and a miscellaneous category.
Untamed Science is a site dedicated to making inspirational videos, and content for the sciences. There are videos for biology, physics, chemistry, earth science and technology, and a series of portals (as seen on the upper right of every page) that serve as guides for students and aids for teachers. These guides are free for everyone.
101 Science is a site with a huge amount of resources for science, organized by topics such as “electronics”, “chemistry”, “biology”, “physics”, “math” and “photography”, there are also resources for earth science, astronomy, robotics, ethics, java applets, and much more. Each category has scores of links and resources, including articles, web sites, and videos. Some videos are from MIT, TED and more.
BLOSSOMS is a free repository of videos for high school math & science classes created by gifted volunteer teachers from around the world, seeded initially by MIT faculty members and by partnering educators in Jordan and Pakistan. There are selected online teaching resources list which is a good reference.
The Chemical Education Digital Library is a large collection of resources for teaching and learning chemistry, including tutorials for students, 3D models, lesson plans, and more. The tutorials include 3D chemical models and explanations of what each part of the models does and how those parts work together. There is a periodic table that links each element to data and explanations about that element.
LearnChemistry provides learning and teaching resources all about Chemistry, videos, interactive periodic table, chemistry teachers community, continual professional development, an online community for young chemists to chat and explore. It’s from the RSC — the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences.
The Periodic Table of Videos (by University of Nottingham) is a periodic table in which each element is linked to a short movie about the element.
The Periodic Table of Comic Books is a project of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky. The idea is that for every element in the Periodic Table of Elements there is a comic book reference.
Middle School Chemistry provides free science activities, multimedia curriculum for middle school chemistry offered by the American Chemical Society.
Chemistry Tutorial – A selective, annotated collection of the best links for Web-based lessons and tutorial materials for Chemistry, the majority of these tutorials are suitable for first-year university-level General Chemistry. Some of the better ones are also listed on the page General Chemistry: Starting Points for Students.
Sumanas is a provider of animations of science and statistics concepts. Their public gallery of animations is divided into ten categories dealing with various topics in biology, chemistry, Earth science, and statistics. Some of the animations include quizzes at the end that students can use to self-assess their understanding of a concept.
Scitable is an open online teaching/learning portal combining high quality educational articles authored by editors at NPG with technology-based community features to fuel a global exchange of scientific insights, teaching practices, and study resources. It allows students to connect and discuss with researchers.
Lifeworks e-Mentoring – The National Institutes of Health (NIH/DHHS) is offering free career advice and mentoring through its Lifeworks E-mentoring program to U.S. high school and college students who are at least 16 years old and are interested in pursuing a career in biomedical or social science research, medicine, or health care.
The Encyclopedia of Life is less than 5 years old but is approaching 1 million species pages that include everything from the names of animals to information about their habitats to reproduction habits. This website aims to describe every living creature.
Energy Kids – from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it’s full of information about energy; from basics to forms of energy, from using to conserving. Visitors can go on virtual field trips across the country through engaging photo journals, and teachers can find lesson plans, guides, links, and suggested ways of using the website in the classroom.
Instructables – the How To and DIY community, germinated from MIT Media Lab
EElink is from National American Association of Environment Education – a thorough collection of web resources on environment education
Environmental Science Labs is from Environmental Literacy Council(ELC). For more than a decade, the ELC has been dedicated to helping teachers, students, policymakers, and the public find cross-disciplinary resources on the environment.
Science Buddies – A non-profit organization providing science fair ideas, resources, answers, and tools. Including a Science Fair Project Guide and an Ask an Expert online bulletin board, staffed by volunteer scientists and top high school students.
Intel STEM Resources is to help educators inspire the next generation of innovators with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning, Intel provides curriculum and online resources to encourage students’ interest and participation.
Light in Action: Lasers, Cameras & Other Cool Stuff, features kids showing kids aged 9-11 that science can be fun and exciting and that advancements with light are all around them. The free multimedia is from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.
Free High School Science Texts – an extensive collection of free science and mathematics texts that are available to students, world wide.
Biofundamentals is developed at the University of Colorado, Boulder, it’s designed to be used with an interactive teaching style, with students working with various tutorial assignments out of class, and then in class discussion. The materials are designed to replace expensive, pedagogically weak textbooks. By integrating Highlighter, students are able to engage fully with all the materials — the syllabus as well as the readings. They can leave comments, ask questions, and save and share key passages.
The WikiPremed MCAT Course is a free comprehensive course in the undergraduate level general sciences. Undergraduate level physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology are presented by this course as a unified whole within a spiraling curriculum. The work of WikiPremed is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License.
3M Science of Everyday Life – a Web site that provides K-12 science-related curriculum and tools, as well as family activities. The program, which is aligned to national standards, includes activities in the areas of life science, physical science, earth science, and technology and innovation.
Siemens Science Day, which provides teachers hands-on programs in science through grade 6 and is cosponsored by the Siemens Foundation. Each activity includes a Discovery Education video. Teachers also can apply for an Ultimate Cool School Assembly featuring interactive demonstrations and experiments and a professional development workshop for teachers.
KQED Public Media’s website has a small section of its Ed Space pages dedicated to short current events-based Do Now activities that teachers can use in their classrooms. For more in-depth lesson ideas you should explore KQED’s curriculum bank where you can search for lessons by subject and grade level.
Futurity features the latest discoveries in all fields from scientists at the top universities in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. The site, which is hosted at the University of Rochester, launched in 2009 as a way to share research news with the public.
100 Top Science Sites provides the 100 most relevant Web sites for each major category from A to Z, selected, edited and ranked by professional editors.
ScienceBlogs is a digital science salon featuring the leading bloggers from a wide array of scientific disciplines. Today, ScienceBlogs is the largest online community dedicated to science.
Mosaic is an online archive of articles published in the The National Science Foundation’s flagship magazine from 1970 to 1992. A background resource for students, teachers, and others in need of a reliable reference for current research.
Succeeding with Science is an educational programme supported by Sellafield Ltd on behalf of the NDA. Supported by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and working with partners in the education and skills field the programme supports education throughout the school years. (check out The Pandora Project)
Project-Based Learning ideas in Science
Problem-Based learning in Biology: 20 Case Examples
Great Geography sites
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