Sometimes a hot summer day gives way to a thunderstorm which may have you stuck inside for hours. While summer should be a time for playing outside and enjoying the weather, you may need some STEM apps to try on a rainy day. There are lots of apps and websites that can be used to enhance student learning in science, technology, engineering, and math. Whether practice coding, researching science topics, or learning about engineering, technology can enhance STEM learning for students.
Many kids love to code. There are a lot of different online platforms and games that can be used to develop coding skills. As students learn coding, they develop computational thinking skills and begin to consider the ways that apps can be developed.
Scratch is a free platform developed by MIT and focuses on learners in third grade and beyond. Students use computational thinking to program games and animations. Learners can also explore the gallery to view the creations of other coders across the globe. There’s also a version called Scratch Jr. for younger learners starting in Pre-K.
Tynker is a block-based coding program that guides students through the steps in learning to code. Geared towards upper elementary students, Tynker is another great option for early coders.
Lightbot is an educational video game for learning directional commands and sequencing while they solve different puzzles increasing in complexity.
Engage in Science
There are so many ways that kids can get engaged in science. Through life sciences, students learn about plants and animals. In Earth and space sciences, we can explore landforms, bodies of water, and even other planets! Technology allows us to experience science through online videos, simulations and games.
Tappity is a website that includes over 200 science lessons, activities, and stories for elementary learners. Their content is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards for grades K-5.
Smart Tales is a fun introduction to STEM subjects for young children. It uses a stories with interactive components encouraging children to think about science, technology, engineering, and math.
Star Walk Kids is an online astronomy game for kids. The app takes you on a journey of the solar system, where students are introduced to stars, planets, and other space concepts.
When you think about engineering, you probably envision building and construction. Kids can apply engineering skills when they are building with blocks or creating structures with different materials. Engineering can also happen using digital tools that help students to build planning and problem-solving skills.
The Robot Factory is an app where kids can build their dream robots. They can use their creativity to design and build using different parts. This app is for builders and designers who want to bring their ideas to life.
Based on the theories of Seymour Papert, Crazy Gears allows kids to manipulate chains, pulleys, and gears to pull themselves to the next level. When faced with multiple solutions to the problem, learners must find the one that is the most efficient.
Engage in STEM
Defined Learning offers a comprehensive platform to engage in STEM learning in different ways. From lesson plans to supplemental videos to STEM career exploration, the site provides a guide into STEM learning.
The GRASP model walks you and your students through real-world performance tasks, connected to STEM content.
Goal – The teacher starts out the project by presenting the Goal (or big idea) of the project.
Role – Next, the students are given a Role in a specific STEM occupation that reflects the goal in real life.
Audience – Then they are told who the audience is for whom they will be working.
Situation – They are given a situation or problem they must solve.
Product – Finally, students choose a product to create that solves the problem and gives evidence of their understanding. This might be a brochure, a commercial, or a 3D model.
There are many ways to engage in STEM. Through online content, research, and project-based learning experiences, Defined Learning offers different options for educators and students.
STEM apps and other digital tools can enhance learning for students (and teachers, too!). Integrating technology into science, engineering, and math is what STEM is all about. Career exploration, engineering challenges, and interactive games can all help to further student understanding of STEM encourage their thinking about the possibilities that STEM can offer them.
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