Science Resources

Here are resources to support learning and teaching in science.

  • FREE Coding Bootcamps -- This guide features a list of reputable free coding bootcamps. You can also learn about the advantages and disadvantages of free coding courses, and whether they're worth your time.
  • Engineering in the Classroom is a website created by one of our instructional coaches to share information about ways to bring engineering concepts and activities to the classroom.
  • A Kid's Guide to Engineering is an article and linked resources about engineering as a career path for people who like to use different kinds of science and math to solve problems.
  • Our science consultant at Heartland AEA has compiled a tremendous list of resources for teaching science.
  • NSTA has officially launched the most connected resource for science teachers: the new Science Supply Guide
  • provides access to dozens of live nature cams from national parks in the United States, Canada, and around the world. In addition, teachers can access photographs, videos, key facts, and profiles describing specific animals seen on the live cams.
  • CK-12 specializes in "high-quality curated STEM content" with links to more than 15,000 resources. 
  • The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden offers a number of programs and resources for students and teachers. 
  • Mystery Science contains a complete curriculum for grades 2 through 5. Teachers will have to create an account.
  • National Geographic for Kids provides puzzles, photos and videos, resources, homework help, etc. 
  • contains a variety of resources from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for kids. 
  • Learn more about being an environmental scientist -- what they do, what education is required, types of jobs, projected growth and salaries, and much more.
  • Ambitious Science Teaching provides a vision of ambitious science instruction for elementary, middle school and high school classrooms.
  • Solar Power & Projects for Kids -- This guide details dozens of fun ideas that teach kids about solar power, including sample projects to do at home and camps offering fun activities that involve solar energy, as well as educational resources for parents and teachers and kid-friendly websites that enlighten kids for a solar-powered future.

STEM Sites

  • The Ultimate STEM guide, by, presents top online resources in each STEM subject, plus a list of 150 courses, websites, activities, and competitions arranged by grade level. Check it out!
  • Iowa ASCD continues to develop a curated and annotated list of useful web resources for science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
  • STEM Behind Hollywood activities based on zombies, superheroes, and forensics are available at Texas Instruments; Behind Hollywood
  • STEM Teaching Tools provides resources such as tools, videos, information briefs, etc. for teaching STEM.
  • How to Identify Effective STEM Activities for Children is a toolkit created by Baylor University to help parents and teachers know what to look for in a STEM lesson and offers 9 examples of quality online resources. created by Baylor’s EdD online in Learning and Organizational Change.
  • The Ultimate STEM Guide for Kids: 239 Cool Sites about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This guide features summer camps, websites, competitions, apps, and career resources for students in elementary school to high school. The gender gap is slowly shrinking in these fields as more initiatives crop up, including organizations such as Girls Who Code, but since women are still vastly underrepresented, we’ve included STEM activities specifically for girls and young women.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Activities -- Science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively known as STEM, are the subjects that will prepare you for the tech-oriented jobs of the future. A lot of different jobs rely on computers and other types of technology, and you’ll also find that math, science, and engineering turn up in a lot of different areas of life. Some kids can find these subjects tricky at first, but there are lots of different games and activities you can try to make learning about STEM topics easier and more fun.

Phenomena and Simulations for Science Lessons

  • Phenomena for NGSS is a collection of short video clips
  • Phenomena in the NGSS explains what phenomena are and how they might be used in science units and lessons.
  • Phetlabs provides fun, FREE, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations. Simulations are extensively tested and evaluated to ensure educational effectiveness. These tests include student interviews and observation of simulation use in classrooms. The simulations are written in Java, Flash or HTML5, and can be run online or downloaded to your computer.

Middle and High School Science

  • Study the ocean using live ocean data! Challenge middle & high school students to increase their knowledge of oceans by learning to analyze and interpret live ocean data. Lesson plans available.
  • The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers. This popular online series from PBS NOVA, now in its fifth season, presents personal stories of notable and charismatic scientists. A teacher's guide provides teaching tips and web resources for using the content in middle and high school classrooms.
  • The RCSB Protein Data Bank. High school teachers can access teaching materials to explore the three-dimensional world of proteins and nucleic acids. Lots of resources available!
  • Direct Measurement Videos. Students are given video clips with data to solve a problem instead of a verbal description of drawing and explicitly stated numerical information. This site features a library of video problems that teach introductory physics -- forces & motion, rotation, impulse and momentum, energy, waves, sound, light, and other topics.
  • Exploring Infectious Diseases for high school students. This website includes learning modules and online resources revolving around recent Ebola and measles outbreaks.
  • Elevator Physics: Newton's Laws presents information about Newton's three laws and connects them to what is experienced when riding in an elevator. For full disclosure, this site is put together by Nationwide Lifts, a company that sells and installs home elevator systems. However, the information is accurate and provides a context familiar to most students.

Professional Learning Resources

  • One very important resource is the home page for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the NGSS Hub from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
  • Virtual Science Workshop with Steven Spangler -- Steve Spangler’s virtual training workshops will empower you to use inquiry-based learning to promote exploration, increase student engagement, strengthen critical thinking skills and make science even more fun and meaningful for your students. Steve shares his proven strategies for turning ordinary activities into an unforgettable learning experience that will take your teaching to a whole new level! There is a cost to take this virtual workshop.
  • Check out Kay Schmalen's Awesome Table of documents supporting implementation of the new state science standards. Documents include ones from the Iowa DE, NGSS, and AEA 267 (soon to be Central Rivers AEA).
  • Bundling the NGSS -- this site provides options for organizing the Iowa Science Standards into units for Kindergarten through high school. Two approaches are featured, one organized by topic and the other organized by theme, phenomena (MS), or conceptual progression (HS).

Environmental Science Degrees & Career Information

  • The popularity of college degrees in green majors is large and growing, and for good reason. The demand for sustainability professionals is growing, too. That means more high-paying, long-term “green-collar” jobs are being created daily. Demand breeds variety. Due to the greater demand for green-collar workers, colleges and universities are stepping up and offering a wider variety of green majors and specializations at every degree level. 
  • Online Environmental Degrees -- Individuals with a passion for the environment and the desire to solve problems related to water pollution, climate change and other global issues can explore academic options in environmental science. This guide explores the various levels of degrees, types of available programs, potential careers, and tips for academic success in web-based courses to help prospective students determine the best educational pathway.
  • Degrees for Outdoor Careers -- Spending time outdoors is something many people have to save for weekends or vacations, but there are plenty of careers that have fresh air and natural scenery built in. Degrees in subjects like natural sciences, forestry, engineering, agriculture, outdoor education and conservation can help students pursue a wide range of careers, from safely guiding tourists over rapids to figuring out efficient ways to extract petroleum from the earth. 
  • A Guide to Green Careers -- Renewability. Sustainability. Efficiency. These three words describe the engine that will drive the economic growth in the near future and for decades to come. This guidebook has been created to help readers better understand exactly what lies ahead for job seekers in a renewable, sustainable and more efficient world. If you are interested in finding a career where you can make a difference while making a living, this guidebook is for you.