Resources for Homeschooling STEM, Part 1: An Overview

Hello world!
Starting today, we’ll be doing a once-weekly review of some popular homeschooling STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) resources from our perspective as three engineers from MIT and Cornell, with a bit of educational theory we’ve picked up as we think about designing our own course thrown in.

daughter STEM conference

Photo by Argonne National Laboratory, Flickr Creative Commons

Our first post will be very short, a list of links (with some brief categorization) for you to pursue in your own time. These are general internet resources — in the future, we may cover more regional resources (we are local to Cambridge, MA, USA).

Projects

On the project-based learning side (also referred to as “maker” or “do-it-yourself” sites) we have some excellent sites for project ideas and tutorials. These tend to have a wide variety of projects suitable for all ages.

  • instructables.com “Instructables is a place that lets you explore, document, and share your DIY creations.”
  • learn.adafruit.com “Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits”
  • learn.sparkfun.com “SparkFun’s Department of Education uses electronics as a creative medium and hands-on learning tool”
  • diy.org “Get skills. Be awesome.”
  • solarbotics.com/catalog/kits/ “Competition robot kits, solar-powered robots, electronic components, motors, and information on the field of BEAM Robotics”
  • http://pbskids.org/designsquad/ “Try engineering and science activities or compete in contests on DESIGN SQUADNATION’s educational website for kids. Read a blog from real engineers.”

Sites from Museums / Public Agencies

Museums have developed some excellent resources over the years. These tend to be K-12 resources.

  • eie.org “Engineering is Elemen-tary. increases students’ interest in and confidence about engineering. EiE’s 20 units present fun, engaging engineering challenges.” Developed by the Museum of Science, Boston.
  • mos.org/educators “The Museum of Science is here to help educators inspire the next generation of science and technology thinkers.”
  • howtosmile.org “SMILE Pathway – Search, Collect, and Share! Find fun, high-quality STEM informal learning activities from science centers and museums from across the United States.”
  • smithsonianeducation.org “Discover education resources and information, lesson plans, field trips, and fun interactive activities for educators, families, and students.” (via si.edu/Educators)
  • http://search.nasa.gov/search/edFilterSearch.jsp?empty=true NASA teaching materials search. “NASA.gov brings you images, videos and interactive features from the unique perspective of America’s space agency.”

Misc.

I’ve also heard mentioned

  • singaporemath.com/ “bringing you Singapore math for K-12 since 1998. We provide free Singapore math placement tests, forum support, information on school”

Videos

What we think all these sites are missing, of course, is the combination of curriculum and engineering education at the high school level. That’s what NarwhalEDU is working on!

Have some cool sites we missed? Want other useful information? Want to send some encouragement our way? Comment below or email us at narwhaledu@gmail.com and we’ll prompty respond.

Thanks!

Do you think hands-on projects are a great way to teach engineering? 

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2 thoughts on “Resources for Homeschooling STEM, Part 1: An Overview

  1. Hands on is the best way to teach engineering! I looked through your list and found these sites invaluable but for a beginner the electric engineering kits on these sites seem overwhelming and I don’t know where to start. There is terminology I have never heard and need to find curriculum to teach it. We have used basic circuit kits with basic experiments. Breadboards, arduino, resistance boards, how to use “FTDI to load new code onto your Simon” (what? !!) I don’t know where to start. There has got to be a way for a young smart kid to learn this stuff on his own. Where do I find that material. I hope that is exactly what you guys are doing. Love your information so far. Thank you!

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