STEM Teaching Tools is a research-and-development initiative of the Institute for Science+Math Education at University of Washington in Seattle. Through this effort, the institute shares practice-based knowledge that it has accumulated through federally funded research over the years. The materials are provided for broad use and adaptation as open education resources (OER). Currently the focus is on supporting the teaching of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The tools, called “practice briefs,” focus on a specific issue and leverage the best knowledge from research and practice. These “bite-sized” tools are designed to help practitioners understand a specific problem of educational practice, reflect on it, and access resources and instructional tools that will enable them to teach more effectively. Educators can browse or download the entire collection, as PDFs, for free. The practice briefs are also being translated into Spanish.
Plus: The STEM Teaching Tools have been used to support extended professional development (PD) sessions. OER versions of those PD sessions are posted online. They include all of the resources that PD facilitators need to adapt and run the sessions—including slides, speaker notes, facilitator guide, and embedded resources. A webinar builds on the ideas and tools developed in STEM Teaching Tool 59 to explore how instruction can be designed to enable deep and meaningful science learning for students receiving special education services. The webinar is accessible, at no charge, on YouTube. More professional development resources will be added over time.
Each month we publish newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned to the most in February.
SIGNAL Kids is a magazine for students aged 8–12, offering them career ideas, as well as age-appropriate stories, games, and fun facts with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The Tech Interactive is a highly regarded science and technology center in San Jose, California. The museum offers more than two dozen lesson plans and related challenges that look at engineering through the lens of diverse subjects, from data science to English language arts to systems design.