WHAT IS STEM?
STEM is a meta-subject that encompasses the four disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
The purpose of STEM is to conjoin the content, the processes, and the habits of mind of these four disciplines.
STEM is a distinct approach to learning and teaching where the focus is on collaborative problem solving and the development of trans-disciplinary skills in communication, creativity, persistence, and critical thinking.
In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information.
US Department of Education
WHY IS STEM IMPORTANT?
There are two forces that drive STEM education.
The first is the need to develop the workforce of the future to ensure economic prosperity.
The second is the need to develop the scientists, engineers, mathematicians, researchers, inventors, and innovators who can address global challenges and problems.
- STEM Team Contact Information
- Elementary Programs and Events
- Secondary Programs and Events
- Resources for Teachers
- Resources for Students and Parents
- STEM Director
- STEM Programs & Grants
- Elementary Computer Science & Coding
- Mathematics 7-12
- Mathematics K-6
- Science & Engineering 7-12
- Science & Engineering K-6
What is Sea Perch?
- team work and problem solving;
- science concepts such as buoyancy and displacement;
- tool safety, soldering, and measurements;
- ship and submarine design principles;
- mechanical engineering (propulsion and water proofing);
- electrical engineering, (electricity, circuits, and switches);
- and the many exciting careers that are possible in naval architecture and marine engineering.
The MESA program in Davis and Weber School Districts sponsor the Wasatch Front Competition. You can find information on the MESA page (see "Events" and then "Competitions.") US Synthetic, BYU, and other sponsors conduct the Utah Underwater Robotics Program and Competition. You can find information at Utah Underwater Robotics. The national website, seaperch.org, provides information on these competitions as well as information on how to start a SeaPerch program.
What is a STEM Fair?
A STEM Fair is similar to a science fair, an opportunity for students to showcase a project - a demonstration, an experiment, a research effort, a display of a prototype or apparatus.
Whereas a science fair is restricted to topics such as botany, chemistry, and physics, a STEM fair extends the range to include topics such as computer science, engineering, the environment, and math.
What are the categories for projects in the STEM Fair?
Computer Science Microbiology
Earth Science Physics
Environment Space Science
What is the difference between Science and STEM?
Whereas Science is the effort to gather and refine knowledge of the world in which we live, STEM is the effort to apply knowledge to the solution of problems.
Who is Eligible to Compete?
The Junior Fair will host students in grades 6-8 and the Senior Fair will host students in grades 9-12.
What is an Olympiad?
An Olympiad is a rigorous academic competition that consists of a series of competitive team events. The Davis STEM Olympiad is for students in grades 4-6. It consists of three math events and three science events that are designed to encourage the development of STEM skills in students. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation.
For information on this year's events and how to get involved, see the Science page.
Sponsored by the Boston Museum of Science, EiE (see eie.org) is the premier elementary engineering curriculum. Building on children's natural tendencies to engineer, EiE inspires innovation and produces lifelong STEM learners. The EiE curriculum is a project--based, student-centered curriculum that will transform student learning. Students work collaboratively to solve an engineering challenge as they learn to ask questions and pursue their own answers. Research on the EiE Curriculum shows that students will:
- learn the Engineering Design Process, a process for critical thinking that can be applied to any curriculum
- learn about a variety of engineering fields and gain a realistic view of what it means to be an engineer
- learn that technology is much more than cell phones and tablets and understand the relationships between engineering, technology, science, and math
- improve understanding of science concepts and processes with hands-on and relevant lessons
- improve ability to think mathematically with opportunity to apply mathematical knowledge to a relevant problem
- gain a global viewpoint of the engineering challenges of the future
Engineering is Elementary offers several different programs:
EIE for Kindergarten builds on children's curiosity and creativity
EIE is a fully integrated curriculum designed for classroom use, grades 1-5.
Engineering Adventures is an engineering program designed for “out of school time" use, grades 3-5.
Engineering Everywhere is an engineering program designed for “out of school time” use, grades 6-8.
Through a grant from DELL and the Boston Museum of Science, EiE has been introduced to hundreds of Davis elementary teachers.
InfiniD Learning offers an engaging and exciting STEM opportunity for students. At the core of InfiniD are game-like simulations which transform students into 21st century astronauts who must work collaboratively to survive! While students work to solve a problem central to the mission, they develop essential 21st Century skills: collaboration, communication, creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The missions also require students to apply content knowledge from multiple disciplines (math, science, language arts, social studies), which has been taught in the regular classroom.
InfiniD Learning Labs are now in 10 elementary schools in Davis School District and more are coming soon. Plus, new innovations in their technology will allow more students access to their engaging simulations.
For more information, see InfiniDLearning.com
Pictured below: Students at Holt Elementary School running a mission in their Infini D Learning Lab.
Infini D Labs Can be found in the following schools:
Vae View Elementary
Valley View Elementary
West Point Elementary
InfiniD Labs will soon be available at the following schools:
Project Lead the Way
Project Lead the Way's Launch program for elementary students is designed to tap into students' innate interests in exploration, discovery, and play. The Launch Computer Science modules play an important role in the district's K-12 STEM Framework. Davis School District now has the Launch program in 23 of its elementary schools. Each school has two specially certified teachers called LEAD teachers who provide assistance and support to the school's classroom teachers. Click here for a list of LEAD Teachers.
- Bountiful Elementary
- Canyon Creek Elementary
- Crestview Elementary
- Doxey Elementary
- Eagle Bay Elementary
- East Layton Elementary
- Ellison Park Elementary
- Endeavor Elementary
- Farmington Elementary
- Fremont Elementary
- Foxboro Elementary
- Kay's Creek Elementary
- Kaysville Elementary
- Oak Hills Elementary
- Odyssey Elementary
- Orchard Elementary
- Sand Springs Elementary
- Snow Horse Elementary
- Stewart Elementary
- Valley View Elementary
- Wasatch Elementary
- West Bountiful Elementary
- Windridge Elementary
PLTW Launch has 24 interdisciplinary modules broken into three strands: Computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Each module is designed according to the PLTW model of activities, projects, and problems that build upon each other. As students engage in carefully scaffolded hands-on activities, they become creative, collaborative problem solvers.
The following resources provide detailed information about the Launch courses and modules:
- PLTW Launch Modules - a brief description of all Launch Modules
- Computer Science Modules - a description of modules in the Computer Science Strand
- Modules Grid - shows how the modules fit within one of the three pathways: Computer Science, Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
- Overview of activities, projects, and problems within each module
- Standards Alignment -- shows how modules meet the Next Generation Science Standards
- PLTW Credentials
- Davis LEAD Teachers
- Technology Requirements
- Conducting a Training Event
- How To Register for a PLTW Event
- How To Use my.pltw.org
- How to Use the PLTW Store
To become a certified PLTW Classroom Teacher:
- create an account at my.pltw.org and join your school's site
- register for the event at my.pltw.org
- complete two prerequisite courses at my.pltw.org
- complete a 16 hour face-to-face course taught by a certified LEAD Teacher
Note: The 16 hour course is broken into sections. The first 12 hours is completed at the school site. The last section is Grade Level Implementation where teachers work with other teachers from throughout the district in grade level groups to explore and create plans for the first module.
To become a certified LEAD Teacher:
- Complete the 16 hour Classroom Teacher training
- Implement at least one module in the classroom
- Complete the 16 hour LEAD Teacher training provided by PLTW Master Teachers.
Link to additional help for required PLTW software including updates and troubleshooting.
Resources for Conducting a Training Event
Checklist for preparation.
Suggested room layout.
Check list of requirements for teachers who are certifying as a Classroom Teacher.
To become a certified PLTW Classroom Teacher:
- create an account at my.pltw.org and join your school's site
- register for the event at my.pltw.org
- complete two prerequisite courses at my.pltw.org
- complete a 16 hour face-to-face course taught by a certified LEAD Teacher
Note: The 16 hour course is broken into sections. The first 12 hours is completed at the school site. The last section is Grade Level Implementation where teachers work with other teachers from throughout the district in grade level groups to explore and create plans for the first module.
To become a certified LEAD Teacher:
- Completion of the 16 hour Classroom Teacher training
- Implement at least one module in the classroom
- Completion of the 16 hour LEAD Teacher training provided by PLTW Master Teachers.
- Launch Logs Grade K
- Launch Logs Grade 1
- Launch Logs Grade 2
- Launch Logs Grade 4
- Launch Logs Grade 5
- Launch Logs Grade 3
- Launch Logs Grade 6
- Resources for Third Grade - Story Factory
Modified Launch Logs
This is the Launch Log for the Robotics and Automation Challenge:
These additional logs have been modified to work with 6th grade students:
Structure and Function:
Launch Log: Structure and Function
Resource: Hand Bones
Forces and Interactions:
Directions: Forces and Interactions -
Launch Log: Forces and Interactions -
Input and Output: Computer Systems
Launch Log: Input and Output -
Tip: With 1st Grade on Activity 1 "Rosie's Runtime," I looked all over for a copy of the colored circles so that the students could have a paper copy to plan out their program before they actually tried it on the circles. The only thing I could find was circles with 4 of each color and not the 6 that we have. It also had orange and purple, which those colors do not come in our kit. The way I solved it was to find one of the examples and take a picture of it on the computer with my iPhone, e-mail it to myself, and then print it out.
Tip: The very first activity is challenging and may require more direct instruction. The suggestion was made to do it as a class and then give more freedom on the following activities
Question: When starting Hopscotch, do students need to create an account?
Answer: This question resulted in several possible solutions:
1) Students will not need to create an account. Your teachers will need to create one however. At that point, your students can use that account to log into the app. Once a device is logged into the app, Hopscotch keeps them logged in until told to log out.
2) They don’t need to create a username for each student. They can make a fake student in their list and give that student a username and password that all of the students can use to log into PLTW so access the instructions.
3) I had my students just put in their dsd login and password. As long as they type it correctly it works great. So all their usernames and passwords are the exact same logins as the ones used to log into a school computer.
Some of the apps that are listed for the 5th grade Robotics Module are not compatible with the I-pad version IOS 11. Here are suggestions for working around this problem:
1. Have students google "autonomous robots" and conduct research that way. This allows students to see other applications of how autonomous robots are really used. For the AutoDesk Inventor, access the program called "Fusion 360" which is web based. The link to Fusion 360 is right in the module in the student view.
2. I found this article and checked out these websites ...they are safe for kids, and fun for adults 😊. They have a lot of robotic research and information that the 5th grade module could use: https://www.thespruce.com/top-science-websites-for-kids-1259286
Question: Can you clarify the progression of module instruction for 5th and 6th grade? It is my understanding that 5th grade should be teaching the first robotics module this year, and that 6th grade would do that one, as well as the Challenge module this year. Then, next year, 5th grade would still just do the first module, and 6th grade would just do the Challenge module. Is that your understanding of the plan?
Answer: For the most part, yes. It is not mandatory for 6th grade to do both 5.1 and 5.2 the first year although several schools have reported doing so.
The purpose of MESA is
- to Expose students to career options in the areas of math, engineering, and science,
- to Engage students by providing fun, project-based, hands-on activities, and
- to Enrich the lives of our students by giving them opportunities and experiences they otherwise would not have.
MESA clubs can be found in 8 Davis elementary schools.
|Crestview||Kathy Johnson, Emily Tanner|
|Doxey||Xela Arnold, Bethany Carlson|
|Holt||Angie Day, Emily Doss|
|South Clearfield||Cathleen Gilbertson|
|Vae View||Mary Broadbent|
MESA clubs hold at least two meetings each month. Students participate in experiential, hands-on math activities, science labs, coding and electronics, robotics, and engineering design challenges. Guest speakers and field trips help students to make connections to career opportunities and students are encouraged to pursue educational pathways to help them achieve their career goals.
The following schools offer LEGO Mindstorms programs. Contact each school for a current schedule of after school classes which typically begin in the spring.
Bluff Ridge Elementary - Maurie Gardner, Tamra Cox
Bountiful Elementary - Liz Wiser
Centerville Elementary - Holly Hansen, Catharine Reeder (parent)
Cook Elementary - Dana Smith, Byron Hellewell
Doxey Elementary - Bethany Carlton
Endeavor Elementary - Nicole Rudes
Hill Field Elementary - Natalie Phillips
Sand Springs Elementary - Maestra Skousen
Stewart Elementary - Natalie Roach
Syracuse Elementary - Elizabeth Capener
Tolman Elementary - Rachel Cox
Vae View Elementary - Mary Broadbent
The STEM School Designation is administered by the Utah STEM Action Center. "The program was developed to define the criteria and elements necessary for a school to create a comprehensive STEM learning environment for their students." The program has two goals.
- First, the process of applying for the designation allows schools to "engage in discussions with faculty and community partners around STEM education as a lens for strong instruction for students to prepare them for college and career readiness."
- Second, the designation assists "members of the public who are looking for STEM school experiences in Utah K-12 education. "
Congratulations to West Point Elementary School
Silver Level STEM School Designation
Awarded by the Utah State Board of Education
In Cooperation with the STEM Action Center
West Point Elementary Mission Statement
Motivated by students' and parents' interests, West Point Elementary has defined its mission as preparing students for the future by learning through STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Our vision is to provide tasked-based, hands-on opportunities for students to grow a love and passion for STEM. It is our desire to help and encourage students to seek post-high school education preparing them for college-career readiness in STEM fields.
West Point provides before, after, and summer school STEAM activities:
- Choir is a yearlong program that includes 2 concerts and early morning practices.
- Orchestra is before school and is growing at a great pace
- Ballroom dance is offered before school for 6th grade students. This is a new and exciting program for the school.
- In Chess Club, students learn the rules and strategies of the game in an after school program.
- West Point has benefited from its Exploratory Mesa Club which started several years ago and meets after school in the first half of the school year. The program continues to attract more students each year and had an average attendance of 55 students in 2017-2018. Activities include rocket making, building a structure out of toothpicks and gumdrops to withstand an 8 foot drop, balloon towers, and many more.
- Lego MindStorms Competition Club is an after school program that runs each spring. The club is for 5th and 6th grade students that will compete at Utah State University's Physics Day at Lagoon.
- Summer STEM Camp started in the summer of 2016 and also continues to grow in popularity.
Congratulations to Endeavour Elementary School
Platinum Level STEM School Designation
Awarded by the Utah State Board of Education
In Cooperation with the STEM Action Center
A Visit to Endeavour Elementary
written by Dana Ricketts, MESA/STEM Coordinator
Recently a colleague and I visited Endeavour Elementary to observe a STEM school in action. We dropped in on 4th grade teacher’s Adrienne Pugmire’s class where students were studying rocks – specifically, the volcanic processes that lead to the formation of different types of rocks. I was surprised to learn that the daily schedule includes 45 minutes of science and asked the students how they felt about having this much science in their schedule. I expected a few hands to go up; instead, every single student asked to be part of the discussion and couldn’t wait to be called upon to explain why science is their favorite part of the day. “It’s fun.” “You get to do experiments.” “You get to learn new things.” “It’s what I want to do for my career.” “We get to explore things we are curious about.” “It gives us time for collaboration.”
Clearly, these students are engaged, self-directed, critical thinkers. Ms. Pugmire is a STEM endorsed teacher who employs a student-centered inquiry model of teaching and learning. In this model, students ask the questions and she provides the means that allow her students to explore, make connections, and construct their own answers. in this case, the students discovered the difference between rocks formed by intrusive volcanic forces and rocks formed by extrusive volcanic forces. Not until the students themselves began to use words similar to intrusive and extrusive did the teacher offer a definition and explanation. Even then, the explanation was not given with words but through a physical simulation of volcanic processes.
Schools have a unique energy that stems from a shared innate desire to constantly reflect, assess, learn, and grow. In 2017, Endeavor formalized this process as it became one of only five Utah schools to receive a Platinum STEM School Designation from the Utah STEM Action Center and the Utah State Board of Education. The STEM designation recognizes schools that have developed “a comprehensive STEM learning environment.” Ms. Pugmire’s classroom is just one example of the multiple ways becoming a STEM school has led to change and growth.
What distinguishes a Platinum level STEM school from an effective school? And how are STEM practices distinguished from BEST practices?
An essential starting place for a school in developing a comprehensive program is an agreed upon working definition of STEM -- a task much harder than it sounds. A Google search for a definition will result in as many variants as there are listings. People and organizations define STEM to fit individual needs, so an art teacher will define STEM in a very different way than a math teacher, a first grade teacher’s definition will be very different from a 6th grade teacher’s, and on and on. How a school defines STEM will also have a significant effect on another important consideration – How does the school’s STEM instructional practices differ from BEST instructional practices. In other words, how is a STEM school distinguished from an effective school?
Although definitions of STEM vary, there are commonalties in the definitions, which appear in bold text in the following example.
STEM is using knowledge of the content and the processes of science, technology, engineering, and math to understand how the world works and to employ that understanding to the solution of problems and to innovation for a better future.
These commonalities help to establish the following criteria and elements essential to a comprehensive STEM program.
- Seamless use of technology to enhance all aspects of the learning process
In Laurel Savage’s 5th grade classroom, during “morning work,” students are working on one of six options. One student is working on reading comprehension, another is coding a design at the website code.org, an enrichment opportunity, while another is practicing keyboarding skills. This degree of individualization is possible because every student has his own computer and is very fluent in its use: Students navigate web pages, use multiple types of menus and help features, search resources, employ a variety of apps, and make use of application programs with ease. This level of digital learning is a direct result of Endeavor being a 1:1 technology school, meaning that every student has either an I-pad (K-2) or a lap top (3-6). This also allows students to employ a wide variety of technological tools to conduct research and to present their findings, knowledge, and products to others.
- Focus on problem solving with real world relevance
At Endeavour, problem solving is emphasized K-6 in all subjects.
In Valerie Adams’ Kindergarten class, students begin their year with a focus on the power of being problem solvers. Ms. Adams uses a resource called Smarter Charts written by Mraz and Martinelli. The class discusses different types of problems that everyone experiences and makes a “smart chart” that identifies a glitch, a bummer, and a disaster. According to Ms. Adams, “Students help identify problems for each category and discuss options in solving those problems. It becomes clear that a glitch, like a broken pencil, can be solved independently. On the other hand, a bummer might require support from peers; examples would include skills required to make and keep friends at school, zipping a coat, or figuring out a challenging learning station for the first time. Unlike the other problem categories, a disaster requires outside help from experts like firefighters or the police.”
Students learn to use journals as one problem-solving tool starting in Kindergarten and continue to write-to-learn from that point forward. I-search projects in grades 1 and 2 focus on real world problems and in the upper grades, STEM topics are often selected on Utah Compose.
Naturally, problem solving is also emphasized in math instruction which is supported through the use of a variety of digital platforms including Think Through Math and Advantage Math. Problem solving is also the main focus of a STEM Prep Class where students learn the Engineering Design Process and put it into practice as they build tools, applications, and games using Arduino microprocessors; design, build, and code LEGO robots; and design, build, and operate Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (Sea Perch).
Depending on the grade level and their standards, teachers ensure real world relevance by working with outside organizations that offer a variety of lessons and experiences focused on problem solving. These include the following:
Study of the water cycle with the Living Planet Aquarium
Study of water pollution and treatment with Davis County Water Management
Study of fossils and animal adaptations with the National History Museum
Study of plants with Thanksgiving Point
- Active learning that is inquiry driven, experiential, and constructivist.
“The opportunity to wonder and be curious about the world around us” is Ms Pugmire’s favorite aspect of STEM teaching. In fact, she thinks her “students have so many wonders about various topics that we could spend years discovering and learning together. The questions and wonderings they have are more than just 4th grade curriculum, they want to know more.” Some teachers wonder what happens to standards when using the inquiry approach; Ms.Pugmire believes that she can “focus on engagement and get them to a planned destination in learning from the questions they have.” The Inquiry method of teaching and learning calls for teachers to provide the same knowledge as they would if following a carefully sequenced curriculum; the difference is that it is shared on the students’ need-to-know schedules.
The administration encourages each teacher to find a comfortable balance between direct instruction and inquiry learning. For example, In Elizabeth Littlefield’s 1st grade classroom, students move back and forth between direct instruction and student-centered approaches such as STEM Stations and STEM Bins. Ms. Littlefield suggests that teachers start the STEM transition by making small changes that push but do not break their comfort levels. She started by adding a few simple STEM Centers and eventually evolved into integrated approaches. She looks for natural bridges to engineering activities in the literature of the McGraw-Hill Reading Program. For example, her students were busy engineering the perfect bed for Goldilocks after studying the fairy tale. She has also found a way to add a STEM twist to the traditional study of holidays. If Santa Clause’s sleigh fails, could her students design a parachute to help him descend safely to earth?
In other classrooms, the use of journals and notebooks support the inquiry model as students use them to observe and record, discover and construct, and reflect and assess. STEM Centers in the primary grades are also designed to encourage exploration and discovery and to nurture imaginations and creativity. The recent additions of Project Lead the Way Computer Science modules and InfiniD Learning Labs at Endeavor will also support and expand the inquiry approach.
- Connections to careers and occupations in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Efforts to make these essential connections include classroom presentations from professionals, field trips both actual and virtual, and use of presentations through You-Tube channels.
- Mindset that sees failure as an opportunity for improvement
This mindset is an essential aspect of the Engineering Design Process as well as scientific explorations. Teachers provide examples of great “failures” in science that have led to incredible advancements in science, technology, and engineering. It can also carry over to the writing process as students begin to realize that mistakes are inevitable.
The mindset is also mirrored by the approaches in the digital math programs. Students are encouraged to understand mistakes as pathways into improved understanding.
- Interdisciplinary Integration
Making connections across disciplines moves a school from S-T-E-M to STEM. Although math and science are often the first subjects considered for integration, the most natural alignment is actually with Language Arts as they share many of the same thinking processes:
- Observe and note details
- Compare and contrast
- Predict and hypothesize
- Linking cause and effect
- Distinguishing facts from fiction
- Making inferences
- Drawing conclusions
- Communicating findings
Some of these skills begin to be developed in third grade, and third grade teacher Samantha Nielsen finds many opportunities within the McGraw Hill program to make the connections from reading to science and engineering. One way of doing this is to use the literature selections with themes related to science and technology. Another is to point out how scientists and engineers use the same processes whenever and wherever the connections emerge.
Leadership and Environment
Another goal of the Utah STEM Schools Designation program is to allow schools to engage in discussions with faculty and community partners around STEM education as “a lens for strong instruction.” The administration at Endeavour allows and encourages teachers to try new practices and to seek out additional training opportunities. Policies that often separate subjects into silos are examined and teachers are encouraged to integrate wherever possible.
FROM FIRST STEPS to COMPREHENSIVE STEM
In general, a school often begins its STEM journey by assessing and improving either its math or science program. At the elementary level, increasing the amount of time devoted to science is often the first step, or a school may make an effort to increase opportunities for hands-on science and science labs. In the initial stages, a school’s program may be more accurately represented as S-t-e-M where the t – technology - and the e – engineering - components are not as fully realized as the science and math. Some schools, in contrast, may have a lot of technology, but it is not yet connected to an integrated effort resulting in s-T-e-m. Engineering often comes last and is often introduced through numerous but extraneous means; after-school STEM programs; field trips to STEM Fairs and event; participating in STEM related competitions; offering special camps – all of which are great (but random) opportunities for students. Progressing into a comprehensive program may be delayed due to the availability of funds. Well-equipped robotics labs; engineering tools that meet industry standards; 3D printers; microscopes, light tables, scales and other science related devices; art supplies; 1:1 I-pad or notebook availability – it all requires a significant financial investment. Once these financial hurdles are overcome, the final progression to a comprehensive STEM program is achieved when STEM ways of thinking and doing permeate across and through an entire curriculum.
Taking all of this into consideration, it is obvious that earning a Platinum level award reflects on a great deal of hard work by the students, staff, teachers, parents, and administrators. At Endeavour Elementary, it was “Well worth the effort,” according to Assistant Principal Brian Nash, “although not something you want to do more than once.”
For information on the EXPO, please see http://www.stemexpoutah.org/
The Northern Utah STEM Career and College Exposition has become an annual tradition after the success of the first annual EXPO which was held November 3, 2014.
The purpose of the EXPO is to foster student enthusiasm for STEM careers and to provide students with opportunities to explore STEM fields, investigate educational pathways, and to collaborate with local STEM based business and industry.
The day session brings together more than 800 high school students with various levels of interest in STEM careers, a multitude of real world experts who work in local STEM based business and industry, and numerous colleges and universities which provide STEM training and education.
In 2016, a change in format gave students the choice of attending up to three panel sessions. The panel sessions brought together a group of experts in general STEM categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Computer Sciences, Construction Technologies, Digital Design and Media, Energy and Environment, Health & Biomedical Sciences, and Transportation Technologies. After short presentations by the panelists, students were able to participate in a discussion and ask questions.
Ample time to browse the Expo Hall completes the students’ day. The Expo Hall features 50+ booths with hands on activities sponsored by local businesses, STEM based industries, military branches, applied technology colleges, community colleges, and universities. A drawing at the end of the EXPO awards attending students with prizes donated by the participating businesses.
An evening session is open to teachers, parents, family members and K-12 students of Davis, Weber, Ogden, and Morgan School Districts. The family sessions have attracted between 3,000 and 5,000 attendees.
The event is sponsored by Tesoro, Weber State College, the STEM Action Center, and the Davis Education Foundation.
See the KUTV report for more information.
The Davis School District STEM Fair
A STEM Fair reflects a view of science as a highly social, creative, problem-solving process. Student work is guided by the application of Science and Engineering Practices rather than strict adherence to "the scientific method."
STEM Fair projects may have the following characteristics:
Rather than an experiment carried out to test a hypothesis, a STEM Fair project could be the Investigation of phenomenon or an engineered solution to a problem
Real world connection
Focus on learning rather than a product
Presentation using a video, coding project, model, or prototype
The Davis STEM Fair consists of two divisions, the junior fair is for students in grades 6-8, and the senior fair is for students in grades 9-12.
For information on dates, place, and registration, see the Science department page.
Building Student Interest in Science
The Science Olympiad is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. The Science Olympiad:
- creates a passion for learning science by supporting tournaments with an emphasis on teamwork and a commitment to excellence.
- aims to change the way science is taught as itemphasizes problem solving and hands-on, minds-on constructivist learning practices.
- promotes partnerships among community, businesses, industry, government and education.
- brings science to life by showing how science works, emphasizing problem-solving aspects of science and the understanding of science concepts.
- makes science education more exciting so more students will enroll in science courses and engage in other science activities like science reading, fairs, meetings and field trips.
- promotes high levels of achievement and a commitment to excellence, demonstrating that American students can perform at levels that surpasses expectations of even practicing scientists and engineers.
EVERFI is a free Digital Learning Platform.
Included in its offerings are three STEM specific courses:
Future Goals - Hockey Scholar offers 12 digital labs for grades 4 through 7 which brings science, math and engineering concepts to life using the exciting game of hockey. The game-based simulations enable students to explore real-life applications of fundamental STEM concepts.
Ignition - Digital Literacy & Responsibility is a four-hour curriculum designed for students in grades 6-9. The module begins with the “nuts and bolts” of how technology works, introduces STEM careers, and then places students in a virtual environment where they tackle issues including privacy, security, cyberbullying, digital relationships, and the viral nature of the web.
Endeavor - STEM Career Exploration gives students in grades 6-9 a virtual tour of three STEM careers: In the Future of Manufacturing, students design and 3D print a new sneaker; in Connecting the Home of the Future, using The Internet of Things and a variety of data sources, students calibrate a connected home; and in Building the Perfect Play List, students learn how recommendation engines collect information about users from online behavior to create a perfect playlist for a music company.
Davis is working with Microsoft to develop a Hacking STEM program in several junior high schools. For more information about "Hacking STEM," see the links below:
From bite-size activities that can be completed in one hour to three week projects, these are affordable lessons that integrate data science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and software engineering
The High School STEM Industry Certification Grant has facilitated an increase in the number of students prepared for STEM workforce careers and post-secondary STEM education in Davis School District.
Pathways to Careers and Certification
Davis School District offers over 100 STEM related Technical Education courses in nine different categories:
- business and marketing
- family and consumer sciences
- health science
- information technology
- skilled & technical sciences
- technology & engineering
Each category offers multiple pathways to careers within the area. (For information on these pathways please see the CTE homepage.) The pathways selected for the focus of this grant are the health science pathway, the engineering pathway, and the IT pathway. The certification programs at the end of these pathways have been made possible or have been extended due to the grant funding. For example, the renewed focus on health science expanded the certification opportunities for students in partnership with Lakeview Hospital and local physical therapists.
Coincidental to the High School STEM Industry Certification Grant is the creation of the Utah Aerospace Pathway (UAP) which is being piloted in Davis School District in partnership with Orbital ATK, Janicki, Boeing, Hexcel, Harris, and Hill Air Force Base. The Utah Aerospace Pathway was developed in response to the needs of the aerospace manufacturing industry in Utah, a “high tech” environment that demands new workers possess very detailed skill sets. Students in the UAP take courses within the district to achieve Manufacturing Basics competencies and then transition to an Applied Technology College such as the DATC to get entry-level Composites Manufacturing training. A 48-hour paid internship at one of the member companies completes the program.
The Davis Applied Technology College (DATC) plays a key role in Davis School District's High School STEM Industry Certification program. Teachers take classes there to update their knowledge so they can in turn educate their students for high demand careers. The DATC also plays a significant role in the Utah Aerospace Program as students will complete the required Advanced Composites training there before moving into an internship with one of the aerospace manufacturing companies.
Additional Community Partnerships
Other community partners that play a key role in expanding the certification program include Lakeview Hospital and the aerospace industry, namely Orbital ATK, Janicki, Boeing, Hexcel, Harris, and Hill Air Force Base. Financial support from Tesoro, Weber State University, and the Granite Education Foundation makes it possible to offer education about STEM opportunities to high school students and the community as a whole. Participation by other educational institutions such as Utah State University, Weber State University, and the Weber-Ogden ATC as well as thirty-five local businesses greatly contribute to the success of the Northern Utah STEM College and Career Exposition. Davis School District is grateful for all of these partnerships and what they mean for the students in Davis schools.
Although the Davis School District CTE department is largely responsible for the implementation of the grant, support has been provided by the Curriculum Department's STEM Committee. This includes joint efforts to market STEM to the general public, with the specific goal of imparting an increased awareness of the many STEM related industry jobs that students can consider for their future and an understanding of the many benefits of STEM pathways and certification programs offered by the district. Efforts to share this knowledge with all stakeholders include the following:
- A “Davis Leads the Way” presentation to the Board of Education
- the development of a STEM brochure
- an expanded STEM website
- school based presentations open to the public
- a series of ongoing field trips to STEM designations for students in grades 6-12
- critical organizational and financial support for the Northern Utah College and Career STEM Exposition which engages over 800 high school students in dialogue with industry and education representatives (50 students per Davis, Morgan, and Weber District high schools.) In addition, the EXPO is extended into the evening hours to allow for attendance by younger students, parents, and the general public. (See KSL coverage of the event.)
Teacher Training; Counselor Education; and Parent Involvement
Additional work to implement the grant has focused within the schools. This includes bringing the knowledge base of current teachers in line with modern manufacturing and industry practices. It also includes efforts to expand the knowledge of offerings by the DATC and other ATC programs so that counselors, CTE coordinators, and high school teachers in Davis schools can promote the certification programs available through the ATC system, especially those leading to actual industry certification.
Understanding the benefits of industry certification is essential so that students in Davis schools can make informed choices for post-secondary education whether it be pursuing a university degree or an industry certification. It is also essential so that parents can help their students identify and follow a pathway of courses leading to a desired career as early as the 6th grade. Efforts to improve the use and understanding of pathways, certifications, and ATC programs include the following:
- Creating courses for Davis teachers at the DATC.
- Promoting tours of the DATC to teachers and students.
- Offering competitive scholarships for students seeking industry certifications through DATC programs.
- Promoting the use of pathways, teaching students and parents what they are, where they are located, and how to use them.
- Educating teachers, students, and parents about the STEM certification programs and the diversity of students who can be successful in such programs. This includes students seeking a university degree who typically are not counseled about the benefits of industry certifications as the students can get a certification to get a higher paying job while they complete a university degree or to fall back on if they cannot find a job once they get their degree.
- Involving school counselors in all efforts such as inviting them to the STEM EXPO to gain a better understanding of STEM careers including what constitutes a STEM career and how to align a student’s education history and objectives with a potential STEM pathway. Counselors have also received training by site-based CTE Coordinators regarding what STEM is, what local options exist for STEM and STEM-related programs and certificates, and how to address student interest in STEM fields. (Parents can find a complete list of CTE Coordinators within the high schools here.)
A successful high school industry certification program needs up to date equipment and resources relevant to the career pathways for which they are preparing students. A large portion of the grant funding has gone to preparation of the state’s first Composites 1 high school program at Layton High School. This choice was based on the overwhelming numbers of students now enrolling in DATC Advanced Composites. Teachers across the district have also received funding for STEM-rich options such as 3D printers, robots, injection molding trainers, and technology. Teachers are now able to have their students actually do what is required in industry rather than just describe it or show it in a video.
The High School STEM Certification grant set out to increase the number of students prepared for STEM workforce careers and post-secondary STEM education. Many secondary benefits to the district have been derived from its implementation including enhanced community partnerships, increased parental understanding of STEM, and most importantly, inspired students who now see a fuller range of options for pathways to success.
While Davis School District does not identify STEM specific pathways, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) department does offer pathways in many STEM areas including Engineering, Information Technology, and Aeromanufacturing.
the Utah Aerospace Pathway (UAP) is being piloted in Davis School District in partnership with Orbital ATK, Janicki, Boeing, Hexcel, Harris, and Hill Air Force Base. The Utah Aerospace Pathway was developed in response to the needs of the aerospace manufacturing industry in Utah, a “high tech” environment that demands new workers possess very detailed skill sets. Students in the UAP take courses within the district to achieve Manufacturing Basics competencies and then transition to an Applied Technology College such as the DATC to get entry-level Composites Manufacturing training. A 48-hour paid internship at one of the member companies completes the program.
A new IT pathway was announced by Utah Governor Gary Herbert during a Silicon Slopes Summit. Davis School District will join four southern Wasatch Front districts in piloting the latest component of the Talent Ready Utah Initiative.
“The IT Pathways Program will fill critical workforce needs in our state and ensure the continued success of Utah’s tech industry,” said Gov. Gary Herbert. “This program will be an important investment — for education, for our growing workforce, for the IT industry and for economic opportunity — in other words, for Utah’s future.”
The IT pathway will focus on one of three IT areas — computer science, cyber security or digital media. Courses in each area of focus will be offered either through a magnet program or virtually, allowing students to attend no matter where they reside. The students will begin with coursework in Davis then continue their IT pathway at Davis Tech College or Weber State University.
Students participating in the IT pathway will be given opportunities for certifications and externships with the following partnering companies: Dell EMC, Domo, Structure, PluralSight, Xactware, Banyan, Nuvi and Microsoft.
The launch of the IT Pathways program helps meet a growing need for a tech workforce. Governor Herbert explained that IT Pathways will be part of the state’s Talent Ready Utah initiative and will effectively align education with pressing workforce needs.
“We have more jobs and openings than we have people available to take them. Hence the importance of education,” he said. "(The tech industry) has great (job) opportunities right now, but we don't have enough people in the pipeline."
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 Utah had the greatest percentage of tech job growth in the nation at 7.69 percent. Careers in software and IT represent more than 68,000 jobs at over 4,000 companies.
Speaking to an audience of business and education leaders in the Lehi offices of tech nonprofit Silicon Slopes, Herbert said the state is taking a proactive approach to addressing the need for more qualified workers by creating a program that will track from elementary school through high school and college to get students interested in IT careers and provide the training necessary to have them prepared upon graduation.
Exchanging ideas on strategies to prepare Utah students to enter the workforce, the meeting featured a panel discussion that included Utah Valley University President Matthew Holland, Salt Lake Community College President Deneece Huftalin, Utah State University President Noelle Cockett and Dave Woolstenhulme, commissioner of the Utah System of Technical Colleges. The panel was moderated by Silicon Slopes Executive Director Clint Betts.
“Tech companies play a major role in Utah’s economy, and we hope to keep it that way,” Betts said. “We’re grateful for the show of support from education and community leaders at this meeting and look forward to the outcomes of this partnership.”
Based on the success of the state's other pathways programs, "the state's tech sector will thrive to an even greater degree than it already has," Betts added.
Davis School District has been successful in implementing two other pathways — the Utah Aerospace Pathway and the Medical Innovations Pathway. Davis is in a great position to lead the state with the IT Pathway due to its current offering of technology courses and IT instruction, as well as established partnerships with Davis Tech College and Weber State University.
For more information, see the Deseret News.
- Multi Disciplinary
- Informal Science Education and Enhancement
- SEEd, Desk, and Engineering by Design Crosswalk
- Professional Organizations
- University Outreach
STEM Vendor Meetings
Meetings are held in the PDC, Kendell Building, 70 East 100 North, Farmington.
Sept. 24 4:00 – 6:30
Oct. 30 9:00 – 11:00
Jan 29 4:00 – 6:30
April 29 4:00-6:00
Schedule for January 29
NBC Learn - NBC Learn utilizes compelling storytelling through historic news reports, original video content, and current events coverage to engage, inspire, and educate K12 students. NBC Learn offers a free 30 day trial period.
STEM Pilot - STEMPilot is a K-12 curriculum that teaches students to apply classroom math, science and engineering in Meaningful Project Based STEM Learning platform using flight simulation. STEMPILOT drives meaningful project based STEM learning by using flight simulation as a hands-on and visual learning tool to apply K-12 Math, Science & Engineering with aviation. - Teach students principles of flight leveraging concepts like: Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, physics, Meteorology, Geography and Topography - Demostrate real-world use of STEM with project based learning applications in aviation.
VariQuest CREATE - Make STEM implementation and 3D printing simple and fun with the Trifecta 800 and STEM:IT! Using topic-driven challenges, coding game activities, and 3D modeling projects,
GIZMOS - Gizmos are interactive math and science simulations for grades 3-12 and are sponsored by explorelearning.com. Between 20 and 40 free Gizmos can be accessed with a free account.
Brain Pop - Yvette Nishikawa, (212) 574-6072, email@example.com
Defined STEM - Chris Kolar, (847) 274-3103, firstname.lastname@example.org
Discovery Education - Bill Collier, (312) 402-9873, email@example.com
DoBot Magician - Christian Hunter, (385) 206-2607, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gizmos, Ryan McNichols, (866) 882-4141 x 254, email@example.com
InfiniD Learning Lab - Skyler Carr, (801) 885-6335, firstname.lastname@example.org
NBC Learn - Julia Logue, (212)664-4079, email@example.com
Project Lead the Way - Logan LeCompte, (208) 699-7221, firstname.lastname@example.org
SparkFun - Derek Runberg (303) 284-0979, email@example.com
Sphero - Jeff Couch, (801) 502-9479, firstname.lastname@example.org
StarSmart University - Aaron McEuen, (801-712-3415), email@example.com
STEM Pilot - John Duarte, (619) 341-4769, firstname.lastname@example.org
VariQuest CREATE - Justin Reuter, (612) 271-4157, email@example.com
Workbencheducation - Mary Sprecher, (605) 838-7013, firstname.lastname@example.org
eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams. Your team will propose a solution to a real problem in your community and compete for State, Regional and National Awards.
Students, grades 5-8, are invited to create a 1-2 minute video describing a new, innovative solution that could solve an everyday problem. Ten finalists will be chosen for their passion for science, spirit of innovation and ingenuity, and effective communication skills.
Thousands of students nationwide have participated in the competition and winners have gone on to do some amazing things; including speak in front of members of Congress, work with the nation's top scientists, and pursue academic careers in the sciences.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.
This competition was hosted by DivergeConverge.org, a BYU research group. In the K-12 Student Innovator of the Year competition, students competed for over $6,000 in cash prizes awarded to first, second, and third place for the high school, junior high, and elementary division. A booklet was developed to help students work through the innovation process.
5) Rube Goldberg Engineering Competition
The Rube Goldberg Engineering Competition is sponsored by the Utah Air Force Association Aerospace Education Foundation (AEF) and Weber State University Center for Technology Outreach. The 2018 competition included an Apprentice Division (ages 8 to 11), Division I (ages 11 to 14), and Division II (ages 14 to 18).
6) Sea Perch
Sea Perch is a program in which students build underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). As students work through the engineering design process to build their ROVs, they learn skills in mechanical and electrical engineering and apply knowledge of scientific principles. The competition requires students to maneuver their vehicles through a series of preset tasks.
Sea Perch is sponsored by the US Department of the Navy and a full range of resources is available at SeaPerch.org.
Utah Underwater Robotics is sponsored by the BYU Department of Engineering
For coverage of the 2017-2018 Sea Perch Competition, see the following:
CyberPatriot is a program created by the Air Force Association. Although the focus is on cybersecurity, the competition incorporates all areas of STEM. In the competition, students act as IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Teams are given virtual images that represent operating systems and are challenged to find the vulnerabilities within the systems.
8) Future City
Future City is a project-based learning program for students in grades 6-8. Students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future.
"NASA eClips™ are short, relevant educational video segments. These videos inspire and engage students, helping them see real world connections by exploring current applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, topics. The programs are produced for targeted audiences: K-5, 6-8, 9-12 and the general public.
NASA eClips™ offer unlimited flexibility in the classroom for timing, sequencing and pacing instruction to meet the needs of students and classroom instructors. Educational material for this program is selected based on national curriculum standards identified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, or NCTM, the National Science Teachers Association, or NSTA, and the International Society for Technology in Education, or ISTE. Video segments are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards in Mathematics."
Started by a university professor, this site offers explanantions of how the world works on a wide range of topics. This is a good site to ignite students' curiosity and inspire them to ask their own how stuff works questions for investigation.
"Located in San Francisco, California, the Exploratorium is a public learning laboratory exploring the world through science, art, and human perception. Our mission is to create inquiry-based experiences that transform learning worldwide. Our vision is a world where people think for themselves and can confidently ask questions, question answers, and understand the world around them."
PBS: The PBS Teachers STEM Education Resource Center provides selected STEM education resources. To find more, search the database of nearly 4,000 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics resources for grades preK-12.
RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching) This California-based site is devoted to hands-on learning in Science, Math, Social Studies, Literature, and Art and is searchable by Grade, Subject, Keyword or by Standards.
Bloomsburg University: STEM Resources for Teachers A link library from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.
Career Connections You Tube: Videos featuring employees who use math or science in exciting or unexpected ways.
Students have to work together with teams to solve math challenges in order to get the “code” to unlock the next clue and get the key out of the room. More info at http://www.theescapeclassroom.com/ The first workshop can be downloaded free for teachers. Other tasks are $15.
Kids are full of questions about energy and Alliant Energy Kids is here with answers. The Energy Zone teaches students how energy works, where it comes from, how to conserve it and how to stay safe around it. The lessons also help kids make meaningful connections between the activities they do every day, the energy they use and how it impacts their world.
Ask Dr. Universe connects K-8 students with researchers at Washington State University through Q&A. Students can submit science questions on the ASK page.
3) Berkeley University: Understanding Science
From Berkeley University, Understanding Science is a collection of resources to help teachers increase student understanding of nature and process of science. Includes a self-study guide, a resource library, and a teacher's lounge with lesson plans, teaching tips, and pedagogical strategies.
4) Breathe Utah
Breathe Utah will provide classroom workshops from 40 to 60 minutes in which they teach students what air pollution is, where it comes from, how it affects the human body, and what can be done about it. Air Aware is an interactive presentation tailored to each grade level and can be delivered to individual classrooms or grade-wide assemblies. Their website also includes seven lesson plans for teachers to download and use.
California State University collaborated with the Better Together California Teachers’ Summit to create this very comprehensive list of resources for teachers and schools who are implementing the NGSS.
This is an encylopedic type site that includes lots of helpful illustrations and definitions. Categories covered on this site are matter, atoms, periodic table, elements, reactions, and biochemistry. Partner sites are Biology4Kids, Cosmos4Kids, and Physics4Kids.
6) Education.com 1,621 K-12 Science Activities
7) Fun with Science Games, Smithsonian.com
Great activities for rainy days when students and teachers need a break from routine.
8) Genetics: Two sites that make genetics accessible to students just starting to learn about genetics.
Kinetic and Potential Energy: a Free Interactive Guide
9) Live Science
LiveScience is a commerical news site covering topics in the following areas: Tech, Health, Planet Earth, Strange News, Animals, History, and Culture. Articles do not read like typical Science Journal articles and keep the reader's attention with images, infographics, and quizzes. Sister sites include Our Amazing Planet.
10) Mystery Science
"Open and go" lessons for elementary teachers.
NGSS Alignment guide.
11) NASA SPACE PLACE for elementary students (lower grades)
Lots of fun activities, images, games, and apps to teach our youngest students all about space.
NASA For Educators
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid made of cornstarch and water. It has properties of both liquids and solids. You can slowly dip your hand into it like a liquid, but if you squeeze the oobleck or punch it, it will feel solid. The name oobleck comes from the Dr. Seuss book, “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.” In the story, oobleck, a gooey green substance, fell from the sky and wreaked havoc in the kingdom.
For a student challenge that applies to microorganisms and life science, try “Solve the Outbreak”. You can play it online or get an ipad app. Students must analyze data, make hypothesis, and evaluate evidence to find the source of severe outbreaks.
14) PHET Interactive Simulations
Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery. For teaching tips.
15) The Science Spot
A resource for junior high science teachers and students
Science NetLinks is a FREE science education resource for grades K- 12 provided by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The site includes teaching tools, interactives, podcasts, and lesson plans for hands-on activities.
This is a national project funded by the New Zealand Government to make examples of New Zealand science, technology and engineering more accessible to school teachers and students. Teachers can search by topic or concept and then by activities or articles.
18) Serious Science!
The National Institute of Standards and Technology features a topic page through which you will find news on recent experiments and research as well as spotlight videos on scientists.
Science explorations focused on life science.
20) Strange Matter
Materials science investigations as well as a traveling exhibit.
TeachersTryScience was developed to bring best practices in design-based learning to your school. Design-based learning gives you the flexibility to facilitate and enable students to synthesize skills from a variety of disciplines and integrate them into learning activities. For example, to solve a problem in environmental science, students might need to employ physics, chemistry and earth science concepts and skills. Design-based learning goes further in challenging students to engineer solutions through their knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines.
22) Top Science Websites for Kids by the Spruce.com
YouTube Science Channels
Demos for Young Scientists
Paul Anderson, a science teacher from Bozeman, Montana who has taught science for over 20 years. He has created hundreds of YouTube videos on a range of science topics includinga library of videos for the NGSS.
23) Utah Materials Research Science & Engineering Center
Utah MRSEC has kits available for check out to local teachers to supplement lessons on the properties of light through fun and interactive activities.
Many concepts in the “properties of light” component of the 6th grade Utah science core curriculum can be demonstrated using lenses, different shapes cut from Jell-O and simple laser pointers. These concepts include: reflection, refraction, transmission, and absorption.
Lesson Plan and Resources:
Optics for Eyes: https://www.mrsec.utah.edu/optics-for-eyes
24) The Zooniverse
The Zooniverse is a platform for people-powered research including student-powered! This site brings together volunteers from around the world who come together to assist professional researchers. Its goal is to enable research that would not be possible, or practical, otherwise. Participating in Zooniverse projects does not require any specialized background or training. Students can contribute to real academic research from any computer - at home or at school. Volunteers study authentic objects of interest gathered by researchers such as images of faraway galaxies, historical records and diaries, and videos of animals in their natural habitats. Participants answer simple questions based on their observations. It's simple to get started. Just choose a project from their project page!
25) Weather STEM: A complete examination of all science related to weather. The link provided takes the user to a section connecting the water cycle to weather. There are 15 lessons in this module including experiments and math connections.
26) Website Links from E-Cybermissions E-cybermissions lists websites for many science related topics including the following under the heading Forces and Motion:
FORCES & MOTION WEBSITES
Ask a Scientist
This site allows you to pose questions to scientists or to read through previously asked questions.
Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics
Designed by NASA, this page explains how planes work.
Forces and Motion: Basics - Simulations
Extensive simulations for various physics problems.
Khan Academy - Forces and Newton's Laws of Motion
Lessons about force and motion from Khan Academy. These are presented as videos.
Kinematics: The Physics of Motion
Written lessons and explanations of physics concepts.
Motion and Forces - Simulations
A page of numerous physics-related simulations.
Physics 4 Kids
This page explains forces and motion and provides examples and videos.
Physics of Sandcastles
Learn all about the physics of sandcastles from NASA.
Physics Sites for Kids
A list of sites for students that relate to physics.
Other E-Cybermission topics: Alternative Sources of Engergy; Environment; Food, Heath, and Fitness; National Security and Safety; Robotics; and Technology
27) Website Links from USU for Physics Day: Amusement Park Physics
Clarence Bakken's Physics Day Web Site: Physics/Science/Math Days at California’s Great America
Amusement Park Physics This interactive site by Annenberg Learner explores how the laws of physics play a role in the design of 6 different amusement park rides. Includes a hands-on lesson for designing roller coasters.
Funderstanding: Rollercoaster Design This “game” is a simulation tool for designing a roller coaster where the user is responsible for setting the controls for the height of hill #1, hill #2, the size of the loop, the initial speed of the coaster, its mass, the gravity at work and the amount of friction on the track.
Playground Physics Classroom ActivityA lesson on gravity for students in grades 3-5.
Stephen Van Hook, Adam Lark†, Jeff Hodges, Eric Celebrezze, and Lindsey Channels, “Playground Physics: Determining the Moment of Inertia of a Merry-Go-Round,” The Physics Teacher, February 2007, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp. 85-8. -- A detailed lesson for high school/college physics on the concepts of angular velocity, centripetal acceleration, moment of inertia, and conservation of angular momentum
David Burton, Ride Extravaganza This website gives technical and historical facts on rides from throughout the world.
Duane Marden: The Roller Coaster Data Base
28) WISE from Berkeley: WISE stands for Web-Based Inquiry Science Environment. This is a free supplemental digital platform supported by the National Science Foundation. The library offers 75 projects for grades 6-8 and 9-12 in Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, Biology, and Chemistry. Teacher management tools are included.
1) Boeing: K-12 resources that focus on applying science to solve tough, real-world problems.
For students in grades K-12, engineering challenges in 14 areas.
"Whether you want quality learning challenges to do at home or curriculum for a classroom of eager learners, Curiosity Machine is a perfect source of inspiration to fuel curiosity, creativity, and perseverance while learning about the science and technology that will drive the future."
This site is devoted to organizing volunteers to support engineering activities in the community. It includes a resource section called "Cool Content and Activities" with hands-on lessons, videos, websites, games, lesson plans, and more.
3) Electrical Engineering: Little Bits
4) Engineering for Good: This is a three-week, project-based learning unit for middle school science classrooms focused on developing solutions for negative impacts of plastics on the environment. In this NGSS-aligned unit, students use the engineering design process to define a problem, brainstorm solutions, develop prototypes and iterate on their designs. The project culminates with students producing videos about their solutions to share with the community.
5) Engineering: Go For It!
6) Engineering is Elementary (eie.org)
With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Bechtel Foundation, the Web site provides elementary teachers with over 100 easy-to-do engineering design projects that can be replicated either in the classroom or used as do-at-home activities for students and their parents.
The TeachEngineering digital library is a collaborative project between faculty, students and teachers associated with five universities, with National Science Foundation funding. TeachEngineering is a searchable, web-based digital library collection populated with standards-based engineering curricula for use by K-12 teachers and engineering faculty to make applied science and math come alive through engineering design in K-12 settings. The TeachEngineering collection provides educators with *free* access to a growing curricular resource of activities, lessons, units and living labs.
Tryengineering.org is a resource for students parents, and teachers. Its goal is to help students understand better what engineering means and how an engineering career can be made part of their future.
10) University of Utah Engineering Department Lesson Plans
Artificial Heart Valves, Bottle Rockets, Building Wings, Chemical Engineering,Electronics,Exploring Engineering, Materials and Metallurgy, Paper Boats, Pop Can Hero Engine, Programming Robots, Prosthetic Leg Activity, Something That Moves, Towers and Bridges, Water Unit – Basin, Water Unit – Dams, Water Unit – Locks, Wind Turbines
11) A World in Motion by SAE International.
This website gives background information and provides related videos for each of 14 engineering challenges.
“The National Academy of Engineering (NAE), at the request of the National Science Foundation, convened a committee of leading technical thinkers to create a list of the grand challenges and opportunities for engineering facing those born at the dawn of this new century.
15) Engineering Girl is a website/program devoted to encouraging girls to consider careers in engineering. It also provides useful information on a range of engineering careers that would be interesting to both girls and boys.
1) Arduino Software Download Site
2) Arduino Education Site
3) Advanced projects for the Arduino:
- Maryland MESA Fabulous Arduino Resources:
6) Adafruit: An all in one shop for Arduino and Robotics supplies
7) Adafruit for educators: guides, videos, and kits
8) Addicore: A Utah based company offering electronic parts for makers and educators
9) Jesseybug Electronics & Arduinos Inventor's Kits: Kits for learning electronics through hands-on activities including making a space invader's game. Offers kits for beginners to advanced robotics.
10) Recommended Starter's Kit:
A dissertation that includes 14 labs for high school students.
12) Sparkfun: The ultimate educators resource for arduinos and programming with great educator discounts
13) Instructables.com: This website features projects submitted by hobbyists, so the quality of projects varies widely. The arduino section features a 4-part introductory course and many of the projects are labeled for beginners.
Join the Ozobot Blog and see how other teachers use Ozobots in their classrooms.
Creator of the Month shares outstanding applications such as combining coding with writing in the English classroom.
Ozobot offers a K-12 library of STEAM lessons including the following:
Color Codes basic lessons
Ozo Blockly Basic Training
Code.org offers the following:
Free Computer Science Curriculum: Elementary to High School
Find a guest speaker for your classroom:
"Thousands of engineers and individuals passionate about computer science have signed up to volunteer as a mentor or a guest speaker. You can use our map of volunteers to contact local volunteers to visit your classroom, or search in any city to find computer science students or technical professionals who are ready to inspire your students remotely, via video chat."
Links to 3rd Party Offerings
The following organizations are part of the STEM Center’s iSEE program (Informal Science Education Enhancement). As members of iSEE, each institution offers outreach programs, field trips, professional development, and teacher resources.
Clark Planetarium: http://clarkplanetarium.org/education/field-trips/
- Free Admission to Hansen Dome Theater for educational shows (no laser shows) and Science on a Sphere presentations. One free adult for every 10 students, then adults are $6 each as long they are part of the original reservation. Any last minute adults are $7 and are NOT guaranteed a seat.
- ATK IMAX Theater is $6 for all schools. Value Season Discount tickets for the ATK IMAX Theatre are $4/person during September 1st through February 28th.
Discovery Gateway: http://www.discoverygateway.org/visit-the-museum/group-visits/
Field trip topics include predator-prey relationships, adaptations, conservation, and data collection. Also offers an outreach program for middle and high school students called “Raptor Biology Through the Seasons: Fall Migration, Winter Survival, and Spring Nesting.”
See http://www.hawkwatch.org/our-work/educational-programs/school-programs for information on outreach presentations.
The Leonardo: http://www.theleonardo.org/educators/field-trips/
Self-guided field trips last 1 ½ – 2 hours and cost $4.00 per student. Special Traveling Exhibits are not included in this ticket price but exclusive discounted pricing may be available.
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium: http://www.thelivingplanet.com/2012-03-30-18-26-44/field-trips
Currently offers 14 different programs K-12; $4.95
The Natural History Museum: https://nhmu.utah.edu/educators
Free Self-guided Field Trips K-12
Red Butte Garden at the University of Utah: www.redbuttegarden.org
Field trip offers hands-on activities during a two-hour tour tailored to each grade level.
Thanksgiving Point: http://www.thanksgivingpoint.org/classesandprograms/foreducators/fieldtrips
Museum of Ancient Life (K-12); Gardens (Explorer Only); Farm Country (K-6); Museum of Natural Curiosity (K-6); Mammoth Screen Movie (K-12); Middle School Career Exploration (6-8)
Explorer: $4 Explorer Plus: $5 (Guided)
Utah Science with Engineering Education Standards (SEEd)
Davis Essential Skills and Knowledge (DESK)
ITEEA Engineering by Design (EbD)
Note: Only certified and licensed Utah teachers may access Engineering by Design resources. Only certified and licensed Davis School District employees may access DESK resources.
Download the document above and then use the links provided to select the desired resource. (You can also create your own ITEEA account.) Below is a list of the strands included in each crosswalk.
6th Grade Crosswalk
Strand 6.1: STRUCTURE AND MOTION WITHIN THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Strand 6.2: ENERGY AFFECTS MATTER
Strand 6.3: EARTH’S WEATHER PATTERNS AND CLIMATE
Strand 6.4: STABILITY AND CHANGE IN ECOSYSTEMS
7th Grade Crosswalk
Strand 7.1: FORCES ARE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN MATTER
Strand 7.2: CHANGES TO EARTH OVER TIME
Strand 7.3: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF LIFE
Strand 7.4: REPRODUCTION AND INHERITANCE
Strand 7.5: CHANGES IN SPECIES OVER TIME
8th Grade Crosswalk
Strand 8.1: MATTER AND ENERGY INTERACT IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD
Strand 8.2: ENERGY IS STORED AND TRANSFERRED IN PHYSICAL SYSTEMS
Strand 8.3: LIFE SYSTEMS STORE AND TRANSFER MATTER AND ENERGY
Strand 8.4: INTERACTIONS WITH NATURAL SYSTEMS AND RESOURCES
There are many professional organizations that contribute to the advancement of STEM Education.
These include the following:
- the American Mathematical Society (www.ams.org)
- the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (www.ieee.org)
- the American Society of Civil Engineers (www.asce.org)
- the National Science Teachers Association (www.nsta.org)
- the Society of Women Engineers (www.swe.org)
- the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
- American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE)
- American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME)
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
- Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
- Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
Professional organizations offer many resources for students, parents, and teachers:
1) The American Society for Engineering Education Outreach Website for Teachers. This site includes access to a magazine written especially for students, a collection of videos made just for teens, and a site for teachers with lesson plans and other resources.
2) The American Society of Mechanical Engineers promotes the art, science, and practice of interdisciplinary engineering. This educational site features high interest articles on recent advancements in engineering as well as awe-inspiring videos sure to catch your students' attention.
3) The Association for Computing Machinery offers an education outreach including posters, brochures, and vidoes.
4) The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers sponsors a separate website called Try Engineering. Try Engineering has a wealth of resources including the following:
- Life of an Engineer: Various profiles of real-life engineers highlight what an average work day can be like.
- Become an Engineer: Students can learn how to prepare for a career in engineering.
- Insights from Experts: Visitors can browse answers to engineering-related question answered by an engineering undergraduate student or an engineer.
- Find a University: Visitors can search for accredited engineering and engineering technology degree programs in Canada and the United States.
- Play Games: Children can try virtual activities that introduce them to basic engineering concepts.
- Lesson Plans: Teachers can download free lesson plans that are aligned with national U.S. education standards on a variety of topics, such as building a robot arm, electric motors, and Ohm's Law.
5) The American Society of Civil Engineers has an outreach program for teachers, parents, and students which includes hands-on activities, videos, and lesson plans in support of competitions such as bridge building and designing a future city.
University Outreach Offerings in STEM Education
From classroom presentations to field trips, many local universities offer outreach programs for grades K-12.
Utah State University
Utah State University Extension
Classroom Presentations Grades K-2 and 3-6
College of Science
Science Unwrapped: Established in 2009, Science Unwrapped is a free, monthly presentation series, open to the public, hosted by Utah State University's College of Science. Inquiring minds of all ages are invited to learn about the wonders, the joys, the mishaps, the fun, the unexpected detours and the excitement of scientific discovery. Science Unwrapped presentations are held on Friday evenings at 7 pm in the Eccles Science Learning Center during the regular academic year. Slides, videos, podcasts and hand-outs from previous Science Unwrapped presentation along with suggested readings and web links are available.
Science Learning Activity Ideas are available for 12 different subjects: Biology, Chemistry/BioChemistry, Computer Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, General Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Watershed Science, Wildlife Sciences.
USU Entomology Club Guided Insect Tours: Guided USU Insect Tours can accommodate up to 25 people per tour; large groups are be divided into smaller sections and rotated through the collection. Group leaders may want to consider visiting other campus sites like Aggie Ice Cream or the Museum of Anthropology in conjunction with the USU Insect Tours. The tours usually last about 30 minutes and are customized for the group’s age and experience level. All tours include a short presentation on General Entomology, the Oh My! Collection, and the USU Bug Zoo.
College of Engineering
The USU Engineering Ambassadors would be happy to host your students.
Contact Kristina ‘Nina’ Glaittli, Retention & Recruiting Specialist, 435-797-2705
Before scheduling a visit, gather the following information.
1. How old/what grade are these students?
2. How many students do you expect will come?
3. Do you have a day and time that you are considering?
4. How much time will you have?
5. What kind of activities are you hoping for? e.g. Facility tour? “What is Engineering” presentation? Hands on design activity? We can do one, two, or all three depending on the answers to the above questions.
Weber State University
EAST: The College of Engineering, Applied Science, and Technology
K-12 Outreach Programs include the following and more:
Lego Leagues: Lego League Jr, FIRST Lego League, FIRST Tech Challenge
Gear UP: Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness
GEAR UP is a federally funded program designed to help students succeed in high school and successfully achieve a college graduation. The program is offered free of charge to eligible students at Clearfield, Layton, Mountain, and Roy High Schools. Student and family services include academic achievement support, financial aid awareness and assistance, college campus visits, application support, ACT preparation, FAFSA completion assistance, etc.
Wasatch Front North Region CTE Pathways
The University of Utah
Department of Physics and Astronomy
The AstronomUrs Department of Physics and Astronomy offers Star Parties, Solar Parties, Presentations, and Demonstrations:
"We can bring our scopes, demos (some are too large or fragile to transport), and presentations to your K-12 school. Another option is to have your class come to our campus where we can do the presentations and demos here. There is no limit to the size of class we can visit but the larger the class, the more time will be needed for observing through the telescopes. We do have a limit on how many can come to our campus unless we break your large group into smaller sections. We have a classroom limit of 30 and a rooftop limit of 45. If you would like to put together a star party for an after school event, just ask!"
For more information, visit http://www.physics.utah.edu/index.php/for-the-community/
MESA schools, please use this e-mail address: email@example.com
College of Engineering
The College of Engineering offers an extensive K-12 Outreach program including the following:
Material Checkout for hands-on activities
For more information, contact Morgan Boyack, Academic Program Coordinator
The Materials Science Department also offers outreach including guest speakers and lesson plans. Contact the outreach coordinator Richard Otero.
Lesson plans for 6th grade investigations into "properties of light" developed in partnership with the National Science Foundation.
College of Science
Other University STEM Resources
Wisconsin Online was launched in 2000 and now attracts up to 650,000 visitors a month from 208 countries. The site is a collaborative effort of 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System and was designed as a digital library of learning objects.
STEM Resources tab inks users to CDE resources in Education Technology, Engaging Girls in STEM, Environmental Education, Mathematics, and Science as well as External resourcessuch as the PBS STEM Teacher.
Northeastern University Center for STEM Education
The Center for STEM Education at Northeastern University seeks to build and support a community of educators, researchers, and students, with the collective goal of strengthening the K-20 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational ecosystem.
The University of St. Thomas Center for Engineering Education
Engineering Education: Connecting STEAM to Students' Real World
Units available vary. Currently featuring "Stormwater Best Practices Management."
Berkley Understanding How Science Really Works.
Here you will find a variety of resources to help you increase student understanding of nature and process of science. To improve your own content knowledge, explore Understanding Science 101 and their resource library. To prepare yourself with lesson plans, teaching tips, and pedagogical strategies, visit a Teacher's Lounge or explore the all-level resources.
Bloomsburg The University of Pennsylvania sponsors the site STEM Resources for Teachers. This site offers a wide range of resources from cybersecurity to oceanography.
TIP: Start at "home" with the Davis School District Foundation Classroom Grants.
STEM Action Center Classroom Grants
The STEM Action Center awards classroom grants up to $1500.00 for teachers and administrators. The center has two windows each year when grants are accepted. For more information, visit the webpage.
Use this worksheet to help gather ideas or evern write a first draft: Grant worksheet
The Utah Aerospace Education Foundation
The Utah Aerospace Education Foundation awards grants up to $500.00 for activities related to aerospace education.
Providers of STEM related products often offer grant writing guides.
For purchase of Pearson products, see their grant writing site at https://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PSZuE4
Grant Writing Guide from Ozobot
For comprehensive Foundation Funding, visit The Foundation Center at http://foundationcenter.org/find-funding
STEM Materials Available for Check-Out
Engineering is Elementary Units and Materials Kits
These are listed on a separate page. You can also view the checkout calendar from that page. Click on this link to be redirected to the EiE page.
Stomp Rocket Launchers
These work with the EiE unit Rockets and Rovers, but they can also be used separately as a fun activity especially for students in grades 2-3 making and launching simple paper rockets. # Available is 4.
Straw Rocket Launchers
These are manufactured by Pitsco. # Available is 2.
The Teacher Guide provides detailed directions for care and use, lesson plans, and ideas for extension lessons.
Straw Rocket Materials
This kit includes the essentials for working with the straw rocket launchers: straws, modeling clay for the noses, and index cards for the fins. These materials are available from Pitsco.com for 26.50.
LEGOS Airplane Kits
These kits consist of rectangular bricks in three different colors and sizes: 2X2, 2X4, and 2X8. In each set, there are 90 of both the 2X2’s and the 2X4’s and 45 of the 2X8’s. We have 8 sets so the class will need to be divided into at least 8 teams.
The task is for each team of students to build airplanes that follow a specific pattern in a timed interval. The challenge or problem to be solved is creating a system that will yield the best result.
You might want to create some competition between classes or even between schools! #Available is 8.
You might want to create some competition between classes or even between schools! #Available is 8.
Pictured below are students at Endeavor Elementary who are very much engaged in this problem solving challenge.
To Check Out STEM Materials:
Please e-mail Julie Sargent firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will need to provide the following:
1) Your name
2) Your school
3) Your position
4) Item requested
5) How long you will need the item. EiE Kits can be kept up to 4 weeks as it may take that long to complete a unit. Other items should be returned within a week.
It is preferable that teachers or schools arrange for kits to be picked up but district transport can be requested if necessary.
The Utah STEM Action Center
The best way to stay up to date with offerings for students interested in STEM is to regularly visit the Utah STEM Action Center at https://stem.utah.gov
Here you will find information on science and engineering fairs, competitions, summer camps, and much more.
You can also register to receive monthly newsletters at https://stem.utah.gov/newsletter
or you can read their Spotlights which often focus on students at https://stem.utah.gov/weeklyspotlights
And although this page falls under Educators, there are many resources published for students and parents as well at https://stem.utah.gov/for-educators/website-resources
For example, the following site is listed there: https://learning-center.homesciencetools.com/science-projects. While this site was originally established to help home schools find science supplies, the site has expanded and serves teachers and families.