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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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STEM: Virtual Projects to Inspire Lessons in Your Classroom

Dr. Katie Klinger

STEM & Digital Equity Grantwriter & Education Technology Integration Expert

STEM at MIT is an exciting Web site experience that promotes their summer institute, mentoring program, and parents' programming. The site also offers a resource page with links to NASA Kids, Discovery Channel, and the MIT museum.

There you will also find these useful sites:

  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • Minority Scientists Network
  • Girls Go Tech
  • In my exploration of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), discovering their Virtual Science Community (VCS) became the highlight of my search and the focus of this blog post today. The VCS was created with the support of a grant by the Motorola Foundation to motivate American Indians and Alaska Natives to pursue STEM careers.

    The 2009 student-generated Virtual Science Projects (fifth-twelfth grade) on this site showcase multiple levels of student creativity and innovation in STEM fields inspired by each student's curiosity about the world around them. In addition, the projects are Webcasted from the National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair (NAISEF) held in March 2010.

    You can also use these projects to teach students about the six steps in a scientific inquiry model: introduction, purpose, hypothesis, procedures, materials, and conclusion -- the basic structure of thousands of science fair projects each year in our nation.

    The Student Projects

    At this point in time, five high-quality science projects are available online for review:

    As AISES describes it so succinctly, these virtual science projects provide the foundation "to foster greater interaction, dialogue, and innovation in STEM research." You can start by investigating the creative projects within this site with your students; each project contains an abstract that details the purpose and methodology of the experiment to facilitate your choice.

    You can tell by the project titles, these students have developed an awareness of the relevance of scientific inquiry to their own lives. It is my hope that these students will become leaders in our communities where "Going Green" will not be a separate topic in our curricula -- instead it will be a transparent way of life if we are to save our planet for future generations.

    (Consider joining the Edutopia group STEM Education for further online resources, lesson ideas, and discussion.)

Dr. Katie Klinger

STEM & Digital Equity Grantwriter & Education Technology Integration Expert
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