STEM education provides many opportunities and challenges. How can our practice evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century learners?

STEM Resources

Eric Brunsell Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh

Comments (112)

Comment RSS
Author of many science books for children

Quote:My kids' elementary

Was this helpful?

My kids' elementary school's PTA put together some "Brown Bag" science experiments with all of the needed supplies to do fun science projects at home. The students check them out from the library and do them at home. They often get extra credit, but generally they just do them for fun. They are stuff like creating silly putty. A great resource for elementary age levels is the Girl Scout Brownie and Junior badge books - no kidding! They do research on what girls like and constantly change it based on today's interests. They are cheap, safe and fun. Most of the activities take about 20 minutes and can be set up as centers. I used the book to organize a "Mad Scientist" event attended by 300 children who had a great time making bubbles, sound buzzers and ice cream.

Check out my book We Dare You! It's great for after school activities. I've posted lots of videos of kids doing experiments on my website:

You can also join the video project.

Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh

Was this helpful?

I would be interested to find out what the PTA used as a resource for the "brown bag" experiments. Do you have any more information?


Early Childhood Specialist

Resources for Young Children

Was this helpful?

The sciences are getting a lot of attention in early education. In particular, the most recent issue of Young Children, the journal of the Nat'l Assoc for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) can be found at Please go beyond the journal to see all the books on these topics that the organization has available.
I would also send you to the Nature Action Collaborative for Children at They have lots of resources and hold a biennial meeting at the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City NE.
Speaking of NE, they have done a lot of good work. (Disclosure: I was the ECE Admin at the Department of Education for many years and am the co-author with Susan Andersen of IA of the Call to Action which may be found along with a set of guidelines for nature education for preschool children)

Mathematics is also receiving a lot of attention in ECE. Again, you can find many resources through NAEYC. The May Young Children had a math theme: Also, if you Google the name Douglas Clements, you will have links to major work being done in this areas.
Before I forget--don't miss Green Hour --a terrific site for age appropriate activities and information mostly targeted to parents.

I hope this helps. I'd be happy to respond to any other questions you or others in the group might have about working with children in the birth through eight age range. Mostly, I could direct you to easily accessible online resources.
Harriet Egertson

Math Teacher and Instructional Coach

Was this helpful?

I am looking for some interesting sites that have some hands on math activities for grades K - 8 with a focus on visual strategies with the ESOL students in mind. Any ideas?


great resource

Was this helpful?

I was not familar with this series from the Boston Museum of Science. Thanks for sharing! Any recommendations for Chemistry?

Post experiments please.

Was this helpful?

Can you post the experiments so others can set up something similar?

K-5 Science Specialist

Wow you are the first person

Was this helpful?

Wow you are the first person who I know/spoke about FOSS kits in a negative light. We adopted FOSS and STC kits for Boston Public Schools and all the science teachers love them. Yes they don't cover everything but we can add to it just fine. As long as you cover the state standards that is the main thing.
Why don't you like FOSS is it the program itself, the kit(s) you have?

6th grade teacher; STEM Magnet school in Maple Grove, Minnesota

Foss Kits

Was this helpful?

Foss Kits provide the basis of our STEM curriculum, but I have to say I didn't like the kits very much until we became a magnet and participated in a great deal of extra training and instruction in inquiry teaching. That changed my opinion of the kits - and revolutionized my teaching.

Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh

K-12 Engineering

Was this helpful?

Hi all-
Has anyone read "Engineering in K-12 Education" by the National Academies? It is on my list to read in December...

(Can be read for free online)

Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other "STEM" subjects--science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness of engineering and the work of engineers, boost youth interest in pursuing engineering as a career, and increase the technological literacy of all students. The teaching of STEM subjects in U.S. schools must be improved in order to retain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and to develop a workforce with the knowledge and skills to address technical and technological issues.

Engineering in K-12 Education reviews the scope and impact of engineering education today and makes several recommendations to address curriculum, policy, and funding issues. The book also analyzes a number of K-12 engineering curricula in depth and discusses what is known from the cognitive sciences about how children learn engineering-related concepts and skills.

Engineering in K-12 Education will serve as a reference for science, technology, engineering, and math educators, policy makers, employers, and others concerned about the development of the country's technical workforce. The book will also prove useful to educational researchers, cognitive scientists, advocates for greater public understanding of engineering, and those working to boost technological and scientific literacy.

I just joined this group,

Was this helpful?

I just joined this group, just found Edutopia in fact. What a wonderful website. I have linked to it through my new website, Last week I had done a demo of AeroLab, a STEM program created by the Academy of Model Aeronautics. Video I created about AeroLab. A simple model plane flies on a tether and calculations aredone from this.

see more see less