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Instructional Resources - Science

Teaching the Colorado Academic Standards in science is supported through a wide array of free instructional resources. This webpage lists just a few of these resources and will be updated regularly. If you are an educator in Colorado and have suggestions for a great free resource please email Joanna Bruno. For additional opportunities please check Professional Development.

The resources are currently organized by the following main topics:

  • Biological Science
  • Earth Science
  • General Science
  • Literacy in Science
  • Laboratory Safety
  • Physical Science
  • Science and Engineering Practices
  • Technology in Education

Biological Science

Earth Science

  • The CLEAN (Climate Literacy & Envergy Awareness Network) - A collection of over 500 searchable scientifically and pedagogically reviewed digital resources for teaching about climate science, climate change, and energy awareness.
  • Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) - A free resource that supports teaching and learning about the Earth system. Resources include lesson plans, curricula, scientific data, visualizations, interactive computer models, and virtual field trips and labs, simulations, podcasts from kindergarten to graduate level. Also included are Earth Science literacy maps that relate to specific Earth science concepts and associated educational standards.
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) - Plans, organizes, and conducts atmospheric and related research programs in collaboration with universities.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - A federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere.
  • SPARK - Supporting weather and climate learning, SPARK provides online educational resources and professional development opportunities for teachers.
  • University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Community Programs - A collection of eight programs which create, conduct, and coordinate projects that strengthen education and research in the atmospheric, oceanic and earth sciences.

General Science

  • AAAS Science Assessment - The assessment items on this website are the result of more than a decade of research and development by Project 2061, a long-term science education reform initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • BrainPop - Videos about science, math, engineering, etc.
  • Bozeman Science Videos - Site maintained by a science teacher in Montana, includes videos about Education with specific science and math subjects (anatomy, biology, chemistry, earch science, physics, statistics).
  • Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) - Part of the PhET (Physics Education Technology) Project and the PER@C (Physics Education Research Group at Colorado).
  • Destination Imagination - A non-profit, volunteer-led, cause-driven organization. Their purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders.
  • Green 360 Careers - Cultivating change-making solutions to environmental challenges, Green 360 connects high school and college age students with tools, information, and people they need to make informed choices and create pathways to green careers.
  • The Inquiry Project: Implementation, assessment, research - Includes resources for curriculum (grades 3-5), assessments, professional development for teachers.
  • Lab Out Loud podcast - Lab out Loud is a podcast and blog that discusses science news and science education with leading scientists, researchers, science writers and other important figures in the field.
  • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Create a Graph - online resource to create different types of graphs.
  • The National Science Digital Library - Provides high quality online educational resources for teaching and learning, with current emphasis on the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines--both formal and informal, institutional and individual, in local, state, national, and international educational settings.
  • National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Science Literacy Maps - A tool for teachers and students to find resources that relate to specific science and math concepts.
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) - An independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense..."
  • National Science Teachers Association - A member-driven organization, 60,000-strong that offers cutting-edge Professional Development opportunities, and publishes books, journals, and additional content on effective teaching strategy and best practices.
  • A Parent's Guide to 21st-Century Learning - Download or share this free PDF with grade-specific resources to help parents nurture 21st-Century skills at home. No available in Spanish!
  • PBS Learning Media - Online resources including videos, games, audio clips, photos, lesson plans, etc.
  • Science Notebooks - Can be used to help students develop, practice, and refine their science understanding, while also enhancing reading, writing, mathematics and communications.
  • Understanding Science - Their mission is to provide a fun, accessible, and free resource that accurately communicates what science is and how it really works.

Laboratory Safety

Literacy in Science

  • LDC Toolkit - The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) offers a research based approach to incorporating literacy into all areas of content in grades K-12 by providing a common framework that facilitates teacher creativity and builds literacy skills across content areas. LDC equips teachers with the tools and training needed to implement the college- and/or career-ready expectations embodied in the Common Core State Standards so that all students experience effective teaching and learning in all subject areas throughout their schooling and emerge with the skills necessary to meet the demands of the 21st century global marketplace. The toolkit provides a step-by-step process for helping Colorado teachers utilize LDC to improve the delivery of classroom literacy instruction across content areas.
  • National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Papers - Engaging students in the scientific practices of explanation and argumentation; and What does constructing and revising models look like in the science classroom?
  • Supporting Claim, Evidence and Reasoning (Kate McNeil) - Presentation of the Claims, Evidence and Reasoning (CER) Framework as it applies to national standards.
  • Understanding Language - Aims to heighten educator awareness of the critical role that language plays in State Standards. The long-term goal of the initiative is to increase recognition that learning the language of each academic discipline is essential to learning content. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information; articulating and building on ideas; constructing explanations; engaging in argument from evidence--such language-rich performance expectations permeate the new Standards.

Physical Science

  • American Chemical Society - A congressionally chartered independent membership organizaiton which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.
  • ComPADRE - A network of physics and astronomy online resources.
  • National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) - The U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.
  • PhET Interactive Science Simulations - PhET provides fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena for free.
  • The Physics Classroom - An online, free-to-use physics website developed primarily for high school physics students and teachers. The website features a variety of sections intended to support both teachers and students in the task of learning and teaching physics.

Science and Engineering Practices

  • The 10 best STEM Resources from NEA - The National Education Association (NEA) has compiled ten resources for curriculum and professional development.
  • Colorado Experiential STEM Learning Network - Their mission is to collaborate with schools, policy  makers, and businesses in order to create extraordinary STEM experiences for students and teachers. Thus, increasing science literacy and promoting science identity construction. The network is designed to create an online and offline community of practice such that interactions lead to an action, whether it be schools reaching out to businesses for hands-on activities, or community involvement in student projects and intiatives.
  • Destination Imagination - Encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem-solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.
  • StageLearn: Case Studies for Grades 7-12 - A FREE rich media ecosystem founded in 2012 in New York City that uses animation videos to introduce the case method to students and expose them to experiences in STEM courses grades 7-12.
  • STEM Education Coalition - Works to support STEM programs for teachers and students at the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies that offer STEM-related programs.
  • STEMworks Database - The STEMworks! Change the Equation (CTEq) hosts a database of programs that deepen young people's learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The database aims to be a critical resource for funders, program developers and STEM advocates alike. 

Technology in Education

  • Bloom's Taxonomy and Technology Integration - A school site used to integrate higher- and lower-order thinking skills with technology.
  • Colorado Career and Technical Education (CTE) - Provides quality educational programs emphasizing core academic content, post-secondary and workforce readiness (PWR) competencies, technical skills, and seamless transition to further education or employment.
  • Colorado Technology Association  - Dedicated to foster growth and opportunity for the technology industry. The Annenberg Foundation has a website for educator professional development with great workshops and courses for mathematics and science teachers. The courses are free but for a fee graduate credit is available from Colorado State University. Teaching Channel is a website designed to support the professional learning of teachers through videos of high quality teaching, discussion questions and opportunities for asynchronous conversations. Find ideas on integrating design skills using mathematics and science. 
  • An in-depth website for potential and current students considering a career with computers, software engineering, and more.

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For website assistance in Science, please contact Joanna Bruno.

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