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Universe Sandbox: A Cool Web Application for STEM Teachers

Posted on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 @ 13:04 PM

stem teachersUniverse Sandbox is an interactive space simulator that is just as much about breaking scientific laws as it is about learning them.

Most astronomy software allows you to click your away around the solar system, but Universe Sandbox is a powerful gravity simulator. Add another star to our solar system and watch it rip the planets from their orbits. Create impossible planet alignments and watch it all unravel.

The very fact that students can dismantle their electronic universe in a few simple mouse clicks is destructive, sure, but it also shows them just how precarious and complicated our world really is.

The free version allows users to explore and discover any simulation. You can also upgrade to the premium version ($9.95) for unlimited control.

Here are some additional features of Universe Sandbox:

  • Explore our solar system, including planets, asteroids, comets, and moons
  • Line up planets and reorder them according to mass or velocity
  • Rip Saturn's rings apart in 3D: Put on some 3D glasses to see Saturn's rings ripped away by a passing planet
  • View the paths of hundreds of asteroids & moons
  • Compare the moon and dwarf planets
  • View constellations

 



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Topics: science curriculum, science experiments, STEM careers, STEM jobs, STEM curriculum, science and engineering education

Glean: An Excellent Resource for STEM Teachers

Posted on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 14:04 PM

stem teachersYouTube is an excellent resource for STEM teachers, but sorting through the clutter and finding videos we can use in the classroom is often tedious and time consuming. There are plenty of alternatives to YouTube, but our current favorite is Glean.

Every day, you’ll find hundreds of new teacher-created videos on Glean. To ensure that you find the math and science content you’re looking for, Glean organizes these videos, tags them by educational standard, and wraps them up in interactive tools (like Q&A and practice exercises).

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But Glean is much more than a massive database of educational videos: Using “Insight” technology, Glean pairs students with lessons that suit their individual learning styles. Each lesson is short enough to hold students’ attention, but substantive enough to cover an entire textbook topic.

Another noteworthy feature is that Glean allows teachers to monitor student engagement through an administrative account. From here, you’ll see what videos students have watched and how much they’ve watched.

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Topics: science curriculum, science experiments, STEM careers, STEM jobs, STEM curriculum, science and engineering education

Enhance your science curriculum with 5 free science video series

Posted on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 @ 10:06 AM

We’ve often wondered where our science curriculum would be without all of the free videos we find on the Internet. Not only do videos introduce a new voice into the classroom, they help us bring clarity to abstract concepts and present them in engaging (and often very entertaining) ways. So that you don’t have to spend hours perusing the Internet for the best videos to enhance your science curriculum, we’ve done it for you. Here are five of our favorites:

Enhance your science curriculum with 5 free science video series

science curriculumVideoSci curates the best science videos from all over the Internet, so you don’t have to wade through the clutter yourself. Each video offers a brief synopsis along with a commenting and rating system. There is an extensive tag system and categories for exploring videos of your taste easily.

science curriculumWe’ve gushed over the Green brothers before (we’re big fans of their Crash Course video series), but we only recently discovered another series they’ve put together called SciShow. Like Crash Course, SciShow is substantive, but also entertaining. Their series offers a wide range of videos that cover anything from “The Science of Lying,” and “What is the Oldest Tree in the World?” to Great Minds, a series in which each episode highlights a new scientist.

science curriculumThe periodic table contains 118 elements and the University of Nottingham has made a video for each one! In addition to these videos, you’ll find films about other areas of chemistry along with the latest news and occasional adventures away from the lab.

science curriculumPerhaps you’d like to take a 3D hike at Machu Picchu? Maybe you want to know how you can get an ant to carry a sign with a personalized message on it or know why a cat always lands on its feet? Smarter Every Day can help.

 



science curriculumMinute Physics
offers a collection of narrated, time-lapsed drawings to explain physics-related topics in roughly one minute. Henry Reich, the creator of the series, will cover anything from “How Big is the Universe?” and “Top 10 Reasons Why We Know the Earth is Round” to “Is There Poop on the Moon” and “Is it Better to Walk or Run in the Rain?”

 

 

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