Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Molecular Workbench - free visual, interactive science experiments and lessons



Molecular Workbench is a free and open source system that provides visual, interactive simulations for science. The simulations are in lesson format, with embedded assessments and the ability to change variables and see what happens. There are hundreds of free simulations in physics, chemistry, biology, biotech and nanotech.

Some are similar to the simulations in PhET, but these are more lesson based vs. just a simulation. They are well written and designed and the interactive simulations really explain concepts well and let students explore them in more depth.

The other very cool feature is that educators can customize any of these simulations to better fit their lessons and you can use the software (free) to create your own from scratch using their modeling tools.

Here is a screen shot from the Heat and Temperature module. The introduction page has a simulation that shows molecular movement based on temperature.



Molecular Workbench is one of those resources that has a lot of potential. Teachers can use them as part of class, as extra help, or as an online course. Students could even use the software to create their own simulations and lessons as an assignment.




Related:

PhET - free online science and math simulations - very cool!


CK-12 - free e-textbooks - download, Kindle, iPad



CK12 is a great resource for students and teachers. Their flexbook site contains tons of online textbooks, all free, for teachers to use. You can also create your own flexbook on the site, combining parts of other textbooks from their site, or using materials of your own.

They currently have flexbooks in Physics, Math, Earth Science, Chemistry, Biology, History, SAT Prep, Composition Science and Technology, but there are always more being created and added.

The site is relatively easy to use and I plan on creating my own Flexbook for my Physics class.

Many of them are in PDF files and you can download the Flexbooks app for iPad and Kindle. Many of the books have links and videos also. All of the books I've looked at are very well written and will be a great resource. 

Why spend precious dollars on static textbooks when you can get some great ones online for free?






Related Articles:





The effects of poverty on students must be addressed in education reform



There have been some great discussions over the years about the effects of poverty on students and the obstacles poverty creates for them in regards to school and education. I teach in a school district where 95% of the students qualify for free lunch and poverty is a major issue.

Richard Byrne started it off and the discussion is very thought provoking. You can see the conversation starter at Richard's Blog- http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2011/11/balancing-reform-with-reality.html and then follow it onto Google+.

Poverty is a huge factor in student achievement. Students in poverty have other things to worry about, like working to help the family, taking care of siblings, no where to do homework, and many more issues. They may have gotten a slow start in school, miss school for a variety of issues, and not see the importance of education. They may have no help at home from parent(s) or they may be the ones helping their parent(s) learn English or how to read. They may spend the evening cooking and cleaning and taking care of their siblings and helping them with their homework. They may not have any quiet place to do homework or study and may not have a computer to use. Poor nutrition, poor medical care, and poor living conditions can also contribute to developmental and health issues.

Poverty is a huge factor in these children's lives and their education. They can achieve and they can learn and they can succeed. But they face huge obstacles that we must address and help them overcome. If we can help them overcome these obstacles, we can help them achieve.


The Washington Post Answer Sheet (education column) also has a good article on the effects of poverty on children and how we must address this.


Here's a infographic about poverty and children from the Indiana Youth Institute. You can download the image or PDF from their site.


New Design Coming to Google products menu bar



Google announced yesterday that there is a new look coming to the Google bar (that black bar at the top of the page when you are logged into Google products. The black bar is gone.

The new design will place the links to the Google services in a drop down menu under the Google logo. A list will be displayed of some services and then you can click "more" to see the rest. The menu links to Google+, Web Search, Image Search, Google Maps, YouTube, Google News, Gmail, Google Docs, and adds some new ones: Google Wallet, Google Offers, Google Music, Google Mobile and Blogger.


In addition, Google+ notifications, your profile menu and the +share box will be displayed to the right of the search box. 



I like it. It's much cleaner and easier to use and there are more services on the menu. The black bar was a bit distracting.


The new design will be rolling out to users over the next few days.



180 Technology Tips - great resource





I had posted about this site a couple of years ago, but wanted to mention it to everyone again. 180 Technology Tips is a great resource for educators, providing free technology tips and help. You can visit the site or subscribe to get an email every school day (hence the 180 tips) with a short lesson on some aspect of technology. The site reviews web searching, Word and Excel tips, email, hardware and software, and much more. You can also look at the past lessons in the archive.

The tips are organized by date and by topic and  you can search the site.



It is a great resource that is well written and easy to understand.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Google Maps 6.0 for Android "goes inside"



Google Maps 6.0 for Android just got released and it has a couple of very cool features.

One of the coolest new features is Indoor Google Maps. Airports, malls, stores, and other public places have map directories in Google Maps. Couple this with GPS and you won't get lost trying to find the terminal for your flight or your favorite store at the mall.

The floor plans will automatically appear when you are in the map and zoom in on a building where there is indoor map data available. It even adjusts for what floor you are on.





Mall of America in Minneapolis before and after, with a floor selector




San Francisco International Airport before and after, with 3D tilt




The other two features announced are easier switching between features using a drop down menu on the top toolbar and a new Places home screen to help you find new nearby places.

Read more about this (including some videos) on the Google Mobile Blog.

Related:

Android Apps related to Bloom's Taxonomy

Android resources - information, news, resources, and more

Android Smartphone and Apps I use as an educator







Thank goodness for grants and generous people - they supplied 80% of what's in my room


It just occurred to me as I looked around my classroom that about 80% of the technology, resources and equipment in my room has come from grants, not the school district. I also use all free software and web apps.

School district supplied: teacher computer and printer, Windows and Office, 5 student computers, paper, desks.

Acquired through grants and donations that I applied for: LCD projector, color printer/scanner, ethernet hub, digital camera, document camera, Multimedia Science School software, and 95% of the lab equipment that I use with the students.

Provided by me: DVD player, speakers for computer, equipment and supplies for certain labs, and two other student computers that I salvaged/created from a bunch of broken computers.

I have not had any funds from the school system to purchase supplies or equipment for physics for 5 years and the budget just keeps getting worse.

The IT department has been good to me with support and repairs.

So, I am beyond grateful and thankful for the donations and grants that I have been able to get. Thank you to the Air Force Association, American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, Donor's Choose (thousands of dollars worth of supplies thanks to various donors), Fairfield University, and a variety of other organizations that have donated money or supplies to my classroom. Without their generosity, my students would not have the educational experiences that they enjoy now.

Thank you!!!!

Nominations for Edublog Awards are DUE FRIDAY - nominate your favorite blog, Tweeter, and more



The Edublog Awards for 2011 are DUE BY FRIDAY!. You can nominate your favorite blogs, Tweeters, blog posts, wiki's, free web tool, and more. You create your list of nominations and then post it online and share the link with the Edublogs Awards site. 


The Edublog Awards are one of the awards programs that I like because it is based on educator opinions, not some company or individual. You can not nominate yourself though. 


Go to the Edublog Awards nomination page for instructions and nominate your favorites. 


My nominations are here


Awards categories for 2011:

Best individual blog
Best individual tweeter
Best group blog
Best new blog
Best class blog
Best student blog
Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
Most influential blog post
Best twitter hashtag
Best teacher blog
Best librarian / library blog
Best School Administrator blog
Best free web tool
Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast
Best educational wiki
Best open PD / unconference / webinar series
Best educational use of a social network
Lifetime achievement


Coursekit - free "social" course management system


Coursekit is a free course management system (similar to Blackboard or Moodle) that is described as being more "social". It was developed by recent graduates who wanted to change how students and instructors interacted outside of the classroom. It has already gotten some rave reviews and is being used by thousands of instructors and students already.

Coursekit combines a variety of tools for educators to use for extending their classroom or even creating an online course. Discussion groups, assignments with grading, resource sharing, a class calendar, and a community forum are just some of the tools available. Educators can post links, videos, and other files, hold online discussions, and even write a blog post.

It's one more tool educators can use to connect with their students outside of the classroom.




Related:

LearnBoost - free online grade book and lesson planner and more
MyBigCampus - course management system - follow my year long review of it on Tech&Learning.


Some More Ideas for getting students engaged in STEM subjects

Engineering is a passion of mine. I have a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering-Aerospace, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and worked for 10 years as an engineer before making a career change to education. I still do some engineering consulting work also. I use engineering concepts and ideas in my physics class, encourage students to look at engineering as a career, and run an after-school pre-engineering program at my school.

One of the ways I get students interested in science and engineering is to show them some of the cool things that scientists and engineers do. I use a variety of resources to find things to share with them and do lots of projects in class. I let them chose a project topic each year also so that they can investigate anything that they are interested in (as long as it has some relation to physics, which pretty much everything does).

There are some great videos out there from Discovery Education, on TV, and on YouTube that show technology related to something the students know. I love doing amusement park physics and let them design their own roller coasters.

You can also have guest speakers come into your class and speak to the students about their career as a scientist or engineer or mathematician. A former VP of Sikorsky Aircraft (and test pilot) was a graduate of the high school I teach at so I had him come in and speak to the students. I also take some of them to Sikorsky Aircraft for a tour of the plant and engineering.

Here are some pictures, with descriptions, that you can use with your students to get them excited about STEM topics.

Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter
Stealth, composite structures, very fast and manueverable



Engineer's workstation - high powered desktop with CAD software on left screen and internet on right. Very cool to use. This is my workstation from one of the consulting jobs I did recently. 

Engineer's work bench. Work on prototypes. 

Laser Cutter. Uses laser to cut through metal up to 1" thick. 

CAD drawing of a printer. 

Analysis view of a race car. Airflow analysis. 

Schlieren photography of a hairdryer showing airflow due to temperature differences. 

CAD drawing of a large tractor. 

Cutaway drawing of a Pratt and Whitney Turbofan Engine. 

FlowJet - uses a high pressure stream of water to cut metal. That always gets them excited. 

Cutaway of a Boeing 777. 

CAD Drawing of a small aircraft. 


Pictures, videos, guest speakers, field trips, and projects are all great ways of getting students more interested and engaged in STEM subjects.



Other STEM Resources:

STEM - description, ideas and resources for educators

More Engineering Resources for K12 Educators and Students




Monday, November 28, 2011

Share articles from blogs with others with ease and continue the conversation


There are a variety of ways to share blog posts you read with others. You can copy the link and email it to someone or manually post the link on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook. But many blogs, this one included, have easy shortcuts to use to share articles.

At the bottom of each post on this blog are 6 options for sharing. You can print it using Print Friendly and hand the hard copy to someone (although we are trying to get away from using paper). You can also click one of the icons and share the article/blog post via Email, share it on your own blog, post it to Twitter or Facebook and even +1 share it to Google+.



The power of the web is the ability to share and discuss things with a wide group of people. Using these easy methods, you can quickly share things with others. It's also important to not just read things online, but to comment and contribute your thoughts and ideas also. Comment on blog posts you like or are interested in. Share your ideas, thoughts, and experiences with others. This is how we all learn and grow. 


Print Friendly - if you must print it, use this.

PrintFriendly

I just learned about Print Friendly from Free Technology For Teachers. It is an add-on that allows you to print any web page or article using less paper. It's very easy to use and install on a website or blog. Just follow the simple instructions.

I've installed it on each article so that if you want to print an article, click on the Print Friendly gadget.

Select This Button Style



NCIS - another great show to get students interested in science




My wife and I just started watching NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service on CBS. The show follows the exploits of a team of investigators from NCIS (a real agency). The characters include 3 field agents, a field agent/computer expert, a medical examiner and a forensic scientist. The story lines include quite a bit of accurate science both in forensics, anatomy and physiology, and computer science. It airs on Tuesdays at 8 on CBS (and all the past seasons are available on DVD). Many of the episodes are also available on their website.


The forensic scientist character, Abby, is a funny, sweet, super smart, goth woman who uses some great science and technology to help solve the crimes.

Forensic science and shows like this are great ways to get students interested and excited in science.

There is some violence, suggestive dialogue and views of the autopsies (fake, of course) so parental and teacher review is needed. Showing clips in school and then getting students interested in the show might be a good way to go about it.

Other Forensic Science Resources:

Science-Class (has a whole section on Forensics)

The TV Show Bones (about an FBI agent and forensic scientist team)

CSI: The Experience Web Adventures

PhET - online science simulations - can be used to do forensics too.





Disclaimer: I was NOT paid for this article.


Livescribe Pen - great cyber-Monday deal (save $80)



I have a Livescribe Echo Smartpen and love it and find it to be very useful. The Livescribe smartpens are pretty cool. They record what you write, and hear, and then you can load this into your computer to keep a digital copy of your written notes and even share your notes with others. 


(full review here)

The model I have is an 8GB pen. You get the desktop software, stylus tip, two ink cartridges, the cable, a starter notebook, and 500MB of personal online storage. The 8GB Echo retails for $199 so it’s not cheap, but it is another tool that can be very useful in education, business, and even just for taking personal notes. The 2GB pen is only $99. There are discount prices available to educators, anyone interested can email educationsales@livescribe.com  for details.




UPDATED PRICING : You can get 15% off the price of a Livescribe Pen by using this link (directly to Livescribe, not secondary vendor)




CYBER MONDAY PRICING: The 8GB Echo is on sale for $99.95! Huge savings and if you buy one before January 31st 2012 you get a year free to Evernote Premium!



Trying out a new layout and design for this blog - would love some feedback


Today I decided to change things up a bit. I selected a new design and changed the layout somewhat of this blog. I just though it needed to be updated and have a new look.

I'd love any feedback, positive or negative, about the new look.

Thanks!!

And thanks for reading this blog!

More free classroom guides for educators from Edutopia




Edutopiathe George Lucas Educational Foundation, is an excellent resource for educators. Their site has a huge variety of resources, tips, and research on education and is accessible for free. They are a big proponent of Project Based Learning and also have a lot of resources on best practices in education. 

They have a page with Free Classroom Guides and Downloads for 2011 that contains  excellent guides in PDF format. There are also additional, related resources linked from this page. 


I posted about this page last June. Since then, they have added some new resources. 

The new guides are: 

Six Tips for Brain-Based Learning
By understanding how the brain works, educators are better equipped to help K-12 students with everything from focusing attention to increasing retention

Ten Tips for Classroom Management
Learn how to improve student engagement and build a positive climate for learning and discipline for grades K-12.

Think Green Guide
This practical guide, filled with inspiring earth-friendly learning projects and classroom-tested resources, will help your school go green.


Edutopia also has great blogs with some excellent articles written by educators. 

Share this resource with your colleagues.







Related Articles: (containing Edutopia)

Tips on better searches on Google, from Google


I just posted a nice infographic on better searches on Google, but Google has some great resources on better searches too.

Google's Educator Resource page has 8 free, downloadable posters, for educators that have tips and idea for doing better searches, including web search, book search, scholar, quiz, Earth, and for kids.

These are great resources to share with your students.



Google for Educators Resources.

Infographic on better searches using Google


This is a great infographic that has been making the rounds on the internet. It shows some great tips on doing better (ie. more targeted) searches on Google. Share it with your students.



Get more out of Google
Created by: HackCollege



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Most Popular Posts for the week


Here are the most popular posts on Educational Technology Guy for the last week:

Professional Development for Educators needs to change

Free science resources for Educators from the National Institutes of Health

Great Prezi for students (and teachers) on future-proofing an education

QR Codes - what are they, how to make and read them

DropPages - host web pages for free within Dropbox

More Engineering Resources for K12 Educators and Students

Android resources - information, news, resources, and more



If you are reading this blog and like it, please consider subscribing to it. The subscription links are on the right side of the blog, down just a bit (below the ads). See below for what you are looking for.

You can subscribe using an RSS feed reader or via emails. RSS feeds go out immediately and email subscriptions go out once a day.

If you subscribe by email, make sure you click on the link in the confirmation email.

Thanks!!!


And don't forget to visit the advertisers on this blog.




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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Free science resources for Educators from the National Institutes of Health



The National Institutes of Health has a great science education resource site with free resources for educators.

The site has research, links, resources, lesson plans, images, standards based curriculum and much more. Resources are organized by type, grade level, and subject area. There is also information on science careers and grants for educators.



The curriculum section has units on cell biology and cancer, bio-ethics, cellular and molecular biology and more. A new addition to the high school curriculum is "Evolution and Medicine" which is a guide for teachers designed to help students use scientific inquiry to understand evolutionary principles through medical research. The middle school curriculum also has a new addition: "Rare Diseases and Scientific Inquiry." In this unit, students use inquiry to explore rare diseases and their treatments as they gain a better understanding of the human body.

All of the resources are free online  and some can be ordered as hard copies for free.

The NIH is also sponsoring a Lab Challenge. The NIH K-12 LAB Challenge is a call for teachers to submit K-12 best practice labs. The labs should be safe and inexpensive and take 90 minutes or less with clear objects. The submissions will be shared with everyone on the NIH site. It is open to anyone in the US or a US Territory or DoD facility overseas. Winners will be recognized and get an electronic badge to share on their site. The entry deadline is 12/15/2011.

This is a great resource for biology and health teachers, as well as a resource for other teachers looking to incorporate these topics in their classroom. The resources are well written and can help get students excited and engaged about science.









Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ZoonZone - great hands on activities for STEM subjects


ZoonZone is site that has a collection of hands-on activities and projects for science and technology.

There are 20 different projects in 5 different areas. Each project has a video that can be used to introduce the project to your class. There are overviews of each activity, ideas for extending the project and a list of resources to help students. The overview includes the concepts that the students will be learning about through the project.

This is a great resource for teachers. They can use these activities to add STEM content to their class and incorporate projects into their curriculum. The projects are also great for introducing engineering concepts to students.



EdReach - educational issues, commentary, ideas, and resources

EdReach

EdReach is a web site that was created by a group of educators, including Scott Meech, who wanted to create a place for educators to share, collaborate, and contribute to bringing education forward. 

The site provides a platform for educators to share resources, highlight educational issues and innovations, report educational news and provide commentary on educational issues. 

There are some great articles, resources, and conversations on the site and I highly recommend all educators visit it. There are columns, podcasts, news, opinions, references and more. There are specific areas for Google/Android as well as for iOS. It's a treasure trove of educational information and resources.

I've had some great conversations over the years with Scott Meech,  Co-founder and Contributing Manager, both in person at conferences and online. He has a passion for education and the entire EdReach team is comprised of passionate educators. 



Great Prezi for students (and teachers) on future-proofing an education





I just found a great Prezi on Edudemic's site called "How To Future-Proof Your Education." The Prezi was created by Maria Andersen and explains how while content and technology change, the key skills around them stay the same. They skills include learning, explaining, analyzing, solving problems, and communications. If students have these skills, they can adapt to the changing future.

This is a great Prezi for educators to look at to get ideas for skills they should be teaching their students and it's a great Prezi to share with high school and college students.



Great discussion on edreform and other issues going on


There is a great discussion on edreform and other issues going on over on Google+ right now.

Richard Byrne started it off and the discussion is very thought provoking.

Come and join the conversation. Start here at Richard's Blog- http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2011/11/balancing-reform-with-reality.html





Livescribe Smartpens - updated pricing and discounts




I have a Livescribe Echo Smartpen and love it and find it to be very useful. The Livescribe smartpens are pretty cool. They record what you write, and hear, and then you can load this into your computer to keep a digital copy of your written notes and even share your notes with others. 


(full review here)


The ability to record your hand written notes is very useful in Math and Science, since it’s very hard to take notes in these areas with a keyboard or even a tablet/pad. It can also make an audio record of what you say or hear as you are writing and it timestamps and syncs the written notes with the audio notes. 


The model I have is an 8GB pen. You get the desktop software, stylus tip, two ink cartridges, the cable, a starter notebook, and 500MB of personal online storage. The 8GB Echo retails for $199 so it’s not cheap, but it is another tool that can be very useful in education, business, and even just for taking personal notes. The 2GB pen is only $99. There are discount prices available to educators, anyone interested can email educationsales@livescribe.com  for details.




UPDATED PRICING : You can get 15% off the price of a Livescribe Pen by using this link (directly to Livescribe, not secondary vendor) They are also offering a free year subscription to Evernote Premium.





The main reason that I see these as an essential tool for many people is the ability to record hand written notes. Many people, myself included, take notes very efficiently with pen and paper, using symbols, diagrams, arrows, and the like to make the notes more meaningful. It’s also great for people who have to take notes using math and science equations and symbols. Being able to easy capture, save and then share those notes is a great thing.


Interesting Infographic on Education, Technology and the Future


I recently found this infographic on education, technology and the future. It's a good read and makes you think.


Digital Promise
Created by: Online Schools



Monday, November 21, 2011

Pancake.io - another way to host a website with Dropbox



I just wrote about DropPages, a site that allows you to easily set up a simple website using your Dropbox account. As I was searching for some other information about DropPages, I found an article about it on Lifehacker (and awesome resource for everything) that also talks about Pancake.io as another service to host websites using Dropbox.

Pancake.io is very easy to use. Use your Dropbox account (or get one if you don't have one already) and then create a Pancake.io account. Pancake will then request permission to create a single folder on your Dropbox account where the files for your site will be stored. Text files in that folder will be viewable online. Text files that you create in that folder will be turned into a web page. If you want to update the page, just open the text file in any text editor, change it, and save it.

Pancake also supports PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and JPEG, PNG, and GIF files.

This is another easy way to create small web sites for teachers or students. The simplicity of it makes it easy for anyone to get started with a web page.








PS - If you don't read Lifehacker, you really should. They have articles about technology, finances, cooking, home stuff and so much more.

DropPages - host web pages for free within Dropbox


DropPages is a service that allows you to easily set up a basic website for free using your Dropbox account.

DropPages is easy to use and set up. Simply create a site folder inside Dropbox that matches the domain name. The domain name format will be yoursite.droppages.com. For custom domains, you'll have to upgrade your account for a fee. Then you share the folder and get started. There are themes and it automatically generates navigational elements so all the pages are linked.

You are subject to data transfer limits in Dropbox (10GB per day for free users) and if you go over this limit your account will be suspended. This means DropPages is really only useful for a small simple site.

If you are looking to create a simple, small website, DropPages may be an option for you.



Related:

Google Sites - free website hosting. Has class web site templates and integrates with all of Google's apps. 



Pogoplug Cloud storage service - another free file storage system



Pogoplug, a company that already has streaming and sharing devices, announced a new service: Pogoplug Cloud.

The Pogoplug Cloud service provides 5GB of free storage and allows users to store their files online. They can then access, share, or stream the content from their mobile device. You sign up directly from any mobile phone, web browser, or tablet. You can purchase additional online storage also. 50GB is $9.95 per month and 100GB is $19.95 per month. Pricing is similar to many other cloud storage systems.

One thing that is different is that you can host a private, unlimited cloud for no monthly fees by purchasing a Pogoplug box ($99) and connecting it to your network.

Pogoplug will automatically upload photos and videos from your mobile phone to your Pogoplug cloud with no syncing required. (I have Sugarsync set up to do this on my Android phone). You can share anything in your cloud through email, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and even create shared folders. You can also stream videos, photos, and musics to your phone.

There are free apps for iOS and Android.

This is one more of a growing number of cloud file storage systems. You should review each one and all of it's features and limitations before deciding on one.

Note:
Currently, Pogoplug is being blocked in my district under "generic remote sharing access". It's funny since SugarSync, Dropbox, Box, and Zumodrive are all available and unblocked.


What's your favorite cloud file storage system?




Related:
Cloud File Storage, Sync, and Sharing systems - list, description, and review of multiple systems

Sugarsync - store, sync and share (multiple computers can sync to same account)

Dropbox - store, sync and share (multiple computers can sync to same account)

Zumodrive

SpiderOak

Box.net (no syncing option with free account)






Chromebooks upgraded and price cut




Chromebooks, the notebook computers that run Google's Chrome OS, are gaining popularity.

I have one of the original test models, the CR-48, and love it. I think Chromebooks and Chrome OS are great for education: nothing to install or update, students log in with own account, no data stored on device. A recent article of mine about Chromebooks vs. iPads and cloud apps vs. on-device apps got some good articles. 

Google has updated Chrome OS with some nice new features and has dropped the price of the Chromebooks to $299.

If you have ever looked at getting a Chromebook, now is a good time.




More Engineering Resources for K12 Educators and Students


Engineering is a passion of mine. I have a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering-Aerospace, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and worked for 10 years as an engineer before making a career change to education. I still do some engineering consulting work also. I use engineering concepts and ideas in my physics class, encourage students to look at engineering as a career, and run an after-school pre-engineering program at my school. I think that engineering is an excellent career choice for many students and the engineering process is a very powerful method of solving problems that all students should learn. I also think that WPI's educational model is one that K12 can use ideas from.

I recently posted about STEM and engineering resources and the emphasis on STEM being placed on schools.

I've posted engineering resources before, but I wanted to share some new ones along with re-sharing some oldies but goodies.




Engineering Interact is a great site to introduce engineering concepts and processes to 9-11 year olds.

The site has 5 different games based on different science topics that give students a chance to learn while playing. The games teach students about the concepts. The concepts are: Light, Sound, Forces and Motion, Earth and Beyond, Electricity.

There are also links to other resources about science and engineering.

This is a great resource for younger students, but the games can be used with older students also.





NASA at Home and City is a great site from NASA that shows examples of how technologies developed for space exploration are used and applied on Earth.

The site is graphic based, easy to use, and very informative. It's a great resource to share with students to show them how developments for one thing can apply to another.





PreK-12 Engineering is a site with free resources for educators to integrate engineering concepts and activities into preK through 12th grade classrooms. The activities are linked to the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework.

The activities are really well thought out and developed and I have used many of them.

Things are sorted by grade level for easy searching.

For more resources on engineering: http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com/2009/10/engineering-resources.html



American Society for Engineering Education - great resource with information about all types of engineering, educator resources, and more.


Engineering - Go For It! - this site is produced by the ASEE (see above) and is completely devoted to promoting engineering. It has resources for educators and students, as well as lessons and career exploration resources.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics - has resources for aerospace engineering careers. Educators can join for free and get even more resources.


Society of Automotive Engineers - has resources about engineers dealing with the automotive industry.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer - resources about engineers in the electronics and electrical engineering.


Engineering Challenges - this site lists and explores the greatest challenges facing engineers in regards to world issues. This is a great site to use as a starting point for your own classroom projects.


Discover Engineering - another great site that explores engineering as a career.



CT Business and Industry Association - CBIA has an education section. They have a great resource about Engineering. The site also has videos you can show to your students.


Next Generation Manufacturing Center - this is a cooperative group of manufacturers, CBIA and CT's Community Colleges. They work to get more students interested in engineering and manufacturing. There are some great videos on the site, too. They have a lot of great programs, including the Engineering Challenge. They also sponsor summer externships for teachers. These externships pay teachers to spend the summer at a local manufacturing company learning about their industry and coming up with ways to get more students involved in engineering and manufacturing. I was able to participate two years ago and found it to be a great experience.

Please share any resources you have and spread the word to your students about engineering. Even the President has said that students should avoid careers as lawyers and accountants, and instead look at engineering, science, and education.








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