The Ultimate STEM Resource Guide for Kids
| ComputerScience.org Staff Modified on March 31, 2022
Are you ready to find a school that's aligned with your interests?
STEM — which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math — is a crucial piece of the educational experience. Biologist Judith Ramaley coined the acronym in 2001 for the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) as the organization began ramping up programs to promote STEM subjects in American schools.
As the country rolled into the 21st century, student STEM achievements in the U.S. lagged behind those in other countries. Naturally, the NSF sought solutions for improving STEM programs in schools. After a 2005 report noted a strong connection between economic privilege and STEM achievement, the NSF and other organizations began working to close this gap and make STEM resources more widely available.
A strong STEM foundation opens doors to a variety of educational options and lucrative, fulfilling career opportunities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects occupations for math-related professionals, such as actuaries and statisticians, to grow by 26% from 2018 to 2028, far faster than the national average growth rate for all occupations.
Parents may struggle to provide home-based learning in STEM for kids. This page presents top online resources in each STEM subject, plus a list of 150 courses, websites, activities, and competitions arranged by grade level.
Top Online Programs
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Science in STEM
Science includes topics like biology, astronomy, physics, geology, and chemistry. Students who pursue science-related careers might become agriculturists, biological technicians, meteorologists, zoologists, or medical professionals. The BLS projects increased demand for life, physical, and social science occupations, expecting a 7% growth from 2018 to 2028.
Students can follow fun scientist role models on social media or through other avenues. For example, Adam Savage of Mythbusters maintains an active and informative Twitter account, as does astronaut Christina H. Koch. Bill Nye the Science Guy has even recently joined TikTok.
Kids don't need to stay tethered to textbooks when it comes to studying science. With hands-on activities available for every age group, learners can study topics like simple machines, chemical reactions, and the scientific method. Popular field trips could include planetariums, natural history museums, or even local state parks.
Top STEM Online Resources for Science
Summary: Perhaps most exciting for nostalgic adults who grew up with him in the classroom, Bill Nye's show is entertaining and educational — we only wish there were more episodes!
Best for: High School
|Cost||B||Requires Netflix subscription.|
|Interaction||C||Simply a TV show you watch, so no hands-on component.|
|Education||A-||In true Bill Nye fashion, it's extremely focused on education and is very digestible, approachable, and engaging.|
|Fun||A||From video games to geology to our pets' brains, the show explores a variety of exciting and timely topics — with fun guest panelists, too.|
|Variety||A||Covers many fields of science, from chemistry to biology to astronomy, and even dips into engineering and technology.|
Summary: Produced by NASA personnel, the Space Place engages students with topic-based collections of articles, games, crafts, and activities. Easy for kids to navigate, the site features subject areas including Earth, sun, solar system, universe, and science and technology.
Best for: Grade School
|Interaction||A-||Arranged by topic, the site underscores exploration questions with games, crafts, and activities.|
|Education||B+||The articles provide accessible information about Earth and space-related topics, helping to solidify kids' understanding and prepare them for upper-level science education. Supporting activities, however, offer less in the way of information, but they still foster a healthy interest in science.|
|Fun||A||Questions like "how does GPS work?" and "how far away is the moon?" come with kid-friendly visuals and animations, while crafts involve projects like depicting the phases of the moon using Oreos.|
|Variety||B||Perhaps not unexpectedly, the NASA-run site focuses mainly on topics involving the planets and space.|
Summary: Science Buddies does sell kits for some of its more complicated projects, but the site also features a wealth of ideas with accessible ingredients. Kids of all ages can build their scientific know-how through well-integrated videos, articles, and project ideas.
Best for: Grade School, Middle School, High School
|Cost||A-||The site is free, with experiments that provide material lists, but it occasionally markets expensive craft kits to parents.|
|Interaction||A+||Science Buddies ties articles, videos, experiments, and activities together throughout the site. Kids can begin with their chosen topic and find related materials to emphasize what they've learned.|
|Education||A+||Science Buddies features a section dedicated specifically to science careers, with lists of project ideas related to each one.|
|Fun||A||Full of science fair-worthy ideas, the site provides a range of browsable projects appropriate for various age levels. Kids can make bird feeders, cook up edible rice paper, and build solar-tracking robots.|
|Variety||A||Subject areas cover behavioral and social science, Earth and environmental science, engineering, life science, math and computer science, and physical science.|
Technology in STEM
Technology refers to hands-on science applied to daily life. Technology can cross definitions with other categories, like engineering, but people generally use the term to describe computer-related jobs. Software engineers design and develop new programs and systems for computers, while computer programmers code software that the software engineers plan. Kids may also be interested to learn that video game designers are also a type of computer scientist.
The BLS projects that occupations for computer and information technology professionals will grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028 -- much faster than the national average growth rate for all occupations. Technology jobs also garner lucrative salaries; computer and information research scientists, for example, earned a median annual wage of $122,840 in 2019.
These days, kids as young as pre-K can dive into coding and computer science basics.
Online coding resources make it fun and easy to pick up foundational skills by creating video games and participating in puzzle-based challenges.
Top STEM Online Resources for Technology
Summary: Dedicated to promoting diversity in computing, Code.org works to reach students of all backgrounds through fun coding activities. Some activities come with offline alternatives for kids without internet access. Code.org sponsors include Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
Best for: Grade School, Middle School, High School
|Cost||A+||Students can access Code.org resources for free, without setting up an account.|
|Interaction||A+||The site teaches students to code through full courses or hour-long sessions. Kids can create dance parties, Minecraft levels, and other coding activities -- all arranged by grade level.|
|Education||A+||Code.org teaches real coding and computer science skills to help students reach their educational goals and increase their employability down the line.|
|Fun||A||Students code games, create stories, and learn to crack encryptions through the site's fun suite of coding lessons.|
|Variety||B||The site only includes activities related to coding.|
Summary: Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, Scratch teaches students to create games, animations, and interactive media. The site encourages students to apply these skills across various academic subject areas.
Best for: Middle School
|Interaction||A+||Students, parents, and educators can join the site for free.|
|Education||A-||With Scratch, students learn foundational coding principles by creating projects they can share with a robust online community.|
|Fun||A||Scratch allows students to create animations, interactive stories, and games.|
|Variety||B+||Though Scratch focuses on computer science principles, it also encourages students to apply their knowledge to other academic areas. Learners can create animations to underscore their understanding of literature, for example.|
Best for: Grade School
|Cost||B-||After a 14-day free trial, the minimum subscription costs $4.95 per month.|
|Interaction||A+||The game-based system uses interactive games to teach coding and computer science principles. Depending on their level, kids play and build games, and even create chat bots.|
|Education||A||Students learn the basics of real coding languages on CodeMonkey, paving the way for further education and computer-based careers.|
|Fun||A||CodeMonkey uses game-based learning to teach coding basics. Students progress through a series of courses, each suitable to their age group.|
|Variety||B||CodeMonkey focuses solely on computer programming.|
Engineering in STEM
Like technology, engineering uses scientific principles to solve real-life problems. Typically specializing in particular scientific disciplines like physics, chemistry, or biology, engineers plan and design items that kids encounter every day, like bridges and roads, medical equipment, and electrical systems. Exciting career possibilities for engineers include areas like aerospace, biomedical, civil, and environmental engineering.
According to the BLS, total engineering occupations should grow at the same rate as the national average from 2018 to 2028, increasing about 4%. Engineering jobs are often rewarding, and they help society move forward.
Kids use their innate creativity to engineer new projects all the time. By engaging them in DIY engineering projects, such as simple machines, parents can encourage that tendency or combat reluctance by introducing an element of fun. Engineers often claim a strong background in other STEM areas, particularly technology and math. A well-rounded focus on STEM for kids can foster interest in a wide variety of career arenas.
Top STEM Online Resources for Engineering
Summary: Run by Technovation Families, Curiosity Machine Challenges introduce engineering concepts through videos before sending off students to produce projects like rockets, communication networks, and circuits.
Best for: Grade School
|Cost||A||Parents need to create an account and complete a brief survey to access all materials, but the site is completely free.|
|Interaction||A+||Challenges revolve around creation, with projects covering subject areas like artificial intelligence, aerospace, civil engineering, and robotics.|
|Education||A-||Technovation Families aims to increase awareness and appreciation for engineering, and artificial intelligence in particular. Projects on the site teach real, workable engineering concepts.|
|Fun||A||Kids can engineer projects like robots, skyscrapers, and suspension bridges.|
|Variety||A-||Most of the site's projects center around engineering and artificial intelligence, but with vast variety. Projects involve food science, computer science, and biomimicry.|
Summary: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers presents games, articles, and career resources for students and educators. Younger students can develop an appreciation for engineering through games, while high school students can find in-depth information about potential jobs in engineering.
Best for: Grade School, Middle School, High School
|Cost||A+||TryEngineering does not charge for access to its resources.|
|Interaction||B+||The site includes games that present basic science and engineering ideas. Learners explore more involved scientific concepts through read-only articles.|
|Education||A-||The games mostly foster engineering interest, but students can read through in-depth career pages about jobs like electrical engineering, bioengineering, and computer engineering. The site also includes interviews with various types of engineers.|
|Fun||B+||Younger kids may enjoy the engineering-themed games. The career-centered articles provide in-depth information pitched to older students, without accompanying interactive content.|
|Variety||A-||Try Engineering provides information on a variety of topics, including environmental, aerospace, and architectural engineering.|
Summary: Presented by PBS Kids, this colorful website offers catchy videos to stoke kids' interest in science. Students can learn more through games, design challenges, and fun DIY science projects.
Best for: Grade School, Middle School
|Cost||A+||Everything on the site is available for free.|
|Interaction||A+||With videos, games, design challenges, and building projects, the site revolves around interactions. Assisted by video tutorials and picture-heavy written instructions, kids can build projects like sky gliders, zip lines, and cranes.|
|Education||A-||Many of the site's projects revolve around useful scientific principles. For example, students can design and build environmentally friendly sneakers or earthquake-safe buildings.|
|Fun||A+||Design Squad Global features catchy videos and fun design challenges to get kids thinking creatively. The projects can also double as toys; think rubber band cars and air-powered rockets.|
|Variety||B+||Kids can explore games, design problem-solving ideas, and engage in building projects. Most of the activities revolve around engineering topics.|
Math in STEM
Students learn math from the minute they start counting and continue developing their skills all the way through high school. Younger kids begin with addition, subtraction, and fractions, while advanced subjects include geometry, calculus, and probability.
A solid foundation in math prepares students for a variety of job opportunities. A crucial component of many other STEM occupations, math factors into computer-related jobs like data science, science occupations like astronomy, and engineering jobs like aerospace and environmental engineering. Math enthusiasts may also work in highly sought-after positions as actuaries, statisticians, and operations research analysts.
Math can apply to fascinating topics that kids encounter every day.
Game-based learning and fun YouTube channels can reinforce classroom lessons and make math fun to learn.
For extra out-of-classroom fun, kids can apply math principles to their favorite sports by graphing teams' performances, or tour local landmarks to better understand how architects use math.
Top STEM Online Resources for Math
Summary: Featuring courses that start before the first-grade level, Khan Academy math courses run through high school subjects like algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Students can also access SAT and ACT prep, plus courses in other subject areas.
Best for: Grade School, Middle School, High School
|Cost||A+||All Khan Academy courses are available for free.|
|Interaction||A||Courses revolve around instructional videos, with intermittent practice activities and quizzes.|
|Education||A||With math courses separated by student grade level, Khan Academy works in tandem with classroom learning and prepares students for the next level. The courses ensure a strong foundation in math.|
|Fun||B||Missions and challenges add an element of fun, but the lessons remain fairly academic in nature.|
|Variety||A||Though known for its math courses, Khan Academy also includes courses in science, computing, economics, and the humanities, plus SAT and ACT preparation.|
Summary: With clear explanations aided by animated visuals and fun props, Math Antics serves up informative videos organized into categories.
Best for: Grade School, Middle School
|Cost||B+||The site (and corresponding YouTube channel) offers plenty of informative videos for free, but a $10 annual subscription secures access to worksheets and exercise videos.|
|Interaction||B||Most materials comprise video-only content, but subscribers can access corresponding worksheets.|
|Education||A||Clear explanations about mathematical concepts like arithmetic, fractions, and algorithms prepares kids to excel in math classes.|
|Fun||B||The host incorporates fun angles into some of the videos, using food to demonstrate ratios and incorporating sports into a discussion on percentages.|
|Variety||C||Math Antics only explores mathematical concepts and does not delve into other subject areas.|
Summary: Game-based math lessons reinforce classroom practice and make math fun. While most games appeal to younger students, the site also includes a few advanced topics, like algebra and probability.
Best for: Grade School
|Cost||A||All math games on the site are free.|
|Interaction||A+||With this game-based learning approach, students can engage directly in a long list of math subjects, like counting, addition, and multiplication.|
|Education||A||Students build a solid foundation in crucial math concepts.|
|Fun||A||Students learn multiplication and division by splatting fruit, addition and subtraction by guiding monkeys in cars, and place value by completing a maze.|
|Variety||A||The site also features game-based activities in geography, science, and language arts.|
STEM for Kids: Activities, Classes, Channels, and Websites
STEM for Grade School Kids
- Empow Studios Students can attend live virtual courses to learn coding, robotics, animation, and engineering. With small classes and new options every week, Empow Studios charges on a course-by-course basis.
- Science Nature Labs Students can take single-day or week-long courses in topics like chemistry, nutrition, and the human body. Science club sessions help reinforce classroom lessons. Courses start at $10 per day, depending on the subject.
- Kid Spark PK-2 With Kid Spark, parents purchase kits to accompany a full homeschooling curriculum (20+ hours). Each kit costs $70 and includes engineering-based lesson plans and resources.
- Tinybop Schools Packed full of science lessons on the human body, coral reef, weather, and simple machines, Tinybop Schools provides interactive lessons for students in grades K-8. Homeschool subscriptions start at $50 per year.
- SciShow Kids Using colorful animations and cartoon characters, the SciShow Kids YouTube channel addresses questions like, "How are raisins made?" and, "Why do we get nosebleeds?" Occasionally, videos include simple experiments for kids to try at home.
- Ask the StoryBots Quirky cartoon robots quest to answer science-based questions for kids in this Netflix series. Parents will get a kick out of celebrity cameos, like Edward Norton and Zoe Saldana. Requires a Netflix subscription.
- TinkerLab Featuring fun activities rooted in STEM concepts, the TinkerLab YouTube channel contains tutorials for hands-on projects like salad spinner art, natural Easter-egg dye, and instructions on how to make an Aladdin-inspired flying carpet.
- Vihart Run by mathematician and musician Vi Hart, the YouTube channel engages young students through short videos like the calculus of bad driving, Pi Day, and pandemic response.
- The Magic School Bus Rides Again Based on the popular book series, the rebooted Netflix series takes kids on fantastical adventures into the worlds of oceanography, physics, and biology under the tutelage of the eccentric Ms. Frizzle -- voiced in this version by comedian Kate McKinnon. Requires a Netflix subscription.
- mathantics Produced specifically for grade-school students, this YouTube channel presents math principles like distance, subtracting mixed numbers, percentages, and rounding. More advanced topics include pre-algebra and the Pythagorean Theorem.
- DIY Nano DIY Nano consists of short videos, activities, and experiments revolving around nanotechnology. The free app teaches about nanoscale technology related to biology, chemistry, and substance properties, plus science and engineering vocabulary.
- Curiosity Machine Challenges Run by Technovation Families, Curiosity Machine Challenges introduce engineering concepts through videos before sending off students to produce projects like rockets, communication networks, and circuits.
- Funbrain Kids can engage in science-based games involving problem-solving, space facts, and animals. The site also features read-along books, videos, and game-based math practice.
- Funology With crafts, science experiments, recipes, games, and facts, Funology encourages kids to explore their interests. Science experiments delve into biology, physics, chemistry, and weather.
- Kids Ahead Covering subjects like space, crime scene investigation, and under the sea, Kids Ahead offers articles, games, and activities. Kids can build galaxies, simulate floods, and create DNA fingerprints. They can play games teaching coding and animation.
- Scholastic Learn at Home Scholastic Learn At Home features lessons for kids ages 4-10. Kids can read, practice vocabulary, play games, take quizzes, and participate in movement activities. Example topics include sharks, the moon, and bones. A subscription costs $5.99 per month.
- Kids' Science Challenge Kids can explore science careers by learning about experts in fields like paleontology, mineralogy, and seismology. The site also contains videos and games featuring science topics such as water quality, sports on Mars, and bio-inspired design.
- Sheppard Software Math Game-based math lessons reinforce classroom practice and make math fun. Most games appeal to younger students, but the site also includes a few advanced topics, like algebra and probability.
- Prodigy Math Game With Prodigy Math Games, kids answer math questions, which help them complete exciting quests in a visually appealing world. Parents can also access curriculum progress. Kids can start playing for free, though premium access subscriptions start at $4.99 per month, per child.
- DIY Human Body A free iOS app by the Lawrence Hall of Science, DIY human body teaches body systems through hands-on activities and videos. Kids learn about blood flow, bones, and the digestive system.
- Wonderville Featuring games, videos, experiments, and STEM career information, Wonderville encourages students to learn more about topics like solar energy, waste, hearing, biodiversity, and electrical concepts. After a 15-day free trial, the site charges $4.99 per month.
- Bugaboo Math Games These visually appealing games cover geometry, addition, and early math concepts. The site also offers flash cards and coloring books.
- Math Blaster With Math Blaster, students and parents can explore math games by grade level or subject areas, like division, graphs, counting, and money.
- BrainPOP Jr. Designed for students in grades K-3, BrainPop Jr. features science lessons in animals, plants, weather, space, and more. Kids can follow their interests through games, quizzes, jokes, and activities.
- Beaver Computing Contest, Grades 5/6 Designed to introduce kids to computer science foundations, the school-sponsored Beaver Computing Contest requires students to answer 12 multiple choice questions.
- Ten80 Education Elementary Racing Challenge Working in teams, students design and engineer remote control cars for optimal speed and stability. Teams can compete in optional National STEM League races to qualify for national finals.
- Fluor Engineering Challenge A partnership between Science Buddies and Fluor, the challenge invites teams to engineer simple machines to win $1,000 for their after-school programs. In 2019, the challenge involved creating a machine that could repeatedly knock down a wicket.
- National Science Bee - Elementary Division Students compete for cash prizes by answering questions in biology, chemistry, astronomy, computer science, and other STEM-related subjects.
- The Tech Challenge Administered by the Tech Interactive and sponsored by Dell Technologies, the challenge assigns a problem to teams of students, who address it through innovative, tech-based solutions.
- Junior FIRST LEGO League A robotics challenge for kids from Pre-K to eighth grade, the FIRST LEGO League encourages STEM discovery through exploration, engineering design, and teamwork.
- NASA Space Place Produced by NASA, the Space Place engages students with topic-based collections of articles, games, crafts, and activities. Easy for kids to navigate, the site features subject areas including Earth, the solar system, and the universe.
- EPA Students Run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EPA Students provides games, quizzes, and videos. Activities teach kids about topics like energy, water flow, habitats, and air quality.
- The Tech Interactive The website for San Jose's immersive science museum provides instructions for creating STEM projects at homes. Through videos and simple instructions including information on key scientific concepts, the site presents cupcake transport mobiles, paper skyscrapers, and at-home roller coasters.
- National Geographic Kids Focusing mainly on animals, the National Geographic Kids site teaches through games, quizzes, and videos. Kids can also find weird facts and explore interactive science experiments.
- Hooked On Science Through its busy website full of videos and articles, Hooked On Science particularly engages kids through its weekly experiment series. Kids can access an archive packed with experiment ideas dealing with forces and interactions, energy, Earth science, and more.
- SciJinks Tackling weather-based questions about wildfires, ice flow, trade winds, and the jet stream, SciJinks engages young students through informative animations, kid-friendly articles, and dramatic multimedia presentations.
- Weather Wiz Kids Designed by meteorologist Crystal Wicker, Weather Wiz Kids provides kid-friendly articles on thunderstorms, tornadoes, weather forecasting, and a variety of weather-related topics. Kids can also explore jokes, folklore, and games.
- Carnegie Cyber Academy Focused on promoting internet safety for kids, Carnegie Cyber Academy leads students through animated missions, which teach about spam, personal information, and cyber-bullying.
STEM for Middle School Kids
- STEM Village Offering full online courses in STEM subjects like matter and energy, coding, robotics, and geometry, STEM Village aims to supplement traditional education and encourage kids to pursue STEM careers. After a seven-day free trial, a subscription costs $19.99 per month.
- TechGirlz A nonprofit affiliate of CompTIA, TechGirlz offers free online STEM workshops for girls in grades 6-8. The real-time workshops cover subjects like genetics, website design, app development, and programming.
- Boolean Girl Dedicated to inspiring girls interested in STEM, Boolean Girl offers free online coding courses, where students can create games, animations, and Minecraft levels. The site features some courses in physical computing, plus an archive of instructor-led sessions arranged by knowledge level.
- Kickstart Financial Literacy For Middle School Students Presented by FutureSmart, this course explores math concepts through financial literacy. The free, seven-lesson program uses a story-based approach to guide kids through money matters like investing, budgeting, and career-planning.
- ST Math Middle School Designed to enhance students' understanding of math by reinforcing classroom lessons, ST Math teaches about algebraic thinking, fractions, decimals, and geometry through interactive presentations. Families need to contact the company for pricing details.
- STEM Education A YouTube channel with a mission to engage kids -- and particularly girls -- in STEM subjects, STEM Education videos cover topics in robotics and computer science. Some videos include hands-on activities, such as creating clap-switch lights.
- The Slow Mo Guys In a YouTube channel illustrating scientific principles through short videos, the Slow Mo Guys investigate questions about how the world works. Middle schoolers in particular may enjoy videos featuring slow-motion lessons on tranquilizer darts, Taekwondo moves, and explosions.
- SmarterEveryDay With videos that run the gamut of scientific topics, the SmarterEveryDay YouTube channel features content on nuclear submarines, sea turtles, flocking birds, and disinformation on the internet.
- Design Squad Global on YouTube Produced by the same PBS team that runs the Design Squad Global website (featured below), the YouTube channel engages kids through hands-on DIY projects, like seed-launching backpacks, backyard water tables, and water-saving toilets.
- Babble Dabble Do A colorful YouTube channel full of DIY projects, Babble Dabble Do explores art, design, science, and engineering for kids. Videos include baking soda rockets, invisible ink, and lava lamps.
- PBS Idea Channel Updates ended two years ago, but the archive remains a treasure trove for kids who want to make connections between pop culture, technology, and art. Fun videos address popular topics like fidget spinners, Nintendo games, and telekinetics.
- STEM-Works Separated into categories like crime scene investigation, medical innovations, robotics, and space, STEM-Works provides activities, articles, and explanations of cool STEM-related careers. Kids can build an Alka Seltzer rocket, code an app, and learn about performing surgery.
- Scratch Developed by the MIT Media Lab, Scratch teaches students to create games, animations, and interactive media. Featuring a strong community of learners, the site encourages students to apply these skills across various academic subject areas.
- Algebra Touch Students can use the app to reinforce and improve their understanding of algebraic processes. Algebra Touch focuses on the process of completing an equation rather than the final answer. The app is available for $2.99 for iOS and Apps for Windows.
- Code Monster Code Monster provides an immersive, hands-on introduction to coding. By following simple instructions, kids can play around with lines of code and experiment with making changes. Though simple to start and 100% free, the site doesn't offer much in the way of tutorials or assistance.
- Stop Disasters! Developed by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Stop Disasters! game explores real disaster scenarios through digital simulations. Students build hospitals, schools, and housing to protect against tsunamis, wildfires, and earthquakes.
- Museum of Science and Industry Chicago's Science at Home Students can follow video tutorials to engage in fun hands-on activities like making clouds in bottles, studying static cling, and creating an egg carton nursery. The site also includes science-based games and videos.
- GameBlox Using block-based programming, kids can build upon existing games or start from scratch to program their own. GameBlox games run on the website or mobile devices.
- Gamestar Mechanic Kids create their own video games through game-based quests, courses, and community participation. Games and courses are available for a la carte prices.
- NSBE Jr. Technical Innovations Competition - Middle School In this national challenge for young members of the National Society of Black Engineers pre-college program, students compete by presenting science fair-style projects at the annual conference.
- Purple Comet Math Meet - Middle School Working in teams, middle school students participate in the free online competition by solving 20 math problems in 60 minutes. Teams can enter in small, large, mixed, and noncompetitive categories.
- eCybermission Students in grades 6-9 select a mission challenge in areas like energy, environment, food, and robotics. Working in teams, they address a specific community problem in their category, engineer a solution, and submit their findings to a panel of judges.
- National Science Bee - Middle School Division Students compete for cash prizes by answering questions in biology, chemistry, astronomy, computer science, and other STEM-related subjects.
- MATHCOUNTS Math enthusiasts can compete in four rounds with the MATHCOUNTS contest series: a sprint round where they solve 30 math questions in 40 minutes, a problem-solving target round, a team round, and a countdown round. In the countdown round, students get 45 seconds to answer each question.
- Future City Middle schoolers design futuristic cities addressing an issue of sustainability in this team-based competition. The contest includes an essay, a scaled model, a project plan, and a presentation.
- Engineer Girl An empowering site for girls interested in STEM, Engineer Girl provides career and college resources, interviews with female engineers in various fields, and opportunities to "ask an engineer." The site also includes a section with hands-on design challenges.
- Design Squad Global Presented by PBS Kids, this colorful website offers catchy videos to stoke kids' interest in science. Students can learn more through games, design challenges, and fun DIY science projects.
- Ask Dr. Universe Run by Washington State University, the website answers questions that kids ask about science. Expert-vetted responses address questions about microbes, plankton, batteries, and phobias. The site also includes videos and activities.
- Science Splash Middle school kids interested in STEM careers can access videos from the 2005 Science Splash convention, where girls ages 10-14 hear in-person talks from women in chemistry, engineering, piloting, and more.
- Science Bob This visually appealing site features fun videos, science fair project ideas, and experiments to try at home. Kids can participate in a science Q&A and follow the experiment blog for even more ideas.
- Chi Alpha Mu The junior affiliate of Mu Alpha Theta, Chi Alpha Mu is a mathematics club with a website full of games and resources for math enthusiasts. Kids can also find grants, merchandise, and membership information.
- Amazing Space On Amazing Space, kids can explore articles around space-related topics like stars and stellar evolution, the solar system, black holes, and space telescopes.
STEM for High Schoolers
- Code Academy Code Academy offers courses in programming languages like HTML, Python, and SQL. Students can also explore career paths in web development and data science. While the site provides basic courses for free, the full program requires a subscription of $19.99 per month.
- App Inventor With App Inventor, students work through free courses on developing Android Apps. The curriculum teaches how to build games, quizzes, texting apps, and web-enabled apps. The site also provides tutorials on Java coding.
- Highlights for High School An MIT project, Highlights for High School invites students to take free, open courses in areas like biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics. The site includes introductory-level MIT courses, plus courses designed specifically for high school students.
- New England Sci-Tech The STEM education center offers online courses in areas like rocket science, amateur radio production, and the science in sci-fi movies. Members can take some courses for free, while others range from $10-$80.
- MasterClass Known for its expert-taught courses in business, sports, and entertainment, MasterClass also offers instruction in science and technology. For an annual fee of $180, students can access Chris Hadfield's course on space exploration and Neil deGrasse Tyson's course on scientific thinking and communication.
- Bill Nye Saves the World Perhaps most exciting for nostalgic adults who grew up with him in the classroom, Bill Nye's show covers many fields of science, from chemistry to biology to astronomy, and even dips into engineering and technology.
- NOVA Presented by PBS, NOVA episodes also appear online. Full episodes cover a wide array of topics like astronomy and planetary science, geology, and ancient civilizations. The website also offers short videos and activities.
- TED Talks Known for expert talks across a wide range of subject areas, TED Talks features a treasure trove of short videos, with many focusing on technology, entertainment, and design. Students can access talks for free, but the site does require an account.
- Numberphile A YouTube channel for math lovers, Numberphile explores advanced mathematical concepts from interesting angles. Students can watch videos about equations, graphs, and pi.
- MathTV High school students can reinforce classroom lessons, learn study skills, and explore new topics in mathematics with this informative YouTube channel. Instructor Pat McKeague assembles boot camp-style playlists, covering areas like derivatives and statistics.
- Veritasium Created by Derek Muller, the Veritasium YouTube channel explores fun and interesting scientific questions and diverse concepts, such as fire in zero gravity, AI weapons, nutrition, and the science behind viral internet content.
- The Cosmic Shambles Network A YouTube channel devoted to curiosity, the Cosmic Shambles Network explores topics like genetics, cosmic superheroes, and brain science. The network also produces a podcast and holds live events.
- Virtual Frog Dissection Available as a mobile or desktop app, Virtual Frog Dissection allows students to explore the animal's anatomy. Whether as a study aid or replacement to the in-class activity, students learn using 3D organ views and dissection tools, with the help of voiceover instruction.
- Pocket Universe Astronomy enthusiasts love this app for iPhone and iPad, which highlights features in the user's night sky. Students can visit Mars, learn about Jupiter's moons, and engage in quiz games.
- Codewars Students looking to hone their coding skills participate in game-based challenges with other users. Programming languages include Python, SQL, Java, and PHP.
- The Elements Students can explore the periodic table with this sleek app, which explains the periodic table's structure, presents fascinating pages about each element, and includes fun facts and stories. The app costs $12.99.
- NOVA Labs High school students can dig into engaging content, combining video learning with games, quizzes, and expert interviews. Available labs include polar, evolution, cybersecurity, and RNA.
- Glitch A free coding tool for creating web apps, Glitch makes it easy for kids to work individually or as part of a team.
- BrainPOP Students can learn about STEM topics like 3D printing, computer programming, and electrical circuits by engaging in movies, quizzes, worksheets, and related games.
- Envirothon Administered by the National Conservation Foundation, Envirothon challenges students to participate in a five-day seminar around environmental issues. Teams then collaborate on judged oral presentations and take a 45- to 60-minute written test.
- FIRST Robotics Competition Working in teams, students raise funds and use limited resources to create robots that compete in game-based challenges at championship events.
- Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Young scientists and adventurers compete in the Intel-sponsored fair to win scholarships and awards. Winning projects have included energy-efficient propulsion devices, noninvasive melanoma testing, and AI-driven aids for orthopedic surgeons.
- NSBE Jr. Technical Innovations Competition - High School In this national challenge for young members of the NSBE pre-college program, students compete by presenting science fair-style projects at the annual conference.
- Purple Comet Math Meet - High School Working in teams, high school students participate in the free online competition by solving 30 math problems in 90 minutes. Teams can enter in small, large, mixed, and noncompetitive categories.
- Make Presented by MAKE Magazine, the website provides extensive information on topics like microcontrollers, sustainability, and drones. The site also features relevant STEM news, a Maker Camp full of interactive projects, and an online community for sharing ideas.
- Career Cornerstone With in-depth articles on STEM career paths, Career Cornerstone's resources include day-in-the-life information about an array of jobs. Students can also explore degree fields, state portals, and diversity resources.
- The Physics Classroom Students can engage in physics simulations, concept-building activities, video tutorials, and test preparation on the Physics Classroom website. Though designed to work in tandem with classroom topics, these resources appeal to physics enthusiasts and students who need extra help in the subject.
- The Biology Corner The Biology Corner features abundant biology resources for students and teachers, with informative videos, articles, and worksheets covering anatomy, cell biology, evolution, genetics, and ecology.
- HippoCampus With thousands of free videos covering subjects like algebra, geometry, chemistry, and biology, HippoCampus allows students to dig deeper into areas that interest them most -- or reinforce classroom lessons.
- Mu Alpha Theta A mathematics honor society for high school and two-year college students, Mu Alpha Theta offers contests, grants, scholarships, and award opportunities through its website.
- Science Update Through 60-second podcasts, Science Update highlights specific topics in categories like acoustics, aging, medicine, mathematics, and energy. Though dormant since 2018, the archives contain a wealth of useful information.
STEM for All Ages
- CODE Dedicated to promoting diversity in computing, Code.org works to reach students of all backgrounds through fun coding activities. Some activities come with offline alternatives for kids without internet access. Code.org sponsors include Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
- Khan Academy With free course modules available in math, computer programming, science, economics, and the humanities, Khan Academy teaches students through video presentations and interactive challenges.
- Art of Problem Solving Younger kids can learn math through game-based courses in the Beast Academy, while older students engage in advanced subjects through real-time sessions. Subscriptions for Beast Academy start at $15 per month, with advanced courses priced individually.
- Swift Playgrounds With Swift Playgrounds, users learn to code for iOS devices by working through challenge-based courses. The app itself is free, but it requires an iPad to run.
- Virtual Tech Camps With courses available for ages 7-19, Virtual Tech Camps presents online camps, individual courses, and tutoring. Real-time courses cover topics in coding, game development, and robotics, but for a hefty fee.
- CodeWizards With live online coding courses teaching animation, game-building, interface, and web development, CodeWizards offers grade-based courses for ages 8-18. Tuition consists of three payments of $149.
- Sally Ride Science Workshops Offered by Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego, each one-time online workshop covers a subject like upcycling, coding, and ocean science. Costs vary by course.
- Mark Rober A former NASA engineer, Mark Rober runs an entertaining YouTube channel, which engineers creative solutions to scientific questions and real-life conundrums. Videos feature Rober building a squirrel-proof bird feeder, using drones to plant trees, and building a glass-shattering horn.
- Crash Course Crash Course consists of short, visually appealing YouTube videos covering a variety of subject areas. Students can pick and choose, or they can follow video playlists focusing on topics like artificial intelligence, digital information, and statistics.
- Learn Engineering An informative YouTube channel by Sabin Mathew, Learn Engineering's mission is to stoke interest in STEM topics. Videos explain GPS, encryption, seatbelts, and lithium batteries, plus a range of fun interviews with engineering professionals.
- AsapSCIENCE Founded by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, AsapSCIENCE takes on trending topics like the COVID-19 pandemic, area-specific wildfires, and the truth about 5G. The YouTube channel also addresses questions about smoking, climate change, and nutrition for kids of all ages.
- STEMbite STEMbite creator Andrew Vanden Heuvel films short videos about everyday science in a first person perspective through Google Glass. Heuvel covers categories like Earth science, physics, and technology by creating paper airplanes, studying medical lasers, and exploring DNA.
- Make Workshop Presented by Make Magazine, this YouTube channel delves into scientific topics like accelerated vaccine creation, rocket creation, coding tutorials, and paper crafts.
- BrainCraft A YouTube channel by science journalist Vanessa Hill, BrainCraft explores topics in brain science and psychology with videos like personality types, the science of wearing masks, and how magicians trick the brain.
- Stencyl Featuring a drag-and-drop code-designing system that teaches the basics of coding without the confusing terminology, Stencyl allows users to create games for various operating systems. Stencyl offers several pricing tiers, including a free version.
- Science Buddies Kids of all ages can build their scientific know-how through well-integrated videos, articles, and project ideas. Science Buddies does sell kits, but the site features a wealth of ideas with easy-to-get ingredients.
- Instructables Originally started in the MIT media lab, Instructables includes an impressive range of DIY project ideas, many of which explore topics in science and engineering. Kids can build projects like weather stations, gliders, and hydroponic systems.
- GeoGebra A free website featuring math lessons for students of all ages, GeoGebra presents videos and accompanying activities to help kids visualize math concepts. Teachers share their own resources to participate in a robust community with diverse offerings.
- Smithsonian Science Education Center With a curriculum and resources section packed full of ebooks, games, and activities, the Smithsonian Science Education Center explores chemical reactions, weather, butterfly life cycles, and mousetrap cars.
- Challenger Centre STEM Resources Separated by grade level, Challenger Centre resources come as downloadable PDFs, with hands-on activities on exploring environments, layers of the moon, and astronaut mission meals.
- Tynker Tynker makes coding fun with game-like lessons, puzzles, and challenges. Kids ages 5 and up can create apps, build games, make websites, and learn popular coding languages. After a 30-day free trial, Tynker fees start at $7.50 per month.
- Workbench Students in grades K-12 can explore a project-based STEM curriculum, with videos and lessons covering a variety of topics like temperature, ecosystems, exploration, and coding.
- Zooniverse Zooniverse allows students to participate in real research projects by providing data to assist professional researchers. Projects fall into categories like weather, medicine, nature, and physics.
- LightBot Kids of all ages can learn coding logic like sequencing, procedures, and conditionals through puzzles and games. The app costs $2.99 to download.
- Calculation Nation Students can practice math lessons through reinforcing games in factors, fractions, geometry, and probabilities. Designed for students in elementary and middle school, calculation nation games are available for free.
- ExploraVision Working in teams of 2-4, K-12 students research current technology topics and create ideas to develop them into the future. Toshiba sponsors the competition in partnership with the National Science Teaching Association.
- F1 in Schools Students ages 9-19 can participate in missions where they work in teams to apply IT learning techniques to subjects like physics, design, marketing, and media.
- Technovation Challenge Girls ages 10-18 qualify to participate in this 12-week, team-based challenge. With help from mentors, teams select societal problems and develop mobile apps, plus accompanying startup business plans, to address them.
- Future Engineers Challenge Students in grades K-12 can participate in STEM challenges, such as building pasta castles, designing possible climate change adaptations in animals, and building molecule models.
- Destination Imagination Team challenges for K-12 students involve a two- to four-month commitment, during which kids practice solving challenges before heading to regional competitions. Challenge categories include technology, science, fine arts, and engineering.
- Try Engineering The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers presents games, articles, and career resources for students and educators. Younger students can develop an appreciation for engineering through games, while high school students can find in-depth information about potential jobs in engineering.
- Exploratorium Run by the famous Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, the website offers a wealth of videos and hands-on activities. Topic areas include astronomy, biology, engineering, history, and mathematics.
- How Stuff Works Mainly useful for middle and high school students, How Stuff Works churns out informative articles covering an impressive variety of subjects. Kids can find answers about the environmental, physical, and life sciences, plus engineering, innovation, and a whole section on science versus myth.
- CK-12 With lessons designed to reinforce classroom areas in science, math, and social studies, CK-12 offers video tutorials and practice sessions. Students can select sessions by grade level or choose advanced subjects like chemistry, physics, or algebra.
- OK Go Sandbox Featuring indie musicians OK Go, the site uses music videos to explore scientific and mathematical concepts. After watching a video, students can dig deeper into grade-based STEM videos and activities, exploring subjects like microgravity, algebra, and simple machines.
- DiscoverE DiscoverE works to promote a better understanding of engineering, providing resources on STEM careers and activities to encourage at-home engineering. Activities include building water filters, building earthquake-resistant structures, and designing windproof towers.
- STEM on Station This NASA-run website explores topics related to the International Space Station. Kids of all ages can dive into information about missions, watch NASA TV, and engage in at-home activities designed for STEM engagement.
- Energy Kids Run by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Energy Kids teaches kids about energy sources, using and saving energy, and the history of energy. The site includes riddles, puzzles, activity books, and quizzes for grades 2-12.
- Molecular Expressions Molecular Expressions features an impressive library of microscopic images related to DNA, vitamins, pesticides, and amino acids. Students can explore visually enhanced articles about topics like electromagnetic radiation and live cell imaging.
- Science Kids Students can explore fun science and technology facts, quizzes, games, and projects on the Science Kids website. Project ideas include science fair ideas in chemistry, biology, and technology.
- Chem4Kids Students of all ages can benefit from information about matter, atoms, elements, and the periodic table. The site provides clear explanations with reinforcing quizzes.
- The Kid Should See This Fun videos make up this website's core, featuring STEM-based topics like space, animals, nature, and food. The site also includes a selection of DIY projects.
- NRICH With a database of math resources organized by grade level, NRICH offers math problems, ideas for mathematical thinking, and game-based math practice.
- The National Science Digital Library Searchable by subject, grade level, and keyword, the National Science Digital Library offers an incredible way to find resources across the web on any and every STEM subject.
Continuing Your Kids' STEM Education
By using these and other fun STEM for kids resources at home, parents can encourage their children to follow their curiosity and make learning fun. Kids with a fascination for astronomy can engage directly with NASA TV and activities, while those who love video games can practice coding their own.
Students who struggle in subject areas like math may find those subjects more fun if they can learn them through games and interactive activities.
Exploring online STEM for kids can help foster a lifelong love for learning, plus an interest in exciting and educational career paths.
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