Virtual Resources

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Resources for virtual connections. Categories include: General, Education, and Families.

General

Building Community to Create Your STEM Ecosystem. Building a community toward a STEM ecosystem is crucial! So many resources are available outside your school walls: parents, local businesses, other schools in your district, universities, former students, STEM professionals, and philanthropic groups. Once you adopt the “create an ecosystem” mindset, many people and organizations will want to help; your top challenge is channeling the support. Read more from this post on the NSTA Blog.

Are you hosting an online event using Zoom Webinars or Zoom Meetings? Download an Online Event Best Practices Guide for pre-event, live-event, and post-event best practices ranging from how to manage Q&A, engaging attendees, and following up after the session concludes. (Link above takes you to the page with the download links).

“Liz and Annie here with the next installment of how to get good at Zoom…” they create online tutorials on how to instruct using Zoom, a video conferencing service, and other online utilities. Follow this link to an article by J.D. WARREN with more information about their process.

Zoom meetings keep getting hacked? Here’s how to prevent ‘Zoom bombing’ on your video chats. Link Here (Registration to Fortune required for full article).

Why Working From Home Is So Exhausting—And How To Reinvigorate The coronavirus and COVID-19 have caused fundamental changes in the ways we work. Tracy Brower shares some ways to make this change easier. Link Here

The Do Space Download is working remotely to deliver a robust array of digital programs as
well as offer technology assistance online 90 hours a week. Link to their website Here

As you shift to online learning as a result of the coronavirus, edWeb has documented some great ways for collaboration and virtual professional learning. Learn more about their free platform and resources.

Education

Girls Who Code now offer Code at Home Activities– FREE COMPUTER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS, EDUCATORS, AND PARENTS. They release activities bi-weekly— some online, some offline, of varying levels of difficulty. Each activity features a woman in tech who pioneered innovative technology. Link Here

 

PocketLab Notebook offers several no-prep, ready to go science lessons. Start your free PocketLab Notebook account to get started and check out their newest lessons listed below:

  1. Matching Position and Velocity Graphs Link Here
  2. How does thermal energy affect a chemical reactions? Link Here
  3. Notebook with Neil: Discovering Exoplanets? Link Here
  4. Notebook with Neil: What causes the seasons? Link Here

Making the Most of Synchronous Sessions in PBL. In planning project-based learning units, teachers can maximize students’ time together by focusing on collaboration. Read more from Edutopia

Effective Instructional Models for a Hybrid Schedule. It can be a challenge to engage students when they’re at school only a few days a week: Station rotations and flipping the classroom can help. Read more from Edutopia

How to Make Virtual STEM Lessons More Engaging for Young Learners. These easy-to -implement strategies can make science, technology, engineering, and math lessons come alive for elementary students. More from Edutopia

Celebrate your Day of Data with NASA and Microsoft Hacking STEM where your students can explore how data powers our astronauts, our space missions, and our world. Celebrate World Spreadsheet Day and 20 years of humans living and working aboard the International Space Station with live events, lesson plans, and virtual experiences Link Here

Earth to Sky is a partnership between NASA, the National Park Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. They work to enable and encourage informal educators and science communicators to access and use relevant science, data, and educational products in their work. More information Here

Nebraska Solar Schools is a Nebraskans for Solar program that has its own website. Through grants from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Facebook Foundation, the nonprofit is able to provide free NEED Solar Energy Kits to K-12 Nebraska schools. The Facebook-funded solar kits are available to Sarpy County schools. Those purchased with NET grant money are available to schools in all other counties.

The NEED Project is hosting a virtual wind energy workshop Saturday, October 17, 2020 from 9 am to 3 pm. They are free for K-12 Nebraska teachers and STEM educators. Also free for participants: a hands-on wind education kit for your school.

Biotechnology Field Trips Program Geared to middle, high school and college students and their teachers, Biotechnology Field Trips are designed as a 1.5 to 5 hour visit to the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Supported by instructors, a fully-equipped molecular biology laboratory and ample time, students are able to immerse themselves in the concepts of biotechnology, and to apply those concepts by learning hands-on techniques.

  • Offering virtual field trip options starting October 12th. Field trips are typically hosted from 9am-4pm T-Th, but BTC is willing to discuss options depending on the needs of your class.
  • Providing both free and paid content. For example:
    1. Free: All lab backgrounds and protocols, equipment loan program, 3-part COVID-19 series, short laboratory demo videos (coming soon to our website)
    2. Paid: All of our staffed virtual field trip modules
  • Designing several virtual field trip modules. The standard format will include some combination of background information, lab demonstrations, live discussion, and extension activities. We will be using the platform Google Meet. The price will be $80 for each ~1 hour session, for 24 students or less, unrecorded.

For all inquiries and booking requests, please contact Barbara Bielec, K-12 Program Director (barbara.bielec@btci.org).

Educators’ Corner- Explorations in Education unlock your students potential with NIHF’s STEM education programs Link Here

Prairie STEM is offering free virtual Grade Level STEAM activities (K-6th grade) Link Here

PocketLab Notebook is designed for doing authentic, hands-on science in remote and hybrid settings. Link Here

Do Space has created a new virtual after-school program for Elementary and Middle School students called the After-School Club. Link Here

iEXCEL is a transformative program creating a new model for healthcare education, training and research. Dheeraj Varandani, one of IEXCEL’s 3D Generalists, has created two learning activities: a CT Scanner, and a Skeleton through a program called TinkerCAD- a free content creation software that allows users to create assets in 3D. Learn how to build a CT scanner and skeleton Here

For a TinkerCAD Video Tutorial click Here

To learn more about iEXCEL and the Davis Global Center, click Here

SciStarter supports educators, learners, parents, administrators, guardians and all stakeholders in sharing authentic science experiences in a variety of learning environments. Their projects offer real-world science engagement for face-to-face, outdoor, online, remote, blended and in-home learning settings. You’ll find helpful “getting started” videos, classroom connections, printable data sheets and other free resources.

Visit their Education Page featuring New projects such as Thanksgiving Day Western Bird Count, Family Dog Project, Healthy vs. Non-Healthy Foods, Project FeederWatch, World Community Grid and much more!

Additional SciStarter Resources

Beyond School Bells, Nebraska’s statewide afterschool network, has developed and collected an assortment of curricula and educational experiences designed to engage youth in hands on learning experiences.  While developed for school-based afterschool and summer programs, these free materials can be adapted for in home use and a blended on-line and in person settings. Link Here  

National Inventors Hall of Fame’s (NIHF) mission is recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. NIHF has free resources available to everyone interested:

  • NIHF’s Landing Page houses several resources that can be utilized to encourage continued learning while students are out of school. Link Here
  • STEAM Activity Guide PDF For At-Home or In-Class Activities Here
  • STEAM Activity Blogs 60+ STEAM activities to share with the community Here
    • Safe, Secure, and STEM – This is a NEW blog post featuring testimonials from several school partners who help explain that the standards of Camp Invention have always been high and will continue to remain so in the future.
  • Virtual Visit to the NIHF Here

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is dedicated to educating all Nebraskans about our state’s amazing wildlife, plants and natural resources. Knowing how people want to engage with education is as diverse as our natural resources, they have developed a variety of interactive resources. Link Here

JOSLYN’S DISTANCE LEARNING program offers teachers and students the opportunity to virtually visit the Museum to learn about highlights of the collection. Joslyn continues to develop program topics as they reach out to more classrooms. Link Here 

MackinVIA has compiled free content, helpful videos, links, downloadable resources and more to help you with this distance learning transition. Link Here

 UNO STEM TRAILS Center has several resources for K-12 Teachers Researcher Partnership Program (TRPP) gives an opportunity for teachers from surrounding public schools to assist in research while paired with research faculty from UNO. The NE STEM 4U program focuses on undergraduate students bringing exciting STEM activities to elementary and middle schoolers in Omaha, Kearney, and Lincoln public schools. EUREKA! is a STEM camp for girls that begins for them the summer before eighth grade and supports them throughout high school while continuously strengthening their interest in STEM. UNO emphasizes outreach programs that share interest in STEM with surrounding area public schools. Link Here

edWeb PD News brings you new and timely professional learning articles and edWebinars. edWeb provides many free resources and services. Register for upcoming programs on our edWebinar Calendar. Learn more about our free platform and resources.

CISCO Networking Academy is offering free courses and tips for virtual teaching. Find more information here

PocketLab presents ScIC Science is Cool Virtual Unconference for science educators. Sign up here to watch all available videos and content

Big Deal Media provides resources for K-12 Technology and education. Find more information here

Dr. Victor Winter is a computer science Professor at UNO, the creator of Bricklayer, and the founder of bricklayer.org. He has created a free online Bricklayer-based course titled Exploring Visual and Spatial Thinking. The course can be accessed at: learncsathome.com   

The course consists of 8 lessons. This course is suitable for grades 7-10. The first few lessons of the course may be suitable for elementary students as well. The course includes novel/engaging content, including interactive web apps, instructional and fun Youtube videos.

Bill and Melinda gates K-12 Momentum 

  • COVID-19 resources can be found here
  • Illustrative Math for learning math from home here
  • Learning Keeps Going here
  • Wide Open School here
  • CommonLit (reading program) here
  • For students transitioning from high school; College Advising Corps here
  • For providing guidance to schools and districts as they help students make the transition from high school to college; National College Attainment Network here
  • Connect with other teachers at the Teacher2Teacher Network

simpleK12 offers Complimentary Webinars to Help You Prepare for Unforeseen School Closure here

Wordpreneur has a resource that helps you find free eBooks here

The Council of State Science Supervisors, the National Science Education Leadership Association, and NSTA have assembled a variety of resources for teachers and state and district science leaders. – For teachers: Investigations Beyond the Classroom can provide guidance for teachers as they work to engage students in science investigations and engineering design beyond the traditional classroom environment that align to the Next Generation Science Standards.  – For district science leaders: Short term guidance for science learning at home and long-term guidance for learning science from home can be found here.

The Workforce Innovation Division at MCC has partnered with Facebook to offer a eight-month online Digital Marketing Certificate program. This dynamic program is designed to give businesses, marketing professionals in need of digital skills and those looking to gain new skills the tools needed to create an effective online presence and to remain competitive in a rapidly changing digital business environment. More information can be found here

Families

Porch.com, a home improvement website, has created an article Simple STEM Activities To Do At Home presenting some creative ideas for families that may not be so familiar with STEM to help during these difficult times. Link Here

Teach Science with LEGO Educations. LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime, with lesson plans aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, is a scalable, intuitive, and highly adaptable hands-on solution for middle school students. Our thoughtfully designed learning tool combines colorful LEGO building elements, easy-to-use hardware, and an intuitive drag-and-drop coding language based on Scratch. SPIKE Prime helps students learn the essential STEAM and 21st century skills needed to become the innovative minds of tomorrow…while having fun! Link Here

STEMfinity has the largest selection of hands-on enrichment from the most trusted STEM brands on the planet. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, STEMfinity has a customer solution that will fit your budget and learning environment. Free STEMfinity Resources Here

Science Buddies provides Hands-on Science Resources for Home and School Link Here

4-H STEM Learning Opportunities

  • School Enrichment- At this time, many programs are offered as virtual, in-person, or hybrid (supply drop-off with remote teaching). Click the link below for a list of current offerings with their recommended grade levels and fees. All materials needed for the program are included in the fee. Link Here
  • 4-H Adventure Days- Nebraska 4-H Camps is offering a handful of science-based school-year camps this fall. All sessions will follow CDC and ACA recommendations for in-person activities. See all the sessions and register at 4h.unl.edu/school-year-camps
  • Fun with 4-H Fridays- This Free live virtual program has been developed to meet the needs of home-schooled youth and their parents. Join us every Friday from September 1st to December 18th from 1-1:45pm.

Register Youth Here           Register Families Here

  • Imagine Science-Omaha Presents: The Case of the COVID Crisis Book ClubJoin the Imagine Science team as we travel through time in this adventure novel to explore epidemics and pandemics of the past or present! This free, 15-hour program allows middle school youth will to discuss each chapter, including the social and emotional issues raised and its relevance to their own lives.

For more information, email Tiffany Sessions at Tiffany.Sessions@unl.edu or Mirissa Scholting at mscholting2@unl.edu.

Do Space offers a variety of programs and events to serve the community at no cost. From beginner to advanced, toddlers to senior citizens, we offer something for all ages and levels of experience. Check out their free programs Here

4 Ways to Keep Your Children Engaged While You Work from Home UNO early childhood education professor Debora Basler Wisneski, Ph.D., shares her tips for keeping children active while parents work from home. Link Here

10 tips for talking about COVID-19 with your kids In this article by she provides some advice for communication during this time. Link Here

Play, explore and discover the great outdoors of Nebraska by going to the Wildlife Safari Park! Please Note: Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, the Wildlife Safari Park will be limited to a drive-through experience only until April 30, 2020. Several areas will not be accessible by guests on foot including the hiking trails, Visitor Center, the Hands-On Corral, Eagle Aviary, and the Bison Overlook and Nature Play Area. Link to more info Here

Do the Zoo at Home! There are lots of ways to stay connected with your favorite animal friends. Tune in each day on our social media channels for interactive video and activities you can do with your family. Find more information at omahazoo.com 

Virtual Classes at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo!  Check them out here

Virtual Programs and Camps at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo! Here

DO Space presents Make. Hack. Build. an experimental community program for creators ages 12-18 that combines state of the art tools, technology, skill development, and professional project design experiences. Link to more information here

Sign up with SciStarter to explore citizen science projects, science related activities, and online learning resources from organizations such as Princeton University and National Geographic. Customize your own dashboard to save any links or projects that interest you. You can find more information here

Inspiring Kids Imaginations and Creativity with Destination Imagination. Free resources for parents to unlock the curiosity in any child. Sign up here

Girls Who Code are making CS educational activities available for download free if charge, to anyone who wants to access them here

Girls Who Code are also launching Girls Who Code Talks—a free virtual video series to support women and girls navigating changes to their college and career plans during pandemic. Register Here

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies – Educational Programs in Nebraska Join their Facebook page to participate in Daily Nature Challenges and share bird pictures! Check to see what events they have planned here

There is a live video feed from the Zoo’s Antarctic Penguin Exhibit through a partnership with KMTV Channel 3. It can be found 24/7 on our Zoo From Home page while the Aquarium is closed to the public: HERE The live video is also on a dedicated Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium page on KMTV’s website. 3 News Now will periodically check-in on the penguins during their newscasts as they go to commercial, introduce weather, etc.