As modern schools and workplaces become increasingly reliant on technology, it’s more important than ever that your student is well-equipped to tackle the STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math. This guide gives you the tools to engage your students, encourage them to pursue STEM careers, and help them gain a love and appreciation for this important and diverse field.
STEM is an acronym for the academic subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. You will find general tools appropriate for all ages as well as age-specific resources broken down by grade level. We have also included sections targeted to several communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM: women, people of color, and the disabled. Parents need resources too, and you can find a comprehensive list below.
Ask Dr. Universe is a site for kids who have creative questions. Dr. Universe has all the answers! Sponsored by the University of Washington, this site allows kids to submit their science-related questions and receive answers from real-life experts. Additional resources include a podcast, a hands-on activities list, and high-quality videos answering common questions.
Code.org is a site for people who think they don’t have time to learn coding? Try Code.org’s one-hour tutorial that is suitable for students and parents alike. This short, fun class covers all the basics and sets learners up for success if you continue to use their library of coding resources to become a coding genius.
Code Monkey offers K–8 students a fun and educational game-based environment where they learn computer programming—no prior experience required. Kids not only learn coding basics but also how to code in real programming languages, developing essential skills for the future while having fun (Sponsored Link).
Exploratorium is a jackpot of interesting activities and information on topics covering everything from astronomy to mathematics. This website is perfect for students looking to take a deep-dive into a topic and features activities that will have them turning their bedrooms into laboratories.
Hooda Math Games is a huge collection of math-based games guaranteed to have something to occupy even the pickiest students. Use Hooda to make learning fun so that kids can enjoy themselves while improving their math skills.
How Stuff Works is a website that lives up to its name! Acting as part encyclopedia and part how-to guide, How Stuff Works can answer your questions about the inner workings of everything from machines to plants.
Museum of Science and Industry Chicago: Online Science lets you all the perks of this world-class museum without having to leave the comfort of home. The Online Science feature of the Museum of Science+Industry draws students in with exciting coverage of current events as well as games and videos. A particular favorite is Code Fred, a survival game that teaches about the systems of the body.
NASA Education is for Everyone who dreamed of being an astronaut when they grew up. Nasa Education offers all the tools on how to do it. Career advice, features on current astronauts, and updates on NASA projects can help students feel connected to this historic institution and maybe even select a career path.
NOVA is a site for people who can’t get enough of the PBS science show? Their official website has you covered. Take a closer look at topics featured on the show as well as all-new video and podcast content.
Time to Shine: STEM Awards and Contests
3M Young Scientist Annual Challenge encourages young scientists to submit a video describing their unique solution to an everyday problem. Winners are awarded with a $25,000 prize and a place in the 3M mentorship program.
President’s Environmental Youth Award is annual contest available to students in all US states and territories. Projects focus on environmental stewardship and conservation, and a winner is selected from each region. 2020 winners focused on topics such as reduction of single-use plastic and orangutan care.
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is bestowed on 25 students each year who the organization feels made “a significant positive difference to people and the environment.” Winners receive a prize of $5,000 to be used toward their future education.
Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision is a contest that allows students to work through the challenges of using the scientific process to conduct research. Projects must include a history of the current technology surrounding their issue, an exploration of breakthrough technology, and the design process and consequences of the proposed technology.
STEM Initiatives: Making the World a Better Place through Math and Science
Geeks Rule is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racial, gender and socioeconomic gaps in STEM through programming at underserved secondary schools. Geeks Rule offers students opportunities for mentorships, special speakers, and after school programming.
EPA Students is a resource of students for finding the latest facts and figures to support environmental hypotheses and essays. The EPA’s student page provides easy access to environmental data and news.
Khan Academy is college board-supported website designed to offer in-depth assistance to students in line with state and federal curriculum standards. Khan Academy offers videos on almost any STEM topic, and the website is constantly being updated to stay current.
Funology is the science of having fun! Elementary students need hands-on projects and active engagement to develop a love of science at an early age. Funology is packed with activities, experiments, and crafts designed to spark a life-long interest in science and research.
Geo Walk is an interactive map that features detailed information on over 50 major landmarks. Travel across the globe virtually and learn about all of the beautiful places you want to explore in real life.
NASA Kids’ Club brings all of your childhood dreams to life with this brilliant website designed to let kids be kids…in space. Build a rocket, explore Mars, and live out your wildest space dreams.
NASA Space Place is more informative than its Kids’ Club cousin, Space Place offers information about the sun, the solar system, and the universe, all in kid-friendly language. Students can also enter their artwork in frequent competitions. The winners are featured on the website!
The Carnegie Cyber Academy is an internet safety program from Carnegie Mellon University that makes internet safety fun. Cadets go through training missions to become good cybercitizens and defenders of the internet while learning valuable lessons about staying safe online.
PBS Kids explores the worlds of your favorite PBS Kids shows including Zoom, Cyberchase, and Design Squad. PBS Kids has a page for each show featuring video content, activities, and behind the scenes information.
Perennial Math Tournaments is a tournament where contestants put together a team and compete in a virtual or on-site math competition. Open to all 3rd-12th graders, teams that start to rack up wins will be chosen to go to the national championships!
Weather Wiz Kids, designed by a real-life meteorologist, teaches the basics of meteorology including how to use the tools and make forecasts. The site also has over 30 weather-related experiments kids can carry out in their own backyards.
Games for Elementary Students
Brain Pop Jr. is a fun and visually appealing set of games designed to teach math facts and real-world concepts like time and measurement to early elementary students.
Cool Math 4 Kids helps you not feel guilty about the amount of time your student is on their iPad if they’re playing Cool Math games. This site has dozens of games, quizzes, and brain teasers to keep kids thinking while they play. Cool Math has recently expanded to include other subjects and now offers games for history and science as well.
Fun Brain recognizes that it can be hard to find good games and apps for our youngest learners, but Fun Brain is looking out for them. The site has activities appropriate for pre-K students all the way up to 8th graders and even lets students read books for free.
Geometry Dash is a favorite of both students and teachers! Calculate angles and bounce to make jumps across treacherous triangles and trenches. You never knew geometry could be this fun!
Math Blaster lets you go on a mission to save the galaxy using nothing but your math skills! Complete your training so that you can receive your orders and keep the galaxy in orbit for another day.
Max and the Magic Marker makes learning physics concepts easy and fun! Draw objects into life as you help Max on his quest to defeat the monster and accomplish all 15 challenges.
Move the Turtle is an introductory programming game that received a gold medal from Parents Choice. Learn the basics of coding while increasing problem-solving and critical-thinking skills that will be useful in all disciplines.
Mystery Math Town is an immersive game that challenges players to build equations instead of just answering questions. Use your addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills to rescue captured fireflies!
Numbers League lets you assemble a team of superheroes to destroy the villains with your combined math fact knowledge.
STEM Camps for Elementary Students
Audubon Camps take place each summer at the 25 Audubon Centers across the nation. Audubon Camps open their doors to over 6000 campers. The famed bird society offers both day camps and residential settings for those who want an immersive experience.
Cosmosphere Camp lets you blast off to Hutchinson, Kansas’s Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center are located. Aspiring astronauts, astrophysicists, and engineers can enjoy time with their peers discovering adventure in this Smithsonian-affiliated program.
Destination Science Camp is a camp for making lifelong friends and learning that “it’s cool to be smart”. Attend one of the 130 in-person camps across the US or participate in a virtual camp.
Engineering for Kids is a camp where students ages 4-14 can enjoy a wide array of STEM resources. Engineering for Kids offers traditional camps as well as event hosting for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Science Explorers is an at home camp for conducting a real-life science experiment in your house! Science Explorers makes that possible with their at home family science nights. They also offer field trips, after school camps, and limited summer camps.
Vision Tech Camp is for the elementary schooler who dreams of playing Minecraft all day. Located in the San Francisco Bay area, Vision Tech offers camps for programming, video game design, and you guessed it, Minecraft!
Kids Ahead helps students Uncover new knowledge about fascinating topics including severe weather and crime scene investigation. Kids Ahead has activities, virtual tours of cool places, and advice for aspiring STEM leaders all in a kid-friendly format.
Science Bob is a resource for students who have no clue what to do for their science fair projects? Science Bob is here to help! This site offers hundreds of ideas for imaginative and inventive projects, and includes detailed videos to walk you through the steps of bringing the project to life.
SciJinks is supported by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), and has SciJinks has everything you want to know about the weather. Tracking, forecasting, and preparing for dangerous weather events has never been easier with all the resources SciJinks has to offer.
Scratch lets you create your very own video game with this interactive lab sponsored by MIT. Plan your game, design characters, and develop challenges to share with friends and other Scratch users around the world.
Games and Apps for Middle School Students
CSI: The Experience is for would-be crime-scene investigators. This simulation game has multiple adventures based on the series for players to choose from. Immerse yourself in the action of solving a crime by finding clues, talking to witnesses, and discovering the perpetrator.
DimensionU Games focuses on building strong STEM skills and are available to download on a variety of platforms.
Mathemagics makes memorizing math facts fun with these innovative tricks that help students learn everything from squaring 2-digit numbers to quickly performing large number subtraction. Get ready to wow everybody with your new math tricks!
Minecraft is an incredibly popular world-building game teaches valuable tools like spatial awareness, critical thinking, and engineering. It’s also a great way for kids to play online with their friends while still learning and developing new skills!
National Geographic Games is a collection of an assortment of games from the famous magazine that get students interested in geography. Kids can prepare for doomsday, complete beautiful puzzles, or solve brain teasers.
Quantum Conundrum starts with your uncle having been captured. The only way to save him is to complete a series of increasingly-complex brain teasers and puzzles. Are you up to the task?
You Can Do the Cube helps you learn to solve the famous Rubik’s Cube puzzle with a complete guide to the algorithms, secrets, and tricks to lining up the cube no matter how scrambled it is. Trust me, it’s how I learned to do the cube!
Camps and Activities for Middle School Students
Camp Euclid is a camp for budding mathematicians aged 13-19. They participate in this virtual camp from the comfort of their own homes. Tackle solution-defying problems with real-world applications while making connections and building friendships with other mathematically-inclined kids.
National Flight Academy Ambition Program has you blasting off to Pensacola, Florida, for a 6-day immersive camp designed to teach STEM and 21st-century learning skills through a simulation flight mission where things quickly take an unexpected turn.
Northern Illinois University STEM Camps sign you up for the adventure of a lifetime! Students collaborate with peers and gain social confidence while studying diverse topics such as robotics, gaming, and nature.
Sally Ride Science Junior Academy is located in San Diego and affiliated with the California University system. Campers at Sally Ride Science are invited to learn from top scientists about diverse topics including programming, marine biology, and space exploration. Named after the United States’ first female astronaut, this camp is inspiring future scientists to make their own history.
Contests for Middle School Students
eCybermission is a place where students in grades 6-9 tackle a real-world challenge and develop an actionable solution while learning leadership and collaboration skills. Winners receive a $5,000 grant to put their solution into action!
Future City Competitions lets budding engineers plan out the city of their dreams using 3D software before bringing it to life with scale models in this project-based learning competition for 6th-8th graders.
Math Counts is a place where schools can highlight their math whizzes by competing in this series with over 500 teams. Winners will progress all the way to the National Championships held each May.
National STEM League is a virtual competition where students from all over the country challenge other National STEM League members. Fabricate and design ideas with your team in hopes of making it all the way to the national competition.
Rocket City Math League is a free math competition sponsored by Mu Alpha Theta. Students studying pre-algebra or higher can complete the test. The top scorers are all sent a competition trophy!
USA Mathematical Talent Search gives students the ultimate math challenge! This free competition sends students a set of problems so complex that they are given an entire month to solve them and submit their responses.
Cool Online STEM Resources for High School Students
Arrick Robotics is an absolute goldmine of robotics information and resources. Don’t let the outdated-looking website stop you from taking advantage of all the awesome content this site has to offer.
Code Academy provides many types of online courses. Decide which of Code Academy’s classes are right for you by choosing a programming language, career goal, or skill set that interests you the most. Trust me, they have something for everybody.
IXL Struggling with a concept and need additional practice problems? Check out IXL where you can search for your topic from a list of curriculum standards and have problems (with solutions and explanations) available at your fingertips.
IEEE Try Engineering lest you explore everything from college majors to career paths. A great resource for those considering whether engineering will play a role in their future, Try Engineering has links to tons of engineering content and information.
Apps and Games for High School Students
Algebra Touch lets you put your algebra skills to the test with their app for iPhone and iPad. Move numbers around, create new equations, and keep your brain working while you’re on the go.
The Elements is an app that brings the periodic table to life increases your knowledge of the elements. With real-time updates (in case you need to know the current price of silver) this app keeps students on their toes.
Interplanetary 3D Sun App is an app that removes the danger from looking directly at the sun. This NASA-backed app shows live UV images of the sun that will spark your imagination and keep your eyes safe.
NASA App gives you the power of NASA at your fingertips. This app can be enjoyed on phones, tablets, and streaming devices. It’s probably the closest most of us will get to space exploration, but who knows, seeing the wonders of space online may inspire the next generation of moonwalkers and rover developers.
National Geographic App lets you take the pages of National Geographic Magazine anywhere. Now it’s possible to have access to the breath-taking photography and in-depth feature stories that National Geographic is known for without having to wait for a magazine to arrive in the mail!
Physlets lets Dive into the world of physics with interactive illustrations and problems designed to serve as the perfect introduction to physics.
Pocket Universe is really like carrying the universe around in your pocket! Explore planets, stars, and galaxies with beautiful images that can transport you anywhere you can imagine.
Virtual Frog Dissection is perfect for people who love anatomy, but were grossed out by in-person frog dissections. This great resource that lets you complete a dissection completely scalpel-free. Label organs, listen to informative voiceovers, and even do a virtual comparison of human and frog anatomy!
STEM Camps for High School Students
Game Camp is a place where collaborative, confidence-boosting sessions occur to teach students the basics of video game design while helping grow their peer network.
ID Tech Video Game Design Camps is a camp where students can Choose from in-person or online camps. There, they learn the ins and outs of video game development and design. Open to students ages 13-18 this intense learning experience walks students through every aspect of video game technology and will leave them more interested in creating video games than playing them.
University of Alaska Anchorage Summer Engineering Academy occurs each summer at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. These multiple week-long events geared toward different STEM disciplines. Students select their topic and immerse themselves in activities, peer learning, and experiments led by trained experts.
STEM Competitions for High School Students
AMC 10/12 is a competitions for students interested in adding the title of Olympian to their resume. The AMC 10/12 is a 25 question timed test that must be submitted as the first step in the application process for the International Mathematical Olympiad (see below).
Cyber Patriot is a STEM competition sponsored by the Air Force Association. This competition is designed to help motivate and train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals by putting their skills to the test against real-world cybersecurity threats.
Envirothon is an environmental competition that is North America’s largest. Each year over 25,000 high schoolers participate in this event which offers awards and scholarships for the winners of the four-week contest held each summer.
International Mathematical Olympiad Top performers on the AMC 10/12 are invited to continue on in a series of competitions that culminate in a two-day exam event representing students from over 90 countries.
Purple Comet Math Meet This well-respected challenge has students answer 25 difficult math problems in a 90-minute time span and has participants all over the world.
Carnegie STEM Girls lest you see what the women in STEM at Carnegie Mellon University are up to as well as track down information on STEM careers, opportunities, and contests.
Engineer Girl is perfect for middle school girls interested in exploring STEM fields. Engineer Girl showcases interviews with engineers, quizzes, and great information about the endless possibilities available to STEM professionals.
GC3 provides career advice for middle school girls, by middle school girls. GC3 has created a platform where girls are empowered to share videos about their futures, goals, and career plans. It’s great to see so many young women interested in pursuing STEM careers and explaining their choices in their own words.
SciGirls is a PBS-sponsored site that features 30-minute spotlights on the STEM careers of successful women as well as resources for engineering and invention projects.
Women@NASA lets you meet your women NASA heroes! See profiles and interviews of the amazing women working at NASA to take our space exploration program to new heights.
STEM Initiatives and Awards Geared Toward Girls
NSTA Angela Award is an award provided by the National Science Teaching Association. It has an annual $1000 prize for a 5th-8th grade girl who has shown involvement or strong connection to science. Anyone in the United States or Canada can apply!
Scientific Adventures for Girls is a northern California-based organization that provides engaging STEM education for girls as young as 5 by committing to fund after school organizations. The long-term goal of SAG is “more economic mobility and create a more gender equitable society in which all girls and women realize their full potential and abilities to achieve great things.”
Women in STEM is a collaboration of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the White House Council on Women and Girls. This multi-faceted initiative seeks to increase the presence of women in STEM-related fields.
STEM Camps Geared Toward Girls
Alexa Cafe is a Society of Women Engineers-backed program. It is available both in-person and online for girls aged 10-15 looking to expand their horizons and learn more about the exciting possibilities available to them through STEM.
Design Connect is a design-focused camp that aims to “help girls realize the potential in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and themselves.” The organization offers camps, volunteering opportunities, and a chance to connect with like-minded girls.
DigiGirlz is Microsoft’s free technology program for girls who want to learn more about careers in technology. Participants get to connect with Microsoft employees and be part of hands-on activities.
Women in Natural Science is an after-school and summer learning program sponsored by the Academy of Natural Sciences. WINS is designed to help girls learn about STEM, explore career options, and have a source of positive development and growth.
ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp is part of ExxonMobil’s initiative to serve underrepresented populations in STEM. Camps are two-week sessions located all across the country that help prepare students for college-level STEM learning. The best part? They’re free to all qualifying campers!
KidWind lets high school students actively impact the environment by conducting research and experimentation on wind power. The National Society of Black Engineers is committed to helping students further wind technology while interacting with peers in a supportive manner.
NSBE KidZone Elementary Science Olympiad is an 18-event test of science skills sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers at their annual national conference. Third through fifth graders are welcome to compete, while kindergarteners through second graders can participate in a non-competitive event.
Try-Math-A-Lon is a NSBE program that encourages good sportsmanship and STEM accomplishments. Teams participate in individual training sessions before coming together for a quiz-bowl style competition.
Equity-Focused STEM Initiatives
AmeriCorps VISTA Program is a program that sends volunteers to strengthen STEM and robotics learning in underserved and underrepresented communities across the nation.
Educate to Innovate is a White House-backed initiative seeking to bring in 100,000 new STEM teachers with a particular emphasis on broadening diversity in the STEM talent pool.
Inventeam is an MIT program that awards 10,000 grants to teams of underrepresented high schoolers who invent solutions to real-world problems.
US2020 is an organization that seeks to partner with Fortune 500 companies and AmeriCorps to dramatically increase the number of high-quality STEM programs and teachers in underrepresented areas by matching qualified volunteers with communities in need of assistance.
National Center for Blind Youth in Science is an organization that is committed to advancing the education and career paths of blind students pursuing futures in STEM. Their website features fun and accessible games as well as information regarding their summer program.
NSTA Science for All is a page on the NSTA website dedicated to making science accessible for all students. Whether you’re looking for lab accommodations, assignment modifications, or general resources regarding physical and social disabilities, the NSTA has you covered.
STEM Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
1800 Wheelchair Scholarship is a scholarship fund that from 1-800 Wheelchair that has given away twenty-four $5,000 scholarships to students with mobility issues over the past 18 years. Open to high school and college students, entrants need to submit a personal statement to apply.
DO-IT Scholars is a scholarship for Washington state-based students that prepares students with disabilities for college life and careers in STEM. This three-summer program is a great opportunity to network with faculty, meet future classmates, and develop comfort in a college setting.
Microsoft Disability Scholarship is Microsoft’s annual scholarship for disabled students. It offers winners $5,000 to be used toward STEM education. Students are capable of winning up to 4 times for a total of $20,000. The goal of the scholarship is to “empower and enable people with disabilities.”
STEM Camps for Students with Disabilities
Child Mind Institute is a STEM camp for students with mental and cognitive disabilities. Students can participate in one-on-one or group programs at locations in New York City and San Francisco.
Bureau of Labor Statistics is a government organization that tracks labor data. If you are curious to know where a career in STEM could take your child, then check out the US Department of Labor’s statistics on career growth, salary ranges, and economic predictions.
Know It All is a resource that helps your student select the STEM pathway that best fits their skillset and career goals. Know It All offers career profiles and videos from professionals to help your student make important decisions regarding their future.
STEM-Works is a fantastic resource that markets itself to anyone passionate about getting children to learn about science STEM-Works features information for parents, teachers, and mentors. Choose from a plethora of activities and articles to encourage students to turn their love of science into a profession.
We Use Math answers the age-old question of “when am I going to use math?” We Use Math explores both careers in mathematics and the wide array of jobs that will require employees to use math on a daily basis.
Brush Up on Your Skills
Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics is a site for those of us who haven’t had to think about fractions and estimation in a long time. Brush up on your elementary math skills here so that you can be a homework hero.
Math Board is an app that walk your students through the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. With the chalkboard background you’ll feel like a real teacher, and have the support of the in-app problem instructions as well.
For a look at some of the innovators and influencers leading the field today, get to know the Top Women in STEM