Try Engineering

Try Engineering is a site that hosts lesson plans and games designed to get students interested in engineering. The lesson plans are arranged according age and engineering topic. The lesson plans can be downloaded as PDFs.  Be sure to look at all of the lesson plans because several are specifically for upper grades.  This is just one of many sites I came across when searching for engineering sites for elementary students.

The games section of Try Engineering features 36 online games. Some of the games were developed specifically for Try Engineering while others are hosted on other educational sites like those of NASA and PBS.

The games section of Try Engineering also includes links to a dozen iPad apps that students can use to learn about engineering and programming.

STEM Resources

  1. Women in Science, Technology, and Mathematics ON THE AIR!:Listen to radio shows about the past, present, and possible futures of women working in the STEM fields, courtesy of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and the National Science Foundation.
  2. Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine:Since 1990, the National Research Council has hosted the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM), which organizes events dedicated to promoting exactly what the name states.
  3. STEMinist:Stay on top of news, views, trends, and research about women in STEM through profiles, articles, networking opportunities, and plenty more media.
  4. Women@NASA:NASA supports an initiative encouraging women and girls to pursue careers in the aerospace industry, with plenty of recruitment and career opportunities (including SISTER) meant to close the gender gap.
  5. TechWomen:Presented by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, TechWomen promotes collaboration between American, Middle Eastern, and North African as a means of furthering science and technology as well as cultural harmony.
  6. Association for Women in Science:AWIS partners with other organizations and businesses in order to address issues of women working in the STEM fields and keep young girls interested in studying the related subjects.
  7. STEM Equity Pipeline:Women and minorities are incredibly underrepresented in the STEM fields, and this partnership between the National Advisory Board, Extension Services, and multiple local and national organizations and businesses hopes to change that unfortunate reality permanently.
  8. Association for Women in Mathematics:This organization’s goals revolve around encouraging young girls to pursue mathematical studies if they enjoy them, as well as promoting the efforts of novice and established women with careers in the field.
  9. Digital Sisters/Sistas Inc.:For women in the STEM industries interested in education, Digital Sisters/Sistas is a great nonprofit reaching out to “traditionally underserved” child and adult students.
  10. The National Science Partnership for Girl Scouts and Science Museums:More activism-oriented professionals looking to volunteer and encourage younger generations of girls to enter the STEM fields might want to check out the engaging lessons provided by this partnership.
  11. National Center for Women & Information Technology:Whether an established career woman or an activist and educator looking to nurture a love of IT in young girls, the NCWIT makes for a great organization to get involved with and promote workplace diversity.
  12. Women in Astronomy:Head to the Women in Astronomy blog for updated news and commentary about issues pertaining to astronomy, astrophysics, physics, and the ladies who practice them.
  13. Society of Women Engineers:When it comes to promoting STEM education amongst young girls and college students as well as celebrating the contributions of female engineers, SWE is one of the best resources both online and off.
  14. FemaleScienceProfessor:Issues pertaining to women in academia and the sciences alike push to the forefront of this popular blog by the anonymous Female Science Professor.
  15. Agora:Bookmark Agora for multimedia resources regarding the latest women in STEM stories, including the yearly winners of the L’Oreal-UNESCO Awards and information about fellowships.
  16. 4000 Years of Women in Science Biography Listing:University of Alabama provides a plethora of capsule biographies of some important women in STEM history, so stop by and pay respects to the groundbreakers who made today’s opportunities possible.
  17. Women in Science: A Selection of 16 Significant Contributors:Despite the title, this e-book by The San Diego Supercomputer Center also celebrates female mathematicians and engineers with major influence over their respective fields – even if their male peers refused to acknowledge them.
  18. GWIS: Graduate Women in Science:The Sigma Delta Epsilon fraternal organization launched at Cornell in 1921 and continues offering fellowships and support to the female graduate students belonging to their 17 chapters across the United States.
  19. Science: It’s a Girl Thing!:It’s not just American organizations compiling their resources to make the STEM fields more equitable for women; the European Commission launched Science: It’s a Girl Thing! to start destigmatizing perceptions of science, math, and engineering as purely masculine realms.
  20. Women in Science:Unfortunately, it looks like The Smithsonian Channel isn’t currently airing Women in Science, but the site remains active and packed with a few fun educational goodies, like comics and quizzes.
  21. WEPAN Knowledge Center:For female engineers, the WEPAN Knowledge Center proves an essential bookmark chock full of resources, networking opportunities, and other essentials regarding getting ahead.
  22. The UKRC:STEM-related businesses looking to recruit more women often call on The UKRC for consultations on increasing workplace diversity along gender lines.
  23. ADVANCE:Stop at the National Science Foundation to apply for awards, grants, and fellowships specifically intended to further women’s presence in STEM industries.
  24. Under the Microscope:The Feminist Press publishes blogs and books about the numerous ways in which women participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics historically and contemporarily.
  25. Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology:No matter what visitors need – be it research or a community or event information – the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology has it available for networking and promotional purposes.
  26. MentorNet:MentorNet pairs up established female and minority science and education professionals with up-and-comers to ensure they know how to navigate businesses predominantly populated by white males.
  27. National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science:This organization devotes itself to closing the gender gaps in both STEM and law enforcement, with tons of information and research for businesses and schools hoping to increase their gender diversity.
  28. Women of Color Research Network:The National Institute of Health presents an initiative promoting women of color in the biomedical field, from showcasing and funding their research to offering up networking opportunities and other great events.
  29. I Was Wondering…:Women in STEM with daughters or female students – or who volunteer with kids – should turn those teens and tweens onto I Was Wondering … and teach them about the lives and findings of some of the great ladies of science.
  30. Biographies of Women Mathematicians:In this Agnes Scott College database, almost the entire history of women in the mathematics comes alive through biographies, timelines, and maps.
  31. Women in Technology Sharing Online (WitsOn):Students and teachers at participating schools connect with some of the leading women in technology for excellent one-on-one opportunities, all facilitated online.
  32. 100 Women Leaders in STEM:STEMConnect celebrates the 100 women currently working in STEM who are keeping their industries moving forward through a massive e-book and a reception honoring honorees’ contributions.
  33. Association for Women in Computing:Consisting of institutions and individuals, the AWC offers up networking opportunities, mentorships, and more for female students and professionals who love the computer sciences.
  34. Women in Global Science & Technology:Check out what this amazing nonprofit is doing to promote education in and jobs pertaining to the STEM subjects for women in developing nations.
  35. Women in Math Project:Marie A. Vitulli at the University of Oregon so very kindly collects research and resources regarding women and math, from intersections with feminist philosophy to fellowships and funding to biographies of great ladies who shaped the field.
  36. Gender Equity Project:Hunter College, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation team up for a comprehensive project meant to shatter the last remaining glass ceilings within STEM.
  37. National Girls Collaborative Project:Women in STEM active in their communities who want to lend their time and expertise to nurturing a love of science, tech, and math in the next generation of young ladies might want to participate in this incredible initiative.
  38. Association of Women Geoscientists:With a name like Association of Women Geoscientists, it’s probably safe to assume that both the organization and its website focus mainly on opportunities, research, and events pertaining to women geoscientists.
  39. AAUW:Although the American Association of University Women focuses on the entirety of academia, closing the gender gap in STEM remains amongst its highest priorities.
  40. TED:In order to counter claims that the face of STEM is “a nerdy guy with no social skills,” the open source juggernaut collected over 70 talks by leading female scientists, mathematicians, technologists, and engineers into one impressive list.


Mathematics (Maths) Apps for Kids

mzl.gqpskgzl.320x480 75 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Rush Hour – just like the original game; strategy fun
review on Common Sense Media 

blokus 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Blokus – similar to the board game, my kids love it
review on TUAW 

numberland 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Tam and Tao in Numberland – Montessori, 0 to 10 numbers
review on InkyGirl 

mzl.bpleflkv.320x480 75 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Motion Maths – fractions & number lines
review on TUAW

ghostblasters 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Ghostblasters – times tables fun
review on Fun Education Apps 

hickory divide 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Hickory Divide – division practice
review on Fun Education Apps 

butterfly brunch 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Butterfly Brunch – a fun way to learn about coordinates
review on Fun Educational Apps 

not just another puzzle 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Not Just Another Puzzle – 62 puzzles for all ages
review on Best Apps for Kids 

rocket math 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Rocket Math – math problems while launching rockets, 3 levels of difficulty
review on Mind Leap Tech

mermaid waters 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Mermaid Waters – preschool age number games
review on App Planet 

doodle find 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Doodle Find – hidden pictures
review on App Safari 

coin math 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Coin Math
review on Best Apps for Kids 

king of maths 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
King of Math – mental math
review on the iPhone Mom

rocket solver 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Rocket Solver – a Singapore Math app

math monkey 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Monkey Math (School Sunshine) – preschool math- patterns, dot to dot, addition, subtraction, sequencing
review on the OC Mom Blog 

talk maths 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Talk Maths – designed for in-class use, several levels
review on Interface 3 

math evolve 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Math Evolve – math facts games
review on Interactive Education 

symmetry shuffle 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Symmetry Shuffle – spacial puzzles and MATH DOODLES
review on Common Sense Media 

math monsters 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Math Monsters – games of math facts
review on Teaching Appz 

tangrams 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
My First Tangram
review on Kid Friendly iPad

math girl 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Math Girl Addition House – facts, patterns
review on iPad Curriculum 

multi rap 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Rock n Learn Multi Rap – catchy tune
review on Imagination Soup 

ilive math africa 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
I Live Math – Africa – problem solving
review on iHome Educator 

math bingo 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Math Bingo – math facts recall
review on Imagination Soup 

khan 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Khan Academy
review on Fast Company 

Scicnce, Technology, Engineering

tinkerbox 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Tinker Box – fun engineering game
review on business wire 

science360 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Science360 – free from NSF w/ science & engineering news & info
review on Common Sense Media 

solar walk 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Solar Walk – super cool solar fun, can be 3D
review on 148apps 

star walk 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Star Walk – worth every penny to see the night sky in real time
review on Cool Mom Tech 

goo 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
World of Goo – fun physics game
review on 148apps 

move the turtle 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Move the Turtle – step by step computer programming for kids
review on Wired 

human body 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
DK The Human Body App
review on School Library Journal 

go car go 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Go CAR Go – another physics game, somewhat difficult but fun if you’re in upper elementary
review on Common Sense Media 

fotopedia wild friends 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Fotopedia Wild Friends – photographs and facts
review on Appolicious 

touch physics 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Touch Physics – try to make the wheel move with your drawings; fun!
review on Mind Leap Tech

ocean encounters 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Ocean Encounters – beautiful photographs
review on App Advice

cat physics 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Cat Physics – control the ball and learn the principals of physics
review on Top Apps 

super stickman golf 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Super Stickman Golf – easy to play; about angles and physics
review on MacWorld

world of ants 40 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
World of Ants – a well-designed, non-fiction book about ants
review on Common Sense Media 

Little Bits


What are Little Bits? 

Little Bits are an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping and play.

From the Little Bits Website…

Crave creativity? Make something!
Light it, push it, turn it, twist it, bend it, buzz it, blink it, shake it…

Just as LEGOs™ allow you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks that make prototyping with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together. Each bit has a simple, unique function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc), and modules snap to make larger circuits. With a growing number of available modules, littleBits aims to move electronics from late stages of the design process to its earliest ones, and from the hands of experts, to those of artists, makers, students and designers.

littleBits is not affiliated with LEGO™ or any of its subsidiaries

What Can You Do With Little Bits?

You have to click here and check out the “Little Pics” and “Little Vids” of kids creating amazing products using Little Bits.  You can see how interested, engaged, and creative these children are, and it is so inspiring to watch. 

Getting Little Bits for your Kids:


“If America is to maintain our high standard of living, we must continue to innovate. We are competing with nations many times our size. We don’t have a single brain to waste. Math and science are the engines of innovation. With these engines we can lead the world. We must demystify math and science so that all students feel the joy that follows understanding.” By Dr. Michael Brown

(From Inside the Classroom, Outside the Box Blog)

Recently I presented and attended at the 7th Annual STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Conference at UNC- Charlotte. I love this conference and look forward to it every year as I learn so many things that I can bring back to my teams. Now that I have a blog, I also thought that I would share what I learned, which will also help me reflect, with my followers.

The science conference has 4 breakout sessions and a keynote speaker. I presented during the first break out session on Using Technology in the Classroom and if you follow my blog, you know I post a lot about technology. ( If not see one of my past technology posts )

The first breakout session I attended was on ‘Problem-Based Learning’ (PBL). The presenters’ were from a S.T.E.M elementary school. Problem based Learning is a teaching method that presents using real world problem situations. The students assume a role and collaborate finding a solution while the teacher facilitates. I have done a few PBL’s before in the classroom but by no means an expert. What I enjoyed about the way they presented was that they let us participate in a PBL they created. They then walked through the steps of creating one. Part of the reason why I didn’t do a lot of PBL’s was because I was making elaborate ones. What they showed me was that PBL’s don’t have to be that way as they just as effective if they are short. Here are the steps of creating an effect PBL.

1. Begin with a problem that is authentic, relevant to curriculum and connected to the real world.

2. Have students gather information. What do they know and what do they need to know?

3. Students determine how to solve the problem. This is when it is hands-on and they can try different hypotheses’ as a team as they record results.

4. The teacher facilitates and gives resources not answers.

5.  The students share results.

PBL’s are motivates students to learn along with supplying the students with vital 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. They do take time to create but it you start off creating one a week you will start building your PBL resource bank and if you get other teachers on your team to also create them you can all share.

The second breakout session I attended was ‘Measuring Up is STEM Classroom’. The presenter was a Math Professor at UNCC Dr. Harbaugh. During this session I learned how measurement connected to the new common core. I learned the new technical mathematical terms such as basic math quantities (length, mass, time and temperature) and derived quantities (perimeter/area, density, weight). I learned the importance of estimation and that we as teachers really need to have the students estimate how much before they actually measure. He also shared this new site that has movie clips for science and math that connect to the real world.

The third breakout session I attended was ‘Arguing like a Scientist’. Karen James was the presenter who is also a fellow science teacher and friend from a different school. I really enjoyed this session as it fit perfectly into the writing portion of the Common Core and something I have no real background on or resources as it is new to our curriculum. It is also what real scientist do. Our presenter started with giving us a discrepant event. We had to decide if the “item” in front of us was alive or not and why? We had to write down our thoughts in compete sentences just like the students would have to do. She then gave us an article that we read and gave us a debate team carousel (get yours here After reading the article she asked us a question in which we had to give our opinion and explain why, then pass it to our neighbor who had to add supporting argument and why. We then passed it to a third classmate who had to add an opposing argument no matter what they original opinion was. (this box is my favorite as it force the student to think outside the box if they have to pick an argument with something they agree with). Finally you pass it to a fourth and final team that give their ‘two cents’. After we finished the article and carousel we went back to our discrepant event and investigated further. Below are some of the resource she suggested….



Why Scientists Disagree? By Gina Cervetti

Negotiating Science: The Critical Role of Argument in Science Inquiry by Brain Hand

Questions, Claims and Evidence: the Important Place of Argument in Children’s Science Writing by Lori Norton-Meier, Brian Hand, Lynn Hockenberry, Kim Wise

Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings by Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford

As you can see I learned a lot and I am hope this post helps other teachers as much as the conference helped me. Below are other great STEM websites that I have come across as well. If you have other great sites, resources or ideas on any of the break out sessions, please comment below and let us know.

Great STEM Websites:

Orginal Blog Post