The purpose of this page is to collect STEM activities and lessons suitable for K-12 students, particularly at the middle and high school level. Lesson plans are concise, accessible to parents and teachers of varying backgrounds and levels of expertise, and include extensions and modifications to help tailor activities to different grade levels.

This repository will be updated throughout the year with new and exciting activities. Feel free to send us exciting activities and check back often!

Activity List


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Molecular Gastronomy

Description: Students use chemistry to transform the physical and chemical properties of food in simple molecular gastronomy recipes. The culinary recipes are edible and fun to make.
Area: Chemistry


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Forensics

Description: Students are introduced to forensic science through catalase testing for blood samples, blood typing, and hair analysis. Activities are ideal for a mock crime investigation using the techniques to identify suspects.
Area: Forensic Science


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Salad Dressing Science

Description: Students are introduced to emulsifiers by comparing the effectiveness of salad dressing additives. This activity can easily be modified to conduct at home.
Area: Chemistry


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DNA in a Bottle

Description: Students are introduced to the basic structure of DNA and then extract their DNA from their cheek cells. The DNA can then be suspended in a plastic bottle as a take-home bonus.
Area: Genetics


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A Taste of Neuroscience

Description: Students are introduced to neuroscience through how the brain processes flavor. Activities include isolating taste from flavor, mapping taste buds, and "flavor tripping" on various foods.
Area: Neuroscience


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Diseases: Who Infected You?

Description: Students simulate an outbreak of two diseases transmitted by different means. After tracking the spread of the outbreak, students track the disease to its original source.
Area: Microbiology; Public Health


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Racing Robots

Description: Students are introduced to basic robotics and electronics through building a robot out of parts in an electric toothbrush from a dollar store. Students have the opporunity to race their robots or modify them into battle bots.
Area: Robotics; Electronics


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Greedy Pig

Description: Students discover the mathematical foundation of game theory by playing a simple (yet competitive) game. This activity scales for groups of almost any size and allows for a variety of topic discussions at a wide range of levels.
Area: Game Theory; Probability


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Modeling the Zombie Virus

Description: Students simulate various population growth models in the (hopefully) unlikely event of a zombie outbreak. This activity can be extended to discuss growth models in a variety of disciplines and a variety of other mathematical interaction models.
Area: Mathematical Modeling


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Surface Area, Volume, and Mammalian Heart Rates

Description: Students are introduced to basic concepts in mathematical and scientific modeling while using mathematical concepts to predict their heart rate. This activity is targeted for students in grades 7-12 but can be modified for younger students.
Area: Mathematical Modeling; Approximation and Estimation; Biology


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Combinatorial Games

Description: Students are challenged to problem solve and think critically about some simple combinatorial games. This activity highlights the rigor of mathematical truths and introduces students to combinatorial game theory.
Area: Mathematics; Game Theory



Links to Other STEM Resources


General Resources
AAAS Netlinks: Afterschool Resources STEM Lesson Plans
Clemson University: Inquiry in Motion  STEM Lesson Plans
Intel Education Lesson Plans, Design Tips, Visual Tools
Curiosity Machine STEM "Challenges" for All Ages
National Educational Association Lesson Plans for All Subjects (Not only STEM)
STEM Collaborative.org Links to other resources (some also appear here)
Steve Spangler Science Videos and experiment (also see the Sick Science YouTube Channel)
Teachers Try Science STEM Lessons and Resources for Educators
Institue for Food Technologists Resources on Food Safety and Food Science
The Science Spot A treasure Trove of Materials and Resources
   
Aerospace  
NASA Wavelength Resources for Earth and Space Science
Lockheed Martin STEM Education Links to Generation Beyond Materials and More
   
3D Printing and Digital Design  
Meshmaker Free 3D Modeling Software 
Thingiverse  Massive Repository of 3D Prinatable Files
TinkerCAD Free Online CAD Program
3D Printing for Beginners Tips and Tricks to start 3D Printing
YouMagine Another Repository of 3D Printable Files
SketchUp 3D Design Software - Great for Beginners
AutoDesk123D  A Beginner/Intermediate 3D Design App
OnShape Powerful CAD - In the Cloud!
Computer Science and 3D Printing  A nice overview of 3D printing's impact on the present and future in our society. Also includes lists of resources and career discussions.
   
Earth Science  
Earth Science Week  Classroom Activities
   
Engineering and Design  
Engineering: Go For It!  
Teach Engineering Lessons and Activites
The Engineering Place (NC State) Activities and Other Resources for Engineering Educators
TryEngineering Lesson Plans 
NSF Engineering Classroom Resources  Links to engineering lessons and resources from NSF projects
PBS Kids Design Squad Design and Making Activities
DiscoverE Engineering Activities, Videos and More