We understand that with schools closed children are home and in need of ways to keep their minds engaged. Below is a collection of free TERC resources to help educators, parents, students, and others cope with school closings and quarantines. These resources were created by our math and science education and research experts and funded by the National Science Foundation along with other funding agencies.
Please also check our social media channels throughout the next few weeks to find additional resources and ideas we have found that we hope will be helpful during this time.
Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy uses an innovative approach to engage elementary students in learning about energy. The curriculum is comprised of a sequence of firsthand investigations including motion, elastic, thermal, and electrical energy. Each investigation is framed by an investigation question, followed by hands-on activities. Students have multiple opportunities to apply and consolidate ideas about energy forms, transformations, and transfer as they construct energy stories of ball collisions, elastic-band driven propellers, solar panels that can charge a capacitor, or temperature changes in the air of a “mini-room” warmed by a cup of hot water.
EarthLabs is a set of high school earth science modules that incorporate hands-on activities, data collection and analysis, and interactive visualizations to engage students in an exploration of the earth system. The units offer both student and teacher handbooks.
The Inquiry Project takes a unique approach to the study of matter for grades 3–5. It brings together core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts. The curriculum for each grade is built around a network of science concepts. These concepts are relevant to understanding matter and include ideas about material, weight, and volume.
Head Start on Engineering is a bilingual, family-centered program designed to engage preschool children and their parents and caregivers in the engineering process. The program focuses on the engineering design process, rather than the field of engineering, as a topic and skill that is highly relevant to the everyday lives of families, helps make engineering feel approachable, and easily connects to early childhood play and learning practices.
The Head Start on Engineering project has recently introduced a new type of resource for families and teachers: Sparks!. These bilingual (Spanish and English) activity ideas are a fun and easy way for families to learn together at home that support preschool-age children’s development and spark family engagement with engineering design.
Make Connections, a collaboration of the YMCA of Silicon Valley and TERC, gives adults a fun and easy way to help young children (ages 0-5) learn math. There are eleven curriculum units – each of which fits several common early childhood education themes. Units include activities for ages 2 and up, each with an at-home variation, and activities for children under 2 to use in programs or at home.
CLEAN is a high-quality and rigorously reviewed collection of climate and energy education resources aligned with the Climate Literacy and the Energy Literacy frameworks, and the Next Generation Science Standards.
What’s the Weather consists of six chapters that are designed to supplement grades 3-5 core science curriculum. It encourages students to build ideas of science content and process through hands-on and online investigation of the weather in their location. Students collect data about moisture (humidity, cloud cover, and precipitation), air temperature, wind, and air pressure.
Signing Math & Science uses SigningAvatar® assistive technology to develop illustrated, interactive 3D standards-based sign language dictionaries that offer students in grades K-8 and 9-12 who are deaf and hard of hearing increased access to the same learning opportunities that hearing students enjoy.
Six signing glossaries delivered as apps to provide visitors ages 5-12+ who are deaf or hard of hearing access to STEM vocabulary during visits to aquariums, botanical gardens, natural history museums, nature centers, science museums, and zoos. While museums are closed, they can be used when visiting museum websites and “virtual field trips!”
Math at Home Math at Home is a collection of K-5 activities that families can do together. A new set of activities in English and Spanish will be released every few days!
Investigations 3 Games Online The Games Center contains online versions of many of the Investigations 3 games. It can be accessed in English and Spanish.
Math Words and Ideas from Investigations 3 Math Words and Ideas provides a clear, interactive review of different concepts. Many include an animation; all include a “Try It” activity. The MWI can be accessed in English or Spanish.
Materials to help mix math into everything children do—from playing games to building towers to telling stories to catching up on chores. MiM materials consist of a large bank of activities, games, and projects for ages 2-12 in English and Spanish.
Make a kite and measure things with this at-home packet to use with students ages 8 and up. The activities are ideal for families to do together. Additional distance learning resources are available on the website.
Materials to support high school youth in creating infographics as a form of data journalism, an especially relevant skill in today’s data-based society. The SLI website includes lesson plans, assessments and other educational materials that are free and available to be used as is or adapted to your particular setting. Follow the links across the top of the home page to see the steps in the process of creating an infographic, then explore the Educator Resources for more specific materials.