New Opportunities: August 3, 2020

K-12 Energy Units From NEED: National Energy Education Development

Find multiple FREE resources for energy education HERE!


Indexed Internet Resources for Educators

Find Indexed internet resources HERE!


SSEC Introductory Activity for Moodle/Virtual Class Introduction

Introduce Yourself: Identity Map

Thanks to the Smithsonian Science Education Center for this activity that was used during training this summer. As many of you will be teaching virtually this fall, this activity may assist in kicking off your course! This may also be modified to align with an academic topic.

To build your map:

1. Gather objects from around your home that represent you, your personality, and your values. This may include objects that represent your:

  • Role in your family (mother, brother, cousin, daughter, etc.)
  • Career or education experience
  • Interests, hobbies, or things you like to do for fun
  • Age, gender, nationality, family background/origin
  • Personality traits (loud, funny, sad, kind)
  • Physical traits (tall, black hair, blue eyes, wears glasses etc.)
  • Anything else you can think of!

2. Gather a few additional objects that can represent your thoughts, feelings, concerns and dreams about what education may look like after COVID-19.3. Assemble your objects in a way that tells a story about you. Some ideas include:

  • Chronologically – a timeline of your story
  • A wheel with spokes – each object radiating out from a center
  • Mini collection – grouping items together by location, type, etc.
  • Any other way that suits you!

To share your map:

1. Provide guidance for your audience and don’t forget to include your thoughts, feelings, concerns, and dreams about what education may look like beyond COVID-19. Some ideas include:

  • Take a photo, and write up a short paragraph describing how your objects tell your story. 
  • Take a video (no more than 1 minute) of your map and narrate your story.

2. Post what you have created by adding a discussion topic below. Put your name, affiliation, and where you’re from in the subject line to share with your fellow participants. If you’re part of a team, considering making one discussion topic for your team with each member adding their map as a reply.
3. View other people’s physical identity maps, and comment on them as you are able throughout the week. 
We hope you enjoy telling your story through your physical identity map, and learning about your peers from around the globe!

Additional FREE Resources from SSEC!


Girls Who Code (GWC) Partners with STEM West

We are partnering with Girls Who Code to bring free computer science opportunities to girls across our community and would love for your school, library, or youth organization to host a Club! Girls Who Code Clubs are FREE and flexible computer science programs for 3rd-12th grade students to learn how to make a positive impact on the world through computer science.

When you sign up to start an in-person or virtual Club, you’ll gain access to the following — all for FREE.

  • Online Training & Ongoing Support
  • Customizable Meeting Guides
  • 120+ Hours of Plug & Play, Project-based Curriculum
  • Exclusive Virtual Events

Plus, NO coding experience is required to start a Girls Who Code Club!

Apply here today! Be sure to indicate your partnership affiliation with STEM West on your Clubs Application in order to receive partnership benefits. You can reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

NEW RESOURCE: Code at Home!

Girls Who Code has released FREE Girls Who Code at Home activities for 3rd-12th grade students. We know that parents, educators, and girls are looking for support and connection during these challenging times. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Girls Who Code is making CS educational activities available for download free of charge, to anyone who wants to access them. Each activity includes a feature of a woman in tech who pioneered innovative technology. Learn coding from the comfort of your home!


To help you prepare for another school year and navigate some of the uncertainties, we’ve created new resources and no-cost, creative activities you can use to engage your students and continue to build the skills and confidence they need to change the world – today and tomorrow.

FIRST® @ Home is a 12-session curriculum series designed by FIRST Education experts to support distance learning and bring authentic learning opportunities to students in a variety of learning environments.

If you’re looking for hands-on distance learning curriculum or fun activities students will love, FIRST @ Home can be combined with FIRST® LEGO® League Explore Class Pack and School Pack for a more robust experience using our new scope and sequence options.

Each lesson features a different aspect of STEM learning and can help build students’ coding, engineering, and holistic skills using materials found at home.  

Each lesson includes the following resources to guide your experience:

  • Lesson Plan: for parents, educators, and caregivers to plan and facilitate each activity.
  • Design Brief: a student guide written in an engineering design process format that assists students through the steps in solving the problem and reinforces design thinking.

In the activities designed for students ages 6-10, they’ll explore the FIRST Core Values; create an invention using simple machines; work as a game designer to make an inclusive solution to a common children’s game; and more!

Download Lessons Here!


Plasma Games Access: Free Gaming for 8th Gr/HS Chem & Phy. Sc!

This chemistry gaming platform has been funded by the NC General Assembly for all NC teachers! Sign up for the training and access here!

This is NOT a quiz platform but uses chemistry and use of the periodic table to defeat foes! Students also learn about different STEM careers of all the characters.


Meet Christina Koch: 1st Female Spacewalk

Prepare to be inspired to reach your full potential as North Carolina State University graduate Christina Koch receives the 2020 Global ATHENA Leadership Award and shares her journey to becoming an astronaut and part of history in the first all-female spacewalk. Join us on August 11th, 12pm EST

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