Unit planning resources
NGSS aligned mini units that use videos to launch investigations. Extremely user friendly
This is a gold mine of science and engineering lesson ideas, articles, images, and videos. You can search by Content Standard or Practices and by grade level. You can also assign things directly to your Google Classroom!
Using phenomena to launch a unit for students to ultimately construct explanations
Infographics on a variety of topics.
National Geographic for Kids
Brainpop & Brainpop Jr
Brainpop now partners with Newsela and has corresponding articles for each video. They also partner with Phet, an online simulation company. Some of the videos have corresponding simulations. These can be used for students to make observations, look for patterns, and make claims. Many of them lend themselves to allows students to generate their own testable questions and conduct their own experiments.
Short to the point videos on a variety of science concepts.
Great Websites for Kids
Vetted sites that are science based and created for kids
Engineering is Elementary
Stand alone Engineering units with real world, global context. These units could apply to several grade levels to allow opportunity for students to apply their understanding to a novel situation.
NGSS aligned lessons and lesson series with engineering opportunities.
Science simulations that allow students to conduct their own experiments by manipulating variables
Simulations for scientific concepts
Skype for Classrooms
Find experts world wide who are willing to skype into your classroom for a presentation or discussion.
Interactive simulations for STEM
Visit this site for access to high interest current science articles that can be adapted to several reading levels.
Visit this site for a library of digital books and short movies. You can create collections of books around a certain topic and search by reading level. You can also share a collection with a teammate.
On this site you can search for
- Reading passages by topic, grade level, and/or reading strategy. For each passage there are reading comprehension questions that support a specific reading strategy.
- Comprehension Units that correspond with Fountas and Pinnell reading levels. This might be a good resource for small group instruction tied to science.
- Strategy Units that identify a specific reading strategy and outline a series of books that support that skill
Listen Wise (5th and 6th grades)
Students can listen to current events on NPR that support science content.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH - Let's Bring in the Experts!
-SB Wildlife Care Network
- Earth Science
-Marine Science Institute
- STEM Outreach
Natural History Museum
Unit Idea Generators!
Big ideas for unit focus
This is an archive of the main lesson plans and materials that are presented at the summer institutes. 2017 Summer Institute will focus on chemistry and engineering.
Teacher tested, hands on, inquiry based units that follow a specific conceptual flow for physical, life, and earth sciences for 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. These are not NGSS aligned, but can be easily shifted and tweaked.
SciTrek seeks to partner with local schools to present inquiry based modules that not only emphasize the process of science but also specific grade level standards.
Make Student's Thinking Visible
"The concept of failure... is central to understanding engineering, for engineering design has as its first and foremost objective the obviation of failure. Thus the colossal disasters that do occur are ultimately failures of design, but the lessons learned from those disasters can do more to advance engineering knowledge than all the successful machines and structures in the world. Indeed, failures appear to be inevitable in the wake of prolonged success, which encourages lower margins of safety. Failures in turn lead to greater safety margins and, hence, new periods of success. To understand what engineering is and what engineers do is to understand how failures can happen and how they can contribute more than successes to advance technology." (To Engineer is Human - The Role of Failure in Successful Design, by Henry Petroski).
Thinking Routines in Science!