Educational Resources for Students at Home

Families,

Even though schools are closed, your student’s learning can continue. Below are some activities for your student that can keep their brain active during this time away from the classroom. We will continue to post resources to help during this time

A Student’s Guide to Conservation and Environmental Science- Wanting to learn more about environmental science and conservation? Check out this collection of resources from BestDegreePrograms.Org. Explore different links to access information about the history of conservation in America, government and non-government agencies involved in conservation, tips to conserve energy and water, and environmental science lesson plans. The resources come from credible sources such as The Environmental Protection Agency and The National Park Service.  

Take A Child Outside- Looking for ways to get your kids outside? Take a Child Outside is an initiative aimed at getting more young people to connect with nature. Their website offers tips for choosing locations to explore, what to bring on your adventure and how to avoid hazards like poison ivy. The best feature of the website is the collection of simple activities you can do with your children to help them experience the natural world. 

4-H at Home- 4-H has put together a free activity guide filled with hundreds of things your student(s) can do to keep them learning at home. The activities cover a wide range of topics and interests including cooking, engineering and outdoor adventures. These activities are hands-on and accessible to all kids. Download the activity guide using the link above.

Earth School- TEDEd has put together a month of "quests", one for each day between Earth Day (April 22) and World Environment Day (June 5), to help students understand and celebrate the natural world. The quests are revealed daily and help students see just how much we depend on nature. Each quest has engaging content from experts and includes ways that students can get involved in protecting our planet. Quests from previous days are still available. 

Mission Conservation- Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Agents of Discovery have partnered to create Mission Conservation, an app that gives families access to Image Recognition Missions. Students download the Mission Conservation app, then receive new "missions" each Monday. The missions are accessed by scanning trigger images with your device (trigger images are accessed on the Mission Conservation website). After scanning the trigger images, students complete the missions by playing augmented reality games, watching videos and gathering data. The theme of the missions changes each week. Topics include birds, habitats, trees and endangered species. Participants earn rewards when they complete missions such as access to conservation-themed Snapchat filters. Pro tip: print the trigger images and place them around your home or backyard to increase student engagement.  

NC Zoo- The NC Zoo is offering a variety of free, virtual learning experiences for students who are interested in learning more about wildlife. These include weekly educational programs broadcast into your home (Zoo Classroom, held each Thursday), fun presentations about animals and nature (Zoo EDventures, held Monday, Wednesday and Friday), nature arts and crafts, and outdoor activities you can do in your own backyard. These activities are the great opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the NC Zoo! Even better, most experiences are offered on multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Check out the NC Zoo virtual resources page here

ecoEXPLORE- Looking for a way to get your kids outside? ecoEXPLORE is the NC Arboretum’s citizen science initiative that uses an incentive system to get K-8 students outside exploring. Students sign up to participate online, go outside (their backyard or neighborhood works perfect) to find wildlife species, and snap a picture of what they find. Participants share their pictures and data on their online profile. Participants can earn badges and get on the leader board the more they explore. Get started by going to the ecoEXPLORE website.

Discovery Place Stay-At-Home Science- Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC is bringing the excitement of hands-on science discovery to your home. Take a virtual tour of the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit, go behind-the-scenes to feed the animal residents, or make your own hydroponic plant in the safety of your home. Resources are updated daily on this website. Topics include astronomy, physics, wildlife, computer science and more!

Catawba Science Center At-Home Science- Catawba Science Center has put together a collection of resources for students learning science at-home. Resources include videos, challenges for social media, scavenger hunts, outdoor activities and experiments using common household items. These resources are easy to use and fun for the whole family!

Earth Day continued...- Continue learning about climate action at home using UNCTV’s compilation of educational resources. Check out videos and interactives using this link. The EPA has posted coloring books, activity guides and articles related to Earth Day here. These resources highlight air pollution, water quality in America and the importance of the EPA in protecting our natural resources.

Earth Day 2020- Happy Earth Day! Learn more about this year’s theme "climate action" and how to participate in this year’s event at earthday.org. We have created our own resource for families to use while learning-at-home. Use this link to access hands-on activities and a wealth of information about Earth Day.

NC Museum of Natural Sciences Earth Week- Earth Day is April 22, 2020. This year’s theme is "climate action". This day marks civic engagement and action to protect our environment. Since its’ inception in 1970, Earth Day has been an opportunity for the global community to express their environmental concerns. These actions have led to important progress in protecting and restoring our natural resources. The NC Museum is offering daily activities all week to celebrate Earth Day. Check out their activities here.  

Breakthrough Junior Challenge- Khan Academy is partnering with Breakthrough Junior Challenge video contest to offer students 13-18 years old the opportunity to win a $250,000 college scholarship. The contest challenges students to create a 3-minute video explaining a concept in physics, mathematics, life science or the COVID-19 pandemic in an engaging and creative way. The winner will not only receive the prize money, but will also be honored in a live, televised awards ceremony. Bonus: the winner’s teacher will receive $50,000 and their school will receive $100,000 to building a new science lab!

NCSU The Science House Express- NCSU’s Science House is offering new K-12 virtual STEM learning content for parents, teachers and students. Each week, the Science House will release selected science resources for teachers and parents (on Mondays), a virtual K-12 science activity for students (on Wednesdays), and interviews with expert scientists (on Fridays). Each week’s content will have a different theme. The first week’s theme is rocket science. Check out their Facebook for even more information.

Nat Geo Explorer Classroom- Nat Geo brings cutting-edge science and research into your home with broadcasts from scientists around the world. Live broadcasts with expert explorers start at 2 p.m. each day, are free and cover a range of topics related to wildlife and the environment. Register for the chance to grab one of six on-camera spots and the opportunity to ask explorers your questions. 

NC Museum of Natural Sciences- NC’s Museum of Natural Sciences have prepared a collection of science activities for teachers and families who are learning at home called Science at Home. Resources include museum webcams, Ask a Naturalist, hands-on experiments, augmented reality app, outdoor activities and citizen science projects. Resources are varied and engaging- just like a trip to the museum!

NC State Fair- Looking to cut down on screen time? The NC State Fair is adding at home activities to their website each week. Activities include various crafts, games and recipes that can be done offline. Participate in the 2020 NC State Coloring Competition or take a tour of a farm. The website also has links to 4-H activities. 

Amazon Future Engineer- Amazon is offering free computer science courses for learners of all ages until at least Fall 2020. Courses include coding and robotics. Use the link to access a growing list of resources. 

TEDEd- TEDEd is a diverse library of high-quality educational video lessons for grades K-University. TEDEd’s content ranges all subjects including science, art, business and literature. TEDEd is currently offering free access to their library and families can sign up to receive daily lessons via email that have been put together by experts, teachers and TED speakers specifically for this period of at-home learning.

Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS)- AMOS may be physically closed, but they are still providing online outreach every day. Check out their resources, which include videos and experiments, on their website or sign up for their daily newsletter to receive even more information. These daily resources are created by local teachers and the museum’s outreach staff. 

NOVA- NOVA has been educating millions about scientific and technological discoveries for decades. NOVA Education has helped bring these stories to life in the classroom and now is available to families who are teaching and learning at home. Each day, NOVA Education is providing a list of hands-on activities and videos for students at home to help them learn about physics, astronomy, earth science, biology and engineering.

We Love Weather- We Love Weather is a weather and climate education resource from The Weather Channel for kids. The website is full of videos, experiments that you can do at home and quizzes. Smithsonian’s Weather Lab app is a similar resource. If your student is really into weather, sign up to become a member of the CoCoRaHS community. CoCoRaHs is a citizen science project sponsored by NOAA and NSF in which people measure precipitation in their backyard then report the data online. It is a great way to get your student outside, taking data and contributing to a larger scientific project all while having fun!

Khan Academy- Created by a father helping his kids with school work, Khan Academy is a collection of educational screencasts (basically lectures) on just about every topic. This resource has evolved over the years to be a comprehensive, go-to remote learning tool for many educators and students. At this time, Khan Academy is offering detailed schedules and educational resources students age 2-18 who are learning at home, which can be accessed on their website. Access to Khan Academy videos can also be found on YouTube.

Breakout EDU- Breakout EDU is an immersive learning game platform that brings the escape room to the classroom. The website is currently offering free games to students while they are at home. Breakout EDU games challenge students to apply content knowledge to open digital "locks" while practicing creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills. The platform may take some getting used to, so watching a tutorial is recommended. Here is a great one to start with! Games span all grade levels and subjects

Google Earth- This is such a fun tool to explore for kids and adults alike! Once you click the link, select "launch Earth" to access a wealth of resources. Choose "Voyager" from the menu, which is denoted by the helm of a ship. Your student can explore Earth’s geography through 3D tours of cities, engaging games like Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego, and ready-made lessons. This resource encompasses literature, language, geography, science, culture and more. Be prepared to have some fun! 

Games- Board games and card games are fun ways to connect with each other and get some friendly competition going. On the digital frontier, Nat Geo Kids and NASA have some great gaming options that are fun and educational. 

Scholastic Learn at Home- Each day, Scholastic Learn at Home posts 4 different learning activities built around an engaging story or video. Activities are free, easy to use and age appropriate. Choose your student’s grade level and let the learning begin!

Talk a walk outside- It may sound simple, but getting kids outside can help reinforce what they are learning about in the classroom while still socially distancing. Make a bingo card or a scavenger hunt for kids to record what they have seen and heard. Make it extra special with outdoor games or pitching a tent for a camp out.

Have storytime- Enjoy a book with your student, or have a celebrity read them one at Storyline Online. Even better, have an astronaut read them one at Story time from Space

Book trailers- Have students read a book (of their choice or your choosing) and create a trailer for the book (think movie trailers). When students get back to school, create a QR code to put on the book so that other students can scan it and get a preview of the book. Animoto is great for creating book trailers, so is PowToon.

Arts & Crafts- Give your students paper, markers, crayons, glue, fabric- really anything you have around the house- and challenge them to create something wonderful! Get some craft ideas here. Join famous illustrator Mo Willems for a lunch doodle every day or enjoy a daily kids’ drawing class with Wendy Macnaughton on Instagram Live.

Put on a play- Have students put together a play for you. Bust out old Halloween costumes and have students create props and scenery. You could also have students act out their favorite book or story. Literacy tie-in: Have your student write out a script for their play.

Project-based learning- PBL requires students to take a deep dive into a subject. Create a project for students that get them exploring content on their own, like creating a video tutorial, writing a research paper or conducting their own scientific experiment. 

Newsela- Newsela offers a plethora of credible articles on a variety of subjects. Newsela allows students to choose their lexile level, so articles are tailored to their individual abilities. This is a great tool to get your students reading, especially while libraries are closed.

Science experiments at home- Engage students with science learning through experiments! Here are some activities from PBS. Need more ideas? This is another list of easy science experiments you can do with your kids with stuff you already have around the house. Encourage kids to come up with their own questions to test out.

Virtual Museum Tours and Zoo Webcams- Stay at home and visit some of the most famous museums, zoos and aquariums in the world. Check out some of the museums that participate through Google here. The National Zoo and the Georgia Aquarium have several live webcams you can watch from home. Additional virtual tours can be explored here.