You are here

Online Resources for Elementary Science

Instructional Resources

CIRES Education and Outreach Resources  
Free, high quality environtmental science materials. 

STEM Teaching Tools 
These very short pieces highlight ways of working on specific issues that come up during STEM Teaching. 

Colorado Water Knowledge
The Colorado Water Center leads interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach to address complex and evolving water-related challenges in Colorado and beyond. 

Statewide Water Education Action Plan 
Examples of phenomena and case studies for potential inclusion in school curricula within Colorado.

Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE) Classroom Resources
CADRE is funded by NSF and has highlighted promising practices and tools for educators in support of effective STEM education in schools and programs since 2011.

National Center for Science Education (NCSE) Classroom Resources 
NCSE has classroom resources to support teachers. 

Data Puzzles by CIRES
Bring authentic and relevant scientific data into your classroom.

Contextus 3D Assessment Database
Click on view spreadsheet to sort through all the 3D assessments. 

Going 3D 
Free, three dimensional lessons developed by teachers

Free, three dimensional lessons. 

Free, three dimensional lessons. 

From ESRI, these are short standards-based, inquiry activities that teach that support Earth Science and Environmental Science by leveraging authentic data sets. 

Bill Nye the Science Guy
Bill Nye, most widely known as the zany host of ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’, a show geared towards exposing young viewers to all different forms of science, is back with a new series aimed at a more mature audience. In his new series, ‘The Eyes of Nye’, Bill explores some of today’s most controversial topics as well as taking a look at everyday science.

DOGO Media
A next-generation online network empowering kids to engage with digital media in a fun, safe and social environment. “DOGO” means young or small in Swahili. While our young fans may be small, they act BIG as they engage with our websites and express their opinions on the content that interests and inspires them.

How Science Works
UC Berkeley Understanding Science site with interactive components, links for iTunes, and other resources for teachers and students.

The Inquiry Project: Implementation, assessment, research
Includes resources for curriculum (grades 3-5), assessments, professional development for teachers.

Khan Academy
An organization on a mission, they are a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

Minerals Education Coalition
Is a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying, producing and disseminating fact-based K-12 minerals education lessons and activities.

National Geographic YouTube Channel
Video resources

National Geographic Kids YouTube Channel
Video resources

National Park Web Rangers
The interactive Web Ranger program helps people of all ages learn about the national parks. You can explore over 220 national parks with virtual trail tours and more.

NOVA Science Now
Hundreds of FREE science videos with supporting materials such as discussion questions and interactive quizzes.

PBS Learning
is a collection of Science resources from around the world. Including videos, interactive learning activities, links, images and more.

Subject Specific Science Apps for iPads
Apps that support the active investigation of science, including those that allow students to model scientific concepts, communicate scientific ideas, and explore problems through authentic uses of the tools of science.

Teacher Tube
Educational video community for teachers, students, and parents.

Ted ED
TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed’s growing library of lessons, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform. This platform also allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video.

Return to the top

Interactive Simulations

Molecular Workbench
provides visual, interactive computational experiments for teaching and learning science. Explore physics, chemistry, biology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology with interactive simulations.

Interactive Science Simulations- fun, interactive and research-based simulations of physical phenomena from the PhET project at the University of Colorado. All iPad compatible.

Center for Science Education has a collection of interactives and simulations related to weather, climate, atmospheric science and space weather education.

Return to the top

General Science Resources

Free Science and Engineering Posters (English Spanish)

Free Crosscutting Concepts Posters (English Spanish)

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas
Released by the National Research Council (NRC) in July 2011. The framework identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high school. It will serve as the foundation for new K-12 science education standards, which will be developed by a group of states to replace standards issued more than a decade ago. The framework is also designed to be useful for curriculum and assessment designers, teacher educators, and others who work in K-12 science education.

Atlas of Science Literacy, Volumes 1 and 2
Mapping K-12 science learning.
Atlas of Science Literacy is a two-volume collection of conceptual strand maps and commentary on those maps that show how students understanding of the ideas and skills that lead to literacy in science, mathematics, and technology might develop from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS)
A non-profit curriculum study committed to transforming science teaching and learning.

Videos about science, math, engineering, etc.

Bozeman Science Videos
Site maintained by a science teacher in Montana, includes videos about Education with specific science and math subjects (anatomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, statistics).

A collection of 600+ free, ready-to-use climate related resources rigorously reviewed by educators and scientists, suitable for K-12 classrooms.

CU Learn More About Climate
Translates climate change information into resources and tools for teachers, policy makers, and citizens. Watch videos, schedule a guest speaker, find standards-based lessons and interactive resources.

Discovery Education
offers a broad range of free classroom resources that complement and extend learning beyond the bell. Foster deeper engagement and opportunities for students to take charge of their own learning with high quality, engaging, relevant tools designed for today’s busy teachers and parents. Explore using the links above for specific resources by grade. K-5 Lesson Plans Innovation Portal

Earth Science Week
Earth Science Week celebrates the theme “Earth’s Connected Systems,” emphasizing interactions among the Earth systems of land, water, air, and life.

Environmental Science's mission is to be the most reliable and expansive advocate for environmental science education and careers.

How to Smile
is a collection of the best educational materials on the web, creating learning activities, tools, and services vetted by a group of science museum educators dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world.

SOS Explorer - A unique earth data visualization tool used to develop science literacy, problem solving, trusted information gathering, and reasoning from data.

NOAA View Global Data Exploration Tool - Over 100 environmental variables are available using data from NOAA's vast archives of satellites, climate models, and other observation devices.

Data in the Classroom - Five curriculum modules that demonstrate techniques for using real data in the classroom.

National Geographic Education

  • Ideas, activities and lessons – Hundreds of digital teaching resources ranging from pdf educator guides to full blown lessons plans.
  • Amazing videos – One of the largest video collections on YouTube, the National Geographic channel is a go to source for high quality, HD video on nearly every topic under the sun. Videos vary from short extracts through to full length documentaries.
  • Online games and apps – Interactive resources you can use with your students. There are games challenging science and engineering, learning about animals through to vocabulary and family fun.
  • National Geographic Teaching Resources – PDF and print resources
  • National Geographic Ideas – Ideas for using resources in class
  • National Geographic PD – Programs for K-12 Teaching and Learning
  • Collections – Packaged resources for exploring topics

NBC Learn
For more than 80 years, NBC News has been documenting the people, places, and events that shape our world. NBC Learn, is dedicated to making these historic stories, images and primary source documents available on-demand to teachers, students, and parents.

National Science Digital Library
High quality online educational resources for teaching and learning, with an emphasis on the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Ocean literacy Principles
Ocean Literacy Framework was developed by many scientists and educators from the ocean sciences education community. Their efforts built on previous work to define ocean literacy, assess what the public knows about the ocean, and redress the lack of ocean-related content in state and national science education standards, instructional materials and assessments

Colorado Project Learning Tree - K-8 Activity Guide Aligned to CAS Science 

Science Today
is the California Academy of Sciences’ channel for current stories on cutting-edge technologies, life, Earth, space and sustainability.

is a free science library and personal learning tool that currently concentrates on genetics and cell biology, which include the topics of evolution, gene expression, and the rich complexity of cellular processes shared by living organisms

Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)
is an international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Resources include Teacher and Student materials on the science of soil.

Is a searchable, web-based digital library collection populated with standards-based engineering curricula to help make applied science and math come alive through engineering design in K-12 settings.

UCAR – Learning Zone
How does a cloud form? What’s a sunspot? Why is climate changing? At The UCAR Center for Science Education’s Learning Zone, you can explore these questions and more. Great videos, interactives and visualizations.

Windows on Earth
An educational project that features photographs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station. Astronauts take hundreds of photos each day, for science research, education and public outreach.

Return to the top

Science and Engineering Practices

Colorado Experiential STEM Learning Network
Their mission is to collaborate with schools, policy makers, and businesses in order to create extraordinary STEM experiences for students and teachers. Thus, increasing science literacy and promoting science identity construction. The network is designed to create an online and offline community of practice such that interactions lead to an action, whether it be schools reaching out to businesses for hands-on activities, or community involvement in student projects and intiatives.

Destination Imagination
Encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem-solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.

Next Generation Science Standards
Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally-benchmarked science education. The NGSS are based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.

STEM Education Coalition
Works to support STEM programs for teachers and students at the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies that offer STEM-related programs.

Return to the top


For further assistance, please contact:


Samantha Agoos
Science Content Specialist
C 720.955.9253