COVID-19 Resources for Families
Wide Open School
Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense. There is so much good happening, and we are here to gather great stuff and organize it so teachers and families can easily find it and plan each day.
Internet Essentials from Comcast
Comcast is partnering with non-profit partners and city leaders to create safe spaces for students and families to connect and learn, creating more than 1,000 “Lift Zones” in community centers to provide internet connectivity and a safe place for students and families to get online.
Since 2011, Internet Essentials from Comcast has connected millions of low-income people to the Internet at home so they can be ready for anything. We recently announced we will continue to provide 60 days of free Internet to all new Internet Essentials customers.
Offers from Providers
- Comcast is offering free access to its Xfinity Wi-Fi hot spots for everyone, including non-subscribers, for 60 days. It's also providing unlimited data to its customers for no extra charge and is not disconnecting internet service or charging late fees for customers who say they can't pay their bills. The company is also providing 60 days of free basic internet service to new customers.
- AT&T is suspending the termination of wireless, home phone or broadband service when customers can't pay their bills because of coronavirus disruptions. The company is also waiving related late fees. Like Comcast, AT&T is also providing free access to its public Wi-Fi hot spots. The company also said its consumer home internet wireline customers and fixed wireless internet customers would receive unlimited data.
- Charter Communications is providing free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi internet for the next 60 days to households with K-12 students or college students who don't already have a subscription. Like Comcast and AT&T, it's also offering its Wi-Fi hot spots for free to the public.
- Verizon said it is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers "negatively impacted by the global crisis."
- T-Mobile is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.
Cybersecurity in Education: What Teachers, Parents and Students Should Know
While online learning provides so many positive opportunities for learners and teachers alike, it is more important than ever to strengthen cybersecurity defenses to deal with new and emerging attacks. This article is designed to help provide teachers, parents and students with the information they need to identify common cyber threats, as well as tips on cybersecurity best practices helping you safely ease into the new school year.
A to Z STEM Activities to Do at Home
The Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Padnos College of Engineering & Computing (PCEC) Outreach team has gathered fun and educational A to Z STEM lessons and experiments that can be completed from the comfort of home. The PCEC A to Z STEM Experiments website was created to help kids in grades kindergarten and up remain active with STEM content, despite many children being at home for school due to COVID-19.
On the A to Z STEM Experiments page, you will find a wide variety of activities that include making a solar stem, creating a water clock, and even building your own x-ray. These activities are designed to be engaging, safe, and inspiring for K-12 students of all ages. All of the activities require minimal supplies, and all are labeled with a recommended minimum age to help parents select activities appropriate for their children.
“The Outreach Department in the Padnos College of Engineering & Computing usually gets to interact with thousands of K-12 students throughout the academic year. With the COVID-19 pandemic modifying face-to-face education, we are not able to take field trips to schools like usual. Instead, we created a collection of simple, engaging STEM activities for parents, kids, and teachers to access,” said Sara Maas, K-12 & Community Outreach Coordinator for the Padnos College.
“There are no platform logins or passwords required, and every activity includes information on careers or technologies that are associated with that STEM activity," explained Maas. "For example, the activity ‘L is for Layers of the Earth’ gets kiddos involved peeling onions and labeling layers. They also learn why a Geologist might be interested in the layers of the earth."
Visit the PCEC A to Z STEM Experiments page to try them yourself, and to share them with others!
The PCEC Outreach Department is glad to be able to develop resources that help K-12 students to continue their STEM education during these difficult times. Additional at-home STEM activities led by PCEC students can be found on the PCEC YouTube channel.
To share feedback or photos of your K-12 students completing the experiments, email the Padnos College of Engineering & Computing.
STEAM Resources from the National Children's Museum
#DreamersDigest STEAM pairings! Each month, the museum is curating joyful, STEAM-based activities and resources for full family fun on their Facebook page. Sign up for their newsletter to receive the monthly editions (scroll to the bottom of their main website to sign up).
75+ STEAMwork video programs – STEAM experiments and projects at home!
STEAM Daydream with National Children’s Museum Podcast – monthly episodes where children interview STEAM innovators from across the country!
Virtual Field Trip – step “inside” National Children’s Museum for a standards-aligned field trip that explores cloud identification!
Climate Action Heroes Digital Exhibit – take the test to find your inner climate action hero, and then launch into earth-saving missions you can accomplish from home!
Collection of Resources – check out a list of Museum-approved resources for more projects and fun to support your STEAM adventure!
Effective STEM Activities for Children
"How to Identify Effective STEM Activities for Children," a resource published by Baylor University's online EdD program, details the benefits and importance of early STEM education to inspire and foster critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Effective STEM lesson plan guidelines are outlined, as well as tips for relating STEM to real-world applications. At the end of the article, there are also a number of resources for educators and parents.
#LearnAtHome from National Geographic
National Geographic's #LearnAtHome Campaign was created for students to have fun and engaging ways to learn at home. The collection of activities have been curated for educators, parents, and caregivers to implement with K–12 learners. Learn more here.
The Connectory - Portal for STEAM Offerings
The Connectory tool is free to use and was developed so parents and other caregivers could find local STEAM education opportunities for kids in their lives.
The Connectory features a range of STEAM opportunities for K-12 youth, including afterschool clubs, summer camps, Maker Fairs, online learning, and upcoming one-day events. Browse all the STEAM opportunities near you or narrow your search using our advanced filters on the Find an Opportunity page. You may filter your results by location, date, area of interest, type of opportunity, or age.
Kid's Online Learning Tools for Science, Technology and Beyond!
Whether you’re curious about how things work, want to do science experiments of your own at home, or you’re interested in learning about the history and evolution of computer science, you’ve come to the right spot! This comprehensive list of Kid's Online Learning Tools for Science, Technology and Beyond! was created by Best Kid Stuff to help you find the best items for your family.
Kids’ Engineering Games Resource Guide
Check out this list of Kids' Engineering Games! Engineering is for everyone, and the earlier a future engineer starts learning, the farther they’ll go. The building blocks of engineering, like force, mass, gravity, states of matter, and motion, all affect daily activities and games. Engineers get to have a lot of fun as they learn, because an awful lot of the best lessons come from games and experiments. It’s never too early to start studying for an engineering degree, and getting to build your own marshmallow launcher is just icing on the cake.
STEM—which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math—is a crucial piece of the educational experience. Biologist Judith Ramaley coined the acronym in 2001 for the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) as the organization began ramping up programs to promote STEM subjects in American schools.
Parents may struggle to provide home-based learning in STEM for kids. This page presents top online resources in each STEM subject, plus a list of 150 courses, websites, activities, and competitions arranged by grade level.
5 STEM Projects to Keep Your Kids Engaged
Check out these fun STEM projects you can do together with your kids, and maybe learn some cool science lessons in the process:
Polarize Pepper and Soap
Launch Balloon Rockets
Create Crystal Suncatchers
Master the Rubik's Cube
Film Your Own Stop-motion Animation
STEMx Parent's Guide to STEM and school closure resources
The STEMx Parent’s Guide to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is a tool that answers the questions parents often ask about how to get involved in their STEM community. Answers are brief and user friendly with a focus on national statistics and meaningful research and online links are provided if you want more information on any of the resources discussed.
4-H at Home
4-H at Home inspires kids and teens to learn, grow, and charge ahead in their lives through critical learning resources accessible to all kids.
With COVID-19 disrupting learning for 55 million young people, 4-H has stepped up to bring the traditional 4-H experience inside the home.
Explore this page to receive hundreds of educational activities for kids in topics like STEM, healthy living, and crafting, including step-by-step videos, activity guides, and more.
Stem is Elementary has created a resources site with the following resources:
- Elementary STEM lessons, K-5
- Elementary STEM resources list
- Elementary STEM online resources
- Makerspace resources
- Math resources
- Elementary robotics and coding resources
- Using the engineering design process
Nate Ball hosts a special STEM Show on Facebook
Nate Ball, Emmy-winning host of PBS Kids series Design Squad Global, took to Facebook to live stream a series of 5 simple STEM experiences for kids of all ages–beatboxing, stories and DIY engineering projects that can be built with materials from around the house.
Build a Machine to Drop a Bar of Soap in Someone's Hands
Washing hands has become an important part of everyone's day. Now there is a fun, free challenge for families and students stuck inside -- Build a Rube Goldberg Machine in 10-20 steps to drop a bar of soap into someone's hands. This is a great STEM/STEAM activity to do at home for all ages. 3 winning teams will be selected for a Rube Prize Packet.
Ideas for using all those toilet paper rolls
Chris Woods–math teacher, presenter, host of STEM Everyday Podcast, & author of upcoming book on building a STEM culture– has a lively Twitter account that promotes a playful and creative approach to STEM education. He recently asked what people were making with the abundance of toilet paper rolls piling up in quarantined households and got some great ideas.
Computer Science and Technology Resources
NASA Express weekly newsletter!
Receive an email weekly with at-home activities such as crafting, science experiments with household items and videos for the whole family. In addition, workshops, internships, contests, and student challenges are also included. Subscribe here.
Code at Home
We know that parents, educators, and girls are looking for support and connection during these challenging times. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to school closures and significant disruption to daily life, Girls Who Code is making CS educational activities available for download free of charge, to anyone who wants to access them. We will release activities weekly — some online, some offline, of varying levels of difficulty—over the course of the next few months. Each activity will include a feature of a woman in tech who pioneered innovative technology.
Nepris Industry Chats
Nepris connects educators with a vast network of industry professionals to engage students in their learning and prepare them for their future. During the month of May, Nepris is opening their Live Virtual Industry Chats and Video Library to everyone to help students stay engaged. With the Nepris platform students have access to the Nepris Video Library and Career Explorer. Parent or teacher consent is required for students to join LIVE Industry Chats.
Click here to view upcoming virtual industry chats.
Start Engineering YouTube Channel
As a new, unique school year gets under way, Start Engineering is offering encouragement and appreciation to educators, parents, and the STEM community in general for everyone's effort and creativity towards making the days work in all the different forms school is taking right now. As part of their ongoing efforts to serve educators' and learners' needs in these times of virtual, at-home, or distanced learning, they have been developing and adapting their content to digital formats and platforms.
Start Engineering has created a YouTube channel! Click here and subscribe, if you're interested.
They have produced and posted videos with both informational and educational purposes. The video to the right, for example, gives an overview of CyberCAP, the cyber career awareness program they launched this summer that serves both in-person and virtual learning needs. And they have also produced videos offering instruction for educators in both using CyberCAP and more generally teaching cybersecurity to middle and high school students. More videos on other topics are in line for production, too; their next topic will be elementary engineering education, for example.
9 Engineering TED Talks to Watch with your Kids
Start Engineering has compiled a list of TED talks which highlight the diversity and ingeniousness of engineering. In short, they’re awesome, in all kinds of different ways. You will not regret a minute you spend watching one, two, or even all nine of them.
TeachEngineering is a free digital library comprised of hundreds of standards-aligned, design-rich, engineering curricula for K-12 educators to make science and math come alive through design thinking. Their YouTube channel features brief, instructional videos of some of their activities. Perfect for self guided STEM activities at home.
Learn about engineering with this video series by Dr. Shini Somara. She will teach you how we built much of our world with engineering! Crash Course Engineering is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Click here for the full playlist.
#YoucubedAtHome: New Activities
Our goal is to provide some things that might help math learning at home. We wanted to remind you, just like with all of our activities, we encourage you to adapt these to work for you! We know many teachers are sending activities home for their students, and you can certainly translate these into any platforms you’re using to communicate with your students and modify them as you see fit! Please visit our site to see all of these activities including the ones we shared last week.
Check out these math games from the Regional Math and Science Center at GVSU. You can play at home or school with minimal preparation. Some games require items you have around the house or classroom such as paper, pencil, dice, or playing cards. Everything else you need: rules, materials, possible questions, and in some cases a video to show how to play the game, are provided.
Check out the Backyard Science YouTube video playlist created by Maynard Okereke, better known as the Hip Hop M.D. You don't have to journey miles away to remote destinations to get a glimpse of nature. Sometimes, the most incredible scientific discoveries are right under your nose! The Hip Hop MD explores ways you can enjoy nature during this time of social distancing by searching right around your own backyard!
Daily Things to READ, WATCH, and DO!
Carnegie Science Center may be closed, but we’re here to help you get through these weeks of social distancing!
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for our daily CSC’s Three Things, a roundup of science-y things to READ, WATCH, and DO! Plus, check out simple science experiments you can do at home on our Instagram.
3M "Science at Home" Online Learning Resource
3M’s “Science at Home” content series features 3M scientists and special guests who demonstrate core scientific principles in an easy to follow format – whether inflating a balloon using a water bottle with 3M’s Chief Science Advocate, Dr. Jayshree Seth, or exploring sound frequency with Gitanjali Rao, 2017 3M Young Scientist Challenge winner. 3M is extending access to its free “Science at Home” online learning resource to provide fun, DIY science lessons to teachers, parents, caregivers, and students. The online video content series currently holds 12 experiments with 14 more in the works -- each featuring a 3M scientist, engineer, or a special guest performing a simple experiment that follows the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) used by many U.S. states to measure science-related education. All experiments are designed for children ages 6-12 and are easily replicated using commonly found household items. Click here to read more.
Wonder-Filled K-5 Science (Continuous Learning Activities) in Padlet
The weekly plan includes three “wonder-filled” activities for K-5 students and families to engage with together that promote connection, wonder, play, and ‘figuring out’!
Explore Parks with Innocademy Teachers
In this 8 week series, Innocademy and Innocademy Allegan Campus specials teachers highlight different parks in the West Michigan area using the Outdoor Discovery Center Park Passport. Check out the videos here.
Handouts for students to go along with the videos or in place of the videos.
Circle Time with Ms. Monica!
If you have a little one, this is for you! Early childhood educator Monica J. Sutton is bringing a sense of normalcy to distant learning through her pre-school circle time videos on YouTube. Since the pandemic, Sutton has started posting the videos at 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Peep and the Big Wide World (PreK)
The animated series Peep and the Big Wide World gives wings to the innovative idea of teaching science and math to preschoolers. Wry and distinctive visual humor, charming plotlines, and lovable characters combine with a comprehensive science program to attract and engage kids three to five years old. Click here for games and videos as well as a guide for Parents.
Cyberchase is the Emmy award-winning animated math mystery show featuring a team of curious kids who use their math and problem solving skills to outwit and outsmart the villain Hacker in their quest to save Cyberspace. In addition to segments from the animated portion of the show, this collection of resources includes live-action For Real segments, in which hosts Bianca and Harry explore the show's math topics in everyday life.
How its Made!
Television series that documents how various everyday products are made.
NASA eClips is a NASA-supported project that brings together exciting video segments and resources with educational best practices to inspire and educate students to become 21st Century explorers.
NASA eClips serves the national K-12 educational community by introducing students to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts and providing teachers with engaging resources and tools to support teaching and learning. Developed in 2008, NASA eClips offers free educational resources for teachers to use to complement their curriculum. Educational material for this program is selected based on national curriculum standards identified by the Common Core State Standards – Mathematics (CCSS-M), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the Standards for Technological Literacy (defined by the International Technology Engineering Education Association (ITEEA), and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
Our World supplements existing elementary learning objectives not only in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but also in reading, writing, and visual and performing arts for grades 3-5.
Real World connects classroom mathematics to 21st-century careers and innovations and is designed for students to develop an appreciation for mathematics through real-world problem-solving for grades 6-8.
Launchpad supports project-based and problem-based learning experiences in science, mathematics, and career and technical education classrooms for grades 9-12.
Design Squad (High School)
Designed to show kids that engineering is active, fun and collaborative, "Design Squad" brings together eight high schoolers, working together in two groups of four, to tackle engineering projects for actual clients. On each episode, the teams have two days to design, build, test and redesign their product before one team's creation is declared best, and the teams are then reconfigured for the next task. In the finale, the top two scorers over the previous 12 episodes face one last challenge, with the winner awarded a $10,000 scholarship.
Talking to Your Children about COVID-19
This video by Dr. Stephanie Grant of the Institute for Development Enhancement Behavioral Health is designed to help support parents during the COVID-19 Pandemic & provide direction on how they can in turn support their children.
Additional resources available here.
Children may have worries or questions. You can help them process what’s happening by sharing age-appropriate information.
- Essential information about COVID-19 for families
- 8 things parents should know (NPR)
- Multilingual resource centers and fact sheets
- Kid-friendly comic about COVID-19
- Helping kids through questions and concerns
(From Remote Learning Resources for Families page at Seesaw)
"One thing I have heard with comforting regularity over the last few weeks – from every responsible source – is that washing hands is essential to staying healthy and stopping the spread of COVID-19. Not just a splash of water and a dash of soap, but a good lather and hardy scrubbing that lasts 20 seconds.
Twenty seconds, according to several sources, is about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Not being crazy about singing this particular song for this particular reason – twice – I wanted to find something else that could help me time my ablutions.
I approached this like a design problem. There were constraints: it needed to be something I could remember, something that I could easily recite, sing, hum, or whistle; and something that I wouldn’t mind being overheard doing. And it had to be something I liked, because, let’s face it, I’m going to be washing my hands a lot."