100 Awesome STEM Resources

Why is STEM important? In short, the future job market will revolve around science. This includes all forms of technology, engineering and math. 80% of jobs in the future will require technology skills. Statistics today show that there will be a drastic shortage of job applicants in the next decade with the skills and knowledge to fill these new positions. While only 4% of the nation’s workforce is composed of scientists and engineers, this group creates jobs for the other 96% of the workforce. The average professional with a STEM-related degree earns more than double the average national wage. About 3 million jobs are currently unfilled because Americans lack the basic STEM skills needed for the positions.


NASA Challenges Students to Design 3D Space Containers

Just released: Future Engineers 3-D Space Container Design Challenge with a NASA Feature Story  http://go.nasa.gov/1IzbHV4 .
There are two divisions for competing/winning prizes: junior engineers (5-12 years old) and teen engineers (13-19 years old). This is a great way to engage kids in STEM over the summer (but only one submission per student; no team entries are allowed).

Launch Video
Future Engineers: 3-D Space Container Challenge
Audience: K-12 Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: Aug. 2, 2015

NASA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation are challenging K-12 students to create a model of a container for space using 3-D modeling software. Astronauts need containers of all kinds — from advanced containers for studying fruit flies to simple containers for collecting Mars rocks or storing an astronaut’s food. The ability to 3-D print containers in space — on demand — will let humans venture farther into space. That’s why we are challenging students to start designing for space now.

Design entries could be for a container designed for microgravity on the International Space Station or a container designed for future astronauts on Mars! Space is a big place, but your imagination is even bigger. Multiple prizes, based on age groups, are available.

Entries must be submitted by Aug. 2, 2015.

The Design a Space Container Challenge is the second in a series of challenges where students in grades K-12 create and submit a digital 3-D model of a container that they think astronauts might need in space. Future Engineers is a multiyear education initiative that consists of 3-D space challenges and curriculum videos that parents and educators can use to get kids designing today. 

To sign up or for more information on the challenge, visit:  www.futureengineers.org


Science Standards NYS and NYC

Math, Science, & Technology (MST)


Learning Standards for Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS)


Common Core (CCLS)


Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)


K-8 Science Scope & Sequence


NYC High School Science Regents Scope & Sequence


Elementary Science Core Curriculum Grades K-4


Intermediate Science Core Curriculum Grades 5-8


NYS Living Environment: Biology


NYS Earth Science


NYS Chemistry


NYS Physics


Science Professional Development Opportunities

 Exciting professional development workshops are taking place at the Environmental Study Center!
High Schools: Science Lab Professional Development at the Environmental Study Center 
Registration Deadline: May 15, 2015
Event: June 4, 2015

Sarah Bowers
ESC@schools.nyc.gov )
Secondary science teachers are invited to participate in a full-day professional development at the NYCDOE’s Environmental Study Center. Educators will have the opportunity to participate in our secondary program offerings, review our pre/post-visit activities, and explore how these amazing opportunities can be worked into their current scope and sequences. Topics covered include Hydroponics, Wildlife Forensics, Microbiology and Water Quality. To register, click here.  
Middle and High Schools: Project ECS@ESC: Introduction to Hydroponics Professional Development Workshop
Registration Deadline: May 15, 2015
Event: July 6, 7 or 8, 2015

Jacqueline Pilati
ESC@schools.nyc.gov )
Project ECS@ESC: Encouraging Connections through STEM at the Environmental Study Center (ESC) offers an innovative approach to STEM education combining professional learning, instructional technology, and experiential STEM learning for PreK-12 students and teachers across New York City. Grade 8 and high school teachers can apply to participate in a summer professional development to learn the science of growing food without soil while learning how to infuse hydroponics into science and research classes. Using non-fiction text sets and e-content provided by an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, participants will learn how to infuse literacy into hands-on science instruction. Participating teachers will receive a mini hydroponic system for classroom use, a trip voucher to ESC for the 2015-2016 school year, access to lessons, digital resources and e-content which supplement the class visit. Teachers should select one of the three session dates to attend. Training rate available. To register, click here.

Recruiting Middle School Science Teachers

The iZone has partnered with Code.org and the award-winning Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically) to deliver a middle school science program consisting of four instructional modules and professional development for the introduction of computer science concepts into science classrooms within the context of modeling and simulation. They are looking for 20 more middle school science teachers to participate.  The goal of the program is to situate computer science practices and concepts within the context of life, physical, and earth sciences, and to prepare students to pursue formal, year-long courses in computer science during high school. CS in Science is based on a crosswalk identifying areas of overlap between the NGSS and Computer Science Teachers Association K-12 Computer Science Standards.  For more information visit: Code.org/curriculum/mss.  For the program timeline visit http://izonenyc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/MS-Computer-Science-Program-Timeline.pdf.
The dates break down as follows:
Phase 1: 2 hours online to be completed by the 8/1
Phase 2: 5 days in person, 8/10-14
Phase 3: 2 days in person 10/3 and 2/6 + 12 hours of online content throughout the school year.
Interested teachers should contact: Jake Baskin, Outreach Manager at Code.orgjake@code.org 

CS in Science 1 pager

Urban DNA Barcoding Project at ESC

Urban DNA Barcoding Project at ESC

The New York City Department of Education’s Environmental Study Center (ESC) is pleased to offer a unique summer opportunity for teachers and their students to learn the Urban Barcoding Project from leading experts through the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, DNA Learning Center.  Through an application process, four teachers will be selected to join us for two weeks (August 3-14) along with their team of four students.

During the two weeks, teachers and their student teams will kick off their yearlong research project by exploring the local environment, the importance of the ecosystem and the concept of DNA barcoding.  Teams will begin to understand the importance of species identification as it relates to this ecosystem.  Teams will complete field work to gather samples for analysis, and then in the lab, teams will learn lab protocols and procedures to extract the DNA from their samples.  Their extractions will be sent to an offsite lab for sequencing and bioinformatics analysis.  Once species identification has been established, participants will continue researching the ecosystem and their species to uncover the interdependence of species to support a healthy ecosystem.

Highlights for the summer include:

  • Teachers and their students will receive roundtrip transportation to ESC from Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center daily and students will receive roundtrip metro cards for daily transportation to-and-from their home.
  • Roundtrip transportation to Marine Park for species collection.
  • Access to state of the art scientific equipment for DNA extraction and analysis.
  • Per Session rate for teachers.
  • Access to DNA Subway software.
  • An opportunity to begin their research project alongside leading experts.
  • DNA equipment rental during the school year to facilitate additional research opportunities.
  • Guidance on how to make this institute into a scalable project within your school.
  • Exposure to molecular biology, molecular techniques and modern scientific work.
  • Opportunities to learn species collection protocols.
Dates and Times:
Monday-Friday, August 3 – August 14: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
7151 Avenue T
Brooklyn, NY 11234

How to Apply:

  1. Click the “Click Here to Apply” button to complete the application questions on the following screens.
  2. Click to download the principal letter of support and student forms.
  3. Have your principal complete the letter of support.
  4. Select students and have them complete the student application, parent/guardian consent form, and media release form.
  5. Mail the principal letter of support and student forms.  Must be postmarked by Friday, May 29, 2015 to:
Environmental Study Center
7151 Avenue T
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Open to NYC DOE high school science teachers and their students.

Email ESC@schools.nyc.gov with any questions.