STEM education encompasses four academic disciplines - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. STEM guides our vision of ensuring all K-12 Indiana students graduate with critical thinking skills. Indiana students must have access to a world-class STEM education necessary to compete in an innovation-driven economy. STEM will equip students with 21st century skills, preparing future generations of Hoosiers to thrive in STEM-related businesses and industries.
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The state legislature approved STEM Alignment Funds for the Indiana Department of Education in the 2017-2018 state budget; the first such funding in Indiana, designed to foster the development of a statewide strategy to provide consistent and equitable access to daily science, technology and engineering education in grades K-12. The Indiana Department of Education is taking immediate action with the awarded funding to begin the strategic development and implementation processes. An Indiana state-wide STEM Council has been formed to identify the guiding steps involved in creating a comprehensive strategic plan for STEM education serving Indiana students by intentionally and deliberately connecting to higher education and workforce opportunities.
IDOE has partnered with STEM Innovations, LLC and STEMworks at WestEd to conduct a curriculum vetting process intended to help schools and districts as they look to adopt curricula and resources for their STEM education initiatives. The vetted process prioritizes curricula that provide an integrated STEM experience that is grounded in problem-, project-, and/or inquiry-based approaches to learning. The list of vetted curriculum can be found here.
Disclaimer: The list of vetted STEM curriculum options is intended to serve as a resource for Indiana school districts. This list does not necessarily represent all available curriculum providers and does not indicate any particular curriculum recommendation by the Indiana Department of Education. STEM curriculum decisions are made by each Local Education Agency, and no matter the curriculum decision, it is up to the Local Education Agency to ensure that any/all required standards are adequately covered.
STEM Curriculum/Instruction Resources
- AAAS Science NetLinks: is a premier K-12 science education resource produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At Science NetLinks, you'll find teaching tools, interactives, podcasts, and hands-on activities, and all of it is free!
- Carolina: Carolina Biological Supply Company is committed to support parents, teachers, and school districts. Explore the resources below for elementary and middle school students from Carolina’s Building Blocks of Science™ 3D, Innovators in Science, and Smithsonian Programs.
- Discovery Education: Discovery Education is a company whose mission is to prepare learners for future success by connecting them to the world outside the classroom. So, when the world outside the classroom threatens the continuity of instruction, we believe it is critical that we support teachers in explaining events like the Coronavirus outbreak to students and support administrators in maintaining continuity in students’ learning. We will continue to monitor this event closely and look for ways to help educators everywhere prepare students for success, no matter where they are.
EcoXPT: is an immersive simulation in which students use inquiry to learn how ecosystems work. EcoXPT focuses on grades 6-8 but can be used with other grades.
FabFems: The FabFems directory is an international database of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions who are inspiring role models for young women. The FabFems directory is accessible to young women, girl-serving STEM programs, and other organizations that are working to increase career awareness and interest in STEM.
Globe Observer: Welcome to GLOBE Observer, an international citizen science initiative to understand our global environment. Your observations help scientists track changes in clouds, water, plants, and other life in support of climate research. Scientists also use your data to verify NASA satellite data. And by submitting your observations, you can help students of all ages do real scientific research as part of the GLOBE Program. Access the data to use with your students here.
Indiana Expeditions with Rick Crosslin: Grab your favorite adventurer's hat and your sense of wonder and head into the amazing world of science with, "Indiana Expeditions!" From a real-life dinosaur dig to a bizarre suit made from Diet Coke®, "Indiana Expeditions" opens eyes to the incredible things taking place around us every day. Join Rick Crosslin, one of Indiana's most honored and respected science teachers, on a journey to discover how real science impacts our lives every day. He knows science is cool, and he's teamed up with WFYI to show kids and their teachers just how it rocks our world. You can also check out his YouTube Channel here.
National Science Foundation: Welcome to Classroom Resources--a diverse collection of lessons and web resources for classroom teachers, their students and students' families. Materials are arranged by subject area to help you quickly find resources in your interest area, and then use them to create lesson plans or at-home activities.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Bring the wonder of space to your students. Explore our universe of science, technology, engineering and math activities and resources.
- Online Labs in: OnlineLabs.in aims to serve as a comprehensive, encyclopedic reference about online labs in a variety of subjects, particularly virtual laboratory simulations for science education. We categorize useful listings for online lab simulations, virtual science experiments and free educational software.
- OpenSciEd: was launched to improve the supply of and address demand for high-quality, open-source, full-course science instructional materials, while at the same time supporting the implementation of middle school science instructional units. OpenSciEd aims to create a set of exemplary science instructional materials that are:designed and aligned to the Framework and NGSS; based on research regarding how students learn, what motivates learning, and the implications for teaching; developed with educators and extensively tested by teachers and schools; designed to be used with low-cost, standard laboratory equipment and materials amenable to large-scale deployment; and improved over time based on feedback from teachers and field-testing. While starting at the middle school level, the goal is to create an entire science curriculum from elementary to high school.
PBS Learning Media: Bring the world to your classroom. WFYI and PBS have curated FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more just for Indiana teachers like you.
Science Learning Hub: this rich collection of New Zealand Science resources displays content under topics and concepts with an intuitive function that shows you related articles and resources as you search.
Science News for Students (formerly Science News for Kids): publishes award-winning journalism on research across the breadth of science, health and technology fields. It aims to bring these new developments to a younger audience. Published daily, Science News for Students posts both shorter news stories and longer features, all written with a vocabulary and sentence structure aimed at readers 9 to 14 years old. Resources for educators include: explainers, scientists say, experiments, cool jobs, invention and innovation, analyze this, technically fiction and student competitions.
Siemens STEM Day: Introducing Siemens STEM Day: a refreshed and expanded version of the beloved Siemens Science Day, now intended to span the whole K-12 STEM experience! Siemens STEM Day offers a variety of tools and resources that will help you reinvent your STEM curriculum. You'll find new, original hands-on activities, a teacher support center, and our Possibility Grant Sweepstakes!
Society for Science & the Public’s Science News: for High Schools program brings Science News magazine and related educational resources to high schools across the United States and worldwide. The online library offers nearly 200 teaching exercises that apply core curricular high school standards by highlighting current news in science.
- STARBASE Indiana has FREE STEM Academies sponsored by the Department of Defense in the State of Indiana. During the regular school year we provide hands-on, minds-on STEM experiences for fifth grade students. Our four academies combined have served at a minimum 5,000 students this school year. These numbers include 5th grade students for our 1.0 program and students for our 2.0 program (middle schoolers, after school) and summer camps, again ALL FREE!
- STEM Resource Finder: Since 1994, the Concord Consortium has been developing open educational resources that expand and deepen STEM inquiry with technology. These scientifically accurate models and activities have been funded by the National Science Foundation and other private and federal granting agencies, and developed by curriculum experts—so you know you can trust them in your classroom! Our cutting-edge tools and resources have brought STEM practices to life for over a million learners worldwide.
STEM Teaching Tools: this site has tools that can help you teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We are currently focused on supporting the teaching of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Each tool is focused on a specific issue and leverages the best knowledge from research and practice. Under the News section, you can learn a bit more about how you might use them. This article provides background on this effort. Review more resources in our Tools area and check out the online "short courses" shown below.
- TeachEngineering is a digital library comprised of standards-aligned engineering curricula for K-12 educators to make applied science and math come alive through engineering design. University engineering faculty, graduate students and K-12 teachers across the nation developed and classroom tested the contents of the TeachEngineering collection, which showcases engineering in everyday life as the context for student learning. Specific contributions by individual authors are recognized at the end of every lesson and activity. The collection aligns with state and/or national science, mathematics and technology educational standards, and uses engineering as the vehicle to integrate science and mathematics concepts for K-12 students.
- Teach.Genetics: Here you'll find a wealth of resources and information aimed at helping educators bring genetics, bioscience and health alive in the classroom. A companion to the popular Learn.Genetics website, Teach.Genetics offers additional tools and resources to support your curriculum, all free of charge.
The American Chemical Society: Virtual Chemistry and Simulations. Chemistry moves from the lab and the classroom to the computer, as working in a virtual chemistry laboratory and viewing simulations provide additional ways of learning chemistry.
- The Exploratorium isn't just a museum; it's an ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception. Explore our vast collection of online experiences to feed your curiosity and education resources supporting online teaching and learning.
- 10 Big Insights on Teaching, Learning, and STEM Education: 100Kin10's Trends Report for 2018:
Here at 100Kin10, we are constantly learning from our nearly 300 leading partner organizations while maintaining a pulse across the field, via teachers, researchers, and other leaders dedicated to supporting excellent STEM teaching and learning for all students. It’s a unique and privileged position to be in, at the intersection of so much wisdom. Recognizing that, we start each year by synthesizing all that information into our Trends Report: ten bite-sized insights that emerge from the data.
Bill Nye: A collection of Bill’s experiments to try from home. Each experiment is accompanied by a “what’s happening” to discuss with your child.
Buck Institute’s Project Based Learning (PBL) Videos: To help schools and districts visualize high-quality PBL in the classroom, the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) has videos showcasing PBL projects from K–12 schools nationwide, including several STEM-themed projects. The projects employ BIE’s research-based Gold Standard PBL model, which emphasizes student learning goals and the incorporation of Essential Project Design Elements (a challenging problem, sustained inquiry, reflection, critique and revision, student voice and choice, and a public product). Teachers can view videos of successful PBL projects that feature teacher interviews and actual classroom footage and highlight projects from a range of grade levels, settings, and subject areas, including STEM.
Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana (CLCNWI): CLCNWI is a space science themed education center dedicated to continuing the mission of the Challenger 51L Space Shuttle Crew. The center offers both onsite and virtual STEM experiences for students of all ages, providing interactive mission simulations and programs as well as resources and training for teachers.
Crayola: Find thousands of lesson plans that support and extend instruction in every content area, grades K-12. Each lesson plan is educator-developed and includes classroom-ready directions, a list of supplies, standards alignments, and images to help guide your lesson planning. This collection grows continually and always inspires new teaching and learning excitement.
EcO15: Creating a regional system of life-long learning by connecting the residents of ten counties within rural Southeast Indiana to better economic opportunities through education by the year 2015 and beyond.
Ethos Science Center: Envision schools where hands-on science and technology are taught on a regular and consistent basis by knowledgeable, well-prepared teachers using materials that facilitate science learning while reinforcing mathematics and language arts goals.
Foldit Citizen Science for the Greater Good: is a game designed to tackle the problem of protein folding. By knowing more about the 3D structure of proteins (or how they “fold”), we can better understand their function, and we can also get a better idea of how to combat diseases, create vaccines, and even find novel biofuels. Since its release, Foldit has gained over 460,000 players from all walks of life. In fact, the best Foldit players have little to no prior exposure to biochemistry. Most famous for their 2011 breakthrough on an HIV-like virus, we plan to show how Foldit has continued to contribute to valuable research to the present day. Their website also now includes coronavirus puzzles.
IMLS STEM-Rich Afterschool Making Project
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched an interagency collaboration with the New York Hall of Science to develop and implement science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-rich making activities for 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs (21st CCLC). These activities are designed to empower students as “makers”, using engaging design-based challenges that are student driven, and lead to materials literacy, divergent solutions, meaningful reflection and creative collaboration. There are six activities that can be implemented separately as a 60- to 90- minute session per day or grouped together to accommodate a longer day.
Indiana Afterschool Network: The Indiana Afterschool Network strives to build a sustainable network of cross-sector partnerships at the state, regional, and local levels to advance public policy, increase funding and resources, and promote quality afterschool and summer learning programs throughout Indiana.
Indiana STEM Resource Network: The I-STEM Resource Network is a partnership of Indiana's public and private higher education institutions, K-12 schools, businesses, and government. It is dedicated to measurably improving K-12 student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Indiana Association for Career and Technical Education: Indiana ACTE is committed to doing all it can to promote and strengthen career education for today's youth. Whether they are college bound, struggling to find meaning in school, or somewhere in between, CTE students will go on to become the leaders in the workforce and careers of tomorrow.
Interactive Periodic Table of STEM Occupations: Get details on STEM careers with this interactive periodic table highlighting STEM occupations instead of elements! Created as an accessible and engaging way for middle and high school students (and others) to learn about STEM occupations, the table features information (e.g., job duties, work environment, education, pay, job outlook, state and area data, similar occupations, and links) and short videos highlighting 24 STEM occupations, including chemist, computer information analyst, mechanical engineer, microbiologist, soil and plant scientist, geological petroleum technician, astronomer, physicist, and statistician.
Our mascot-themed exhibits have been conceptualized and designed with a strong focus on education for grades K – 8. Partnering with Trine University and Calumet College of St. Joseph’s produced an intense curriculum, based on the S.T.E.A.M. principles, which embeds science, math, literacy, the arts, and engineering standards in our exhibits throughout the Hall. The highly structured curriculum engages students in the days prior to their field trip to the Mascot Hall of Fame, during their visit at the Hall, and upon returning to the classroom. They are designed to be open-ended so educators can easily augment instructions based on the specific needs of their students. Our one of a kind facility is ideal for school field trips, educator workshops, professional development retreats, school mascot training, award ceremonies and more.
Portal Resources for Indiana Science and Mathematics (PRISM): PRISM is a free website that provides collections of online resources for Indiana educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Purdue Science K-12 Outreach: this program was initiated in 1989 to increase interest and achievement in science and mathematics at the pre-college level. We provide K-12 science and mathematics professional development programs for teachers, form long-term partnerships with school districts, and engage students in standards-based activities. Purdue Science K-12 Outreach coordinators act as resources and facilitators, establishing cooperative relationships with elementary and secondary schools to bring about changes in the quality of education. Our programs link the expertise of Purdue Science faculty with students, teachers, parents, schools, and school systems through collaborative interactions.
Science Fun for Everyone:
Click on the experiment image for each experiment on this page to see the materials needed and procedure. Have fun trying these experiments at home.
TechPoint Foundation for Youth: TechPoint Foundation for Youth is a nonprofit venture philanthropic organization with the mission to inspire the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) leaders among Indiana's underserved youth populations.
The Global Goals: In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 goals for a better world by 2030. These goals have the power to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. World’s Largest Lesson brings the Global Goals to children all over the world and unites them in taking action. Since our launch in September 2015, we have reached over 130 countries and impacted over 8 million children each year. All our resources are free, open source and translated into over 10 languages. We believe in the power of creativity and that all children can find their own individual way of taking action for the Global Goals. We encourage you to use our materials to teach lessons, run projects and engage young people in supporting the Global Goals!
The National Security Agency (NSA): The NSA works with schools serving kindergarten through 12th grade in a number of ways to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as foreign language education. The Agency can provide professionals to serve as tutors, speakers (interactive talks on STEM-related topics), judges, assistance with robotics and language clubs, and more to inspire students to pursue advanced studies and promote career opportunities in STEM and foreign languages.
The Science Explorer: The Science Explorer, the first family-oriented activity collection from the Exploratorium is specially designed to be used by parents and children together. Each activity is accompanied by a special, easy-to-understand "What's Going On?" section that helps explain the underlying scientific concepts and gives tips on how to create your own related experiments.
The STEM Connection: The STEM Connection provides professional development to empower educators by sharing STEM content knowledge, developing STEM practices, and building confidence to provide more meaningful STEM experiences for youth. We know science, technology, engineering, and math have an ever-increasing role in our world, and STEM experiences provide an opportunity to engage students early in their academic journeys in order to increase interest in and build positive attitudes toward STEM disciplines.
Women in STEM Report: Share this report in middle school, high school, and undergraduate college classrooms to expand horizons and introduce students to the diversity and potential of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers supported by the USGS. The report—A Snapshot of Women of the USGS in STEM and Related Careers—presents profiles of more than 70 women, past and present, engaged in STEM roles at the agency, including biologist, biological science technician, cartographer, chemist, ecologist, geographer, geologist, hydrologist, hydrologist technician, and physical scientist. The report also offers information about internships and other opportunities for high school and college students interested in pursuing careers at the agency, as well as links to information about the criteria needed for various USGS-related STEM careers.
STEM in CTE
STEM Teacher Organizations
- HASTI - Hoosier Association of Science Teachers Incorporated
- ICTM - Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- HAMTE - Hoosier Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
- ICE - Indiana Computer Educators
- ETEI - Engineering/Technology Educators of Indiana
STEM Partner Collaboration
Girls in STEM
- Engineer Girl
- Indiana Girls Collaborative Project
- Girls in Aviation Day
- Girls Inc.
- Girl Scouts
- She Can STEM
STEM Resources/Lessons and Documents
- Indiana STEM Vital Signs
- Change the Equation - STEM Help Wanted
- Successful STEM Education
- Promising Practices in Undergraduate STEM Education
- Inclusive STEM High Schools
- U.S. Department of Energy FREE resources
- FREE High School Math, Science, and PBL Lessons from MIT
- Science Stories for the Classroom
- Global Space Education Foundation FREE Lesson Plans
- Instructables FREE Premium Memberships for Teachers
- NEW 2020-2021 STEM School Certification Guide
- NEW 2020-2021 STEM School Certification Rubric Reference Excel Sheet
- NEW 2020-2021 STEM School Evaluation Rubric | Reference
- STEM School Certification Presentation | Video
The Indiana Department of Education is excited to announce the following STEM Certified Schools! These schools are models for Indiana and their commitment to teaching the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math, ultimately preparing students for success in the 21st century. These STEM Certified Schools exemplify a highly non-traditional approach to education by employing a great deal of inquiry, project based learning, community engagement, entrepreneurship, student centered classrooms, and out-of-school STEM activities. STEM Certified Schools have been able to accomplish this feat while following educational policies set by the state and excelling under the system of accountability. The following schools went through a rigorous application and review process in order to be awarded and while these are some of the first, other schools will be able to build on their accomplishments.
Congratulations to the following schools for achieving Full STEM Certification!
- American Honda Foundation STEM Grants
- Community Action Grant
- MicroGrant Program for Educators & Teachers
- PLTW Grant Program
- Robotics Start Up Grants (MS and ES)
- Sony Grants for Education
- Sphero Edu and CodeFWD by Facebook
- SparkFun Community Partner Program *suspended due to COVID-19*
- TAF Project-Based Learning Grants for Grades 6–12
- Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards
- Aviation Design Challenge is sponsored by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education through aviation curriculum and a virtual fly-off in high schools across the United States.
The BioBuilder Educational Foundation supports the BioBuilder Club, which is an opportunity for high school inventors to combine engineering and life science to design, build, and test their own ideas. The Kickoff virtual meeting will take place on October 15th. Teams will receive the BioBuilder textbook, a laboratory kit, and are paired with remote scientist mentors.
- Destination Imagination, open to all kindergarten through university level students worldwide. Students form teams of up to 7 members, select their preferred Challenge and work together to develop a solution to the Challenge. Each team has at least one Team Manager (often a parent or teacher) who helps keep the team on track, but does not assist or interfere with the team’s project. Destination Imagination offers seven engaging Challenges in STEAM education: Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Engineering, Service Learning and Early Learning.
- Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge, students identify a solution to an everyday problem that directly impacts them, their families, their communities, and/or the global population. The idea must be a new innovation or solution, and cannot simply be a behavioral change or a new use for an existing product. The student must create a one- to two- minute video that explains the problem and how it impacts them, their families, their communities and/or the global population; describes a new innovation or solution that could impact or solve the problem; explains the science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics behind their innovation; and illustrates how their innovation could both address the everyday problem they've identified and have a broader impact locally or globally. https://www.competitionsciences.org/competitions/discovery-education-3m-young-scientist-challenge/
- eCYBERMISSIONis a web-based STEM competition free to students in grades six through nine that promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM. Teams of three or four students are instructed to ask questions (for science) or define problems (for engineering), and then construct explanations (for science) or design solutions (for engineering) based on identified problems in their community. Students compete for State, Regional and National Awards.
- ExploraVision a science competition that encourages students to study a technology of interest and predict what it might look like 20 years from now. Students are encouraged to work in groups of 2-4 students and must be sponsored by a teacher.
- First Robotics Competition Dubbed a “Varsity Sports for the Mind,” FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks again a field of competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Professional mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.
- Indiana High School Esports Network
If you are considering starting a gaming or esports club, we are here to help! We want to help you avoid mistakes we have made, and give you tips on what has gone well. If you sponsor a gaming or esports club at the high school or middle school level in Indiana, please contact us and join us in the IHSEN server so we can communicate and connect you with other sponsors.
- Indiana Science Olympiad (INSO) is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by students in grades 6-12. We encourage middle (division B) and high school (division C) students to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our goals are accomplished through the dedication of our executive board, advisory committee, Indiana teachers, higher education institutions & their faculty and students who organize classroom activities, research, after school science clubs, and competitive tournaments. The main focus of the competition is to elevate science education and learning to the level of enthusiasm and support that is normally reserved only for varsity sports programs.
- VEX Robotics VEX Competitions bring STEM skills to life by tasking teams of students with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April!