In response to the growing need for incorporating quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) instruction while distance learning, MyStemKits, a division of MimioSTEM, has created Virtual STEM Kits. These 10 kits are designed to work with MyStemKits standards-driven lessons to continue important STEM learning regardless of the learning environment.
MyStemKits.com is a collection of engaging lesson plans and challenge activities, aligned to NGSS and Common Core standards, for grades K-12. Within this online repository of lessons, there are now over 50 lesson plans that corresponds to a virtual lesson kit, including a 3D-printable resource for hands-on learning. The Virtual STEM Kits available:
- Ball Bearing Catapult Kit, K-12 STEM — A great way to launch into learning! An integrated STEM kit featuring a designated-angle launch mechanism and variable-mass projectiles perfect for generating data.
- Blood Type Compatibility, Grades 6-12 Science — Use this intuitive hands-on puzzle to help students visualize and understand the compatibility of blood types.
- Composing Polygons Kit, K-8 Math — Explore angles and the variety of polygons with this build-it-yourself kit. Containing specialized “vertex” pieces, combine with straws and create polygons.
- Hominid Kit, Grades 3-12 STEM — A collection of hominid skulls and tools to scale. Bring 7 million years of evolutionary history to life.
- Hominid Species and Tools Kit, Grades 3-12 STEM — see above
- Lionfish Sampling Kit, Grades 6-12 STEM — Explore lionfish populations with this kit designed to replicate real-world problem solving and sampling. Also great for statistical analysis!
- New York Balance Kit, Grades 1-12 STEM — This well-balanced kit integrates science and math principles as students explore simple machines, proportional reasoning, and balancing equations.
- Portions of a Whole Kit, Grades 4-8 Math — Featuring coins scaled to match their percentage of a whole. Simply place within the base to explore various ways to get the fractions to equal 1, labeled with decimal, fraction, and percent!
- Rockets Kit, K-12 STEM — This exciting kit includes a variety of ready-to-fly rocket components and provides an interactive and engaging way to examine experimental design and variables.
- Urban Ecology Kit, K-12 STEM — Design a city given specific constraints, keeping in mind the ecological impact of each decision. Practice counting, graphing, and comparing different cities and their components or optimize cost-benefit scenarios!
How do these virtual kits work? Here’s a sample of what can be done with the Urban Ecology Kit, which can be adapted for students at any grade level. This kit features a selection of different modes to choose from. The modes allow educators to control what students can do with the simulation and the type of data they receive. In addition to a build-it-yourself mode, there are also six pre-built cities that allow students to practice counting, graphing, calculate area, and more. The mathematical applications included can be customized easily — simply counting the number of houses to graphing population density of different housing environments.
In addition, this particular kit includes pieces for parking and roads, commerce, water, greenery, and animals. Students can step into the role of engineers and investigate ways to create greener, more eco-friendly cities. By identifying problems and thinking through solutions, students are encouraged to dig deeper into their STEM learning. They will be able to envision how they can have a role in driving environmental change now and in the future. The Virtual STEM Kits will bring a level of engagement that may be challenging in a remote learning situation.
While initially designed for distance learning, these Virtual STEM Kits are flexible enough for use in-class and as a hybrid STEM option. With these kits, educators can truly implement instruction that strengthens 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.
For a video on how to access the Virtual STEM Kits, go to Utilizing the MyStemKits Virtual STEM Kits