SciStarter is a searchable database of more than 1,600 vetted citizen-science projects that teachers can use in the classroom to engage students in authentic learning experiences. Entering a location and a topic of interest brings up a list of available real-world projects, each of which includes a description, recommended age group, and links to any classroom or training materials available, so teachers can tell at a glance whether each project meets their needs. Teachers can also search for projects by age range, type of activity, and place where the work can be done—indoors, outdoors, online, or on a mobile device. Many of the projects meet Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. In 2015–2017, Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training in Science and Society launched SciStarter 2.0, providing an identity management system and open integrated registration for participants to easily engage in multiple citizen-science projects, even across platforms and disciplines. The SciStarter website identifies key practices for educators to deepen learning in the context of youth-focused and community citizen science.
The K–3 STEM Foundations project is developing NGSS-aligned curriculum units for K–3 students that connect science concepts and guided inquiry activities to reading/language arts, as well as health and wellness. The units are designed for use during class time or after school.
American Honda Foundation’s grants support educational programs that focus on the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); the environment; job training; and literacy. The foundation seeks proposals from pubic school districts, and private and public elementary and secondary schools with a program focused on scientific education for youth from birth to age 21.
The Scratch team in the MIT Media Lab is gearing up to release a new version of Scratch designed to work on mobile devices. The team is also working on a way to integrate the physical world with Scratch using what they’re currently calling a “Scratch Pad.”