Latest Updates - June 9, 2020

External Resources We Like

  • Check out free computer science activities for students, educators, and parents at Girls Who Code. New activities (released weekly) are designed for either online or offline use. The site features varying levels of difficulty to engage learners of different ages. It’s a great way for anyone to learn new skills and celebrate women in tech! h
  • Parametric Studio Inc. is an ed-tech company specializing in engineering-centric, project-based STEM software. They are offering a free trial of their Augmented Reality programs for home use for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Read more about their options:
    • NEWTON AR (PreK-3rd) NEWTON combines Engineering, Making, Computer Science, STEM learning, and Augmented Reality through game-based, Rube Goldberg-style challenges.
    • DESCARTES (3rd-6th) This engineering-based STEM software and curricula allows students to engineer structures and vehicles.
    • EDISON (6th-9th) EDISON incorporates data and plot analysis; the resulting tool encourages exploration of math and science.
    • DAVINCI (9th-12th) Davinci allows players to build their own math and science analyzers, equations, and define their own novel engineering problems.
  • Check out Joseph Herscher’s over-the-top chain reaction videos. His latest creation titled How to Pass the Pepper While Social Distancing includes a spinning cake sequence that (per the artist’s Facebook page) took 70 attempts to get just right!
  • If Herscher’s work leaves you feeling inspired to create contraptions of your own, try it! If you aren’t sure where to start, you could do a little research or try an online course. But sometimes you just need to gather some supplies and give it a try! (and another, and another…)
  • If you find yourself with an excess inflow of cardboard boxes, search for cardboard construction projects and create something new. Try using this guide for inspiration.
  • The James Dyson Foundation (yes, that Dyson) put together a series of challenges for kids to try at home.
  • The Tech Interactive has a collection of at-home activities for teachers and parents alike. They also put together a parent guide to support hesitant adults.
  • is a great resource for clear and concise explanations of engineering stuff! Their videos are free on their YouTube channel, where they dive into everything from aluminum cans to atomic clocks.  
  • Practical Engineering is another video-based resource that focuses on civil engineering challenges and designs. Their video “How Water Towers Work” is a good one!
  • Real Engineering is another very interesting channel. Their videos give interesting answers to simple questions. Such as “Why Do Wind Turbines Have Three Blades?”
  • DiscoverE offers a growing number of hands-on activities, videos, and other resources that volunteers, parents, and students can use to explore engineering. The site also introduces national engineering outreach programs.
  • NASA’s STEM Resources for K-12 Educators has a variety of programs from a reliable source. Fun and effective!
  • Make a paper airplane that can carry a cargo and glide more than ten feet (not be hurled, but actually glide).
    • For more advanced students, or for deeper understanding, check this version at
  • Engineering challenges are a great way to develop skills while staying engaged. Try out this engineering challenge to build a tall and strong structure, with only index cards and tape!