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Relative Advantage in Math


A consortium of different science

activities geared toward middle school
grade levels.

Since many of these activities involve (or can

involve) the scientific process, they provide
ample opportunities to create, read, and
interpret statistical displays to summarize data



NASAs educational site has resources,

lessons, and activities that are
separated in different grade level
ranges. This link is for grades 5-8.


STEM video

The STEM video game challenge is

open to middle and high school
students. The link to the left will
direct you to the resources page of the
challenge site with different programs
students can use to design their own

Although the majority of the resources on their

site are tailored toward science concepts (of
course mainly with space related themes), they
also include valuable resources about various
math concepts as well. In sixth grade, students
work with the area and circumference of a
circle which deals with Pi. Every year, at least
one student asks why we use 3.14 rather than
using more of the decimals in the never-ending
rational number. NASAs Pi rationale activity is
just one example of how they incorporate math
into their site.
I have used game-based learning relatively
often over the past couple years, especially to
support math instruction. However, I had
never heard of the STEM video game challenge
and am now very interested in using it with my
students. There are many different topics in
the sixth grade curriculum that students can
design a game to help master specific content
and skills. One program in particular that I
know my students are familiar with is Scratch.
Scratch allows students to create their own
game using basic coding skills with a very
open-ended platform. They can then publish
their game online for the world to play!
While I didnt get the chance to test/view all of
the simulations included in the site, the several
that I tried did incorporate many math topics
related to the sixth grade CCSS. Most notably,
Project Interactive is a sim that focuses on the
spread of infectious diseases. It was not
difficult to see how a teacher could reinforce
math skills and help students apply concepts in

MASTER tools

MASTER is an acronym for Modeling

and Simulation Tools for Education
Reform. This site provides eight
interactive math and science tools and
simulations for students in grades 612. All of the simulations and
additional resources are aligned with
the new National Science Education

Related Educational

Allows for endless creativity

and can theoretically be used
with any content standard
depending on the software
used and type of game a
student wants to create.
CCSS Grade 6 Mathematics


Engineer Girl


Standards and National Math

Education Standards. This compilation
of math and science resources has
several credible organizations that
have provided their support with the
project. The Shodor Education
Foundation, Inc. is the developer with
on-going collaboration with the
National Center for Supercomputing
Applications (NCSA), George Mason
University, and other education
organizations. What makes this
resource stand out compared to others
is the quality of the resources and
simulations in regard to educational
value. Although the idea was founded
in 1994, the Shodor continuously
provides updates and rolls out new
simulations on a fairly regular basis.
I have found it somewhat difficult to
engage girls when participating in
STEM related lessons and activities.
This site has is designed specifically to
motivate more young women to
become interested in the engineering
field. The Try on a Career page shows
allows users to choose from 14
different types of engineering careers
and then explore them with plentiful
amounts of detailed information,
examples, and simulations within that
specific career field.
The 5-6 grade forestry lesson guide is
a compilation of lessons created by
members of the University of
Wisconsin Stevens Point. The unit
consists of 8 classroom lessons, 1
career lesson, and 3 field
enhancements. The units main page
is very well laid out and easy to use.
Each individual lesson includes a PDF
file of a very in depth lesson plan. All
resources are free to the general

a real-world setting. For example, the main

page of the simulation uses a grid to portray a
sample population. The user can change
different settings, which would require students
to understand math concepts including
percentages of the number of sick, recovering,
and susceptible people compared to the total
population. As the user progresses through the
simulation, the applied settings and
mathematical concepts will also help students
understand the rates at which various
infectious diseases can spread.

This resource is very beneficial in helping

students understand how math is used in many
different types of engineering careers. As
mentioned, once you click on the specific
engineering career of interest, the following
page displays numerous examples of how that
field uses science, technology and math. This
would be an effective tool for teachers to use
when engaging in discourse about how math is
used in the real world. Personally, I can use
this site to support the real-world math
assignment that students turn in at the end of
each month.
While a teacher can modify any of the lessons
in the given unit to incorporate math in other
creative ways, three of the eight classroom
lessons already highlight how the students will
need math in order to complete the activity.
Examples include the use of ratios and unit
rates when calculating units to compare energy
flow through the ecosystem. Timelines are
analyzed when discussing renewable resources
and students make their own tree scale stick
and use it to calculate the number of products






This resource is a comprehensive
curriculum unit about ecosystems for
grades 5-8. The sixth grade science
curriculum begins with the structure of
matter and goes directly into energy.

SMILE stands for Science and Math

Informal Learning Educators. The site
is essentially one large search engine
specifically for science and math
education. While most of the
resources listed in this table can be
considered directly for students, this is
one website that can be classified for
teachers. One of the main reasons for
this is that many of the lesson plans
and activities have to be purchased.
There is a search filter that allows
users to search for solely free content
but naturally this limits the amount of
available resources.
This site is similar to SMILE as
described above. One of the captions
on the main page is standardsaligned engineering lessons and
hands-on activities for use in science,
engineering, and math classrooms.
One of the best features of the site is
that one of the navigation tabs
includes direct links to state specific
standards, Common Core, and the
Next Generation Science Standards.
Users can also search for activities by
subject area, topic, or by standard.
The biggest difference between SMILE
and Teach Engineering is that all of
these activities are available free of

that can be made from individual trees.

Discussion of different kinds of energy can lead
into different kinds of measurement for the
energy and can be calculated and converted
mathematically. The energy systems of
ecosystems can be derived from the energy
study and will require more mathematical
Since my school district recently purchased a
brand new math program that is aligned with
the CCSS, I find that I dont often feel the need
to search for supplemental materials to
reinforce math concepts since the program
already provides a substantial amount.
However, this assignment has refreshed my
memory and re-opened my eyes to the vast
amount of quality resources that are available
on the internet. SMILE makes the search
process that much easier and can help increase
engagement and participation during math
(and science) lessons by bringing a variety of
new materials into the classroom.
As stated, Teach Engineering mirrors the
benefits of SMILE (see above) in the fact that it
allows teachers to efficiently find and gather
quality resources to enhance math and science
lessons. I plan to use either Google Docs (and
share it with my grade level colleagues) or a
site such as Evernote to start compiling
resources and access them as I continue
planning and building lessons and units in the


Any of the CCSS Grade 6

mathematical standards

Any of the CCSS Grade 6

mathematical standards