My middle school age daughter has a great love of science, but as she gets older, I realize that my knowledge in certain STEM topics that she would like to explore more deeply is, well, limited. I recently came across MIT+K12 Videos, which takes kids on a journey of sorts, into the world of science without watering down topics or being cutesy.
Their mission, as stated on their website:
“We produce original digital media and live programming that seeks to spark curiosity and a love of learning among middle-high school students, open the door to the science / technology / engineering / math (STEM) world, and promote STEM-literacy”
The above video can open the doors to learning for your student. I recommend watching the video with your kids, and expanding on their learning by discussing it afterward. In this particular video, students are introduced to a few different topics that aren’t actually covered, such as deforestation (what is it, why is it a problem?) and the environmental dangers of using charcoal as a primary source of fuel in the home. This could lead you down the trail of social issues (charcoal is used for cooking in third world countries, as is kerosene, and both pose dangers for families). Explore some of the eco-friendly, safer options (like the clean burning charcoal in the video or solar ovens).
There are different types of videos available, from Science Out Loud and Q’s View which focuses on engineering, to physics demos. Students can send in their questions and a student from MIT may answer it through an #askMIT video. Take a look at what they have to offer here.
The learning doesn’t have to stop when the videos end. Check out their suggested resources for educators here, including their Pinterest page.
This is an amazing free resource that will help your middle schooler get excited about science and give you the tools to help them take their learning as far as they desire.
Looking for resources for high school science topics? MIT has extensive resources for your high school student. Check out this article about a homeschooler who used MIT Open Courseware and eventually made his way to MIT as a full time student.