Variables that affect solar oven efficiency

This image shows a variety of supplies, including foil, plastic wrap, scissors, a bowl, a thermometer, and tape. The text reads, "Solar Ovens: Reflectivity and Insulation."

So you’re building a solar oven?  Solar ovens are a great DIY project! You can create an effective cooking device cheaply from household items. Also, solar ovens use renewable energy from the Sun, which is good for our environment. You’ll learn many important science concepts and develop your engineering skills through the design and building […]

Conductor and Insulator Activities for Middle School

This image shows materials for insulator and conductor activities, including an insulated cup, beaker, thermometer, timer, and hot cocoa packet. The text reads "insulators and conductors."

How do you teach conductors and insulators? How can you get your middle school students excited about thermal energy? What are the applications of conductors and insulators to everyday life? What are some fun conductor and insulator activities for middle school?  If you are a teacher looking for the answers to any of these questions, […]

Holiday STEM Challenges for Middle School

This image shows a tree during winter, spring, summer, and fall. The text says "Holiday STEM Challenges."

Do you have a plan for keeping students engaged when the weather is changing and holidays are around the corner? It can be a struggle to keep your students’ attention and get to the end of the period on a normal day. This is especially true when holiday excitement is in the air. Now imagine […]

9 Must-Have STEM supplies

The image shows pens, scissors, paper, hole puncher, and tape. The text reads "Must-Have STEM Supplies (that aren't really STEM supplies)."

Over the course of my 15 years in STEM education, I’ve created a list of STEM supplies (that aren’t really STEM supplies) that I keep on my back-to-school shopping list to help the day-to-day run smoother. Check out the list below! 1. Storage containers First, STEM teachers need allllll the storage containers. I use these […]

Science gifts for teachers

Science Teacher Gifts

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. I am so excited about these beautiful gifts I received from The Calculated Chemist! If you are looking for STEM or science gifts for teachers, students, colleagues, mentors, […]

5 tips for effective group work in STEM

Tips for Managing middle school STEM Group Work

As a new STEM teacher, my number one challenge was getting my middle school students to work together. It seems easy… Put kids in a group, give them a fun task, and be nearby to answer questions, give out materials, and help troubleshoot. But in reality, it’s not so pretty. Kids refuse to work with […]

Great movies for middle school Science class

Middle School Science Movie Ideas

Everyone looks forward to a good movie day, but they are even better when the film captivates your students and ties into course content! Read on to learn about 6 movies that make an awesome addition to any middle school science or STEM class. Read on for a list of science movies your students will […]

Middle school STEM Earth Day activities

Earth Day in STEM class

Earth Day is one of my favorite days to celebrate with middle school students. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the science we are learning in the classroom and how it applies to real-world problems. Check out these middle school STEM Earth Day activities for some ideas on how to make your […]