The SAM Blog

Here’s The Best STEM, STEAM and Learn to Code Resources of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, there’s no better time to reflect on what made the year memorable — especially in the growing, innovative realm of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and Learn to Code. STEAM (sometimes interchanged with STEM) and coding continue to be one of the most effective ways to prepare students for the future workforce or secondary education, especially if their chosen path requires fluency in digital literacy and 21st Century skills (and most will!).

Whether you are looking for free lesson plan, project ideas, education technology articles or ways to expand learning, we’ve rounded up some of the best and brightest resources made available to educators this year that made STEAM and coding a focus of their content. As more and more teachers and administrators turned this year to cross-disciplinary ways to prepare students for life beyond the classroom, these resources delivered.

Blogs

The Edtech Roundup

The Edtech Roundup is a website dedicated to reviewing all things edtech and detailing even the most minute details of the latest product and service offerings for the classroom. Written by an award-winning educator Mike Karlin, PhD, Karlin’s specialty is incorporating STEAM and STEM tools in his reviews and giving educators an inside look at how these resources truly work in a classroom setting.

The STEM Laboratory Blog

The STEM Laboratory blog offers teachers and parents a variety of free activities for students in PreK through grade 2 to get started with STEM and STEAM. From cracking codes to perfecting puzzles to building creative structures, young learners will have thoughtful, small exercises to introduce critical concepts early on.

Teachers Are Terrific Blog

Teachers Are Terrific is an excellent blog for educators that offers plenty of STEM and STEAM lessons that can be recreated with everyday items found in the classroom. Each article features photos and videos detailing the projects and often contains additional downloadable resources.

NSTA STEM Resources Blog

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) runs its own blog and has a subsection dedicated solely to STEM that often crosses over with STEAM. This community of teachers frequently share ideas about science teaching, projects and best practices when implementing STEM in the classroom.

The STEMVisions Blog by the Smithsonian Science Education Center

The STEMVisions blog by the Smithsonian Science Education Center offers loads of sample lessons, videos and resources designed by teachers that can be adapted for STEAM. Each resource can be drilled down by topic and grade level, making it easy to sort for educators when looking for the perfect fit for their classroom.

Ebooks and Resources

Implementing a District-Wide Coding Program Ebook

Considering implementing a coding program school or district-wide? With tons of tips, tricks and resources, this ebook can guide you along each step of the way.

The Ultimate Edtech Grant Writing Guide and List of Grants 2019-2020

If you’ve ever worried about how to fund your STEAM or coding initiatives, this ebook for 2019-2020 is the best way to help fund your edtech goals.

SAM Labs STEAM Sample Lesson Packs

For educators who are looking to get started with STEAM free lessons for the classroom designed by teachers for teachers that are guaranteed to get students excited about STEAM learning.

SAM Labs Learn to Code Lesson Packs

Similar to our STEAM Lesson Packs, SAM Labs’ Learn to Code Lesson Packs are a great way for educators to easily begin getting students started with coding. The lessons are easy enough to be taught by teachers who don’t have a technical background and are packed with fun ways to introduce real-world concepts.

Online Magazines

Edweek.org

Edweek, an online publication for teachers and administrators alike, boasts a host of online articles that covers the latest in real-world projects and implementations to content and resources offered by vendors. The publication also has a STEM-focused section on their website, giving visitors a way to drill-down on concepts that will prepare future learners for the digital world.

Tech and Learning

Tech and Learning is another online publication that showcases the latest and greatest in all things teaching and technology. The website has a useful tagging feature that lets you browse through tons of recommended STEM tools for the classroom.

Websites

Codeacademy

Codeacademy is a free tool that can introduce basic text programming to a user in bite-sized pieces. While it may not be an all-encompassing solution to cover an entire curriculum for schools, the tool can be useful for teachers who need something to experiment with on their own or to try introducing concepts at a very basic level with students.

Code.org

One of the most well-known resources for coding out there, Code.org is an easy place to go for free content to teach coding in the classroom. While Code.org may not be a sole-source solution to cover all your professional development and curricular needs, it’s an excellent place to start.

micro:bit

micro:bit is a tiny programmable computer that teaches students how to code. Their website, besides offering the product itself, houses tons of lessons and resources and dozens of case studies of students and teachers who have successfully implemented coding into their classrooms.

Hour of Code

Hour of Code, the coding movement that takes over a week every year in schools around the world, has a great website that prepares educators year-round for the event and supplies them with activities and resources to get started.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy, a free online learning platform, offers many different courses to learn about STEAM and coding in the classroom for both teachers and students. The website boasts a strong, supportive community with an emphasis on peer learning.

Videos

What is STEAM Education?

Looking for a quick way to explain the difference between STEM vs. STEAM to colleagues or friends? This video will do the trick! This video covers basic definitions and does a great job contrasting the main points between the two.

A Week in the Life of a Primary Teacher: STEAM Week

This video gives an inside look into what it’s like to be a teacher, and this video in particular shows what it’s like during STEAM week, which is packed full of exciting, hands-on activities for students to explore science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. The teacher in the video talks about the different projects used and how each activity went over in the classroom.

STEAM in Marlboro County Schools

Another real-life example, Marlboro County Schools created an initiative video this year showcasing their latest project that is a district-wide focus: STEAM. The video talks about why this program is important and how each student benefits. It also showcases early work by their talented teaching staff. We hope to see more work like this done on a school and district-wide level!

Twitter Influencers

Julia Dweck

A STEM and STEAM educator who effortlessly engages students with the power of technology in the classroom, Julia should be one of your go-to teachers on Twitter when you want ideas on how to implement STEAM in your classroom.

Sam Yancey

A total tech-master and guru of all things project-based with students in the classroom, Sam is an excellent educator to follow on Twitter to gather inspiration around the implementation of STEAM and coding.

Shelly Sanchez

A thought leader, teacher, author, speaker and general all-around tech superstar, Shelly is an incredible educator to follow on Twitter for all the latest news and input on STEAM and coding.


More Resources for All Things STEAM and Coding

As 2019 comes to a close, there’s never been a better time to get started with STEAM and coding in your classroom, school or district. If you’re curious about how a full-curricular solution could power up your school or district, feel free to reach out to us and our team. We’d love to help you get your 2020 year off to a great start!

Did we miss a resource that helped you this year? Feel free to comment below!