Unit 22 Developing Computer Games Assignments Discovery

I could go on and on about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. How job openings are predicted to soar to over one million by 2020. How the U.S. government is freaking out that students aren’t prepared.

But I won’t. Because, frankly, this guide to STEM opportunities is for you:

  • You’re going to take the first step on Mars.
  • You’re going to plant farms on skyscrapers.
  • You’re going to discover a cure for cancer.

Nuclear fusion. Virtual reality. Clean water for all. With the world facing 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, your interest in math and science is set to pay off—big time.

  • You’ll be the one using your problem-solving skills to find answers to impossible challenges.
  • You’ll be the scientist leading an exploration of the Mariana Trench or the engineer building a next-generation robot.
  • You’ll be the graduate finding a great job and earning a hefty salary.

It’s your life. Know that amazing things are possible.

STEM Fun for Kids Grades K-12

Cool STEM Websites

  • Ask Dr. Universe: Washington State University’s Ask Dr. Universe allows kids to explore various STEM topics and get answers to common questions. Have a question not covered on the site? Submit it on their “Ask” page!
  • Code.org: No one is too young (or old, I might add) to code. Learn how to build an iPhone game, write your first computer program, draw in JavaScript and much more.
  • Engineering, Go for It! (eGFI): Discover the nuts and bolts of engineering. This website contains advice on careers, entertaining info on all kinds of fields and links to the eGFI magazine.
  • EPA Students: Searching for news on the environment, homework resources, info on contests or ideas for an environment-based school project? Check out this website run by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Exploratorium: One of my favorites. The website of the San Francisco-based Exploratorium is jam-packed with interactive activities, videos, apps, links and more.
  • Extreme Science: Extremely interesting. Here you’ll find wild and weird facts about nature, resources for science projects and info on all kinds of world records.
  • How Stuff Works: I visit this website every day. It has hundreds upon thousands of articles that explain the wonders of science (and almost everything else on the planet).
  • Museum of Science + Industry Chicago Online Science: Apps and activities and videos, oh my! Play games, watch baby chicks hatching, create virtual chemical reactions or use forensic science to analyze different types of candy.
  • NASA Education for Students: Career information, image galleries, NASA Television, features and articles … whatever you’d like to know about aerospace, you’re sure to find it here.
  • NASA Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA): SEMAA was developed to increase the participation of historically underserved K-12 youth in STEM fields. School activities and summer sessions are held throughout the nation.
  • NOVA: The website for PBS’s popular science show is overflowing with videos and articles. Explore the wonders of evolution, nature, physics, math—practically any STEM subject that rings your bell.
  • Science Buddies: Get stuck on science. This website has over 1,000 ideas for science fair projects, project guides, project kits and detailed profiles of STEM careers.
  • Science Channel: Question everything. Along with a rundown on the Science Channel’s TV programs, this website has plenty of videos, quizzes, games and the latest science news.
  • STEM-Works: In addition to articles and job information, STEM-Works has stocked their site with interesting activities. Test your skills in the reptile quiz. Rescue an athlete in the Bionic Games. Or, simply follow the path of great whites with the Global Shark Tracker.
  • TechRocket: A year-round online learning destination for kids and teens. Use the promo code “MIDSFREE” to get a free first month!
  • Tynker: A computing platform that allows children to develop programming skills through fun, creative courses. Join the millions of kids from around the country learning to code with Tynker!

STEM Challenges and Contests

  • Siemen’s We Can Change the World Challenge: You have the power to save the planet. In Siemen’s K-12 environmental sustainability competition, teams from across the country compete to improve their own communities. Lots of prizes.
  • Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision: ExploraVision is a K-12 science competition with a difference. Teams of two to four students work with a teacher to simulate the challenges of real research and development.

STEM Awards

STEM Career Resources

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics K-12: The U.S. Department of Labor has been busy. Here you’ll find charts, maps and many other resources on careers and the U.S. economy.
  • WeUseMath.org: Ever wondered (as I frequently did) when you’re going to use math in real life? This website on math careers has more than a few answers.

Government STEM Initiatives

  • Educate to Innovate: Launched in 2009, Educate to Innovate aims to move U.S. students from the middle to the top of the heap in science and math achievement. It’s spawned a number of federal efforts and philanthropic initiatives (see below).
  • STEM AmeriCorps: This multi-year initiative is focused on placing AmeriCorps members in STEM non-profits (such as FIRST) to work in underserved communities.
  • White House Science Fair: At this science fair, the President serves as the host! Students are honored for innovative projects, designs and experiments while the White House streams the event live.
  • Women in STEM: In collaboration with the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has instigated a number of efforts to increase the participation of girls in STEM subjects.

Philanthropic STEM Initiatives

  • Change the Equation: Led by CEOs, this nonprofit seeks to mobilize the business community to improve the quality of STEM education across the U.S.
  • Connect a Million Minds (CAMM): Sponsored by Time Warner Cable, CAMM is a five-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative that aims to inspire students to develop STEM skills.
  • US2020.org: The ultimate aim of this nonprofit is to mobilize one million STEM mentors annually by 2020.
  • Youth Inspired Challenge (YIC): Created by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), YIC is designed to expand the impact of STEM learning outside the classroom.

STEM Fun for Elementary School Kids

Cool STEM Websites

  • Funology: At Funology, science is bound to get interactive. Make a tornado with water. Build a Jurassic Park terrarium. Or, simply torment your siblings with endless jokes about bugs and insects.
  • Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics: Your parents might be interested in this. Curated by the U.S. Department of Education, this website contains math activities (to be completed at home, at the store and on the go) for preschoolers and elementary kids.
  • Kids Do Ecology: Every kid should be an ecological hero. Learn about biomes, blue whales and data collecting. You can even create your own classroom experiment. Available en Español.
  • Kids.gov: From imaginary jungles to ion experiments, Kids.gov has plenty of resources for a rainy day. Watch an animation on thunder and lightning or take a virtual field trip to the National Zoo.
  • The Kids’ Science Challenge (KSC): Hands-on science activities, games, cool videos, scavenger hunts … this website is full of fun stuff. KSC also hosts a free, nationwide science competition for students in grades three to six.
  • NASA Kids’ Club: At NASA Kids’ Club, it’s perfectly okay to fool around in space. You can use your science and math skills to explore Mars, construct a fleet of rockets or search for NASA spinoffs in your garage.
  • NASA Space Place: Build your own spacecraft, play space volcanoes or browse through a gallery of sun images. When you’re at the Space Place, the universe is the limit.
  • National Geographic Kids: Which do you think is cuter: the puffer fish or the clown fish? On this website, you can vote in polls, take part in eggs-periments, watch videos, play puzzles and learn amazing facts.
  • Weather Wiz Kids: Meet meteorologist Crystal Wicker. She’s put together a website that explains everything about the weather. Find fun facts, games, flashcards and photos, plus get answers to your meteorological questions.
  • TechRocket: Learn programming languages, graphic design in Photoshop, and more! Use the promo code “MIDSFREE” to get a free first month!

PBS Kids

  • Cyberchase: Help Jackie, Matt and Inez use math to protect the digital universe from evil. Don’t worry: Cyberchase has lots of math games, videos and activities to aid you in your quest.
  • Design Squad Nation: Design anything (!) your mind might imagine. Through Design Squad challenges, videos and tutorials, you’ll discover all there is to know about engineering principles.
  • The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!: Pre-K STEM games, activities and videos galore. The adventurous Cat in the Hat is even ready to lead you on an exotic math safari adventure
  • The Greens: Wondering what you can do to protect the planet? The Greens have some great ideas, including games, activity guides and their very own carbon calculator.
  • Lifeboat to Mars: Explore the world of biology with this free online game. In one simulation (Microland) you control hungry microbes. In another (Ecoland), you have to balance out the space station’s ecosystem.
  • Zoom: Hot science and cool ideas. You’ll find all kinds of activities and experiments on Zoom’s website, including things like lemon juice rockets, crazy straw bridges and bubble cities.

Science Games and Apps

  • Amazing Alex App: Amazing Alex has a lot of crazy physics challenges in need of your inventive solutions. You can even build and create your own. Brought to you by the creators of Angry Birds.
  • Angry Birds Space App: Those whacky (and wildly successful) birds are now playing their physics puzzles in space, where gravity does some pretty strange things!
  • Every Body Has a Brain!: Plunge headfirst into your amazing brain with songs, animations and mini-games. The complete game is available for purchase as a CD-ROM or digital download.
  • Geo Walk: 3D World Factbook App: Geography nuts rejoice! This educational app contains pictures and facts on hundreds of places, plants and animals.
  • Kinectic City: An amazing collection of science experiments, games, activities and challenges. You might choose to run the blood cell relay race or use a computer model to build your own interstellar slush business.
  • Max and the Magic Marker App: In this fun physics-based game, you’re in complete control of Max and his incredible magic marker. There are 15 puzzle levels, with challenges, secrets and rewards in each.
  • Move the Turtle: Programming for Kids App: You don’t have to be a computer genius to code! With this app, any kid can learn the ABCs of programming in a graphic environment.
  • Seasons! App: Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you. In this app, you’ll learn how to identify various weather situations in different seasons. For kids age 3 to 6.
  • Sid’s Science Fair App: Sid from PBS’ “Sid the Science Kid” has three science games for your entertainment pleasure: Gabriela’s “Collection Inspection,” May’s “Chart It!” and Gerald’s “Time Machine.” For kids age 3 to 6.
  • Team Umizoomi: The cheerful animated characters from Nick Jr.’s TV program offer lots of math games and activities for preschoolers.

Math Games and Apps

  • Geometry Quest App: Travel the world by solving geometry challenges along the way. You’ll receive passport stamps for perfect quests. Covers Common Core standards 3MD, 3G, 4MD, 5G, 6G, 7G and 8G.
  • Math Blaster: Do you have what it takes to save the galaxy? You’re going to need your math skills to complete your training missions in this free online game.
  • MathBoard App: One for the parents. This useful app walks kids through the steps to solving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division equations. There’s a handy scratchboard area where kids can work problems out by hand.
  • Motion Math: Pizza! App: Pizza, pizza! In this math-based game, you buy ingredients, design signature pizzas and sell them to customers (hopefully at a profit).
  • Motion Math: Questimate! App: How fast is the world’s fastest train? How many jellybeans fill up a soccer ball? In Questimate!, you get to make up your own questions.
  • Mystery Math Town: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to rescue the fireflies hidden in Mystery Math Town. Be warned: you’ll need your math skills to unlock all the rooms and passages on your quest!
  • Numbers League: In the Numbers League, only math can save the day. You’ll use everything from addition to negative numbers to assemble a team of superheroes and capture a horde of villains.
  • Umigo: Bored with everything? The crazy characters at UMIGO might have the answer. Their interactive games are just right for building math and critical thinking skills.

STEM Contests

  • Junior FIRST® LEGO® League: Are you a LEGO® fiend? Then this is the contest for you. You’ll use LEGO® bricks to design and build a moving model; then, you’ll assemble a Show Me poster to showcase your solution. For kids age 6 to 9.
  • NSBE KidZone Elementary Science Olympiad: Collect a team and test your science skills in 18 different events at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) National Convention. Open to grades three to five. Those in kindergarten through second grade compete in a non-competitive league.
  • Perennial Math Tournaments: A virtual math tournament (via videoconferencing) for both teams and individuals. Open to grades three to eight.

STEM Camps

  • Audubon Nature Camps: Audobon offers a ton of Nature Camps throughout the country. Beginning in April, they start taking applications for Wild Birds Pathways to Nature.
  • Camp Invention: Daydreams become discoveries at this summer day camp. Created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Camp Invention presents essential STEM concepts through creative hands-on activities.
  • Camp KAOS: To infinity and beyond! These cool flight and space adventure-themed camps take place at the Smithsonian-affiliated Kansas Cosmophere and Space Center (KAOS) in Hutchinson, Kansas.
  • Destination Science Camp: Spend a week this summer creating robots, building a digital music system, training an electric-powered chameleon or even preparing for a mission to the moon! Held at 130 locations in six states.
  • Digital Media Academy Adventures Camp: Digital Media’s award-winning camps cover everything from cartoon creation to computer programming to advanced robotics with LEGO® EV3. For kids age 8 to 12.
  • Engineering for Kids: Engineering for Kids is an education company for kids age 4 to 14. It offers a variety of STEM programs, including in-school field trips, birthday parties, workshops and camps.
  • Engineering Summer Camps: Interested in building the world’s future? The Engineering Education Service Center has put together a state-by-state list of engineering summer camps.
  • iD Tech Camps: The sky’s the limit at iD Tech’s day and overnight camps. Make your own video game, program your own app or even code in Java.
  • KinderCare® Summer Camps: From the wacky wet science of water to the basics of surviving in the wilderness, KinderCare offers a variety of programs for pre-K through school-age kids.
  • Science Explorers: Sharks and submarines, potions and slime, castles and catapults .. whatever you love, these science summer camps have just the activity for you. Offered in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
  • Snapology: Snapology partners with schools around the country to offer STEAM programs, contests, and camps. The programs are interactive, which allows kids to learn through hands-on instruction and play. Programs are offered in a number of different formats, including after school, on weekends, and over the summer.
  • Vision Tech Camps: Vision Tech offers camps for kids ages 7-17 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Camp topics include robotics, programming, minecraft, and more.
  • Youth Digital Summer Camps: Design 3-D models for Minecraft, create your own video game or even direct a 3-D animation! These camps focused on digital technology are held in various southern cities. For kids age 8 to 16.

STEM Career Resources

  • Career Aisle: Elementary: Dreaming about what you want to be when you grow up? These videos about jobs in science, technology, engineering and math can help you decide.

Note: There are plenty of state and regional organizations that didn’t make it onto my list. If you’re interested in local camps, scholarships and after-school activities, I also recommend checking with your teachers and school.

STEM Fun for Middle School Kids

Cool STEM Websites

  • The Big Brain Theory – Discovery Channel: Competitors on this TV show have just 30 minutes to come up with a solution to an (seemingly) impossible engineering challenge.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy: Bill’s entertaining television episodes cover everything from comets to the science of music. Have some fun with his home demos.
  • Chi Alpha Mu: Otherwise known as the National Junior Mathematics Club, Chi Alpha Mu is the younger sibling of Mu Alpha Theta. Check out its list of contests and summer grants.
  • Environmental Health Student Portal: Interested in learning more about chemicals, air quality and water pollution? This website has videos, games and experiments to help you along.
  • Kids Ahead: A STEM bonanza. Kids Ahead is packed with all kinds of resources, including scavenger hunts, videos, articles, links to local activities and fun events and info on cool jobs, that inspire and excite.
  • MathMovesU: Hone your math skills with online games, virtual thrill rides and national competitions! MathMovesU also offers a variety of scholarships and sponsorships.
  • MythBusters – Discovery Channel: The folks at MythBusters use experiments to bust rumors, myths and urban legends. (During their Cannonball Chemistry experiment, they accidentally drove a cannonball through the side of a house.)
  • Sally Ride Science: Founded by America’s first female astronaut, Sally Ride Science hosts a number of student programs, including science festivals and overnight camps.
  • Science Bob: Bob is a science teacher who loves to experiment (often on Jimmy Kimmel). His website has videos, links and plenty of ideas for build-your-own experiments and science fair projects.
  • SciJinks: It’s all about the weather. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and NASA put together this educational website to teach kids about meteorology and earth science. Check out their games section.
  • Scratch: Designed for kids age 8 to 16, Scratch is a place where you can program your own interactive stories, games and animations. A project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.
  • TechRocket: A great learning tool for kids interested in programming, graphic design, and more! Use the promo code “MIDSFREE” to get a free first month!

STEM Games and Apps

  • Auditorium: The Online Experience: Auditorium is a beautiful and challenging puzzle with many different solutions. One game reviewer called it “part puzzle game, part light sculpture, part musical instrument.”
  • CSI: Web Adventures: Based on the T.V. series, this immersive adventure allows you to solve your own forensics case. Levels range from beginner to advanced.
  • DimensionU Games: DimensionU has developed lots of games that tackle STEM skills. Use math to reveal the mysteries of Xeno Island or join forces in a race to disengage a bio-digital virus.
  • Gamestar Mechanic: Learn to design your own video game! Explore game-based quests and take courses to build your skills.
  • Machinarium: An incredibly slick point-and-click adventure game. You’re a robot who’s been tossed on a scrap heap and must solve a series of puzzles to make it back to the city, save the girl and beat the bad guys.
  • Mathemagics Mental Math Tricks: Amaze friends and parents with these quick (but impressive) mathematics tricks.
  • Minecraft: Minecraft is a popular 3-D block-building game that pushes your imagination to the limits. Protect yourself against nocturnal monsters or a build a giant one-of-a-kind creation.
  • National Geographic Games: Journey deep into the nano-world. Build the greenest city in the universe. Prepare for the apocalypse. Some of these games are free; some must be purchased.
  • Portal 2: A mind-bending action adventure game built around physics principles and environmental puzzles. Navigate portals and battle against a power-crazed artificial intelligence named GLaDOS. Suitable for teens.
  • Quantum Conundrum: Your uncle has disappeared. He’s left his Interdimensional Shift Device behind. And his house just got very weird. Welcome to the physics-based puzzle game known as Quantum Conundrum.
  • Robots for iPad App: Everything you want to know about robots in one easy app. Robots for iPad has 360-degree views, lots of articles and specs and hundreds of photos and videos.
  • You Can Do the Rubik’s Cube: You knew there had to be a game completely devoted to it. Unlock the secrets of the world-famous Rubik’s Cube.

STEM Camps

  • Ambition Program: Boldly go where no kid has gone before. Immerse yourself in a six-day aviation-themed learning adventure at the National Flight Academy in Florida.
  • Audubon Nature Camps: Audobon hosts a huge number of Nature Camps throughout the country.
  • Camp Euclid: A Mathematics Research Camp: Participate from virtually anywhere! Camp Euclid’s six-week summer camps are held online. Collaborate with fellow students on solution-defying math problems.
  • Camp KAOS: Discover the thrill of space. These exciting flight and space adventure-themed camps take place at the Smithsonian-affiliated Kansas Cosmophere and Space Center (KAOS) in Hutchinson, Kansas.
  • Digital Media Summer Camp for Teens: Digital Media’s award-winning summer camps are for teens age 12 to 17. Learn about game design and development, programming and apps, filmmaking and visual effects or 3-D modeling and animation.
  • Earth Camp: Explore the wonders of Arizona’s Sonora Desert. You’ll camp in the wilderness, scan the night sky at the University of Arizona Sky Center and become an expert in sustainability and water resource issues.
  • Engineering Summer Camps: Fancy some problem-solving this summer? The Engineering Education Service Center has put together a state-by-state list of engineering summer camps.
  • The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp (EMBHSSC): Live (and play) on a real college campus. Designed to support underrepresented middle school kids, these popular summer science camps are located across the country.
  • iD Tech Camps: Make your own video game. Program your own app. Code in Java. At iD Tech’s day and overnight camps, practically anything is possible.
  • Northern Illinois University STEM Camps: Northern Illinois University holds STEM summer camps that allow middle school kids to engage in interdisciplinary activities. Students learn through classes, hands-on activities, and more!
  • Physics Wonder Girls at Indiana Wesleyan University: Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the Physics Wonder Girls camp offers middle school girls the opportunity to take part in hands-on physics experiments, projects, physics-based games, and science tours.
  • STEM Summer Institute at MIT: During the summer, STEM offers a five-week math and science institute at MIT for students entering grades six through nine. Field trips and racquet sports included.
  • Vision Tech Camps: Vision Tech offers camps for kids ages 7-17 in the San Francisco area. Camps focus on topics like engineering, game design, robotics, and more.
  • Youth Digital Summer Camps: Design 3-D models for Minecraft, create your own video game or even direct a 3-D animation! These camps focused on digital technology are held in various southern cities. For kids age 8 to 16.
  • Youth Empowered Action (YEA): YEA is a week-long overnight camp for youth age 12 to 17 who want to change the world. Workshops include “Planetary Problem Puzzles” and “A Million Ways to Make a Difference.”
  • Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program: Launch yourself into computer programming, robotics and space engineering. MIT’s five-week STEM curriculum will immerse you in space and provide you with hands-on experience programming SPHERES (Synchronized, Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites).

Science and Technology Contests

  • Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge: In this one-of-kind contest, you’ll be challenged to create a one- to two-minute video describing a new and innovative solution that can solve an everyday problem. The grand prize is $25,000 and an international trip!
  • eCYBERMISSION: By tackling a mission (such as alternative sources of energy) with your team, you have the chance to win $5,000 in savings bonds and a STEM-in-Action grant to put your solution to work in your community.
  • FIRST® LEGO® League: Design, build and program your own robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology! Score points on a themed playing field and develop solutions to real-world challenges.
  • Future City Competition: If you can imagine it, you can build it. Working with an educator and engineer mentor, you’ll plan a city using SimCity™ software, research solutions to an engineering problem and build tabletop scale models with recycled materials.
  • National Stem League (NSL): Formerly known as the Ten80 Student Racing Challenge, NSL offers four different contests for middle school and high school students. You can engineer a fast, efficient and stable racing car in the Racing Challenge, teach a robot to navigate a course in the Rover Challenge, transition to renewables in the Energy Challenge or do something completely new in the Innovation Challenge.
  • National STEM Video Game Challenge: Submit your original game design made with tools like Gamestar Mechanic, Scratch and Kodu. The winner receives an AMD-powered laptop computer with game design software and $2,000 for his or her school.
  • NSBE Jr. Bridge Magazine Contests: The National Society of Black Engineers sponsors a variety of contests that challenge you to demonstrate your STEM skills or promote awareness around issues in STEM.
  • NSBE Jr. Explorer Technical Innovation Competition: Go head-to-head with other student scientists at the NSBE Annual Convention. Middle school and high school students are eligible. You must be a paid NSBE Jr. member to participate.

Math Contests

  • AMC 8: Test your math skills in this 25-question, 40-minute multiple choice contest (held every November).
  • MATHCOUNTS Competition Series: MATHCOUNTS holds a series of “bee-style” contests in over 500 local chapters. Top teams advance to the state competition and then to the National Competition in May.
  • MATHCOUNTS Math Video Challenge: Create your very own math video with your friends and classmates and be in the running to win a college scholarship!
  • Perennial Math Tournaments: A virtual math tournament (via videoconferencing) for both teams and individuals. Open to grades three to eight.
  • Rocket City Math League (RCML): Sponsored by Mu Alpha Theta, RCML is a year-long, four-round math competition. Trophies are mailed to top-ranked middle school and high school students at the end of the year.
  • U.S.A. Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS): Pit your problem-solving skills against some of the toughest conundrums out there. Because of the level of difficulty, USAMTS allows students a full month or more to work out solutions.

STEM Career Resources

  • Career Aisle: Middle School: Wondering what the future might hold? Explore some of the options available to you in science, technology, engineering and math. Lots of videos.
  • Kids.gov Jobs: Get the skinny on every job under the sun. Wondering what marine biologists do? Want to watch a video on becoming a veterinarian? You’re in the right place.
  • iON Future: If website browsing isn’t your style, you can always play this free STEM career exploration game. It’s geared toward middle school and early high school students.
  • NASA Look to the Future: Careers in Space: You don’t have to be an astronaut to work in the space program. NASA has a list of other professions, including robotics engineer, computer scientist and oceanographer, for you to consider.

Note: There are plenty of state and regional organizations that didn’t make it onto my list. If you’re interested in local camps, scholarships and after-school activities, I also recommend checking with your teachers and school.

STEM Fun for High School Kids

Cool STEM Websites

  • Arrick Robotics: This the prettiest website in the world, but if you’re looking for robotics resources, this is the place to be. Includes lists of competitions and contests, groups and clubs, games and simulation.
  • Codeacademy: Learn to code interactively (and for free). Codeacademy offers coding classes in major programming languages like Python, PHP, jQuery, JavaScript and Ruby.
  • DiscoverE: Thinking about engineering? DiscoverE has a selection of resources on careers, preparing for college and research schools. You might also want to check out their list of videos, trips, websites and hands-on activities.
  • Mu Alpha Theta: Also known as the National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta has over 100,000 student members. It organizes a national math convention, offers special awards and provides competitions.
  • Student Science: A central spot for science news, blogs, resources and information about Intel competitions. Sample article titles include “Native ‘snot'” and “A library with no books.”
  • TechRocket: Neat tool for exploring programming languages, 2D and 3D game design, and more. Use the promo code “MIDSFREE” to get a free first month!

STEM Games and Apps

  • Algebra Touch App: Get a refresher on your algebra skills with this touch-based tool. Tap to simplify, drag to rearrange and draw lines to eliminate identical terms.
  • The Elements App: If you geek out on the periodic table as much as I do, you’ll want this app. Check the current price of gold, find the half-life of plutonium or read up on helium-neon lasers.
  • Interplanetary 3D Sun App: Sponsored by NASA, this tool pulls data from a fleet of NASA spacecraft. Watch solar flares, coronal mass ejections and geomagnetic storms moments after they happen.
  • Muscle System Pro III App: Strip away the flesh to discover what lies beneath. Developed in collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine, this interactive app allows you to explore the workings of human musculature, layer by layer.
  • NASA App: A must-have for NASA fans. This monster app includes live streaming of NASA TV and over 13,000 images, as well as on-demand videos, news stories and International Space Station (ISS) sighting opportunities. It also happens to be free.
  • National Geographic Apps: National Geographic has plenty to keep you entertained on a dull day. Top-rated apps include National Parks and the World Atlas.
  • Pocket Universe App: Astronomy unbounded. Take a virtual visit to the surface of Mars. Animate the night sky. Play quiz games. Get pop-up notifications of astronomical highlights.
  • Solar System for iPad: Explore the universe on your tablet with stunning visuals, 150-plus story pages, images from the Mars rover Curiosity and a 3-D orrery that lets you control the orbits of planets and their moons.
  • Sparticl: The best science on the web! Engaging videos, articles, activities, and games for teens.
  • Virtual Frog Dissection: All of the education with none of the guts. This app allows you to wield virtual dissection tools to uncover the mysteries of amphibian anatomy.

STEM Camps

  • Alaska Summer Research Academy (ASRA) – High School: At ASRA, you’ll spend two weeks on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, working in small teams and participating in project-based learning. Some modules will take you to remote areas of Alaska for fieldwork.
  • Ambition Program: Brace yourself for a thrill ride. For six days, you’ll be immersed in an aviation-themed learning adventure at the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida.
  • Audubon Nature Camps: Audobon hosts a huge number of Nature Camps throughout the country.
  • Camp Euclid: A Mathematics Research Camp: Camp Euclid’s six-week virtual summer camps are held online. Collaborate with fellow students on tantalizingly difficult math problems.
  • Camp KAOS: These flight and space adventure-themed camps take place at the Smithsonian-affiliated Kansas Cosmophere and Space Center (KAOS) in Hutchinson, Kansas.
  • Digital Media Summer Camp for Teens: Get down and creative with game design and development, programming and apps, filmmaking and visual effects or 3-D modeling and animation. Digital Media’s award-winning summer camps are for teens age 12 to 17.
  • Earth Camp: Explore global changes in climate, water and landscapes while you raft down the Green River’s Desolation Canyon in Central Utah. Run by the University of Arizona College of Science, Project WET, the Planetary Science Institute and the Arizona-Desert Museum.
  • Engineering Summer Camps: Check out this state-by-state list of engineering camps for a summer camp near you.
  • iD Game Design & Development Academy: These two-week summer camps offer an intensive submersion in game development, programming, design, 3-D modeling and animation. Choose from courses in Minecraft, Unreal® Engine, Maya®, iPhone® and more. For teens age 13 to 18.
  • Game Camp Nation: Game Camp Nation offers fun programs that harness your child’s passion for video games. They have East Coast locations from Massachusetts to Atlanta for kids from 7 to 16 years old. A few programs they currently offer include Game Design with Tynker, Coding & Minecraft Modding with Java, and 3D Game Programming with Unity.
  • iD Programming Academy: Ideal for students with previous programming experience who want to take their coding skills to the next level. Camps are held at university campuses across the U.S. For teens age 13 to 18.
  • iD Tech Camps for Teens: Choose your own adventure. iD’s week-long summer camps allow you to program a new app, produce a film, develop a website—practically anything tech-related. For teens age 13 to 17.
  • Northern Illinois University STEM Camps: NIU offers multiple STEM summer camps for high school students, including STEM Career Explorations, Crisis on Mars!, and Eagle’s Nest STEAM Camp.
  • Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP): Interested in science or math? Then you could intern for eight weeks at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory. Most labs require students to be 16 years of age (though 15-year-olds will sometimes be allowed).
  • Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science (SAMS): Carnegie Mellon’s competitive summer program is for promising students entering their junior or senior year of high school and contemplating a STEM career. The course load is fairly heavy, but there’s no tuition, housing or dining fees if you’re selected.
  • Vision Tech Camps: Vision Tech offers summer camps for kids between the ages of 7-17 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Kids will take courses in engineering, robotics, programming, game design, and other interesting tech topics.
  • Youth Digital Summer Camps: Design 3-D models for Minecraft, create your own video game or even direct a 3-D animation! These digital technology-focused camps are held in various southern cities. For kids age 8 to 16.
  • Youth Empowered Action (YEA): YEA is a week-long overnight camp for kids age 12 to 17 who want to change the world. Workshops include “Planetary Problem Puzzles” and “A Million Ways to Make a Difference.”

Science and Technology Contests

  • AbilityOne Design Challenge: A challenge with a purpose. You’ll research, design and engineer technologies that empower people with disabilities to secure a new job or become more productive in the workplace.
  • Air Force Association (AFA) CyberPatriot Competition: Tackle real-life cybersecurity situations in a virtual environment. Early rounds take place online during weekends in the fall, winter and spring; top teams are invited to Washington, D.C. to take part in the National Finals Competition.
  • The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing: The University of Waterloo’s CEMC holds internationally recognized contents designed to help kids fall in love with mathematics and computer science.
  • Envirothon: Compete for awards and scholarships by demonstrating your knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management. Teams advance through local Envirothon competitions to the week-long summer finals in July or August.
  • FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC): Build, program and compete with a robot of your own design. Learn sophisticated hardware, work with professional engineers and qualify for student scholarships.
  • FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC): A close cousin of FRC, FTC challenges you to create a robot that you can use to compete in an alliance format against other teams. You’ll get hands-on programming and rapid prototyping experience.
  • Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF): The Godzilla of science fairs. Around 1,800 innovators are invited to participate in a week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering and math. More than $5 million in awards and scholarships is up for grabs.
  • Intel Science Talent Search (STS): Intel STS bills itself as the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. Forty finalists compete for $630,000 in awards and a $100,000 first-place prize. It’s a big deal: eight alumni have won the Nobel Prize.
  • NASA Asteroid Grand Challenge Series: Become a real-life asteroid hunter. In a series of topcoder challenges, you’ll be challenged to develop a significantly improved algorithm to identify asteroids in images from ground-based telescopes.
  • NASA Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments (CELERE): Developed by NASA and Portland State University (PSU), CELERE is open to student teams in grades nine through 12 and multi-grade teams from grades five through 12. Each team creates an experiment testing the effects of microgravity on capillary action; PSU conducts the tests at their Dryden Drop Tower.
  • NASA Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME): DIME is open to student teams interested in designing and building a science experiment that can be operated in a microgravity environment. Finalists travel to the Glenn Research Center to perform their experiments in NASA’s drop tower.
  • National Stem League (NSL): Formerly known as the Ten80 Student Racing Challenge, NSL offers four different contests for middle school and high school students. You can engineer a fast, efficient and stable racing car in the Racing Challenge, teach a robot to navigate a course in the Rover Challenge, transition to renewables in the Energy Challenge or do something completely new in the Innovation Challenge
  • NSBE Jr. Explorer Technical Innovation Competition: Go head-to-head with other student scientists at the NSBE Annual Convention. Middle school and high school students are eligible. You must be a paid NSBE Jr. member to participate.
  • Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC): Design, build and launch your own rocket. Developed by the Aerospace Industries Association, this is the only aerospace-specific STEM competition in the country. Students compete in teams of three to 10; the winning team took home $10,500 in 2014.
  • Zero Robotics High School Tournament: Tackle a problem of interest to DARPA, NASA and MIT. If you make it past the controlled simulations to the finals, you’ll see your code run in SPHERES satellites aboard the International Space Station with live transmission from space.

Math Contests

  • The American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME): High-scoring AMC 10 and AMC 12 entrants (see below) may be invited to take AMAA’s 15-question, three-hour examination. Top scorers in this test go on to the USAMO (see below).
  • AMC 10/12: Every year, AMAA offers 25-question, 75-minute multiple choice exams in high school mathematics. It’s the first step on the journey toward the International Mathematical Olympiad (see below).
  • American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) Power Contest: Into teamwork? ARML’s Power Contest will provide you and your mates with two problem sets, one in the fall and one in late winter, each of which must be solved within 45 minutes. Trophies are awarded to the top 10 teams.
  • The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO): If you’ve made it through the AMC 10/12, the AIME, the USAMO and the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP), you’ll be invited to compete for the U.S. against peers from over 90 nations in this two-day exam.
  • Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge: During the M3, you and a small team of fellow juniors and/or seniors have 14 hours to solve an open-ended applied math-modeling problem focused on a real-world issue. You can work from any location. Scholarship prizes are awarded to the winners.
  • NSBE Jr. Try-Math-A-Lon: The National Society of Black Engineers developed this contest to tutor high school students in SAT-level mathematics, science and African-American history. Winners of locals and regionals head to the NSBE National Convention.
  • Purple Comet! Math Meet: The name is hokey but the contest’s reputation is strong. In this free, online and international math competition, your team will be presented with 25 problems to solve in 90 minutes.
  • Rocket City Math League (RCML): Sponsored by Mu Alpha Theta, RCML is a year-long, four-round math competition. Trophies are mailed to top-ranked middle school and high school students at the end of the year.
  • U.S.A. Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO): Only top AIME/AMC 10 scorers are invited to take this two-day exam. This includes six questions and nine hours of essay/proof examinations. The top scorers advance to the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MASP).
  • U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO): Only top AIME/AMC 12 scorers are invited to take this two-day exam. This includes six questions and nine hours of essay/proof examinations. Top scorers advance to the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MASP).
  • U.S.A. Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS): Pit your problem-solving skills against some of the toughest conundrums out there. Because of the difficulty level, USAMTS allows students a full month or more to work out solutions.
  • Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?: Battle for cash and prizes by answering multiple choice math questions. Qualifying tests are taken online; semifinals and finals take place at the Joint Mathematics Meetings.

STEM Grants and Opportunities

  • InvenTeam: InventTeams are made up of students, teachers and mentors who receive grants of up to $10,000 to devise technological solutions to real-world problems (you can choose your own problem).
  • iSTEM Scholars Program: Live in California and looking at a STEM-related profession? You might want to consider this after-school and summer program. You’ll go on field trips, receive individual tutoring and be prepped for national tests.
  • Planet Connect Student Grants: Have a passion for protecting wildlife and native habitats? Planet Connect offers high school students grants of $1,000 to implement local projects and participate in wildlife or natural resource internships.

STEM Career Resources

  • Career Aisle: High School: You’ll find a truckload of exploratory videos on Career Aisle’s website, as well as links to wage information and career prep resources.
  • Career Cornerstone Center: It won’t win any prizes for beauty, but Career Cornerstone Center has a lot of helpful resources on STEM careers. Explore over 185 degree fields, dip into interviews or learn more about education requirements, typical salaries and networking.
  • CareerOneStop: Learn all you need to know about STEM careers, including typical occupations, internships and education options. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
  • Get Biotech Smart: Curious about biotechnology research? Have a look at these video podcasts, e-learning courses and resources.
  • IEEE Try Computing: A good resource if you’re just starting to look into computing. You can explore career options and majors, search for accredited programs and tinker with the visual career cloud tool.
  • IEEE Try Engineering: This website includes a university search, info on engineering majors and a long list of links to camps, internships, scholarships, contests and more. You’ll also find insights from experts and virtual engineering games.
  • IEEE Try Nano: IEEE gets around. In the third of their career sites (see above), they look at jobs in nanoscience and nanotechnology: technical fields that focus on matter at the nanoscale.
  • iON Future: If web surfing isn’t your style, you can always play the free STEM career exploration game. It’s geared toward middle school and early high school students.
  • Take IT & Go Anywhere: Your source for all things IT. Check out their list of degree programs, upcoming IT events, internships, student programs, advice on paying for college, career fairs, websites and the like.

Note: There are plenty of state and regional organizations that didn’t make it onto my list. If you’re interested in local camps, scholarships and after-school activities, I also recommend checking with your teachers and school.

STEM Fun for Girls

Cool STEM Websites

  • CanTEEN: CanTEEN was developed to help girls explore STEM careers. Take a challenge (such as creating your own urban garden), play games like “Click! Spy School” or learn more about real-life role models.
  • Engineer Girl!: Why should you become an engineer? Let this website for middle school girls explain. Along with interviews, quizzes, fun facts and profiles, it has links to scores of engineering contests, clubs, programs and scholarships.
  • Engineer Your Life: Dream big and love what you do. This guide to engineering for high school girls is packed with profiles of inspiring women, great tips for college prep and helpful job tools.
  • For Girls in Science: Be what you want to be. Sponsored by L’Oréal, this site offers all kinds of STEM options, including a video blog, profiles of women in science, a list of summer camps and info about careers.
  • Girls Communicating Career Connections (GC3): Curious about a career in science or technology? This youth-produced media series for girls from undeserved groups has lots and lots of ideas to explore.
  • Girl Scouts STEM Program: Push your limits as you make the world a better place. To support STEM experiences, the Girl Scouts have developed three leadership journeys and a number of STEM proficiency badges.
  • iWASwondering.org: Inspired by “Women’s Adventures in Science” and developed by the National Academy of Sciences, this website invites you to investigate the careers of famous women scientists.
  • PBS SciGirls: SciGirls videos are great resources for the classroom. Each episode follows a different group of middle school girls who are designing and building STEM projects.
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE) K-12 Outreach: Aspire to be great. You’ll find a huge variety of engineering resources on this site, including links to activities, competitions, camps and scholarships.
  • Women@NASA: Meet the women you want to be. This NASA site includes video interviews and biographies of NASA employees, as well as info on careers, events and outreach programs. Energy.gov has a sister site called Women@Energy.
  • TechRocket: Learn the most popular programming languages like Java and iOS, explore Minecraft modding and 2D and 3D game design, and dive into graphic design in Photoshop. Use the promo code “MIDSFREE” to get a free first month!
  • G2O: Generating Girls Opportunities: G2O is an initiative of The Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) designed to engage girls, parents, and teachers in expanding girls’ educational opportunities. Visit their website to explore careers in STEM, participate in summer contests, and more!

STEM Awards

  • NSTA Angela Award: The National Science Teachers Association awards a $1,000 US EE Savings Bond to one female student in fifth through eighth grade who is involved in or has a strong connection to science.

STEM Camps

  • Camp Reach: From constructing the perfect shoe to building the ultimate ice cream sundae, this two-week summer camp at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts is designed to stretch your engineering imagination. For girls entering seventh grade.
  • Design-Connect-Create! Physics Camps for Young Women: Live in or near North Texas? Get a hands-on introduction to key principles in AP Physics. For high school girls entering their junior year.
  • DigiGirlz High Tech Camp: Microsoft’s career-based camps are held throughout the U.S. and abroad. You’ll have the chance to listen to tech speakers, take tours, network and get some hands-on experience in workshops. Variable schedule. For high school girls.
  • E2@UMD: Explore engineering at the University of Maryland. Over the course of one week in the summer, you’ll take part in hands-on activities, lab experiments, team challenges and seminars with professional engineers. For rising juniors and seniors.
  • Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (G.A.M.E.S.): Be part of a state-of-the-art engineering or science lab this summer! At the University of Illinois’s G.A.M.E.S., you’ll work on challenging camp projects and meet mentors in technical fields. For rising nine through 12th graders.
  • Girls Reaching to Achieve in Sports & Physics (GRASP): Hosted by Ohio State University’s Department of Physics, GRASP is a five-day summer camp loaded with physics fun. OSU staff and students are present at all sessions to share their love of the subject. For middle school girls.
  • Girlstart: Get stuck on STEM subjects. Girlstart’s Austin-based programs (including summer camps, Saturday STEM workshops and Science Extravaganzas) are open to girls in kindergarten through age 16.
  • Students with Potential and Interest, Considering Engineering (S.P.I.C.E.): Build a new world. Through activities, projects, tours and talks at the University of Maryland, College Park, you’ll learn how engineering is being used to change the face of the planet. For girls entering ninth and 10th grades.
  • The Smith Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP): One hundred girls, four weeks, one incredible experience. At this Massachusetts summer camp, you’ll be immersed in two fascinating research courses. For rising rising nine through 12th graders.
  • Women in Natural Science (WINS): Hosted by Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences, this after-school and summer science enrichment program is free! For promising eighth graders who plan to attend a public or charter school in Philadelphia.
  • Alexa Cafe: Students collaborate in small, close-knit clusters. With an emphasis on entrepreneurship, leadership, brand identity, and philanthropy, you’ll build tech skills in a unique, stylish setting, alongside tech-savvy female mentors. Weeklong day and overnight sessions in programming, game design, filmmaking, and more.

Note: There are plenty of state and regional organizations that didn’t make it onto my list. If you’re interested in local camps, scholarships and after-school activities, I also recommend checking with your teachers and school.

Filed Under: Blog

Attention students and parents! Due to the changes that have been made to Discovery Education and the  inconsistency with the unit assessments, I will no longer be using the D.E quizzes to check for student understanding. However the readings will continue to be assigned so that students may enrich their understanding of the material covered in class.  In addition, many study guide and test questions will still be taken from the  Discovery Education readings and I urge that students keep up with the readings to maximize their understanding. In other words, if you choose to skip the readings you do so at your own peril.

Welcome to Mr. Sproul's assignment page! If you miss class or just need a little review of what we did this is the place to come. The listings are in reverse chronological order (last day of unit at the top). Included is a description of what we covered, links to materials, and the homework assignments for next session.


 Tuesday, March 14th (B day students) & Wednesday, March 15th (A day students) - Session 58:

Monday, March 12th (B day students) & Tuesday, March 13th (A day students) - Session 57:
Review. Homework: Study For Exam! Take practice quiz
Thursday, March 8th (B day students) & Friday, March 9th (A day students) - Session 56:
Alexander the Great (click here for notes from today's class).Finish Study Guide

Tuesday, March 6th (B day students) & Wednesday, March 7th (A day students) - Session 55:
The Persian Wars (click here to view notes from today's lesson).  Click here to view additional notes about the Persian Wars.
  • Review: Greek Mythology in Advertising (Companies).  Click here to visit a website with many examples, from A-Z!
  • Vocab: cavalry
  • The Persian Empire: Why did they want to conquer Greece?  (Click here to view the reading on the Persian Wars from today's class).
    Persian War Battles: Click here for a copy of the Persian Battles Chart.
  • Click here to print the web that accompanies the reading.
  • The Battle of Marathon, The Battle of Thermopylae, The Battle of Salamis, The Battle of Plataea: Who was involved?  What happened?  Where and when?  Why did it happen? 
Homework: Complete the Greek Battle Chart. Continue to work on study guide. Click here for the readings that go with the chart filled out in class. 

Friday, March 2nd (B day students) & Monday, March 5th (A day students) - Session 54:
Accomplishments of Ancient Greece - continued (for a copy of today's notes, click here).
  • Click here to listen to a rap on the Pythagorean Theorem
  • Click here to listen to the BEST PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM RAP EVER!
  • Click here to listen to the Pythagorean Theorem Math Song
  • Click here to listen to a brief history of the Pythagorean Theorem
  • Click here to take a quiz on the Pythagorean Theorem
Homework:  9.3 on Discovery Education. Study Guide questions 1-2, 8-11.

Wednesday, February 28th (B day students) & Friday, March 1st (A day students) - Session 53:
Accomplishments of Ancient Greece (click here to print a copy of today's notes!)Homework: Read 9.2 on Discovery Education and do quiz, work on study guide questions 5, 7, 13 & 14.  

Monday, February 26th (B day students) & Tuesday, February 27th (A day students) - Session 52:
Government of Greece (click here to print a copy of today's notes!)
  • Click here to watch the youtube video on the Geographic Challenges of Greece
  • Vocab: monarchy, tyrant, oligarchy, democracy
  • Athens vs. Sparta (click here to view additional powerpoint notes)
  • Click here to print another copy of the Athens/Sparta comparison chart. Click here for answers.
  • Design a travel brochure:  Prepare a poster or travel brochure or real estate ad extolling your city-state (choose between Sparta and Athens).  Tell about its advantages to the prospective visitors or potential home owners.Highlights may include: cultural activities (such as drama, music and arts); recreation, athletics and sports; architecture and famous sites; schools; accommodations (like homes where the tourists can stay with some of the locals or homes for sale); transportation; and food. Include a map showing where your city-state is located. In another smaller section you may want to add "travel alerts" which warn the tourist of some of the dangers he/she might encounter while staying in your city-state.
Homework: Complete Travel brochure of Greek City State. (Description above)

Thursday, February 22nd (B day students) & Friday, February 23rd(A day students) - Session 51:
Geography of Greece (Click here for today's notes)
  • Vocab: peninsula, colony
  • How did the Geographic Features of Greece impact the people of Greece? (Click here to print another copy of the Geography reading, NOT on Discovery Education).
  • Click here to see pictures of Greek Geograqphy. See what predictions you can make about their culture.
  • Click here to print another copy of the Greece map
  • Click here for map quiz and answers.
Homework: Read 9.1 on Discovery Education and do quiz, begin study guide.  Click here to print another copy of the study guide!  This study guide will NOT be on Discovery Education for Ancient Greece.


Tuesday, February 20th (A day students) & Wednesday, February 21st (B day students) - Session 50:
Confucism/Daoism/ Seminar
Friday, February 16th (A day students) & Monday, February 19th (B day students) - Session 49:
Ancient China Test! No homework.

Wednesday, February 14th (A day students) & Thursday, February 15th (B day students) - Session 48:
  • The Silk Road (click here to view notes from today's lesson).
  • Vocab: import, export, monopoly, Silk Road
  • History channel video on the Silk Road
  • Play the Silk Road game here
  • The Silk Road: How did it work?  Click here to view a classzone map showing the route!
  • Why was Silk such an important trade item? (Click here to view a youtube clip on how silk products are made).
  • Travelling the Silk Road: What were the experiences like? 
  • Kahoot in class interactive game. Kahoot!
  • Ancient China Review Video (23 mins) - Great for Review, Click here to watch.
  • Homework: Finish the study guide.

Monday, February 12th (A day students) & Tuesday, February 13th (B day students) - Session 47: 
  • The Han Dynasty (Click here to view full notes from this session.)
  • Vocab: suppress, piety, bureaucracy
  • The Han Dynasty - Why was it called the Golden Age? (click here to view additional powerpoint notes on the Han Dynasty.
  • Achievements during the Han Dynasty/Golden Age.
  • Click here to view a classzone interactive map of the Han Dynasty.
  • Han Civil Service Exam - search for Discovery Education video, "Han Civil Service"
  • Click here to view a youtube clip about Chinese Seismology.
  • Click here to view a History Channel clip about the Silk Road.
  • Homework: Read section 7.3 on D.E. and take the "Life in the Chinese Dynasties" quiz. Don't forget the Ancient China Study Guide, due 2/16- Tonight's questions 23-30.

Tuesday, February 6th (A day students) & Friday, February 9th(B day students) - Session 46:
  • The Qin Dynasty (click here to view class notes from today's session).
  • Vocab: standardization, censor, reform, legalism
  • For Reading on Qin Shi Huangdi click here
  • How did Qin Shi Huangdi bring reform to ancient China?  How did this impact the people?
  • Discovery Education activity (when you log in, find the Ancient China readings, find section 7.3, click on the "elaborate" tab, and find the "Life in China during the Qin Dynasty" activity.  Click launch, and fill out the information on your sheet from class.  Click here to print another copy of the handout.
  • Click here to view the classzone map of the Chinese dynasties.
  • Click here to view a 360 degree virtual tour of the Great Wall of China.
  • Click here to view a youtube clip about the Terra-Cotta Soldiers.
  • Homework: Think about the accomplishemnts of Emperor Qin. Make either a wanted poster or a commemorative plague displaying the deeds of Emperor Qin. Complete questions 10, 11, 18-22.

Friday, February 2nd (A day students) & Monday, February 5th (B day students) - Session 45:
Zhou Dynasty (click here for notes from today's lesson).
  • Vocab: philosophy, feudalism, virtue, Mandate of Heaven, Confucianism
  • Zhou Dynasty - The Mandate of Heaven (Who gets it?  How does it work?).  Click here for additional powerpoint notes on the Zhou Dynasty.  Click here to print a paper version of the Discovery Education reading on the Zhou Dynasty.
  • Feudalism and the Warring States period - Why did the Zhou Dynasty decline?
  • Confucianism - click here to view some of Confucius' popular quotes.
  • Homework: Read 7.2 and take quiz on Discovery Education. Continue working on study guide.  Work on study Guide questions 12-17. 

Wednesday, January 31st (A day students) & Thursday, February 1st (B day students) - Session 44:
Begin Ancient China Unit! - Geography of China (click here to view the notes from today's class)
  • Geography Challenge!  Locating different geographical features of china, discuss how they would impact the people.  Click here to print off another copy of the Ancient China MAP.
  • Nomads - How did they impact Ancient China?
  • Click here to view a youtube video on ancient China.
  • Homework: Read  7.1 "Ancient China" assigned on Discovery Education, complete "Geography of China" quiz (also assigned on Discovery Ed.) Begin the Ancient China study guide #'s 1-9.  Click here to print a copy of the study guide.

Ancient China

Monday, January 29th (A day students) & Friday, January 30th (B day students) - Session 43:

Thursday, January 25th (A day students) & Friday, January 26th (B day students) - Session 42:
Silly Monkeys Seminar/Triangulation Lesson on Monsoons (click here to view the class notes/questions from the lesson).
  • Click here to watch a youtube video on the history of Ancient India!
  • Click  here to watch a video on Indian Monsoons.
  • Click here to print off a copy of the triangulation documents!
  • Click here to print off a copy of the pre-writing chart we will use.
  • Click here to see the Silly Monkeys Text and discussion questions.
  • Homework: Study for test!

Tuesday, January 23rd (A day students) & Wednesday, January 24th (B day students) - Session 41:
Ancient Indian Empires, Part 2. - The Gupta Empire (click here to view class notes from today's lesson).
  • Review: The Mauryan Empire (click here to learn more about Ashoka's edicts).
  • The Gupta Empire (click here for additional notes on the empire).
  • ​Achievements of the Gupta Empire (click here to view a youtube clip on the "Golden Age"). To print another copy of the achievements chart, go to today's class notes.Comparing the Gupta & Mauryan Empires - Review.  To view the instructions for our in class project (board builder, billboard, brochure, or organizer) look back at today's class notes.
  • Create Palm leaf book on accomplishments of the Golden Age under the Gupta empire. Instructions and rubric can be found on Canvas  or clickhereto see the assignment in word.
  • Homework: Complete study guide. Finish Palm Leaf Book. 

Tuesday, January 16th (A day students) &  Monday, January 22nd (B day students- Session 40:
Ancient Indian Empires, Part 1 - The Maurya Empire (click here to view notes from today's session).
  • Vocab: edicts
  • Click here to view additional notes on the Maurya Empire.
  • Re-read "Aryan Invasion" on Discovery Education (pages about Mauryan Empire), and complete the web handed out in class.  Click here to print another copy of the web.
  • Ashoka's edicts:  What goals or accomplishments did he want for his people?  What kind of leader did this make him?  Click here to view the edicts we viewed in class.
  • Homework: Complete the Mauryan Empire web by next class. To see the reading, click here.

Thursday, January 11th (A day students) & Friday, January 12th (B day students) - Session 39:
The Caste System in Ancient India (click here to view notes from today's class).
  • Vocab: Hinduism, reincarnation, Vedas, caste system.
  • Click here to view the classzone map of the Aryan Invasion.
  • Click here to view additional notes on the caste system.
  • Click here to view the youtube video on the caste system.
  • An American girl's thoughts on the role of the Caste system today.
  • Caste System diagramming activity (click here to download another copy of the word bank to use for your graphic organizer).
  • Homework: Read 6.3 and take section quiz. This reading will be referenced again in our upcoming lessons on the Gupta Empire and Mauryan Empire.  Continue working on your study guide too!

Tuesday, January 9th (A day students) & Wednesday, January 10th (B day students) - Session 38:
Ancient Cities of the Indus River Valley (click here to view class notes from this lesson).
  • Vocab: surplus, citadel, deforestation.
  • Comparing the Ancient Cities of Harappa & Mohenjo-daro (use Discovery Education reading from Session 40 to review these).
  • Click here to watch the youtube video on pollution of the Ganges River.
  • Click here to view the classzone map of India's Resources (both ancient times and today).
  • Homework: Continue working on the Ancient India Study Guide (on discovery education), due Session 43.  ALSO, complete the 6.2  reading and quiz in your Discovery Education assignments.

Friday, January 5th (A day students) & Monday, January 8th (B day students) - Session 37:
1st Day of Ancient India Unit: Geography of Ancient India (click here to view the class notes from this lesson).
  • Vocab: subcontinent, monsoon, plateau.
  • Mapping India/Geography Challenge! (Click here for another map copy of India.  Click here for mapping instructions)
  • Geography of India Youtube Video!
  • Exploring India's Geography Around the Room (click here for another ratings chart.  Click here to view the readings on each physical feature). 
  • Homework: Read section 6.1 on the geography of India on Discovery Education (in your assignments under "Between the Mountains and the Sea").  Use reading to help you begin India Study Guide (due session 43).  Click here to print a paper copy of the study guide!

Wednesday, January 3rd (A day students) & Thursday, January 4th (B day students) - Session 36:
Decisions: Decisons Ancient Empires-Historical interactive decision making game.
  • Homework: Check Powerschool-write down your name, your grade for quarter 2, and any missing assignments-turn into Mr. Sproul next session for double homework grade.


​Friday, December 15th (A day students) & Monday, December 18th (B day students) - Session 33:
No homework. Have a great BREAK!!!!

Wednesday, December 13th (B day students) & Thursday, December 14th (A day students) - Session 32:
King Tut 
(Click here to view another Mr. Nicky song/video on King Tut!)
Escape Room
Schlesinger Video on Egypt - Great for review-click here.
King Tut have a greater impact alive or Dead?
Click here to see Steve Martin's King Tut
King Tut WebQuest here
Was King Tut Murdered by his Uncle?
Homework:   Take the practice test on discovery education. The highest score you receive on the study guide will be the score that goes in the gradebook! Study for test!

Monday, December 11th (B day students) & Tuesday, December 12th (A day students) - Session 31:
The Kingdom of Kush (Click here to view today's class notes).
  • Vocab: Succession, Dynasty
  • Click here to view the reading from this class.
  • Click here to view the reading from class, highlighted version for your comp. notebook.
  • Click here to view the powerpoint from this class.
  • Click here to view the youtube video on the forgotten Kingdom of Kush.
  • Click here to view another video on the Kush Empire.
  • The Four Periods of the Kushite Empire notes & comic strip activity.
  • Review Jeopardy - Ancient Egypt
Homework: Complete Ancient Egypt Study Guide due next session. IF NOT COMPLETED, FINISH PHAROH GALLERY SHEET. Click here to download the Pharaoh reading and here to download a copy of the gallery answer sheet .

Thursday, December 7th (B day students) & Friday, December 8th (A day students) - Session 30:
Egyptian Pharaohs (click here to view the class notes from today's lesson).
  • Vocab: topography, pharaoh, reign, treaty, Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom
  • Impact of the Nile River (click here to view Classzone video). 
  • Differences between the 3 Kingdoms.
  • Pharaoh Gallery Walk: Khufu, Senusret I, Hatshepsut, Ramses II
  • Click here to watch a youtube clip of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.
  • Click here to watch a youtube clip of the song "Horrible Histories - The Mummy Song".
  • Click here to download the Pharaoh reading and here to download a copy of the gallery answer sheet .
  • All other videos viewed today available on www.discoveryeducation.com.  Just search for pharaohs!
Homework: D.E. reading, 4.3 "Pharaohs Unify Egypt", and quiz, "Egyptian Society", due next session. Also, continue to work on the Ancient Egypt & Kush Study Guide questions 14-23.

Monday, December 4th ( A day students) & Monday, December 5th (B day students) - Session 29:
Daily Life in Ancient Egypt, Part II Homework: Complete the "Characteristics of a Civilization Chart - Ancient Egypt" chart (to print another copy, click here).  Answer the question in the chart, "Did Ancient Egypt Have the characteristics to qualify as a civilization?" Work on study guide questions 7-13, 24-30.  Complete 4.2 on Discovery Education .

Wednesday, November 29th (B day students) & Thursday, November 30th (A day students) - Session 28:
Daily Life in Ancient Egypt, Part I. (click here to view the class notes from today's lesson).  
  • Vocab: vizier, scribe, artisan, peasant.
  • Click here to see the Classzone link on the Great Pyramid.
  • Click here to see the Classzone link on the New Powerful Kingdom.
  • Egyptian Social Structure (click here to view the Classzone link on the Egyptian Social Roles).
  • Egypt Daily Life Stations! (stations & instructions will be posted to weebly for completion AFTER 12/8).
  • To see 17 minute video on Ancient Egyptian Daily Life, head to www.discoveryeducation.com, log in, and search for "Journals Through History_Ancient Egypt_Constructing Civilizations".
  • Click here to play a game on the Symbols of Ancient Egypt.
​Homework: Work on study guide questions 7-13, 24-30.  Complete 4.2 on Discovery Education

Monday, November 27 (B day students) & Tuesday, November 28th (A day students) - Session 27:
Geography of Ancient Egypt (click here to view today's class notes).
  • Vocab: topography
  • Impact of Geographical Features (click here for reading taped into notebook).
  • Impact of the Nile River (click here to view Classzone video). 
  • Comparisons of the Nile River to other modern day rivers.
  • Hymn to the Nile (click here to read the full version, and learn more about Egypt)
Homework: Begin new study guide for the Egypt unit, questions 1-10! Click here to print a hard copy of the Ancient Egypt Study Guide!  D.E. Reading - 4.1  "Egypt: Built Along a River", and quiz "Geography of Egypt".


​Monday, November 20th (B day students) & Tuesday, November 21st (A day students) - Session 26: 
  • Mesopotamia Unit Exam!  
Homework: No homework over the break! :)

Thursday, November 16th (B day students) & Friday, November 17th (A day students) - Session 25:
Hammurabi's Code Seminar (Click here to view class notes from today's session.)
  • Click here to watch a youtube video about the four empires discussed in class.
  • Hammurabi's Code-Was it just? (Click here to view a cartoon on Hammurabi's Code).
  • Click here to view the class notes, including discussion questions.
  • Click here to print off another copy of the triangulation documents/laws to take notes.
  • Empires Report Card
  • Empire Madness! Bracket Busters!
Homework: Study for test (next session). Complete Hammurabi's Code Triangulation Prewriting.  

Tuesday, November 14th (B day students) & Wednesday, November 15th (A day students) - Session 24 :
Mesopotamian Empires - Assyrians and Neo-Babylonians (Click here to view class notes from this session).
  • Vocab: siege, aqueduct,
  • Comprehension Web (Click here to print copy of comprehension web.)
  • Click here to view a review song about Mesopotamia!  Awesome!
  • Click here to view a youtube video on the Neo-Babylonian empire.
  • Comparing the empires (click here to view an additional powerpoint on Babylonia & Assyria.  Click here to view the reading on the Assyrian & Neo Babylonian Empires).
  • Schlesinger Video on Ancient Mesopotamia, Great for Review, Click here. 
Homework: Study Guide Due next session.  Read and take quiz on D.E. 3.2. 

Thursday, November 9th (B day students) & Monday, November 13th (A day students) - Session 23: 
Mesopotamian Empires - Akkadians & Babylonians (Click here to view class notes from this session).
Today's class assignment is found here.
  • Vocab: Empire, tribute, resume
  • Click here to watch a youtube video on farming in Ancient Sumer.
  • For more on Sumer, click here (video on daily life in Sumer).
  • For readings on the Akkadian and Babylonian Empires, click here.
  • To watch a video on Sargon's conquest, click here.​
  • Click here to watch a youtube video on Ancient Sumer.
  • Akkadians, Sargon's Resume, Babylonian Empire, Hammurabi's code. 
  • Click here to view the reading on the Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires.

Homework: Work on in class worksheet using readings and videos from weebly. Complete study guide questions 11-17  as well as 25-28 on Study Guide (note: questions 11-17 come from the reading).  Study Guide Due session 25

Tuesday, November 7th (B day students) & Wednesday, November 8th(A day students) - Session 22:
Topic: Mesopotamia
  • Rise of city-states (click here to view notes from today's class).
  • Vocab: complex, maintain, dispute, levee, irrigation, city-states.  (Click here to view video on irrigation in Ancient Mesopotamia).
  • Geographic problems/solutions.  (Click here to print another copy of problem/solution chart.  Use class notes (above) to help fill in the blanks!).
  •  Rise of city state handout  to help organize your thoughts on Ancient Sumer.r
  • Reading web.on Sumerian city states.
  • Absent? This video will help you make up this important lesson. Click here.
Homework: Study Guide 1-10.  Click here to print a copy of the study guide! Log on to discovery education and read 3.1 "Locating Mesopotamia" and complete the quiz "Geography of Mesopotamia".


Thursday, November 3rd  (B day students) & Friday,  November 6th (A day students) - Session 21: (Pushed back for A day)
  • (Please note: This exam will be the first formal grade for Quarter #2.  It will NOT be counted toward Quarter #1).  
  • No homework.  This is the end of Quarter #1
  • Early Humans Jeopardy!  (Click here to play - use as a full screen slide show, remove 'num lock' on keyboard, click home key each time to return to main slide
Homework: Find 5 elements of civilization on the penny. Extra credit for finding 7.

Friday, November 1st (B day students) & Monday, November 2nd (A day students) - Session 20: 
Topic: Ancient Sumer (Click here to view class notes from this session).
  • Elements of a Civilization (stable food supply, technology, social structure, written language, government, religion, art).  Click here to view powerpoint notes on Mesopotamia.
  • Was Sumer a civilization?  (Click here to view youtube video on Sumerians).
​Homework:  Study for Test!

Friday, October 27th (B day students) & Tuesday, October 31st (A day students) - Session 19: 
Topic: School Success
  • Ms. Babao will be our guest speaker to talk with us about life at CHMS.
Homework: Study for test.

Wednesday, October 25th (B day students) & Thursday, October 26th (A day students) - Session 18: 
Topic: Paleolithic vs. Neolithic
  • Click here to view Session 18 class notes.
  • Vocab: enable, efficient
  • From Hunters to Farmers youtube video
  • Changes from Paleolithic to Neolithic Era.  Click here to view answers to changes chart filled out in class.
  • The Flintstones - Were they REALLY a modern stone age family? (Click here to view Flintstones opening/closing theme song).
  • The Neolithic Era (click here to view an informational video on the Neolithic Era) - permanent settlements (Catal Huyuk), innovations, etc.  Click here to see a video of archaeologists uncovering Catal Huyuk in Turkey!
  • Stone Age Review.
Homework: Finish Study Guide. 

Monday, October 23rd (B day students) & Tuesday, October 24th (A day students) - Session 17:
Topic: Capabilities
  • How did early adaptations and innovations change societies?  Click here for class notes.
  • For additional notes on Early Humans click here.
  • Review: Archaeology (Click here to view video describing the work of an archeologist.  Click here to view a video of the Top 10 Archeological Finds of all time!)
  • Vocab: Hominids, Paleolithic, Capability, Migration, Paleoanthropologist
  • Click here to listen to They Might Be Giants - "I Am A Paleontologist"
  • Hominid Superheroes 
  • Emergence and development of civilizations (innovations & adaptations)
  • Video: Mankind the story of all of us: inventors
Homework: Discovery Education reading Chapter 2.1 Early Agricultural Civilizations. Take chapter quiz and mark complete. Students should be able to complete study Guide questions 7-16, 22, 24.

Thursday, October 19th (B day) & Friday, October 20th (A day) - Session 16:
Investigating the Past
  • Vocab: emerge, expansion, capability, prehistory, artifact (Click here to view Session 16 class notes).
  • Geography Challenge!  Click here for GC questions.
  • Click here for Fertile Crescent answer #1 (video).
  • Click here for Bugs Bunny clip on Mesopotamia.
Homework: Log onto Discovery Education assignments via NCEdCloud-Click on assignments tab, read  Chapter 1.2 : Early Humans (take chapter quiz and mark complete-you may take the quiz as many times as you want before the due date). Students should be able to complete study guide questions 1-6, 20.


Monday, October 16th (A day students) & Tuesday, October 17th (B day students) - Session 15

Wednesday, October 11th (B day students) & Thursday, October 12th (A day students) - Session 14:
 Map Seminar
  • Learning symbolic representations of maps
  • Map of Early Virginia: Seminar
 Study for test. 

Monday, October 9th (B day students) & Tuesday, October 10th (A day students) - Session 13:
Geographic Features
  • Why where you live impacts how you live (Click here for Session 13 notes)
  • Vocab: topography
  • Mapping our world; Interactive Map activities for kids. Click here for link.
  • Features Foldable
Homework:  Make a map of your home. Include major features, dangers,  resources, title, compass rose, and anything else they choose to include.

Thursday, October 5th(B day students) & Friday, October 8th (A day students) - Session 12:
Thematic Maps/Europe Inspirer
  • Computer simulation which utilizes map reading skills, strategizing, collaboration and gathering details from multiple sources to draw conclusions.
  •  If you need another map, you can find it here.
  • For extra practice on the 5 themes click here
Homework:   Finish study guide. Due next session.

Tuesday, October 3rd (B day students) & Wednesday, October 4th(A day students) - Session 11:
Trial of the Lorax (Human-Environment Interaction)
  •  Click here to view class notes from Session 11.
  • Click here to view  the Lorax.  
Homework: Work on study guide. Due session 13.

Friday, September 29th (B day students) & Monday, October 2nd (A day students) - Session 10:
Studying Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" (Human-Environment Interaction)
  •  Click here to view class notes from Session 10.
  • Click here to view  the Lorax.  Prepare for trial. This will be turned in during class for a formal grade!  DO NOT complete before class; you will be able to take notes during the video! :-)
Homework: Prepare for Trial! 

Wednesday, September 27th (B day students) & Thursday, September 28th (A day students) - Session 9:
5 themes of Geography: Movement, Region, & HEI
  • Applying the theme of location (Click here to view today's class notes).
  • Vocab: longitude, latitude, hemisphere, absolute location, relative location (Click here for additional notes on latitude, longitude, and hemispheres). 
  • Latitude and Longitude song. (Hey, I didn't make it!)
  • Click here to listen to the Longitude & Latitude Shuffle!
  • Click here to access the study guide questions.
  • Location Game
  • ​In case you are still having trouble,here it is again. (The 5 themes of Geography explained by someone else)
Homework: Begin working on the Study guide.  Do questions 2, 5, 7, & 9-11. Entire study guide due Session 12. 

Monday, September 25th (B day students) & Tuesday, September 26th (A day students) - Session 8:
5 themes of Geography: Location and Place
  • Applying the theme of location (Click here to view today's class notes).
  • Vocab: longitude, latitude, hemisphere, absolute location, relative location
  • Location Game or here.
  • Vocab: location, place, human-environment interaction, movement, regions.
  • Click here to view "5 Themes of Geography" song
  • Click here to view definitions/descriptions on each of the 5 Themes of Geography
  • Click here to view a video on the 5 themes of Geography.
  • Click here to play a Jeopardy review game on the 5 Themes of Geography.
  • Click here to view additional notes on the 5 Themes of Geography.
  • 5 themes activity
Homework: Study guide questions 1-5. Click here to access the study guide. For the maps, click here and here.

Tuesday, September 19th (B day students) & Wednesday, September 20th (A day students) - Session 7:
  • Students will present their multi-cultural projects to the other classes as the other team fire classes visit our gallery.
  • For another copy of the description/rubric, click here.
Homework: None-take a break. When we return we will begin Geography!

Friday, September 15th (B day students) & Monday, September 18th (A day students) - Session 6:
  • If you did not score an 84%, you may retake the test but you must show that you have reviewed by (a) having a complete an accurate study guide (b) completing either test corrections OR a tutoring session.
Homework: Culture Presentation due next Session (Monday, 9/18 for A day students, Tuesday, 9/19 for B day students).

Tuesday, September 12th (A day students) & Wednesday, September 13th (B day students) - Session 5:
Seminar and Test review
  • What does an anthropologist do?  Click here to view link.
  • Globalization Triangulation Seminar.
  • YouTube Video on the Pros & Cons of Globalization click here.
  • Globalization Triangulation Lesson: Is globalization beneficial or detrimental to a culture?
  • Kahoot review: 
  • Jeopardy Review for Exam!  Click here to download Jeopardy powerpoint.​
Homework: Study for Test!

Friday, September 8th (A day students) & Monday, September 11th (B day students) - Session 4:
Cultural Diffusion
  • Click here for notes from this session
  • What does an anthropologist do?  Click here to view link.
  • Vocab: Innovation vs. Invention, Diffusion, Domestication
  • Click here for video on Cultural diffusion. For additional video click here.
Homework: Study Guide due next class. Seminar focus: Is globalization beneficial or detrimental to a society's culture?  -Begin work on Culture presentations!

Wednesday, September 6th (A day students) & Thursday, September 7th (B day students) - Session 3:
GlobalizationHomework: Complete Study Guide for Session 5.

Friday, September 1st (A day students) & Tuesday, September 5th (B day students) - Session 2:
World Religion
  • Click here for a jeopardy game on World religions
  • Click here for notes from this session
  • World Religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism
  • Vocab: Monotheistic & Polytheistic
  • How does Immigration Impact Religion?`
  • World Languages, Customs & Language Families.
  • Videos explaining Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism
Homework: Culture Study Guide Questions 1-5 due next session.  Click here for a copy of the study guide. Get parent's signature on commitment pledge.

Wednesday, August 30th (A day students) & Thursday, August 31st (B day students) - Session 1:
What is culture
  • Click here for notes from this session
  • Vocab: Culture, Ethnic Group, Anthropologist
  • Elements of culture
  • What is your family's culture-Create your own Culture Web​
Homework:    Culture Study Guide Questions 1-5 due Session 3.  Click here for a copy of the study guide. 

Monday, August 28th (A day students) & Tuesday, August 29th (B day students) 
  • Click here for notes from this session
  • Class introductions
  • Class expectations
  • Elements of Social Studies
  • Why study history?  For video, click here.
Homework: Me in a bag project

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