7 Essential Public Radio STEM Education Resources

Educators, if you’re looking for ways to bring public radio into the classroom, look no further than this blog post. Here’s a list of some great STEM education resources that you can tap into.

Full lesson plans (including objectives, materials, discussion questions, homework assignments, teaching standards, etc.) based on radio pieces about science topics. Listen Edition is also a formal PRX partner (see “purchased pieces” on the right-hand column for what pieces they’re using).

Example: Bees and Electric Fields

A list of experiments you can try at home and in the classroom, sometimes accompanied by audio segments from Science Friday. Experiments are sorted by topic (chemistry, engineering, math, physical sciences, etc.) and include full lesson plans.

Example: Smelly Chemistry

The Loh Down on Science offers a free, fun Question of the Day (QOTD) game for K-12 and beyond.  A humorous and intriguing multiple-choice question (astronautwear, hockey noise, robot speech, Egyptian beauty secrets), it stimulates discussion in the classroom and provides a crowd-sourced surprise the next day, in that the answer includes a poll on how players voted (sometimes the majority is right, sometimes they’re not). Visit The Loh Down on Science for info on its twice-a-year school contests where the school with the most QOTD answers wins $1,000!”

This is part of a three-year project to create fun, open-sourced science education tools for schools. Find “Loh Down” 90-second podcasts organized by grade level. From animal behavior to the physics of sports to the neuroscience of morality, educators will find material finely tuned for classroom audiences. (And plenty of puns to boot!)

Example: Crowdsourcing Quakes

Use the Encyclopedia of Life page to look up practically any species on Earth. Then listen to the “One Species at a Time” podcast for stories about these organisms! Produced for the Encyclopedia of Life by Ari Daniel and Atlantic Public Media, with support from the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Example: Red Paper Lantern Jellyfish

Resources for teaching the science of sustainability. Find tools for teachers, handouts for students, infographics, slide shows, videos, and featured content related to water, food, energy, biodiversity, climate, and much more.

Example: Ocean Acidification

A weekly activity for students to engage with current issues using social media tools like Twitter. Every Friday, Do Now hosts Twitter discussions about civics, government and politics. Every Tuesday, Twitter discussions rotate between science and arts/pop culture. Follow @KQEDedspace on Twitter for more.

Earlier this year, PRX hosted an open call for STEM public radio stories, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. On this playlist, you’ll find stories about forensics, poison, DIY space suits, iron lungs, and more–covering a wide spectrum of STEM topics for all curious ears. Use these pieces to spark discussion about pertinent topics in science, tech, engineering, and math, and make sure you tell us about it!

Since the very beginning, public radio has endeavored to be an educational media outlet that provides quality content for public consumption. We hope this list helps you — and the younger minds you come across — stay curious about the world around you.

Image: NOAA


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