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Based on Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core, PLEx Life Science contains four game-based curriculum units and two enrichment games. These games for grades 5–9 focus on subjects such as cell functions and processes; heredity and genetics; plant functions and processes; and inheritance, unity and diversity.


This elementary engineering curriculum offers 20 integrated STEM units, each based on a storybook that provides context for a design challenge, such as creating a race car out of recycled materials. Using inquiry and problem-solving skills, students work in teams to apply science and math knowledge to creatively design and improve possible solutions.


Up to three students can connect their mobile devices to view the live images from the SmartMicroScope iGO. Using six LED lights, each microscope can take pictures and record videos of science class materials, such as plants, soil and rocks. The free SmartMicroscope app is compatible with Apple and Android devices.


Gizmos contains interactive online simulations for math and science education in grades 3 through 12. Gizmos is ideal for small group work, individual exploration, and whole-class instruction using an LCD projector or interactive whiteboard. Gizmos aligns with state curriculum standards, the Common Core standards, and more than 300 textbooks.

Reader Testimony: 

“In approximately six months of usage in the district, we have seen remarkable increases in achievement on the state wide end-of-course tests. Gizmos gives teachers the opportunity to bring science alive in their classroom because it provides them with multiple strategies and ways to incorporate the program into their lessons.”

—Rita Moore, science advisor, Shelby County Schools, Tenn.

prof opinion science experiment

Education and business leaders, the press, and the president have all called for increased emphasis on STEM in K12 schools, and NGSS, the “Next Generation Science Standards” released in April are a response to those priorities ( The standards do an outstanding job of defining science and engineering for our time.

A student at the Beech Hill School in the Otis (Maine) School Department learns chemistry in a hands-on science lab over Skype.

Four students in Maine had the unique chance to study organisms on their shoreline this past year to help contribute research to a new chemical bond discovery that Vanderbilt University researchers made three years ago.

Recognizing that American K12 students have fallen behind foreign students in their grasp of scientific principles, educators have devised a new set of teaching guidelines that will radically change the way science is taught in classrooms across the United States—including recommendations that climate change and evolution be taught as core elements of scientific knowledge.

It’s not a new reality show: Exploration Nation helps students understand STEM.

In April, three Texas middle school students joined marine veterans and a team of surgeons on a 12-day expedition through the jungles of Central America, learning about sustainable agriculture, reforestation, and ecosystems, and helping create a mobile surgical clinic for an indigenous Nicaraguan tribe that lacks access to medical treatment.

The expedition was part of a science education program called Exploration Nation, featuring real students applying STEM topics to the real world.

School Specialty Path Driver for Reading School Specialty recently released Path Driver for Reading, an online screening and progress monitoring platform that predicts reading proficiency for students in grades K-10 using research-based assessments. Educators can schedule automatic oral fluency assessments, monitor progress, and view progress reports that include intervention history.
Eighth-grade honors students work on a physics experiment to determine the acceleration of marbles. The district is focusing on improving science literacy, through professional development.

Two-thirds of California’s elementary school teachers feel unprepared to teach science, according to High Hopes—Few Opportunities, a study of science teaching and learning that was conducted recently by the University of California at Berkeley. On the state science test administered to fifth-graders last year, only 55 percent achieved or exceeded proficiency in the subject. On the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, California ranked near the bottom in fourth-grade science scores.