Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Website Review:

The HOWTOSMILE.ORG website allows educators to search, collect, and share high-quality science and math (STEM) activities.
Developed in cooperation with inquiry-based learning organizations including science centers and museums, the National Science Foundation funded project is an excellent place to identify STEM activities for libraries and classrooms.
Currently listing over 3500 science and math activities, the website is easy to search and use. A topics list includes mathematics, chemistry, energy, cooking, ocean literacy, climate, life sciences, and astronomy. Within each of these major categories, users can identify activities by Common Core standards.
Both a basic and advanced search are provided to facilitate the quest for activities. Search results display the project title, description, cost, age range, learning time, subject, preparation time, resource type, language, and source institution. A direct link is also provided to the activity. Users can also share the resource through social media.
Of particular note is the option to search based on diversity including accessibility; culture, ethnicity, and gender; learning style support; and special needs including limited English proficiency, low literacy level, or learning disabled.
A wide range of resource types are included such as mobile apps, demonstrations, exhibits, experiment/labs, field trips, games, lessons, models, and simulations.
Users can create a free account to store their searches and favorite activities. Participants are encouraged to provide feedback, make lists, and post useful comments. Participation is rewarded with badges.
Use the website blog for an effective way to keep up-to-date on recent listings and suggested activities and events.
To begin exploring, go to