Museum educators and curators at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)have created three massively open online courses (MOOCs) for K-12 educators. These four-week courses, "Genetics and Society," "The Dynamic Earth," and "Evolution," draw upon AMNH's rich collections and field sites around the world where AMNH researchers work. They introduce educators to the latest research in each of these fields and inspire them to share the wonders of the natural world with their students.
These three online courses, "Biodiversity," "Earthquake," and "How Science Works," allow middle and high school teachers to increase their content knowledge, while also gaining access to videos, worksheets, and activities they can use in their classrooms. The courses were developed by the California Academy of Sciences, a natural history museum, aquarium, and planetarium in San Francisco, in partnership with KQED, a public television station in Northern California, and the University of California Museum of Paleontology.
Developed by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with support from the Noyce Foundation, Click2Science is a free online STEM professional development portal for all types of staff and volunteers that work in informal educational programs or centers. All of their training materials emphasize skills rather than content and focus on three main areas: "planning STEM learning experiences, interacting with youth doing STEM, and building STEM skills." Materials include a mixture of videos and step-by-step instructions for in-person training and guided meetings. The web site also includes community of practice features, such as discussion boards, a blog, and an "Ask a Scientist" service.
Developed by the U.S. Department of Education, You for Youth is an online professional development web site for staff that work in afterschool centers and programs. It is designed for any type of afterschool program, but has specific training and resources focused on STEM learning. The web site includes ready-to-go materials for staff training, webinars, tools for designing, implementing and assessing STEM programs, and program spotlights where users can share projects and programs they have led.
The interactive, online training tools found on this web site will convince you that anyone who wants to can lead science activities with kids aged 8–11 years old. With demonstration videos, tip sheets, an activity planner guide, and loads of activity ideas, this web site, developed in conjunction with the PBS show ZOOM, will get both adults and kids excited about science.