Geology, Homeschooling

Free Online Resources to Make Your Science Lessons Fun and Engaging

Hey, everyone! How are you doing? I have been exploring ways to teach science for our homeschooling this year and got to visit and explore so many websites. I have listed down below our current favorites. Hope you find the online resources below useful for your homeschooling as well.

Study Jams

study jams landforms

Would you be interested in incorporating karaoke with science and math lessons? Does your child memorize better when lessons are made into songs? If you answered yes to both questions, this website is for you! We discovered Study Jams while looking for lessons on States of Matter about three weeks ago. Study Jams was an instant hit to Ian who likes to sing when he plays his ukulele. Take note that not all lessons have karaoke songs. All lessons do have quiz and videos so Study Jams is a great alternative to YouTube.

study jams karaoke

Live Science

Live Science is one of our favorite websites when we’re looking for news updates and researches about the universe. There are plenty of websites out there that are specific in each field of science such as Biology, Physics, Geology, etc. but this website has all the current news about most fields. My favorite part of this website is the forum. This is where scientists and audience can interact under different topics under each field of study. I read through some of the topics and answers to questions posted by audience in my spare time.

Live Science
Live Science

Exploring Earth Science

Does your child love geology? Then this app is for you. The app was developed by a former science teacher, Mike Sammartano, who currently works as educational technologist, instructional designer, and professional development facilitator (photo below). I personally like the way he narrates each geology lesson – clear, concise, straight to the point, and engaging. He has video lessons for plate tectonics, rocks and minerals, earthquakes, etc., pretty much all topics a high school or college student would need to review for earth science quizzes and exams.

earth science lesson
earth science lesson

Generation Genius

Looking for science experiments, video lessons, and activities with teachers’ guide to boot? If so, you will love this website! This website was recommended by one of the science teachers at Peniel, our homeschool provider. I checked it out and fell in love with it instantly. If you want an alternative option to YouTube for science and math videos, this website is worth exploring too. Please take note that it offers free trial with limited number of videos you can watch. To maximize the website, you would need to pay for annual premium.

The Good and The Beautiful

Do you find conducting experiments and laboratory activities challenging in this pandemic? Are you looking for experiment ideas? Are you looking for videos that would explain concepts through experiments? Then this might be the online resource for you. The Good and The Beautiful is currently one of our online resources since we started homeschooling in 2019 for English and Science. Click “The Good and The Beautiful” to bring you straight to their awesome list of free science videos that feature lessons and experiments under different main topics from biology to space. Explore the website too because they give out free downloadable and printable eBooks. I recommend you support them by buying their books. The contents of the book contain really good academic material as well as fun activities. My son thoroughly enjoyed going through them. The books are designed for unit studies supplemented by videos on their website.

One of the experiments that explain convection current.

PhET Interactive Simulations

This website is for learners who like to watch and interact with simulation videos for math and science. My son and I accidentally discovered this website while looking for games relating to states of matter. If you are training your child heavily on STEM, this is one of the websites to explore too.

Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.
Main website of PhET where you can choose simulations per topic.
This is one of the simulations on the website on how generators work. You can increase the speed of the cyclist which corresponds to mechanical energy source being converted by generator to heat/steam on the right side.
This is my son playing with wave amplitude and frequency of water, sound, and light using PhET.

Turtle Diary

In all honestly, I prefer conducting experiments over games when it comes to science. However, when I saw this website and got to play some of the games myself, I could see why my friend, a teacher for grade schoolers in Japan, recommend it. Some of the games I’ve played so far do test the kids’ knowledge of a subject. This is a great alternative to worksheets or quizzes in case your child has gotten bored of doing these. Each game is also best done after your child has gone through his/her lesson. You can consider the game as part of his/her performance task. The game below is a personal favorite since we have been talking about matter and properties for our science class. Turtle Diary also has video lessons for science and math, as well as, quizzes. Give it a try! 🙂

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Does your child aspire to work in NASA? Does your child dream of becoming an astronaut or a space engineer? Does your child like to tinker with her/his toys? If so, this website is worth exploring! The NASA JPL feature STEM projects for kids of different grade levels. Each project has a list of guide questions and challenges that serve as study pointers as well.

We’ve made our own version of the Mars rover and helicopter through this website. Video below shows the helicopter and Mars rover we made last year. Please excuse my elation over our rover. We made a few mistakes making this one so when it finally worked, I was just beyond happy.

Sketchfab for Geology

Last but not least, Sketchfab. This is actually a website for 3D models that scientists, engineers, artists made. If you’re one who likes to create 3D models, you can also be a contributor. I am including this website on the list because I found 3D models for minerals and rocks (click the link above) that kids might find interesting. Each model of the rock and mineral on the page is also annotated. Great for kids who show interest in rock and mineral collection! Click each photo on the website to view each rock or mineral in 3D. Kudos to rockdoc for doing this. I really appreciate the efforts he did for creating these models. Also featured in the website are terrains rendered in 3D using topographic maps. Looking at maps in 3D would make definitely help kids visualize how contours are projected. There are are more 3D stuff in the website, you just need to use the search button to look for images you are interested in.

Hope you like this list. If you do, there are some of the topics you might be interested as well:

Step Up Your Storytelling and Teaching Activities Through ArcGIS StoryMaps

Online Resources To Learn English for Free

Virtual Tours to Visit and Explore as Part of Homeschooling Activities

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