Professional and Curricular Resources

Published: 10/24/2022 11:16 AM

​​In addition to that listed below, the Kentucky Department of Education has developed a number of resources that may be of further interest to teachers. These may be found on the Science-specific page of KYs​

Professional Resources
Professional Organizations

Professional Learning

Nonformal Groups that Support Science Education

These organizations offer field trip opportunities and educator experiences.​​

  • The East Kentucky Science Center is dedicated to enhancing science education in eastern Kentucky. The center is located in Prestonsburg, Ky.  

  • At Kentucky Down Under visitors stroll through an open field where kangaroos, emus, and other Australian natives roam freely. Interpreters discuss the animals' habits and habitat. It is located in Horse Cave, Ky. Included as a part of Kentucky Down Under, Kentucky Caverns (formerly Mammoth Onyx Cave) is one of the gems of Kentucky's "Cave Country." It is located in Horse Cave, Ky. At Kentucky Caverns visitors will marvel at the beautiful onyx formations found in the underground chambers of Kentucky Caverns.  

  • The Kentucky Science Center aims to educate and inspire you, while keeping you entertained and engaged with one of the most unique experiences you will ever have.  

  • The Hummel Planetarium is located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, the Hummel Planetarium is one of the largest and most sophisticated planetariums in the United States, especially on a university campus. The Hummel Planetarium has seating for 164 people in very comfortable and generously sized seats. 

  • The Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium is located on the campus of the University of Louisville provides a friendly, comfortable, hi-tech, multi-media, learning venue for the presentation of educational and entertaining programs supporting astronomy and space science education, the arts, humanities, and sciences. 

  • Morehead State University Space Science Cente​r 

  • The Newport Aquarium, a state-of-the art facility, brings to the banks of the Ohio River some of the world's most advanced, creative technology -- not to mention amazing animals -- all designed to take you around the globe, visiting each continent, every ocean and hundreds of waterways in between. 

  • The Louisville Zoo offers field trips and teacher resources (grades 3 and 4) using the biodiversity the zoo. 

Curricular Resources
Lesson and Unit Design Supports

  • CLEAN​ provides resources for teaching about climate and energy. Also available are webinars for educators to support the teaching of these topics. This curated site is supported through grants from NOAA, NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) BioInteractive provides data-rich learning experiences, case studies, interactive media and high-quality videos to connect students to the big ideas in biology. HHMI BioInteractive also provides planning tools to build resource playlists and storylines. While designed specifically for high school students, materials may be modified for elementary and middle school students.

  • OpenSciEd is an open education resource site that is developing units of study. Middle school units are currently being developed with three to four units being released each year.

  • Understanding Science is a site that provides fun, accessible, and free resources that accurately communicates what science is and how it really works.

  • Understanding Evolution is a site that provides resources for teaching the science and history of evolutionary biology. 

  • Global Climate Change, managed by NASA, is a reviewed listing of the best available student and educator resources related to global climate change. 

  • Ambitious Science Teaching provides sample lessons, videos and support materials  

  • Phenomenal GRC Lessons contains sample lessons for all grade levels as well as tools for developing your own three-dimensional lessons using a phenomenon. 

  • Next Generation Science Storylines contains sample storylines demonstrating sense-making of a phenomenon. The tools used in the development of storylines are provided so that teachers may begin developing their own units following a storyline. 

  • Concord Consortium contains simulations that could be included within designed lessons/units. 

  • PhET is a free science and math simulations site for teaching STEM topics, including physics, chemistry, biology and math, from the University of Colorado Boulder. 

  • NASA for Educators  provides aeronautics and space resource for education.  

  • Science at NASA  is a current online magazine of scientific research, events, and information for students and teachers.  

  • Powers of Ten is a video that provides a view the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth and then moves through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude. 

  • The Kentucky Virtual Library (KYVL) provides access to two of the largest periodical database providers, EBSCO and ProQuest, both of which have Lexile® measures for articles. EBSCO’s NoveList (accessed through KYVL) assists fiction readers in finding new authors and titles and provides Lexile measures as a guide. Contact your child’s school library media specialist for login and password information to KYVL.

  • Understanding Global Change is a site that focuses on the use of model development to understand the interactions of earths systems. 

  • Decoding Science is a site developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The site has compiled a video, real-world science stories and an interactive quiz to help students understand how science works and why it’s important to their lives. 

  • Learning in Places provides free resources for using place-based science experiences for students. These place-based experiences include using the outdoors, student culture and homelife and family engagement.  

  • Stanford NGSS Curriculum and Assessment The home of both SCALE and SNAP, this site provides free resources, including developed units of study and assessments that meet the expectations laid out in the Framework for K12 Science Education. You will also find free self-paced professional development in the development of science performance assessments. ​

  • inquiryHub (iHub) The inquiryHub lessons engage students in practices where they investigate, make sense of phenomena and problems, construct and critique models, and develop explanations and arguments. The units are designed to support students in becoming more sophisticated in their use of practices over the school year and go ​​​​beyond traditional science content.  

  • ML-PBL is a research and development project to build and test project-based, literacy-focused elementary science curriculum and teacher professional development. Developed by the CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan ​State University, academic, social & emotional learning and equity for elementary students is promoted through the use of project-based learning features and the three dimensions of scientific knowledge. Open source project-based learning opportunities are available for grades 3 - 5.

Next Generation Science Standards Resources 

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) provides information on the Next Generation Science Standards. Within the site is the Next Generation Science Resource Library which includes information for districts and parents, tools to evaluate lesson and instructional materials, and sample bundles for unit design. 

  • Phenomena for NGSS provides sample phenomena that teachers could use to create student engagement in the sciences. 

  • NGSS@NSTA is a dedicated NSTA site for resources specifically related to the NGSS. Educators may find vetted sample lessons, tools for planning curriculum and professional learning opportunities. 

  • STEM Teaching Tools are 2-page resource tools, with embedded links to further information, on all things NGSS related.  Also available on this site are PD Modules that are self-paced. 

Please email the science team if you have any questions.

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