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12 Best STEM Tools to Make Your Classroom Interactive

Struggling to engage students in STEM? Discover the 12 Best STEM Tools to transform your classroom into an interactive hub of science, technology, engineering, and math exploration.

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Tired of textbook memorization and one-size-fits-all lessons?  

The online classroom can be a launchpad for exploration and discovery in STEM subjects. But how do you create an engaging and effective learning environment in a virtual setting?  

The answer lies in utilizing the right tools.  By strategically implementing interactive and engaging tools, educators can transform online STEM education into a dynamic hub that fosters exploration, problem-solving, and a love for STEM subjects.  

This article explores 12 powerful tools that can revolutionize your online STEM classroom, along with free resources to further enrich your teaching.

Why Adopting Tools Can Be Great for Online STEM Classes

Here are several key reasons why embracing these tools is immensely beneficial for online STEM education:

Enhanced Interactivity

Digital tools bring to the table interactive features that traditional classrooms lack, such as live simulations, interactive coding tasks, and virtual laboratories. These elements help students visualize complex concepts, safely conduct experiments, and engage in hands-on learning, leading to better understanding and retention.

Accessibility and Flexibility

Online tools allow students to learn from any location at any time, which makes STEM education more accessible to a broader range of students. This flexibility caters to various learning styles and speeds, enabling students to revisit and practice tough concepts as needed.

Real-World Applications

Many online STEM tools are crafted to replicate professional environments and real-world challenges, offering students practical skills directly applicable to their future careers. This connection to real-world contexts not only makes learning more intriguing but also equips students for the professional demands they will face.

Collaboration Across Boundaries

Digital platforms enable students from different locations to collaborate, enriching the learning experience with diverse perspectives and promoting essential teamwork and communication skills in STEM fields.

Immediate Feedback and Personalization

With features for assessment and analytics, online tools offer instant feedback, allowing students to quickly identify and work on areas needing improvement. Educators can use this data to tailor the learning experience, ensuring that each student receives the necessary support to thrive.

Adopting digital tools in online STEM education enhances the learning journey and aligns with the evolving educational landscape and industry demands. By leveraging these technologies, educators can better prepare students for a world where STEM skills are increasingly crucial.

LMSs - Essential STEM Tools for Streamlining Digital Education

Teachfloor STEM LMS with Latex Plugin Integrated

STEM LMS

Teachfloor is a modern social learning platform that creates dynamic online learning environments.

This platform is adept at enhancing engagement and collaboration between instructors and learners with its innovative cohort-based learning model.

It is particularly suited for higher education institutions and tutoring centers, as well as for managing group courses in cohorts — perfect for creators of STEM courses.

Teachfloor’s LaTeX functionality allows for seamless integration of scientific and mathematical content, making it an excellent choice for disciplines requiring precise formulae and notation.

With its efficient enrollment management tools and a robust set of features designed to facilitate knowledge sharing, Teachfloor stands as a versatile next-generation learning management and community platform, empowering users to create impactful and well-structured STEM online learning experiences.

Key Features:

  • Latex Integration: Enables the creation of high-quality mathematical and scientific documentation directly within the platform.
  • Collaborative Tools: Facilitates interactive learning with features like live classes, discussion forums, and group projects.
  • Customizable Courses: Educators can tailor their courses with STEM-specific modules, assessments, and resources.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Offers detailed insights into student progress and course effectiveness.

Canvas

LMS Canvas

Canvas is a widely adopted, open-source LMS known for its ease of use, reliability, and seamless integration with third-party tools. It supports a diverse range of educational needs with customizable features, making it suitable for delivering comprehensive STEM education. Canvas enhances the learning experience with its intuitive design, mobile compatibility, and robust support for multimedia content.

Key Features:

  • Extensive Integration: Compatible with numerous edtech tools and resources.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Simplifies navigation for both instructors and students.
  • Mobile Access: Ensures learning is accessible anytime, anywhere.
  • Rich Media Support: Facilitates the inclusion of videos, interactive simulations, and other multimedia.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a streamlined, user-friendly LMS that integrates seamlessly with Google's suite of productivity tools. It simplifies the process of creating, distributing, and grading assignments in a paperless way.

Primarily targeting K-12 education but also suitable for higher education and training programs, Google Classroom is favored for its simplicity and efficiency. It's an excellent choice for educators looking for an easy-to-use platform that supports collaboration and communication between students and teachers.

Key Features:

  • Integration with Google Suite: Smooth workflow with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
  • Easy Assignment Management: Simplifies the creation, distribution, and grading of assignments.
  • Classroom Communication: Enhances interaction through announcements, comments, and a stream page.
  • Accessibility: Accessible from any device, promoting learning on the go.

STEM Tools for Math

Geogebra

Best STEM Tools

Geogebra is an interactive mathematics STE that brings together geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics, and calculus in one easy-to-use platform. It's designed to enhance teaching and learning of mathematics from basic to advanced levels.

Geogebra is especially useful for visual learners, as it allows for dynamic manipulation of geometric figures and functions, making abstract mathematical concepts more tangible. Ideal for educators and students alike, this tool supports a wide range of educational levels.

Key Features:

  • Interactive Graphics: Dynamic manipulation of figures and visualization of functions.
  • Collaborative Learning: Share and collaborate on mathematical models and simulations.
  • Cross-platform: Accessible via web, desktop, and mobile applications.
  • Rich Educational Resources: A vast library of materials and interactive lessons.

IXL Maths

Best STEM Online Tools

XL Maths offers a comprehensive K-12 curriculum with personalized learning in mathematics. This STEM tool uses adaptive learning technology to tailor questions to each student's skill level, promoting a customized learning experience.

It covers a wide range of mathematical topics, from basic arithmetic to more complex calculus. IXL Maths is known for its real-time diagnostic tools and detailed reporting, which help educators identify student strengths and areas for improvement.

Key Features:

  • Adaptive Learning: Questions adjust in difficulty based on student responses.
  • Wide Range of Topics: Extensive coverage across grades and mathematical concepts.
  • Real-time Diagnostics: Immediate feedback and personalized recommendations for each student.
  • Engaging Interface: Interactive questions and virtual awards motivate students.

Equatio

STEM Tools

Equatio is a STEM tool designed to make math digital, enabling students and educators to create mathematical equations, formulas, and quizzes online. It's particularly useful for STEM subjects, facilitating the integration of mathematical notation into digital documents.

Equatio works seamlessly with Google Docs, Forms, and other platforms, making it a versatile tool for online STEM education. Equatio offer also a chrome extensions for teachers that can be used on the Google Chrome browser.

Key Features:

  • Easy Equation Creation: Type, handwrite, or dictate equations.
  • Integration with Google Suite: Works smoothly within Google Docs, Forms, etc.
  • Interactive Math Quizzes: Create and take interactive math quizzes.
  • Accessibility Features: Text-to-speech for equations improves accessibility for all learners.

STEM Tools for Interactive Class

Miro for Whiteboarding

Miro

Miro offers an online collaborative whiteboarding platform that enables interactive class sessions, brainstorming, and project planning. Its infinite canvas and intuitive design tools make it an excellent choice for STEM education, where visualizing concepts and collaborative problem-solving are essential.

Miro supports real-time collaboration, allowing students and teachers to work together synchronously, regardless of their location. It's a versatile tool that enhances creativity, engagement, and understanding in online STEM classrooms.

Key Features:

  • Infinite Canvas: Ample space for diagrams, notes, and project planning.
  • Real-time Collaboration: Synchronous editing and discussion with students and educators.
  • Integration with Tools: Connects with popular apps and software for enhanced functionality.
  • Templates and Frameworks: Pre-designed templates for various educational and business needs.

Google Meet for Live Classes

Google Meet

Google Meet provides a secure, high-quality video conferencing solution that integrates smoothly with Google Classroom and other educational tools. It's ideal for conducting live classes, virtual office hours, and collaborative group work.

With features tailored for education, such as breakout rooms, poll questions, and attendance tracking, Google Meet facilitates an interactive and engaging online learning environment. It's particularly suited for educators who prioritize reliability and ease of use in a virtual classroom setting.

Key Features:

  • High-Quality Video Conferencing: Supports large classes with minimal disruption.
  • Integration with Google Classroom: Seamless workflow for class management.
  • Engagement Features: Breakout rooms, polls, and Q&A to enhance student participation.
  • Security and Privacy: Ensures a safe learning environment with advanced security measures.

Codepen (Coding Editor)

Best STEM Tools

Codepen is an online code editor and community for front-end web development, ideal for teaching and learning coding in an interactive way. It allows users to write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code and see the results instantly, making it a powerful tool for teaching web development and programming concepts.

Codepen's collaborative features and live preview capabilities provide a dynamic environment for students to experiment with code and share their work. It's a great platform for educators looking to incorporate practical coding exercises into their curriculum.

Key Features:

  • Live Preview: See changes in real-time as code is written.
  • Collaboration: Share and collaborate on projects with students and other educators.
  • Educational Resources: Access to a vast library of code examples and tutorials.
  • Community Engagement: Connect with a global community of developers and educators.

Typeform (for Quiz Math)

Typeform

Typeform revolutionizes the way quizzes and surveys are conducted, with its user-friendly interface and engaging design. It's particularly useful for creating interactive math quizzes that are visually appealing and easy to navigate.

Typeform supports a variety of question types, including those requiring numerical answers, making it suitable for assessing mathematical knowledge. Its ease of use and integration capabilities with other digital tools make Typeform an excellent choice for educators looking to enhance their online assessment strategies.

Key Features:

  • Engaging Design: Creates visually appealing quizzes and surveys.
  • Variety of Question Types: Supports multiple-choice, open-ended, and numerical responses.
  • Integration Capabilities: Easily integrates with LMS and other educational tools.
  • Analytics: Provides insights into quiz performance and student engagement.

Prodigy

Prodigy

Prodigy is a game-based learning platform that makes math learning fun and engaging for students in 1st to 8th grade. It combines RPG (role-playing game) elements with curriculum-aligned math content, encouraging students to practice math in a compelling narrative context.

Prodigy adapts to each student's skill level, offering personalized math challenges that promote growth. Its engaging format and educational effectiveness make Prodigy a favorite among educators and students alike for reinforcing math skills outside the traditional classroom setting.

Key Features:

  • Game-Based Learning: Engages students with interactive math challenges within an RPG format.
  • Adaptive Content: Personalizes learning experiences based on individual student performance.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: Provides educators with insights into student progress and areas for improvement.
  • Engagement Tools: Motivates students with in-game rewards and achievements.

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These 11 STEM tools represent the forefront of online education, each offering unique features to enhance learning, engagement, and collaboration.

Whether you're teaching mathematics, coding, or general STEM subjects, incorporating these tools into your online curriculum can significantly improve the educational experience for both educators and students.

Free Resources for Teachers in the STEM Classroom

Alongside comprehensive online STEM tools, several free resources can enrich classroom learning in STEM. These platforms offer educators a plethora of materials, interactive experiences, and lesson plans to bolster a variety of STEM disciplines:

Scratch

Scratch is a free programming language and online community developed by the MIT Media Lab. It allows students to create interactive stories, games, and animations, fostering creativity, systematic reasoning, and collaborative skills.

It demystifies coding, enabling students to grasp programming logic and mathematical concepts in an engaging way, suitable for all ages.

NASA STEM Engagement

NASA STEM Engagement

NASA STEM Engagement opens the door to a wealth of free STEM resources, lesson plans, and interactive activities, based on the latest space exploration and research.

It integrates real-world science into the curriculum, igniting students' curiosity and enthusiasm for science and technology.

STEM Learning

STEM Learning provides an extensive collection of STEM teaching materials, professional development courses, and educator resources.

This platform saves educators time in lesson planning with its high-quality, vetted resources and offers professional growth opportunities to enhance STEM education quality.

Learn STEM

Learn STEM offers innovative learning models and teaching methods, emphasizing collaborative and project-based learning.

It supports educators in adopting more engaging and effective STEM practices, encouraging active student participation and a deeper learning experience.

MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT

MIT OpenCourseWare makes available almost all MIT course content, providing free access to a vast array of course materials from a leading engineering institution.

Educators and students can access high-level academic content, inspiring with the latest in STEM innovations and research.

EdX

EdX hosts university-level courses across various disciplines, including numerous STEM subjects, from leading global universities.

Teachers gain free access to advanced courses for personal enrichment and classroom content, allowing them to offer cutting-edge STEM education.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy features practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard, supporting learning across a broad spectrum of subjects.

It supplements teaching materials, provides additional support, or introduces new topics, with personalized learning paths for diverse student needs.

These free resources enhance online STEM teaching tools by offering accessible, high-quality educational content and interactive platforms. By incorporating these into their teaching strategies, educators can make STEM subjects more engaging and approachable for students.

Conclusion

The online classroom can be transformed from a static environment into a dynamic hub for STEM exploration and discovery by leveraging the power of digital tools. These tools  facilitate  interactive learning, real-world application, collaboration across borders, and personalized feedback.

This article explored a range of powerful options, from specialized Learning Management Systems (LMS) to engaging game-based learning platforms. We  also highlighted free resources that provide educators with high-quality content and lesson plans to bolster their online STEM curriculum.

By embracing these online  tools and resources, educators can create a more captivating and effective learning experience for students, preparing them for a future where STEM skills are  increasingly critical.

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