Carnegie Mellon University

The Gelfand Center is compiling resources that can be used to help K-12 students continue to learn while they are out of school because of COVID-19.  We continue to add resources to this list - last updated on 4/3!

Daily: Ask Math Anything, with Po-Shen Loh

In each 60-minute weekday live stream, Po-Shen Loh invites students, teachers, parents, and anyone interested in math to post math questions in the YouTube Live interactive chat. He will improvise mini-lessons around them, showing how mathematical reasoning is interconnected, and how learning to think creatively about math can actually simplify the task of learning math itself. He gives preference to questions in Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2, as they are the gateways to mathematical fluency.

Format. This stream is intentionally friendly and informal. Po-Shen Loh will pick out the most mathematically interesting questions in the chat in real time, and interact with the audience. None of the mini-lessons will be prepared in advance, to give the session a more lively feel.  You can also view previously presented sessions.

Next Show Times (all times USA Eastern)
Consistent Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Days of Week: Monday – Friday
Confirmed Dates: Fri Apr 3 – Fri Apr 10

This daily stream will continue to operate based upon the level of interest, with the potential to expand in scope, again depending on interest.

With Expii you can choose where, how and when you learn.

We love learning. We know everyone can love learning if you relate it to your unique interests. Expii is the free platform that embraces what makes us all individuals: our voices, experiences, and cultures. Through creative, fun, practical, and personal lessons you can have your own aha moment. No matter what your learning style, Expii has something for you.Experiment. Mess up. Try again. The journey is yours.

Founded in 2003, Science News for Students is an award-winning online publication dedicated to providing age-appropriate, topical science news to learners, parents and educators. Science News for Students is a publication of the Science News Media Group, which is a program of the Society for Science & the Public (SSP), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. Science News for Students — which is free to use — helps to fulfill the Society’s mission by connecting the latest in scientific research to learning in and out of the classroom.

The National Science Digital Library provides high quality online educational resources for teaching and learning, with current emphasis on the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines—both formal and informal, institutional and individual, in local, state, national, and international educational settings. The NSDL collection contains structured descriptive information (metadata) about web-based educational resources held on other sites by their providers. These providers have contribute this metadata to NSDL for organized search and open access to educational resources via this website and its services.

Most resources in the library adhere to principles of Open Educational Resource (OER) access, although some resources are restricted to provider site membership, or may have a cost associated with them (indicated in the full record of the resource).

NOVA is the most-watched prime time science series on American television, reaching an average of five million viewers weekly. In addition to its weekly television broadcast, NOVA extends its award-winning science reporting both online and in classrooms, producing an extensive list of resources and original content—including short-form videos, science and education blogs—available on the NOVA website.

Alice is a FREE gift from Carnegie Mellon University.

Alice is an innovative block-based programming environment that makes it easy to create animations, build interactive narratives, or program simple games in 3D. Unlike many of the puzzle-based coding applications Alice motivates learning through creative exploration. Alice is designed to teach logical and computational thinking skills, fundamental principles of programming and to be a first exposure to object-oriented programming. The Alice Project provides supplemental tools and materials for teaching using Alice across a spectrum of ages and subject matter with proven benefits in engaging and retaining diverse and underserved groups in computer science education.

Research has shown that Alice has a measurable positive effect on performance and retention in computer science education. The team has researched and published their findings in support of the increased retention of “at-risk” students in introductory computer science course when Alice is implemented. It has also been proven to improve up to a full letter grade outcomes in early computer science courses when implemented as a mediated transfer from Alice to Java. 

Access How To, Lessons, Exercises and Projects.

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.

To help students engage in science and mathematics through inquiry, PhET simulations are developed using the following design principles:

Encourage scientific inquiry
Provide interactivity
Make the invisible visible
Show visual mental models
Include multiple representations (e.g., object motion, graphs, numbers, etc.)
Use real-world connections
Give users implicit guidance (e.g., by limiting controls) in productive exploration
Create a simulation that can be flexibly used in many educational situations
Free language education – no hidden fees, no premium content, just free; choose from one of 35 languages for English speakers.  
Hungry for fresh, exciting science activities based in amazing phenomena? Science Snacks are hands-on, teacher-tested, and use cheap, available materials. Satisfy your curiosity without ever getting full.

Developed from a desire to share information about STEM Career opportunities with future generations of students and show them current research environments, this series hopes to bring new ideas to current middle and high school students. CMU undergraduate students who are performing research in CMU faculty member labs become autobiographers and tell about their experiences from middle school to the present focusing on the moments that helped carve their path to STEM fields of study. Faculty members also share their current research with viewers and discuss the potential real world impact that their focused efforts can have in any area. After viewing the interviews, walk through the faculty member’s lab and see highlights of what equipment students are able to use in a 360˚ lab tour that’s VR compatible.

Dr. Stephanie Tristram-Nagle, Akari Kumagai, & Diamond Moody - Biological Physics

Dr. Rebecca Taylor & Charlotte Andreasen - Mechanical Engineering 

Visit the Pittsburgh Zoo website to see the Cheetah Cam, Penguin Cam or listen to a PodCast. You can even control the cameras for 1 full minute!  Just look for the box on the right hand side of the screen -- ZOO TO-GO!
The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz launched the first phase of Math, Science & Music in 2016 as a new initiative that uses music as a tool to teach math and science to young people in public and private schools around the world. The program addresses the growing need for students to gain skills and acquire knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects and learn to think creatively. The Institute is collaborating with math, science, music and education experts at leading universities and in the private sector to develop a wealth of free engaging curricula, games, apps and other interactive online components.
In response to the spread of COVID-19 and the recommended practice of social distancing, the Frick is committed to providing virtual museum experiences for our visitors.  They've also included activities for children that  combine art and history. has links to dozens of livecams in categories such as oceans, birds, bears, Africa,  When clicking there is an option to provide an email address to subscribe to a newsletter that provides updates and featured live streams.
Access Mars lets you explore a 3D replica of the Martian surface, exactly as it was recorded by the Curiosity rover.

We love the book ENGINEERING BRIDGES by Pendred Noyce! The Gelfand Center has developed some activities to help students learn about bridges 

Here's a challenge that you can complete at home: with materials that you find around the house,make a 3D version of one of the TRUSS BRIDGES that are shown in the photo below.  Truss Bridges



Join Boeing and Discovery Education on a mission to inspire the world through aerospace innovation with an exclusive virtual field trip to historic Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This behind-the-scenes tour will introduce students to just a few of the amazing Boeing employees who are preparing to write the next chapter of space history with the launch of the Starliner/CST-100 spacecraft and the deployment of the Space Launch System (SLS).
Travel the world virtually to see places like the Palace at Versailles in France or the National Museum in New Delhi, India.

Visit the National Park Service main page to search for virtual tours of several different parks.  

For example, start here to see sites in Yellowstone National Park.

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History virtual tours allow visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum from their desktop or mobile device. Visitors can also access select collections and research areas at our satellite support and research stations as well as past exhibits no longer on display.
NSTA asked their conference exhibitor community to share information about free online resources they are offering to help teachers and parents deal with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dean's Office in the School of Computer Science has also compiled a list of educational activities for children.
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We've also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.

Outdoor activities suggested by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:  

Encourage your child to explore their own backyard as a classroom- Ideas from Project Learning Tree (PLT)  

Take a walk in your local park! Help your child to check out their local state or community park and use it as a learning space. Here are activities from Project Learning Tree (PLT) to make it more meaningful.

Go for a hike!  Introduce your students (& their parents) to their local PA State Park. 

Try bird watching!  Have your students record backyard birds (through April) with Project FeederWatch

The Math Learning Center, which grew out of a project funded by the National Science Foundation, is committed to offering free tools, materials, and other programs in support of our mission to inspire and enable individuals to discover and develop their mathematical confidence and ability.  Free Math Apps, lessons, and books can be downloaded!
The "We Are Teachers" group has compiled a list of FREE learning resources. They are grouped, generally, by grade band (elementary, middle or high school).   Many of the sites that are listed have always been free while others have provided or have extended the length of free trials to allow children to access the content.

“Your child can learn science while playing an online game with their friends – having fun and learning, from home!”  The development of these activities was supported by funding from NSF. Modules focus on topics such as Ecology, Growth and Genetics, and Cells to Organisms. The topics are designed to match the Next Generation Science Standards.

The company is offering a 60-day free trial so students can explore and learn while they are out of schools because of COVID-19.  

More information can be found here.

In Nature Changer  children choose an animal, and then play the game to help that animal find what it needs to survive. For example a frog is hunting for insects.

This game is aligned to the science disciplinary core idea  of Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms (LS1.C). As children are playing the game they are engaged in the following element: All animals need food in order to live and grow. They obtain their food from plants or from other animals. Plants need water and light to live and grow. (K-LS1-1).

 For more K-2 STEM games from PBS 

It’s lunch time and Tami, the golden lion tamarin, is hungry! Help Tami reach the delicious fruit by building a tower. But watch out! Other animals can cause Tami’s tower to topple over.

From the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering is an educational engineering design game that will help teach your child how to design a solution to a problem using basic engineering design principles.

  • Aligned to educational science standards for kindergarten through second grade
  • Designed for emergent readers

The Salvadori Center has developed a series of FREE Project-based STEM lessons.  These are designed for teachers to share with their class - but can also be downloaded and completed at home.  New challenges wil be released every week.

Any teacher can receive or access the free lessons by signing up for the email list - send a message to and ask to be added.

Students learn through a project-based approach.  They apply new knowledge to a real-world challenge.

In 2007 Erikson Institute launched the Early Math Collaborative to increase the quality of early math education.

For example, when children play The Hoop Game they get to explore the part-part-whole relationships within a given number of beanbags. Taking apart and putting together numbers in flexible ways is an important foundation for later number operations.

Start with a small set of beanbags, no more than 5 or 6. Each child gets to toss the beanbags one by one into the hoop. How many land inside the hoop? How many land outside of the hoop? How many beanbags in all? Each round gives children practice seeing and naming smaller parts of a total number in a variety of ways. 

Thera are more PreK-2 games like this


Through 4 seasons of "The Fiona Show" you can meet Fiona, a baby hippopotamus that was born 6 weeks premature at the Cincinnati Zoo. She is the smallest hippo ever to survive. Follow her remarkable story that has lead her to become an international phenomenon.

See Scholastic’s Learn at Home website.

This free resource provides children with 20* days of exciting articles and stories, videos, and fun learning challenges. Children can complete them anytime, in any order. They can work on their
own or together with you and your family.

The active learning journeys are available on any device and will provide children with up to
three hours’ worth of exciting learning experiences per day. They can go on virtual field trips,
meet best-selling authors, or dig deep into a topic they love.

If you have a library card you can check out books, magazines and audiobooks.
See THIS PAGE for experiments that you can do with things that you find around the house!