Resources for Teachers

K-12 Teachers: Welcome to the Kentucky Academy of Science!

How to Join KAS for free
How to Contact Real Scientists
Kentucky Science Standards- aligned lesson plans
Funding Sources
Professional Development Opportunities in STEM
Activities for the classroom, home, or after-school clubs
Partners who can help
Research on Science Teaching & Assessment

Content-specific Resources:
Climate Change
Earth Sciences
Environmental Education


KAS has been a strong advocate for the Next Generation Science Standards, which teach the scientific method as well as core concepts in biological and physical sciences and engineering. Here are some resources to help you!

Free membership for K12 teachers in Kentucky

Become a member of KAS and start connecting with scientists all over the Commonwealth (click on “Teacher-level Enhanced membership”)

How to Contact Real Scientists

Kentucky Science Speakers Bureau connects you with scientists near you or across the state, who may visit, Video-conference, or mentor  teachers or students in their area of expertise
Skype a Scientist connects you with scientists all over the world
On Twitter, follow @RealScientists for different scientists tweeting each week
Lunch with a Scientist offers weekly opportunities  for teachers & students to meet STEM professionals in various fields

Kentucky Science Standards- aligned lesson plans

Borrow a Kentucky Giant Map, for free, from the Kentucky Geographic Alliance, from one of the listed locations. The website includes lesson plans for primary school on topics such as coal mines, tornadoes, population density, topography, weather, time zones, transportation, using a compass, the water cycle, and more.

National Science Teachers Association Learning Center. Lesson plans are free for NSTA members ($39/year)  

Data Nuggets are stories of real scientific investigations, with opportunities for teachers & students to build quantitative abilities.


Kentucky Division of Air Quality has a lesson plan and student response sheet on building a particulate matter collector for grade level 3-5

NTI (Non-traditional Instruction) Resources for teaching Science: Thank you to our teachers who have compiled this fantastic list.

Esri GeoInquiries are short, map-based activities that use ArcGIS Online to teach subject matter content. These free instructional activities for K-12 classrooms include collections for Earth science, environmental science, human geography, upper elementary, and US History.

Science Friday collects lesson plans from teachers participating in their Educator Collaborative (Make your own Sauropod poop? yes, please!)
NOVA Labs include lesson plans, games & videos. Topics  include Clouds, the Sun, Evolution, the Poles, Energy, RNA, and Cybersecurity.

TeachEngineering demystifies it with fun problem solving, building & creating    

KET Education has lesson plans by topic & grade level. Some, like the Virtual Physics Lab, are fee - based and other resources are free.

Kentucky Science Center's Science Travels to You Digital Learning Programs are NGSS aligned and available for K-12 levels

The Kentucky Science Center’s Challenger Center has space-themed lessons online which can be combined with a “Mission”  at the Center.

The Living Arts & Science Center in Lexington has Exhibits & field trips that align with NGSS, including a digital planetarium. Check out the CuriOdyssey exhibit in 2019-2020 in commemorating of the 500th anniversary of Magellan's circumnavigation. 

"Science in the Classroom" uses real scientific research papers to launch student-inquiry driven and designed experiments and activities to understand the scientific process. High school level:

STEMx's STEAM Resource Hub has collections of lessons around themes, such as Healthcare. Transportation, and Agriculture.

Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center has NGSS aligned lessons about the science & technology of producing biofuels.


DIY Guides developed by teachers who have won recognition as Allen Distinguished Educators (and find out how to apply for one of their $1000 grants)

Kentucky Teacher has a section of Science articles, including KAS’ “Real Science for Real Life” monthly column

Kentucky Dept of Education’s Science Connection newsletter is archived

Ambitious Science Teaching – Download free lessons with great explanations & diagrams, developed by the National Science Foundation

PBS Journey to Planet Earth provides  educators free copies of Dispatches from the Gulf  1 & 2 with educator guides & lesson plans 

Funding Sources

Kentucky Academy of Science's annual Science Education & Outreach Grants can fund materials or programming up to $2500. Annual deadline is Nov 15.

Raven Run Nature Sanctuary offers a transportation grant of up to $400/school for Fayette County teachers to visit Raven Run.

Toshiba America Foundation funds projects for K-5 or 6-12. Applications are accepted several times/year.

Advancing Science Research Teaching (ASRT) selects 5 schools per year to equip high school teachers with the knowledge, insights and skills to grow, strengthen or start research opportunities for students to conduct hands-on research under the mentorship of professional scientists. Email for more info

HS teachers can request a complimentary subscription to Science News while supplies last

Professional Development Opportunities in STEM

Radford University's  ASSET program (Appalachian Support for Specialized Education Training) offers rural teachers free, online, self-paced micro-credential programs are Inclusive Classrooms, Elementary Math, Classroom Management, and more.

Kentucky Center for Mathematics offers free workshops to help in quantitative thinking

Podcasts about teaching NGSS

Kentucky Association for Environmental Education lists events & workshops, including many for free

KAS posts current opportunities – Check KAS News and Calendar for announcements

PIMSER is housed at EKU and serves the whole state (Partnership Institute for Math & Science Education Reform) Check out their calendar of training and let them know if you have a customized training request 


Kentucky Department of Education has a bulletin board where you can search for PD by topic area; these are available programs offered by third parties:

Kentucky’s Educational Cooperatives offer a variety of resources and professional development in each of 8 regions. Find the list here and check out yours!

Ecology Project International offers Professional Development field courses to practice lesson planning for NGSS "in the wild!"

Activities for the classroom, home, or after-school clubs

KET Education has lesson plans, videos, images and more- searchable by subject and grade level using the bar at the top of the page

Scientific American’s Bring Science Home is a treasure trove of DIY Science projects & explanations of how things work

These NGSS “Phenomena” videos are a good way to start a scientific inquiry

Participatory Community Science: Contribute scientific data through projects on SciStarter or Zooniverse ; Report bird sightings on eBird or Report other sightings of all kinds on iNaturalist. Volunteers monitor Water Quality with Ky Waterwatch

KET has compiled ideas for student science fair projects – search by topic or grade level

Some County  4H offices have STEM activity kits. Check with your county.

The National Science Foundation’s STEM For All videos showcase innovative work to improve science, math, engineering, and computer science education

Makerminded connects teachers to events and activities relevant to skills in Advanced Manufacturing .  (Any teachers or students that are going to STEM conferences or other STEM, manufacturing, or robotic activities,  can log in their activities, get points, and win a virtual reality classroom set)

I’m a Scientist” is a free online program where school students meet and interact with scientists. It’s an American Idol-style competition between scientists, where the students are the judges

ScienceKids:  Experiments, cool facts, online games, free activities, ideas, lesson plans, photos, quizzes, videos & more

Decoding Science explains how science works and how scientists know what they know

Science Ideas & Misconceptions cover 16 areas of science knowledge  from the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

"Science in the Classroom"  is a set of annotated scientific research papers on various topics with accompanying teaching materials

Partners who can help

Kentucky Science Center in Louisville offers on and off-site programs aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. See all of them at:

Living Arts & Science Center in Lexington has exhibits, events, field trips and classes for children, teens & adults, aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Kentucky Children’s Garden offers standards-aligned K-2 field trips.  

Content-specific resources

Climate Change

  • NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) resources on climate change are here.
  • Here are resources from the North American Association for Environmental Education.
  • Download National Wildlife Federation’s resources and Climate Classroom lesson plans.
  • AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) guides for teaching Climate Change are here and here.
  • Resources from the National Center on Science Education are here.
  • The CLEAN (Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness) Network provides a collection of 650, ready-to-use and rigorously reviewed resources for educators.
  • Articles about Heartland Institute’s anti-climate science campaign here (Washington Post) and here  (PBS)
  • MapWorks Narrative Atlas connects classrooms around the globe to explore Climate Change
  • Climate Choices: How should we meet the challenges of a warming planet? Environmental Issues Forum (EIF) guide


Teach Engineering provides standards-aligned hands on lessons for K12 curriculum.

Kentucky Center for Mathematics can help you integrate mathematics into all your lessons! Look at the bottom of the page under "Resources". A sample:

  • Family Math Resources is an excellent tool for at-home learning, offering innovative materials, games and books that will engage children in fun and educational ways. 
  • The Kentucky Numeracy Project features materials to assist your primary students in successfully developing numeracy, aligned with Add+Vantage Math Recovery®. Username: bluegrass / Password: math
  • Learning Math Through Representations is a great tool for elementary and middle grade educators, with a research-based curriculum unit that will assist in teaching integers and fractions.
  • The Math Tools page features a multitude of downloadable math instruction material. 


  • The Developing Scientists Program is a free psychology educational program at U of L focusing on research,  and how to pursue a future in the psychological sciences. Participants will meet graduate students and tour developmental research labs. Small groups of students can participate in, watch, and create mock experiments, and follow the research Send an email to find out more
  • Brain Resources for Educators:



Earth Science

  • The Waldron Shale Project (hosted by Bellarmine University in Louisville) provides Kentucky teachers with the training and materials to implement a hands-on paleontological activity where students can learn about earth science, the fossil record, and scientific methodology using actual fossils.
  • Teach the Earth is the Science Education Resource Center's NSF - funded portal to Earth Education resources for K12 + Beyond
  • Use real weather data from NOAA’s Weather & Climate Toolkit! Tutorial here:
  • AirNow shows real-time air quality data from the EPA. Check out the Teachers link on the left for Air Quality lesson plans:
  • Infiniscope is a NASA-funded project that is transforming Earth and space science education and empowering educators through the creation of high-quality adaptive digital learning experiences, educator professional development, a community of practice, creative tools for designing digital content, and a robust set of educator resources.

Environmental Education


  • Teaching Astronomy Kinesthetically:
  • Infiniscopeis a NASA-funded project that is transforming Earth and space science education and empowering educators through the creation of high-quality adaptive digital learning experiences, educator professional development, a community of practice, creative tools for designing digital content, and a robust set of educator resources.

UK has a Physics “Petting Zoo” you can request:

UK has a Physics Petting Zoo that is available to travel


Research on Science Teaching & Assessment

Measuring Science Instructional Practice: A Survey Tool for the Age of NGSS,” Kathryn N. Hayes, Christine S. Lee, Rachelle DiStefano, Dawn O’Connor, Jeffery C. Seitz, SF Bay Integrated Middle School Science Project, Journal of Science Teacher Education, February 2016.
What We Call Misconceptions May Be Necessary Stepping-Stones Toward Making Sense of the World,” Todd Campbell, Christina Schwarz, Mark Windschitl, The Science Teacher, March 2016.
Addressing Three Common Myths About the Next Generation Science Standards,” Kenneth L. Huff, The Science Teacher, January 2016


Three-Dimensional Instruction: Using a New Type of Teaching in the Science Classroom,” Joseph Krajcik, The Science Teacher, November 2015.
DCIs, SEPs, and CCs, Oh My! Understanding the Three Dimensions of the NGSS,” Ravit Golan Duncan, Veronica L. Cavera, The Science Teacher, October 2015.