Not only do STEM job opportunities abound, but the availability of online courses for STEM education is second-to-none. Whether you’re a student in search of some extra learning, a parent looking for online classes that your student(s) will enjoy, or a teacher on the lookout for digital classroom resources and/or lesson extensions, we’ve taken the time to put together a few worthwhile resources that you can explore. Let’s dive right in!
What is STEM and why is it important?
STEM (or STEAM / STREAM) might possibly be the most important collection of career fields in the world. At least that’s what statistics are telling us. Everything we do depends upon skilled scientists, tech specialists, engineers, and mathematicians.
What’s more, we’ve realized how well STEM skills translate to all facets of our lives. STEM fosters pertinent creative and critical thinking skills. It requires students to solve real-world problems with attainable solutions. It also promotes collaborative problem solving between students and their peers.
STEM is a champion for 21st century skills. No question about it. While many schools still lack the appropriate resources and funding to create holistic STEM programs, teachers have risen to the challenge. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve also seen a rise in remote learning, leading to the emergence of hundreds of different digital STEM activities and courses.
Hear us now — a quick Google search will leave you with a treasure trove of STEM resources. In order to make your life easier, we’ve organized a few below that teach different ideas and concepts.
Best online STEM courses for online learning in 2021
1. iD Tech
iD Tech’s been in the teaching business for over 20 years. What’s great about their platform is that it’s suited for beginners or seasoned pros. Instructors are recruited from top universities and courses have been designed for long-term mastery of topics instead of just short-term knowledge.
Online instruction is also limited to 1-on-1 private instruction or in a digital classroom of under five students per instructor. In essence, these courses function as their own versions of a micro-school or learning pod. And the diverse collection of classes is certainly worth checking out. iD tech also offers summer camps. We might still be in the midst of winter, but there’s nothing wrong with planning in advance.
2. Udemy’s operating systems courses
Understanding operating systems is an invaluable skill for future computer engineers and programmers. Among Udemy’s many offerings are cost effective courses on the ins-and-outs of Linux. While some of these courses are better suited for current STEM professionals looking to upskill their expertise, there are still some tailor-made for beginners.
3. Girls Take the Lead
It’s no secret that many STEM fields still lack female employees. Girls Take the Lead hopes to change this, and they’re working toward a new contingent of female scientists and engineers via live virtual campus classes, mini design challenges, a global innovation challenge, and year-round STEM leadership programs.
All programs and courses are suited for female elementary (starting at age 9), middle, and high school students.
For all future mathematicians (or math lovers in general), Mathnasium is a mathematical funhouse of tutoring for those struggling and exceeding expectations in all things math.
With Mathnasium, children from grades 2-12 have access to foundational-to-advanced tutoring. They work with math experts in online, face-to-face settings. Mathnasium uses verbal and written evaluations to assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, while also creating customized learning outcomes and plans. It’s a holistic avenue for comprehensive math instruction.
We’ve mentioned Codecademy in a previous article because what they offer is invaluable for beginning or practicing coders. Our world has an absolute need for talented coders with expert-level computer programming skills, so if this is of interest, it’s worth pursuing earlier rather than later.
Codeacademy’s mission is to make learning how to code an easy, effective, and fun experience. You can get started for free, but their Pro Student membership offers step-by-step instruction, real-world projects, and activities geared toward long-term retention.
6. LH Global US
LH Global is a merger of Chinese company “Leader HR” and Australian company “Global Enterprises Group.” Its US branch offers several different Art and STEM-based programs. This is a fantastic resource for those looking for courses that adhere more To STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) than simply STEM.
Courses include minecraft coding, website design, flying machines, as well as a Young Builder Program for ages 8-13, Elite Builder Program for students ages 14-18 who are working as a team, and Single Builder Program for students ages 8-18 who are flying solo on their project(s).
7. Skill Share’s online animation classes
Similar to some of these course-oriented platforms, Skill Share offers a plethora of online STEM courses. We’ve chosen to highlight the Art component of STEAM here.
With Skill Share, students have endless options for learning. If they’re interested in art design, Skill Share offers courses like Principles of Animation, 3D Animation, and Creating Stylized Landscapes. These are perfect classes for design-minded students.
Play-based learning is a huge part of successful STEM curriculums, and Snapology embodies this. Named as Entrepreneur Magazine’s #1 STEM / STEAM Enrichment Program in 2020, Snapology offers research-backed activities that are designed to help kids build core competencies.
Their lessons cover everything from robotics to coding to video game design to animation. What’s more, this is a fantastic resource for students and teachers alike. Students can take courses from the confines of their own homes, while teachers can use Snapology’s resources for lesson planning and lesson extensions. The company also offers school partnership opportunities.
9. DNA Learning Center
For young scientists, The DNA Learning Center offers several different education programs for learning and exploration in biology, chemistry, and other sciences. Students can enroll in virtual camps like Fun with DNA, World of Enzymes, and Forensic Detectives, while teachers should check out the center’s virtual field trips. Note that these do carry fees, so you’ll want to consort with your school’s administration about the possibility of scheduling an online “class” trip (especially if your school district is still completely remote).
10. Thimble’s STEM subscription kits
And last but certainly not least, there’s us! With the world still reeling from COVID-19, our subscription kits have been designed for flexibility and at-home use during the academic year and over summer. Students get access to live classes that are held twice a week and taught by STEM experts. Online lessons also allow students to work on projects at their own pace. See for yourself!
Natural instruction in an unnatural world
It’s nice to be out of 2020, but education is still lacking thanks to the many challenges of the coronavirus. There’s no better way to keep students engaged and learning than with an online STEM course. We hope this list provides a fantastic starting point for students, parents, and teachers.