It’s obvious why Stanford University is nicknamed “the Ivy league university of the west.” Like Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, and the rest, Stanford is progressive and forward thinking. All of the Ivy League schools actively market homeschoolers and offer inticements, such as outreach programs, that are designed to intrigue developing young minds and equip grade-level teachers. These universities seek bold, innovative thinkers and thus, host programs that help students achieve those desired outcomes. Many of these programs are free.
Here’s a sampling of what Stanford is doing for students in grades K-12:
- Investigating Ant Colony Searching: a Citizen Science Project This lesson is designed to engage students by providing opportunities for them to explore ants and their behavior, ask scientific questions, collect and analyze data and develop explanations about ant colonies and how ants work together. The lesson engages students in scientific inquiry and promotes curiosity about the natural world. Free PDF, click here.
- Stanford’s YouCUBED.com offers outstanding math lessons for grades 5th – 9th.
- Fluency Without Fear: Research Evidence on the Best Ways to Learn Math Facts contains groundbreaking strategies and math activities for elementary-aged children to shake off the fear and develop confidence in math. For example: Snap It! and How Many Are Hiding? are math activities that use Lego cubes.
Addition Fact Activities
Snap It: This is an activity that children can work on in groups. Each child makes a train of connecting cubes of a specified number. On the signal “Snap,” children break their trains into two parts and hold one hand behind their back. Children take turns going around the circle showing their remaining cubes. The other children work out the full number combination. For example, if I have 8 cubes in my number train I could snap it and put 3 behind my back. I would show my group the remaining 5 cubes and they should be able to say that three are missing and that 5 and 3 make 8. How Many Are Hiding? In this activity each child has the same number of cubes and a cup. They take turns hiding some of their cubes in the cup and showing the leftovers. Other children work out the answer to the question, “How many are hiding?” and say the full number combination. Example: I have 10 cubes and I decide to hide 4 in my cup. My group can see that I only have 6 cubes. Students should be able to say, “I’m hiding 4 cubes and 6 and 4 make 10.”
- The Stanford Solar Center Resources for K-12 Teachers and Students is a collection of multi-disciplinary, interactive exercises and activities based on the Sun and solar science, most geared to grades 4-12. Each lesson or activity comes with study guides, worksheets and quizzes and all are aligned with the national science teaching standards.The Center also offers solar spectroscopes for students to cut out and put together. These come complete with gratings, as well as instructions for construction and use. Cost is $10.00 for shipping and handling.
- Albert Einstein once said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious; It is the source of all true art and science.” I especially enjoyed the section on Solar Art and Literature. The animations and images are outstanding! This section includes video shorts, poetry, literature, songs, and visual art.
- Build your own SID Weather Monitor. SID stands for Solar Ionospheric Disturbance. This device uses low frequency radio waves to detect solar flares and monitor weather disturbances.
- Available August 2015: For the first time in its history, Stanford is offering some of its most popular engineering classes free of charge to students and educators around the world. Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE) expands the Stanford experience to students and educators online. A computer and an Internet connection are all you need. View lecture videos, access reading lists and other course handouts, take quizzes and tests, and communicate with other SEE students, all at your convenience. Stanford encourages fellow educators to use Stanford Engineering course materials in their own classrooms. A Creative Commons license allows for free and open use, reuse, adaptation and redistribution of Stanford Engineering Everywhere material.
Want more? Visit our website. TAMS and ED stands for Technology, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Education. We provide a tough yet achievable home school for students who need personal attention in a safe home environment. We utilize a number of cross-curricular teaching tools including standard textbooks, computers and technology, academic excursions, and hands-on learning. Our qualified Board of directors consist of certified educators, parents, and administrators who are passionate about challenging every child to reach for the academic stars. We promote diversity and tolerance in a safe learning environment. For TAMS and ED students, the world is their classroom. Come and join us! Felicia Moon-Thomas, Director