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How can students engage in an interactive science lesson through remote learning? Any recommendations for interactive science websites?

Emily Faulconer Emily Faulconer 4975 Points

Grade level and subject matter will drive the resources. At the high school and college level, I find the following very strong resources:

  • PhET (they also offer teacher-created instructions/student questions that you can adopt/modify)
  • ChemCollective 

I've been seeing a lot of emails from textbook reps where they are offering their online platforms for free (if you weren't already requiring that for your students). Norton, Wiley, and others all offer interactive online assessments with immediate answer-specific feedback. Some platforms are even adaptive, with questions tailored to each student based on performance on previous assessment questions. 

Brielle Davis Brielle Davis 420 Points

I would recommend Kahoot! Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, used as educational technology in schools and other educational institutions. Its learning games, "Kahoots", are multiple-choice quizzes that allow user generation and can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot app. 

-Brielle Davis

Jennifer Hicks Jennifer Hicks 660 Points

There a lot of ways to gets students engaging with Science online. Now that distance learning is a way of life many companies that you have used before are opening up platforms to better assist teachers and students. One of those is Flinn Scientific who are offering a series of at home labs for students. Here is the link to those labs: Flinn Scientific.

I also agree with several of the other posters saying that PhET simulations are a great tool to show students hands on concepts on a digital platform. Also most of the Phet simulators come with premade worksheets that other teacher have put together which is very helpful. 

Ashley GIbson Ashley GIbson 765 Points

Hi Lianne,

I just found out about this website called Wonderville. It is a great interactive site that allows parents, teachers, and students to create their own accounts. On the website, there are videos, games, and career profiles that introduce possible careers to future little scientists. Attached is the link to the website. Hope this helps!


Ashley Gibson

Charissa Barnhill Charissa Barnhill 1524 Points

There is a website called Gizmos ( and it has lots of online simulations for both middle and high school students. I have also found that ck-12 can be a great resource for helping teach a topic. It provides students a reading and then they have to answer 10 practice questions correctly. The practice questions get more difficult as they get them correct as a way of differentiation and will provide the teacher with data on if the student is exploring the topic or has mastery over the topic.

Jossy Cubillo Jossy Cubillo 776 Points

Good Morning,

In remote learning, there is this website Discovery Education which they have games, videos and you can assign a lesson to the students

I hope this website works for you,



Jossy Cubillo

Patricia Tamez Patricia Tamez 175 Points

Kahoot is a fun game to keep all the students engaged, and you are able to customize the game to add any topic and questions you want to use.


Is there any other activities that any of you can share that would works as well? 

As a student myself, I find it most beneficial to have group work in a time like this. By having groups, students can ask within themselves any questions they have that they might feel scared or intimidated to ask over a zoom classroom. 

Madison Hiestand Madison Hiestand 120 Points

Integrating interactive science into education is exciting but also a difficult task with remote learning. There are many different strategies to incorporate an engaging lesson so that students are not just sitting at the computer watching. I am a preservice teacher at Wartburg College and am going to be student teaching next year in the fall and found this website as a great resource for online learning. The website I found, Community Resources at Home, ( has helped me discover activities students can easily access at home. These are at home materials that allow students to be hands- on to gain experiences of science and make real world connections to it. Although the website does not have modules or games the students can complete onlne, the materials and hands-on labs are a great resource for the student and their families to engage in real life science. 

Kelsey Funkhouser Kelsey Funkhouser 765 Points

I do not have any interactive science websites, but I agree with many of the other replies and think that Kahoot is espically a very fun interactive website. Another idea would be to maybe I also know that there are interactive disection websites as well as virtual experiments. Coolmath might even have some interactive science games for students to learn from!

Flavio Mendez Flavio Mendez 45856 Points

Thanks Lianne for getting us started.  At NSTA we compiled a list of resources suggested by educators. The list can be accessed at the collection below. This may be just a starting point...hope it helps.

Could others share additional resources/strategies regarding remote teaching?

Take care,


Brandon Ramirez Brandon Ramirez 655 Points

HI Flavio, 


Thanks for the post of all the resources. Is there a bestg place to look for middle school science specifically? 

Jean Myers Jean Myers 475 Points

Hi science teachers! It's spring time.  I've heard from parents that they want their kids to get outside and take a break form all the sitting online learning that their kids are doing remotely.  So, I am planning a series of BACKYARD activities to do for their online science learning.  Twig studies, soil critter id, moon phases, sun movement by racing shadows, ETC.  Any ideas, links, etc are welcome!

Brittany Wolford Brittany Wolford 496 Points

Backyard activities are a wonderful way to implement place-based teaching. Any student has a backyard, courtyard, patio, or some kind of outdoor area where they live no matter if they are rural, suburban, or urban-living children. I look forward to coming up with more lessons like these, and inspiration from other educators to use for any kid!!

Jamie Frain Jamie Frain 30 Points

Thank you for offering this forum.  Any resources and counsel on the handling of remote labs?

Robin Madel Robin Madel 90 Points

Thank you for creating this list.

I work on a website about water footprints that has been a big hit with teachers. It has lesson plans (with both in-class and out-of-class activities) for middle- and high-school students that could be easily adapted for younger or older students. I'll post some links to the different types of content below. Check it out if you get a chance. - links to the water footprint calculator

water footprint lessons - links to middle-and high-school water footprint lesson plans

educator resources - links to information for teachers, students and younger kids, and includes lists of websites about water

Aqua: Save Water - links to a youtube video about about a girl and her dog who help their family save water when their reservoir runs low


We also have tips and losts of content about the connections between water, food and energy systems. Enjoy!

Billy Huggins Billy Huggins Points

Wow, what a resource! Thank you!

Brittany Wolford Brittany Wolford 496 Points

I have used the water footprint lessons in the past with the help of another middle school teacher! These are very helpful and meaningful rousources!!

Lisa Gardiner Lisa Gardiner 80 Points

At the UCAR Center for Science Education, we surveyed all our existing educational resources to identify which ones would work with students learning at home. Here's the link to the resource collection: Help K-12 Students Learn About Earth from Home. There is a lot for middle school in this resource page.

Sara Ordonez Sara Ordonez 620 Points

I would recommend zoom, it is a great resource and is very easy to navigate. In particular, I have been receiving university courses using this platform and it has been going really well because the teacher can engage with students and everyone can participate. Similarly, a great feature that I love about zoom is that it allows you to share your screen, meaning that you can display powerpoints and videos during your sessions and  this really promotes student learning. The only concern that I see with zoom specially with the younger students is that everyone has an access to internet and a device, other than that I consider is agreat tool that can be use from elementary all the way to the university courses. 

Hope that my advice helps. 

Melinda Lape Melinda Lape 657 Points

With everything that has been mentioned, I highly recommend all of those resources.  Something that I've always found useful though, is that students gain a much deeper understanding once they get their hands on these investigations and experiments.  With the whole distance learning going on, it is much more difficult to get materials especially those related to science which can be more expensive.  There are always experiments and investigations that can be done at home and that are safe for the students.  Have them create their own experiment or replicate one with materials they can find at the house or purchase from a Dollar General, etc.  Make sure they record their demonstration and reflect upon their findings.  Then you can review the videos they submit using GoReact or Flipgrid.  There are tons of experiments that can be done at home, you just have to google them or most of the time I can find them for free on teachers pay teachers.  Hope this helps!

Hannah Wheatley Hannah Wheatley 370 Points

I love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing. We are beginning to look at how to implement more and more virtual learning here in KY and these at home experiments will be a great asset for hands on learning. GoReact is a great resource to give feedback on as well!

Terran Miller Terran Miller 315 Points

When working with remote teaching and learning, what are good strategies that work for students who have IEPS or 504 plans? 

Denise Wright Denise Wright 440 Points

Hi, this is an excellent question. I taught full time online science from 2011- 2017. It depends on the students 504 or IEP. Some accomodations were to provide an actual textbook vs just the online text. Also, students had extended time on assignments, more than one attempt on an assignment, or some questions were eliminated in that particular assignment. Any assignments that had a timer had that feature removed. Also, when it came to accessability we had to make sure every video was closed captioned, all images were alt tagged, which enabled them to be read by a screen reader, and all online weblinks opened in a separate web tab. All  online science courses had to have a certain type of font and color. This way it would not impact a student with visual disabilites. In some cases when writing online courses I would make sure the directions were written in addition to auditory.  If a student had a 504 or IEP I would just work with them so they were successful.  Many of these accomodations, I mentioned though,  help all students since we all learn differently. As we know one size does not fit all.   Thanks, Denise Wright, former full time online science teacher

Zach Millan Zach Millan 609 Points

Gizmo (under ExploreLearning) has some in depth virtual labs that are free to use, however this is a great time for student directed experimentation! One lesson I am working on is in conjunction with our math department where we will have students design a garden in their backyard or in an empty space. Students will have to create a sun map of their location along with documenting any plants or animals that may affect their garden. Although students may not be able to actually make their garden, it has students considering biotic and abiotic factors that could affect crop growth through their own discovery.

Camillia Ledbetter Camillia Ledbetter 795 Points

At the middle school level, I recommend using Legends of Learning. This is a standards-based platform that allows students to learn/ review information in a fun and creative way. Students are able to apply the knowledge that they have acquired in this online scenario. Often times the games bring a real-world aspect to the science. For example, I recently covered land and sea breezes with my 6th-grade students. The Legends of Learning game involved the student transporting people in a hot air balloon. They had to use their knowledge of land and sea breezes to transport the people in time. Great and fun resource!

Sophia Almeida Sophia Almeida 380 Points

If possible you can even video tape yourself doing these interactive activities. This will help with any frustration for those visual learners in your class as well as parents who want to provide the necessary tools for their children. Hope this helps and maybe sparks some ideas!

Adielys Trincado Adielys Trincado 783 Points

Considering that Science is very dependent on hands-on activities, I think that remote learning poses a challenge for teachers to keep the authenticity of the Science core curriculum. However, going through this experience with the Coronavirus and relying on remote learning as the only way to educate students it is important to think about strategies that can help students engage in hands-on activities. In order to do this, I think that teachers can provide videos of easy at-home experiements that students can do on their own, provide an instructional video that students can follow from the comfort of their home, or have them complete an interactive lab online! 

Josette Andrews Josette Andrews 285 Points

I have biology classes that were getting ready for dissections.  I found the Glencoe Virtual Lab site and it has virtual labs for more than just the one discipline.

My students appreciate the change.  I also have Pearson online license that I have used the last two years.  Great series K-8; Elevate Science.  

Jennifer Hicks Jennifer Hicks 660 Points

That is really interesting that there are online dissections available for remote learning. his ay even be a viable option when there are students who woud prefer not to dissect an animal. This platform also allows students to repeat and go back to do the dissections again which will increase understanding and mastery. I have not had a chance to look at Pearson online but it sounds like an interesting resource. 

Hannah Wheatley Hannah Wheatley 370 Points

Online dissection videos and even simulations offer as much of the same experience as possible. Thank you for sharing Glencoe! There is always a perk of not having to YouTube certain things, especially for younger students. 

Lily Albertson Lily Albertson 520 Points

I think now is a great time to get students doing observations outdoors. There are so many things they can learn from just taking a walk around their neighborhood or looking in their own backyard. They can create their own research paper from what they observe. Allowing the students to pick the topic may really help grow their interest in the sciences.

Hannah Wheatley Hannah Wheatley 370 Points

I love the encouragement to get out and about! As we in KY are gathering our thoughts on how to best serve our students this fall, I think getting them out and involved after a long summer at home for a learning purpose will be a great thing. Structure may look different, but giving them something a little familiar will always help, and giving them an easygoing assignment is a great way to introduce them back into the school environment. 

Sofia Duarte Sofia Duarte 325 Points

When working in a remote learning setting what is one way to ensure that students are understanding the concept and incorporate all students? 

Randy Russell Randy Russell 300 Points

Here is a list of games, simulations, and virtual labs for assorted science topics, from a variety of sources, with brief reviews and screenshots; suitable for use in an online curriculum:

Joanne Vakil Joanne Vakil 10 Points

I recommend a lot of the interactive, low-cost or free, and already prepared Nearpod science activities. My favorites have the 360 degree view in Nearpod VR, such as the bumper car one featuring the concept of force.

Here are a few websites I have seen preservice teachers use remotely with their mentor teachers when they co-taught lessons either asynhronously, via videorecording using, or synchronously during a zoom class/office hour: (Hooke's Law and more) (population genetics) (virtual precision medicine lab)


Andrea Lancaster Andrea Lancaster 855 Points

 I agree with previous posts about trying simple at home experiments that can be done with minimal supplies outdoors.

Morganne Sweat Morganne Sweat 505 Points

I really like Kahoot and Quizlet live to get students involved. It makes it fun for them and they are still learning something. 

Destiny Myers Destiny Myers 370 Points

I don't have a specific science website but I agree with what some others may have said. I think that the typical Kahoot and Quizlet are great websites to keeo students interactive! You could have the procedure steps as the questions on kahoot and have the students answers be the correct thing to do during each step, or something to that effect! I also think that creating/thinking of some activities where the students might have the things already at their home or are available to get outside (leaves or anything in nature) would be a great way to keep them interactive for science lessons! 

Kenadee Gallagher Kenadee Gallagher 170 Points

I actually have found quite a few games relating to science on!! One I really thought was interesting was the plant growing one! 

Breanne Svoboda Breanne Svoboda 30 Points

Here are some resources we have discussed a fair amount at my school. They are not science specific, but should help make remote learning more interactive!

If you have access to the Google Education Suite, Google Jamboards are a really neat way for students to collaborate on a virtual whiteboard. Bonus is that it integrates well with Google Classroom.

A web-based app called Hypothesis ( is an interesting tool I'm using to have students annotate and engage with text collaboratively. It may not be as friendly to elementary students, but I'm not as familiar with that age group. I know some of our MS teachers are using it.

Padlet is a neat tool where students can post responses and then they can be sorted, color coded, etc. When in-person I do a lot of activities with sticky notes where students put down their questions and ideas and then we sort them, create timelines, models, etc. Padlet seems to be a good virtual tool for that. One of our 6th grade science teachers uses Padlet religiously (even when in person) to get students to post their "wonders".

Quizizz is one I haven't tried myself yet, but it was demonstrated for us by a colleague and it seems like it could be a really useful tool especially for formative assessments on content. There are lots of different modes you can use to create questions to make them more engaging and if you select that option, Quizizz will automatically add funny memes between questions.

EdPuzzle is a tool that allows you to embed questions into videos at strategic points. So if you assign a YouTube video for example, you could put questions that check for understanding at certain key points.

Finally, something I am really liking so far is digital interactive notebooks using Google Slides. There are lots of videos available with examples, you can find free templates and paid templates on Teachers Pay Teachers. So far I'm finding that they take a long time to create, but once you've created them, they make life a lot easier! If a student is absent or for some reason loses connection, you can just make sure they know which slides you're working off of that day. It seems to be sort of a virtual equivalent of a lab notebook that has students keep everything in one place.

Katie Andrews Katie Andrews 380 Points

Kahoot is a great source for quizzing the children on their knowledge. There are also websites where you can virtually disect different animals. I cannot wait to gain more experience and learn of more websites to use!

Madalyne Felton Madalyne Felton 745 Points

I think that teachers can find great videos on YouTube about discrepant events that would get kids thinking. Then students can Observe the event, come up with "I wonder" statements, make a plan for an investigation, and then do the investigation (if possible) if it is not possible then students could write in their science notebooks how they would conduct their experiment and what hypothesis they have. Maybe when students finally get to return to school the teachers could pick a few of the experiments to do together as a class!

Madeline Henderson Madeline Henderson 190 Points

To get students learning virtually to perform science experiments, having them do fun, easy activities from their homes will allow them to learn in creative ways. Outside observations is an effective way for every student to learn equally through drawing and writing about what they experience outside. This can be related to leaves in a changing  season or the temperature changes from dawn to dusk. Every student has an outdoor space that they could experiment with. 

Jacqueline Venrick Jacqueline Venrick 370 Points

Sometimes it takes a bit of work to find the best way to teach your students. There are plenty of science related websites where you can watch science experiments, you could have students do an experiment with everyday household items that they could start getting together the week before, etc... You could do a science lesson over zoom in your classroom or at home, a kahoot, a quizlet, or even google classroom. You could even use all of these resources and post them to google classroom. Brainpop us a good resource for videos. You just have to put the work into looking for the best way to teach your students.

Betsy Edgar Betsy Edgar 10 Points

If you have any opportunity to work with Pear Deck, it is a wonderful addition to remote learning. I am fortunate that my school chose to purchase the license to use for us. I don't know how much it is, but if you can't afford it, try DonorsChoose.

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