Resources for Students - NSF & NIST

Nov 10, 2015

The NSF & NIST offer educational opportunities and programs for students of all ages - check them out below!

General Science:

Kinetic City
"Kinetic City" is a fun, Web-based after-school science club for kids, ages 8 through 11. It combines exciting online animations and activities with boxes of hands-on science experiments. You can earn "Kinetic City" power points and collect stickers as you complete missions and learn standards-based science content.

The National Science Digital Library
The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) was created by the National Science Foundation to provide organized access to high quality resources and tools that support innovations in teaching and learning at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

NIST Fun Activities for Kids
Take a look around. Chances are no matter where you are there is something near you that researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have studied, measured, or improved at one time or another.  The NIST Educational Resources and puzzles will help demonstrate the importance of standards. 

NIST Virtual Museum
From exhibits that demonstrate the process of the standardization of women’s clothing to information on the NIST Stone Test Wall, a wall with over 2,352 individual stones used to test the performance of stone subject to weathering, the NIST Virtual Museum is an excellent classroom resource.  Learn about Marie Curie and the Radium Standards and just what Saccharimeter does. 

NIST in Your Home & NIST in Your City
Having trouble visualizing NIST’s importance in your life?  Check out these two interactive, virtual environments to better understand the importance of standards to us all!

NSF Multimedia Resources
The NSF supports a wide variety of educational and informational projects for the general public, especially our nation’s classrooms.  The Now Showing database contains a plethora of resources, including film, museum exhibits, television programs, and radio shows.


Arctic & Antarctic Classroom Resources:

Athropolis Links
A portal to all things cold, icy and Arctic! This all-encompassing Web site has information and links to almost everything you can imagine relating to the icy climates of the world, including an index of links arranged alphabetically as well as by category.

Pop Goes Antarctica?
Follow a team of scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) as they study the presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Antarctic.


Astronomy & Space Classroom Resources:

Amazing Space
Contains educational materials and activities about the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).

The Astronomy Café
An astronomy education site that provides insight into what research astronomy is like and what astronomers actually do at ground-based and space-based observatories.

Eyes on the Sky and Feet on the Ground
Provides hands-on astronomy activities for students in grades 2-6, promotes an understanding of the scientific process and includes suggestions for discussions before and after explorations.


Biology Classroom Resources : is an educational resource of the American Institute of Biological Sciences that promotes bioscience literacy. Supported in part by a grant from NSF, this Web site has lots of topics to choose and learn: biodiversity, environment, genomics, biotechnology and more.

BBC: Walking with Beasts
This BBC Web site comes loaded with interactive multimedia features on evolution and the animal kingdom. Users can view 3-D images as well as video and audio clips of prehistoric creatures, play an interactive evolution game and much more.

Developed for researchers, teachers and students to provide information about a variety of topics in biotechnology.

Botany for Kids
Developed by USGS Center for Biological Informatics for resource managers, scientists, educators and the general public, to provide access to data and information and to answer all types of questions about the nation's biological resources.

Cells Alive
Represents over 25 years of experience capturing film and computer-enhanced images of living cells and organisms for education and medical research.

Cool Science for Curious Kids
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute invites curious kids to explore biology on screen, off screen and in between.

Whales Online
Whales Online is an information site dedicated to the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Southern Hemisphere.


Chemistry and Materials Classroom Resources:

Access information on matter, atoms, elements, the periodic table, reactions and biochemistry.

General Chemistry (with Unit Converter)
This site provides the user with a tool for converting from a particular unit of measurement to another. The user may write a numerical value and permissible unit in the free form field.

Strange Matter
The Strange Matter traveling exhibit, developed by the Ontario Science Centre, teaches kids about the amazing world of modern materials and materials science. The exhibition’s Web site includes activities, games, experiments, videos and more for kids. And there’s fun stuff for families to do also!

The Open Door Web Site
Access reference material for teachers and students in grades 3 through 12 on topics in biology, chemistry, physics, history and technology.


Computing Classroom Resources:

Computer Science Student Resource
This diverse collection of refreshers, how-tos, and research guides, while geared for computer science (CS) students, also has a few resources that are useful for anyone. A quick review of mathematical concepts and advice.


Earth & Environment Classroom Resources:

Exploring Earth: Explore the World of Earth Science
Provides investigations and visualizations of earth science topics, with sections focused on careers, data and local resources. Students can interact with the investigations and visualizations through features such as clickable animations and images.

The EnviroLink Network
This site provides access to thousands of online environmental resources including comprehensive, up-to-date environmental information and news.

Paleomap Project
Provides extensive information, maps and interactive illustrations on plate tectonics. Readers view paleographic maps of the Earth's history and climate history to view how our planet looked during various periods in time and the climatic changes that took place. Allows students to manipulate and view virtual globes throughout history.

Both kids and adults explore Scripps' voyages that bring the human side of oceanography to life.

Triumph of Life
Maintained by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), the Web companion to a six-part miniseries that examines how evolution has shaped the existence on our planet.

Web Weather for Kids
Learn what makes weather wet and wild, do cool activities and become hot at forecasting the weather.


Education Classroom Resources:

Girls Go Tech
A website from the Girls Scouts of the United States highlighting the importance of science, mathematics and technology in our everyday lives. Includes links to resources designed to spark girls' interest in science careers.

Investigate many cool "ologies" (disciplines) at this American Museum of of Natural History site.


Engineering Classroom Resources:

The ASEE Engineering K-12 Center
Developed by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the site provides resources for grade school students, parents and teachers that promote the engineering discipline.

USGS Earthquakes Hazards Program
For grades K-12, contains information about past, present and future earthquake activity, as well as educational activities about earthquakes.


Mathematics Classroom Resources:

American Mathematics Competition
The American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) seek to increase interest in mathematics and to develop problem solving ability through a series of competitions for junior/middle (grades 8 and below) and senior high school students (grades 9-12).

Raytheon Company has announced a new program aimed at improving math and science education among middle school-aged students. Investigate for yourself how this Web site shows math plays a role in "cool" careers.

The Metric System
The metric system is the Standard Unit of Measurement for science, yet you may be confused by it, especially since they are used to our system of measurement.  NIST has created a kid’s reference page for the metric system with resources that will help you better apply the metric system to their lives.


Nanoscience Classroom Resources:

Dedicated to increasing public knowledge of the nanoscale world and the emerging molecular research.


Physics Classroom Resources:

ASPIRE: Astrophysics Science Project Integrating Research & Education
More about physics than astronomy, this web site, created by teachers for teachers, employs a powerful combination of inquiry-based content, along with interactive, hands-on labs.

The Physics Classroom
Hosted by Study Works Online and written by science teacher Tom Henderson, The Physics Classroom is an online physics tutorial written for high school physics students.


Scholarships and Internships

SURF: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program - Washington DC
SURF is a comprehensive fellowship program supported by NIST, NSF and participating colleges and universities. It provides research opportunities for students majoring in science, mathematics and engineering.

SURF: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program - Boulder, Colorado
The NIST also operates a separate, but similar, SURF program in Boulder, Colorado.

SCEP: Student Career Experience Program
SCEP is a co-op program that offers valuable experience directly related to the student's field of study by providing formal periods of work and study while you are attending school.

STEP: Student Temporary Employment Program
Paid positions that expose high school, undergraduate and graduate students to fields such as physical science, mathematics, engineering, computer science and administration. Students can work during school breaks or, if local, work during the year while attending school.

SVP: Student Volunteer Program
Non-paid volunteer opportunities that expose students over the age of 16 to various scientific fields.

Other NIST Programs
Three other internship programs sponsored by NIST and the Department of Commerce.

PREP: Professional Research Experience Program
PREP was designed by the NIST Boulder Laboratories to provide valuable laboratory experience and financial assistance to undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students.

NSF Specialized Information: Undergraduates
An extensive list of funding from NSF and related institutions for undergraduate students.

NSF Specialized Information: Graduates
An extensive list of funding from NSF and related institutions for graduate students.

NSF Specialized Information: Postdoctoral Fellows
An extensive list of funding from NSF and related institutions for postdoctoral fellows.