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K-12 Curriculum

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This page features K-12 curricula for educators and content for students, developed by Stanford researchers.

Water Desalination by Electrodialysis

The simulation applet on this site models water desalination by electrodialysis. With this simulation students can design a process to desalinate brackish water with salinity 7 ppt into drinkable water (no more than 1 ppt) for as little cost per volume as possible.

Virtual Reality Demos

The Virtual Human Interaction Lab offers many free resources and educational tools that use Virtual Reality to explore scientific and cultural issues. Currently available:

Microdocs: Short Science Video on Ecological Sustainability

Stanford Marine Biologist Steve Palumbi created a series of 2-4 minute micro-documentaries about sustainability, featuring coral reefs from around the world. His lab then developed additional resources for teachers and students, built around the videos.

The Virtual Urchin Project

The goal of this open access website is to make sea urchin embryos readily accessible through development of inquiry based lessons, available on a freely-accessible, open access website. Students can then move beyond the early embryo, and explore how scientists study sea urchins to understand larval development and metamorphosis, community ecology, pollution in the marine environment and biological evolution. 

Food Science Activities You Can Do At Home

Extended periods of sheltering in place can be challenging for most of us, but especially for those with young children.  Graduate students of the Stanford Polymer Collective, together with The Big Nano, are rolling out a series of food science blogs with easy hands-on experiments that use household items to teach students about polymers.  “Home cooking has become the top priority of many households. Since many students are staying at home with their parents, why not make this an outreach opportunity for some food science experiments?” says Stanford graduate student Rachel Huang, Outreach Officer of Stanford Polymer Collective.  So far, their blog has activities about Boba pearlsChocolateHand pulled noodlesFoamy (Dalgona) Coffee,  Angel Food Cake, and Pop Rock Candy.  They plan to update each week Tuesday and Thursday for the duration of Shelter in Place.  You can follow them on Twitter and Instagram @TheBigNano1 for future updates. Be safe and healthy!

Climate Change Education Project

This collaborative project supports the teaching of scientifically accurate climate change curriculum developed by climate scientists and education specialists to provide over a dozen curricular units for middle and high school classrooms. 


Squids-4-Kids provides an exciting hands-on way to engage students of any age. Frozen specimens of Humboldt squid are provided for use in educational activities, providing an outstanding teaching platform for discussing climate change, ecology, anatomy, physiology, oceanography and fisheries science.

Stanford Solar Center Resources for K-12 Teachers and Students

The Stanford Solar Center web site provides 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.

Laboratory Science for Broadened Scientific Inquiry (LABSci)

LABSci develops a science laboratory curriculum for middle school and high school students that are experiencing a non-traditional education environment. These labs were created with the restrictions of a hospital school classroom in mind, but are also suitable for bedside, homeschool, and other environments.

Science in the City

Science in the City is a website designed to provide a community for K-12 educators to explore resources, exchange ideas and hear about our new research findings to improve science teaching by focusing on the intersection between race, language, technology and science learning. Teachers can sort dozens of STEM lessons by topic, grade level or state and each lesson includes a Teacher Lesson Plan, Teacher Slides and Student Handouts.

Sea Urchin Embryology

The drama of fertilization and development is explored by laboratory modules using sea urchin eggs and a website developed by teachers and Stanford researchers. STEM Curriculum

The STEM curriculum units developed by Stanford's Design School provide an integrated approach to building STEM knowledge and skills while engaging students in both identifying and solving real-world problems using a design thinking approach. 

Educator-Designed Design Thinking Curriculum

Need inspiration and ideas for how to incorporate design thinking into your classroom? Browse dozens of curriculum units and lesson plans created by educators who have participated in workshops.  Curriculum is free and downloadable; most is geared to elementary school students.

shoMe: Place-Based Storytelling

Stanford offers a free, open, online course that will help you develop and deliver field-based educational modules to large numbers of students and non-students through a mobile-device- and web-browser-based platform, shoMe.  The course, titled Place-Based Storytelling, will teach techniques for developing engaging, informative, multimedia stories, and for publishing these stories through the shoMe platform. 

Tobacco Prevention Tool Kit

The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit is a new, theory-based and evidence-informed educational resource created by educators and researchers aimed at preventing middle and high school students’ use of cigarettes, cigars/cigarillos, chew, hookah, and electronic cigarettes. This Toolkit contains a set of modules focused on e-cigarettes and vapes, messages on nicotine addiction, information and resources concerning positive youth development, and school policies that provide information about school tobacco policies and tobacco control efforts.

Space Weather Monitoring Program

The Space Weather Monitor program is an education project to build and distribute inexpensive ionospheric monitors to students around the world. The monitors detect solar flares and other ionospheric disturbances.

Kids and Climate

Researchers from Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have created an activity book aimed at helping elementary school and early middle school students, in particular 4th-6th graders, to familiarize themselves with the concept of ocean acidification, what causes it, how it occurs, how it affects marine organisms and ecosystems, and what we can do to help mitigate its impacts. The activity book is available for free for teachers and students. 

SCALE Science Curriculum

SCALE Science focuses on developing curriculum that supports student sense-making through project-based learning. Our resources aid teachers in their efforts to effectively respond to student needs, as well as shifts in instructional demands. Units include:

Mathematical Optimization - A High School Curriculum

Mathematical Optimization is a high school course in 5 units, comprised of a total of 56 lessons. The first three units are non-Calculus, requiring only a knowledge of Algebra; the last two units require completion of Calculus AB. All of the units make use of the Julia programming language to teach students how to apply basic coding techniques to solve complex and relevant mathematical problems.

K-12 Lab at Stanford Design School

Design Thinking is a methodology that teaches children to creatively solve problems in their lives. This space shares resources to teach design thinking.

SPICE Multidisciplinary Curriculum Materials on International Themes

The Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) has produced over 100 supplementary curriculum units for K-14 students on Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the global environment, and international political economy. 


These short videotaped biosketches capture the personal pathways of selected Stanford students into the STEM fields. These "near peers" describe their passions, key mentors, challenges, and triumphs that will be of interest to high school students.

Bringing Nanoscience and Nanotechnology into the Classroom

This site contains six hands-on activities to help K-12 students learn about nanotechnology while supporting the California Science Content Standards. 

Polymer Chemistry Demos

Our world and lives are made of molecules, some small and some giant. Join Prof. Xia and two graduate students from Stanford University Chemistry Department, Ashley Leibham and Matias Horst, for fun chemistry demos that teach about how the giant molecules (polymers) around us that impact the world. They present science videos showing how to make a bouncy ball; how to make popping boba; how enzymes, a type of polymer used by living creatures, speed up reactions; and how much energy can be released from polymers when a gummy bear explodes.