Top Online STEM Classes for Kids and Teens

Mar 1, 2024  | Makeblock

With the surge in the popularity of STEM education, it has been more important to nurture the next generation's interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Attending coding camps, robotics workshops, and advanced physics courses has become common for our children. In an era with abundant online resources, it has been feasible to let our kids jump on the bandwagon with some superior online STEM classes.

In this blog, we will provide you with one-stop resources for discovering the best online platforms that offer engaging and educational STEM classes, tailored to ignite the curiosity and potential of young minds. As we delve into the digital landscape of educational opportunities, you'll find a curated list of online STEM classes that cater to various age groups, interests, and skill levels.

We will explore the STEM concept, the benefits of online learning in the STEM fields, the unique features of each online STEM platform, and the curriculum they offer.

Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the most effective and enjoyable online STEM classes available, and help guide the youth towards a future filled with endless possibilities and exciting discoveries.

What is STEM?

stem education logo with little kids cartoon character

STEM has already been a household concept. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is an interdisciplinary educational approach that combines these four fields to encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation. The STEM acronym was introduced in 2001 by scientific administrators in the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

The essence of STEM education is to integrate knowledge and methods from these disciplines to address real-world challenges. It emphasizes the importance of applying scientific principles, technological tools, engineering design, and mathematical analysis to solve complex problems. STEM education aims to prepare students for the rapidly evolving global workforce, where these skills are increasingly valued.

In the context of STEM education, science is about understanding and explaining the natural world; technology and engineering focus on applying these principles to create solutions and innovate; and mathematics serves as the foundational tool for these disciplines, providing the necessary analytical and quantitative skills.

The ultimate goal of STEM education is to foster a well-rounded skill set that includes innovation, independent thinking, practical skills, and the ability to tackle problems effectively.

The Benefits of STEM Classes

The benefits of STEM classes are numerous and far-reaching, impacting both individual students and society as a whole. Here are some key advantages of engaging in STEM education:

1. Cultivate Critical Thinking

STEM classes encourage students to analyze problems, think logically, and develop solutions, enhancing their critical thinking abilities.

2. Problem-Solving Skills
Through hands-on experiments and projects, students learn to approach challenges methodically, breaking them down into manageable parts and finding innovative solutions.

3. Innovation and Creativity
STEM education fosters an environment where students are encouraged to think outside the box, experiment, and create new ideas, which is essential for future technological advancements.

4. Technical Proficiency
As technology continues to evolve, having a strong foundation in STEM subjects equips students with the necessary skills to navigate and utilize new technologies effectively.

5. Interdisciplinary Learning
STEM classes often integrate multiple disciplines, teaching students how to apply knowledge from one area to another, which is a valuable skill in today's interconnected world.

6. Preparation for the Future Workforce
Many of the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs require skills in STEM fields. Engaging in STEM education increases students' employability and opens up a wide range of career opportunities.

7. Global Competitiveness
In an increasingly globalized economy, STEM education helps prepare students to compete and collaborate on an international scale, contributing to a more prosperous and interconnected world.

8. Addressing Societal Challenges
STEM education empowers students to tackle pressing global issues such as climate change, healthcare, and sustainable development, by providing them with tools to develop innovative and sustainable solutions.

9. Closing the Gender Gap
By promoting STEM education, especially among underrepresented groups, we can work towards gender equality in these fields and ensure that diverse perspectives are included in solving the world's problems.

10. Lifelong Learning
STEM classes encourage a mindset of continuous learning and curiosity, which is essential for personal growth and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of technology and innovation.

In summary, STEM classes play a crucial role in developing well-rounded individuals who are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to contribute to a technologically advanced and sustainable future.

Top Online STEM Classes for Kids & Teens

1. Edx: How to Learn Online

Edx: How to Learn Online

Edx as a mature online learning platform, provides numerous online resources in various subjects, including AI, Data Science, Cybersecurity, etc. What we recommend today is an entry-level class aiming to help users learn essential strategies for successful online learning.

Tailored for novices in the realm of E-learning, Edx: How to Learn Online aims to arm you with effective approaches to excel as a successful online learner. EdX's learning design team has handpicked a selection of potent, research-informed methods that you can immediately implement across various online learning environments.

In this class, you will have a basic understanding of the following points:

1. Self-care techniques that will help you with effective online learning.
2. Time management with the help of some common technology.
3. Key learning strategies backed by research from edX partners.
4. Build strong connections with fellow learners and your instructors.
5. Set up your work area to focus on and be a successful online learner.

After getting the hang of the essential knowledge about online learning, you can begin to browse and study other online STEM classes on this platform.

2. Makeblock STEM Classes

If you have bought Makeblock robotic kits, please do not miss this precious page with detailed user tutorials. We offer a series of STEM classes to enrich the learning experience for K-12 students. We're dedicated to equipping young minds with a comprehensive suite of STEM resources that span across all grade levels and subjects.

Our STEM classes are the perfect blend of engaging content and practical applications, offering a diverse range of lessons and programming cases. Whether you are just starting your STEM journey or looking to expand your STEM skills, we have the ideal courses to meet your demands.

The following examples are some courses offered by this online STEM platform.

2.1 mBlock Software Basic Courses

mBlock is a powerful coding platform developed based on Scratch 3.0 and is specially designed for robotics, STEM, and coding learning. By supporting block-based and Python language, mBlock 5 allows users to create games and animations freely and to program Makeblock robots and more open-resource hardware. This software features cutting-edge technologies such as AI and IoT, making it the perfect coding software for educators, students, makers, and kids.

It offers eight basic courses on how to use mBlock, from how to code Panda's Greeting for beginners to an intermediate task of changing the direction of a sprite. These basic courses assist our coding learners in studying fun cases and broadening their scope of knowledge. Due to those features, this basic STEM class has gained great popularity among coding learners.

2.2 xTool P2 Basic Courses

xTool P2 is a full-featured desktop-class 55W multi-functional CO2 laser cutting machine. P2 uses CO2 laser tubes, which are more efficient but also more fragile than other laser engravers in the market. P2 has impressive cutting abilities, boasting 55W high power and 600mm/s high speed. It can cut through 18mm walnut and 20mm acrylic at once. Furthermore, it provides an array of impressive capabilities, such as the capacity to handle extremely long objects, perform surface processing, and accurately position dual cameras. Additionally, the machine adjusts the focal length automatically to ensure that the engraving effect is perfect, even on uneven surfaces.

laser cutting machine for makerspace; laser cutter for woodcutting course

xTool P2

xTool P2 55W Desktop CO2 Laser Cutter for Schools

After buying P2, what you need is a detailed basic tutorial. In Makeblock STEM classes, we have released several P2 basic courses for our users. These courses show you detailed cutting cases, from how to make your name label to how to edit inserting images like family photos with different pixelated effects. Owing to the practical and engaging cases in these courses, P2's basic guiding courses have received high praise.

2.3 mBot Neo Basic Courses

As a star product of Makeblock, many customers are curious about having more fun playing with mBot Neo. As a user-friendly, modular robot, mBot Neo is straightforward to construct and adapt, featuring integrated sensors and guidance to enable line following, obstacle detection, and task execution. Compatible with Makeblock's mBlock app and its visual programming platform, it simplifies coding through a drag-and-drop system.

If you are interested in how to build a 3-in-1 add-on pack with mBot Neo, and how to code mBot Neo to follow lines, you can download mBot Neo basic course in Makeblock STEM Classes to get illustrated information about mBot Neo.

mBot Neo; coding robot kit

Makeblock mBot Neo

Makeblock mBot Neo: Beginner-friendly Coding Robot Kit

3. The Y STEM Programs

stem-grades-k8; stem classes; the Y STEM programs

The Y is helping all children reach their full potential by supporting their unique youth development journeys. At more than 1,000 YMCA sites nationwide, kids are engaged in year-round STEM activities that nurture their curiosity, inspire creativity, and teach them how to succeed.

The Y STEM Programs provides a suite of educational initiatives aimed at fostering a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics among young learners. These programs, often offered by community organizations like the YMCA, are designed to provide hands-on, interactive experiences that inspire curiosity and encourage the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

By participating in the Y STEM Programs, learners can gain a solid foundation in STEM disciplines, develop a lifelong love for learning, and potentially pave the way for future academic and professional success in these exciting fields.

4. LEGO Teacher Resources

LEGO Teacher Resources is a treasure trove for educators looking to integrate the popular construction toy into their lesson plans. These resources offer a wealth of ideas, activities, and lesson plans designed to enhance learning across various subjects, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), language arts, and more.

By utilizing LEGO Teacher Resources, educators can transform the traditional classroom into a dynamic learning environment where students are actively engaged in their education, making connections between play and academic concepts.

5. Art Tango

STEM art classes; young children doing art creation work

Arttango K-5 Art Education provides complimentary art lesson plans tailored for kindergarten through 5th-grade students. These valuable lessons are readily accessible and serve as an excellent educational resource for art education at home. The program offers an impressive 30 art projects per grade level, summing up to a total of 180 projects. These comprehensive lessons encompass various artistic fundamentals, including line, shape, color, and other core elements of art.

While the art lessons are presented in a written format, Arttango also offers a video version of these lessons. This additional visual format is designed to deepen and solidify students' comprehension of artistic concepts, equipping them with a robust and well-rounded introduction to the world of art.

6. Timeble.io

Thimble.io is an innovative online learning platform designed to make web development education accessible and engaging. This platform stands out by offering a unique, hands-on approach to learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other STEM development skills.

Thimble.io provides a live, in-browser coding environment where learners can write, edit, and see the results of their code in real time. This interactive approach allows students to learn by doing, which is often more effective than traditional, lecture-based methods. It offers a variety of projects that guide learners through the process of building websites from scratch.

While the platform offers free access to its basic features, it also provides a premium subscription service with additional resources, such as video tutorials and more extensive project libraries.

For educators, Thimble.io offers a suite of resources, including lesson plans and teaching guides, making it a valuable tool for integrating web development into the classroom curriculum.

7. Outschool online STEM classes

Outschool STEM Classes is an excellent paid learning platform that offers a diverse range of STEM classes for different ages and groups. Outschool classes often include interactive elements, such as live sessions, group projects, and hands-on activities, which promote active learning and help students apply their knowledge in practical ways.

One key feature of this platform is the ability to select English or Spanish as the teaching language. The platform's online format allows students to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule, making it convenient for them to fit these enriching classes into their daily routines. Parents can use the filtering function to choose a suitable time to attend STEM classes.

8. Classcentral STEM classes

Class Central is a comprehensive online platform that aggregates a vast collection of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses from various providers, offering learners a diverse selection of educational opportunities. With over 200 STEM courses available for 2024, Class Central provides access to free courses and certifications from top universities around the world.

Class Central allows learners to choose from a variety of course formats, including self-paced, instructor-led, and interactive online courses, catering to different learning preferences and schedules. Courses are sourced from over 1000 universities and educational institutions, ensuring high-quality content and teaching from reputable sources. It offers both free and paid courses, giving learners the flexibility to choose based on their budget and learning objectives. Courses are available in multiple languages, making the platform accessible to a global audience.

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