It is not always easy for parents and teachers to find resources to teach students and children about the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Sometimes, the kids are so gifted with technology that they quickly become better than the master! Over the years, I’ve seen parents reaching out to me and asking what activities they could do with their children to keep them interested and challenged with STEM.
I remember when I was young. My mom wasn’t very good with computers. So I was the one helping her! Quickly, I started spending all my time in front of the screen. I would wake up very early to get more screen time (and play Neopets) before she would make me play outside. She realized I loved computers but didn’t know how to make that time productive, and she had no idea I was learning the basics of coding for my future career!
With that in mind, I wanted to create a list of great and free resources for young students to learn more about STEM fields. So, to complement this blog post listing free resources, I have created a database of all resources – free and paid – for children to experience STEM which you can find in Notion.
This blog post is sponsored by the Girls4Tech program from Mastercard and Discovery Education.
Free ressources for teaching technology to kids
Books and printable activities
With the goal of providing five million girls with an engaging STEM education by 2025, Mastercard has partnered with Discovery Education to launch the latest phase of the award-winning Girls4Tech initiative. Girls4Tech is Mastercard’s signature science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program geared towards giving girls in middle and high school access to STEM resources and career exploration tools, emphasizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity. All the content is available at no-cost and features helpful educator resources like activities, educator guides, presentations, and more!
In partnership with Discovery Education, Girls4Tech website is now available in Canada! The variety of no-cost activities about various subjects listed are available in 9 languages, including French!
- All Things Digital
- Big Data
- AI for social good
Online Lessons & Games
Canada Learning Code
Canada Learning Code is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that offers workshops all across Canada to children and adults of all genders. Additionally, they provide resources for teaching code and various lesson plans for all levels of programming networks, data, society, and design. Teachers can also use the resources to create technology lessons in their classes.
Kids Code Jeunesse
KCJ is a bilingual Canadian charity like Canada Learning Code that aims to give every Canadian child access to education on technology. They also have a focus on teaching girls and underserved communities.
On their website, they also offer various resources for parents and educators. Canadians can register for hands-on and virtual workshops, code clubs. You can attend code-along videos and coding projects on Scratch, HTML, Python, AI & Algorithms, and even unplugged activities for anyone around the world.
I experimented with the App Lab and quickly created this simple app that kids creating similar projects would be proud to share with family and friends!
Scratch is a free game that allows children to program their own stories, game, and animation through the website. Furthermore, once completed, students can share their stories with others online.
I have taught a Scratch workshop before to children, and I find it very fun and interactive. Sometimes parents can be overwhelmed with technology – but Scratch is very accessible, and it can be a good activity for kids to do with their parents.
You could go as far as designing some background images on Canva, uploading them to Scratch, creating music with BandLab or Soundtrap, and uploading them to Scratch to make a complete video game – where the students get to learn about graphic design, music-making, and tech logic!
Grasshopper: Learn to Code
Grasshopper is an app to learn how to code developed in the “Code with Google” program. The app’s objective is to make it easy for anyone to learn to code while on their commute or when you’re waiting in line!
PS: There is a business app with the same name as the Google app, so make sure you’re downloading the right app!
SoloLearn: Learn to Code
SoloLearn is a great Android and iOS app that offers free courses tailored for each student – people can also continue their learning on the website where they left off on the mobile app. In addition, SoloLearn will create a custom learning plan for the student by selecting how much coding experience they have, how many coding lessons they want per day, and the language they want to start learning.
Boasting millions of learners on each of their courses, SoloLearn is widely used worldwide for Python, C++, Java, C#, and many more languages.
Tynker is an app and website that allows children to learn coding, starting with block languages or even directly jumping to actual coding in python. In addition, they offer 20 free coding games, which is enough to start exploring the Tynker website.
There are a couple of other apps created for kids and children that you can find here:
Love Letters to Computers
Love Letters offers a series of videos and resources about computer sciences for students from kindergarten through the first few years of primary school (age 5-12). In short videos of under 10 minutes each, it teaches computational thinking, coding, data and algorithms, hardware, and more, always in simple terms for beginners.
Teachers and parents can also access additional teaching materials directly on the Hello Ruby website that created the series.
The Kid Should See This
TKSST is a blog with a collection of thousands of kid-friendly videos about many different topics: science, tech, space, animals, nature, food… the list goes on! As the tag line suggests, it aggregates “smart videos for curious minds of all ages,” so everyone will find something they’re interested in.
Websites to learn how to code
freeCodeCamp is a non-profit organization that aims to help people learn how to code for free. Therefore, all the features of the sites are free. Many learned how to code on freeCodeCamp and loved it. So, if you are ready to learn how to code, freeCodeCamp is a great way to get started.
I used Codecademy I was younger to learn the basics of Python! I enjoyed the “learn by doing” approach with a coding editor directly in the browser. Over the years, the pricing has evolved, but students can still access the courses for free.
Find more resources for teaching technology to kids
In addition to the resources listed in this blog post, I have created a Notion database that lists free and paid resources for teaching technology to kids and also to adults!
If you have any suggestions of resources and materials to add to this blog post or the Notion database, please leave a comment below and I will gladly add the new resource.
I hope this blog post was helpful and gave you some resources for teaching technology to kids and children – and even to adults. It is never too late to learn to program!
If you know of any additional free resources that would fit in this list, please leave a comment, and I will add your suggestion to this blog post to keep it updated as much as possible.