More Youth Leader Resources

CMU Center of Excellence in STEM Education provides a variety of opportunities for K-12 students and families to engage in hands-on activities that demonstrate the integration of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics and require collaboration and connection.

CMU Center for Excellence in STEM Education home page

CMU is offering summer camp in June, July, August, register today!

Challenge Island creates individual custom curriculum lessons around what the teacher is currently working on with the students to support and reinforce what is being taught.  In their unplugged programs, kids work in collaborative groups taking on exciting creative and critical thinking challenges from real world issues, set on a wide array of thematic island destinations.  Lessons include all five aspects of STEAM where kids work on both their STEAM skills and socio-emotional skills.  All Challenge Island curriculum aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Michigan State Standards. 

Learn more or book an in-school field trip

Challenge Island logo

Cisco Networking Academy free online courses and instructor-led curriculum.

CISCO free online courses

The Civil Air Patrol’s STEM Kit program provides STEM resources for hands-on, inquiry-based learning. If you are a teacher or informal educator (such as Scouts or youth groups), you may join Civil Air Patrol as an Aerospace Education Member (AEM) and apply for these free kits. Find out about all of our free aerospace/STEM programs for educators, and how to join by clicking the link below. 

Learn More® is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. CODE offers courses for elementary, middle school, and high school students.

More info about CODE and course catalog

Amazon Future Engineer program is designed to inspire, educate, and train young adults to pursue careers in computer science. 

Amazon Future Engineer home page

CSforALL is a central resource for individuals and organizations interested in K-12 computer science (CS) education. They connect providers, schools and districts, funders, and researchers working toward the goal of providing quality CS education to every child in the United States.

CSforALL Homepage

This online resource has lots of information on Place-Based Learning such as AI,VR, AR, etc. It is a good resource to dive deeper into STEM topics.

Getting Smart home page

Girls Who Code is a network and pipeline of future female engineers in the United States. Their mission is to close the gender gap in technology. Educators, Administrators, and college students who pair with a faculty member can all start clubs. A Girls Who Code Club: a FREE after-school program for girls aged 10-18 during the academic year.

Start a Girls Who Code Club

The Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative (GTSI) provides leadership and resources to support place-based education, school-community partnerships, and sustained professional development for teachers.

Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative home page

Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire Great Lakes curiosity, stewardship, and passion. Students develop an appreciation for the Great Lakes aboard our traditionally-rigged tall ship schooners, along the shoreline, and in the local wetland. Through hands-on, experiential learning activities for people of all ages, participants gain the knowledge needed to understand the commitment necessary for the long-term stewardship of the Great Lakes. Inland Seas has STEM Kits (and applicable training) with hands-on teaching tools available for loan to educators, youth leaders, and homeschoolers.

Inland Seas public and family programs

JA offers programs to help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace.

JA of Northwest Michigan

Khan Academy offers free practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard. This atmosphere encourages students to learn at their own pace. Some of the subjects offered are math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.

Khan Academy home page

Kids Gardening has a wealth of resources for educators to use when creating and sustaining a garden for their classrooms.  They have put together an incredible program that takes a classroom through creating a garden from start to finish.  What a fascinating program for children!  Igniting a passion within a natural science, like gardening, will teach self-sufficiency, independence and thinking through processes from start to finish.

Kids Gardening's program has: 

  • Books & Curricula
  • Lesson Plans
  • Garden Activities
  • Designing a School Garden
  • Creating & Sustaining a Garden Program
  • KidsGarden News

Details into their program can be found at

LinkEngineering is a community website of educators interested in providing meaningful engineering experiences for preK-12 students. These educators work with students in classrooms and other settings. This includes teachers, teacher educators, and administrators. The site allows members to connect with each other and engineering education experts.

LinkEngineering home page

MATHCOUNTS is a non-profit, national organization offering engaging math programs to U.S. middle school students of all ability levels, to build confidence and improve attitudes towards math and problem-solving.

MATHCOUNTS home page

The Michigan Science Olympiad is a Science team competition for elementary to high school. The program is co-curricular and students get a chance to explore a variety of topics. In each of the Middle and High School divisions, there are 23 separate events in which a student may participate. 

Michigan Science Olympiad home page

Mi-STAR, a Michigan Tech initiative, is a middle school curriculum that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Michigan State Standards. Students use science and engineering to address relevant, relatable, and real-world issues. Professional development is offered for teachers using the curriculum. The State of Michigan and the National Science Foundation both support Mi-STAR. 

More info about Mi-STAR

MiSTEM empowers educators to connect classrooms to careers through community partnerships. Working together, we will create a vibrant STEM ecosystem that ultimately leads to more engaged students and a stronger Michigan workforce. 

MiSTEM Home Page 

Michigan Technological University Mind Trekkers has comprised a treasure trove of STEM demonstrations. Each demo has a detailed lesson plan including materials list and instructions. Search demonstrations by subject and look for information about the educational standards covered in each activity.

Go to Mind Trekkers

A network of informal and formal educators, professional development opportunities, and online resources. 

National Geographic Professional Development 

Teachers and students have the opportunity to explore a virtual interactive exhibit developed for the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City to learn the History of Math through journeys of Ancient games and making machines fly. 

History of Math Homepage

This is a list of school and community education resources, by Networks Northwest. The Educational Development Plan (EDP) is also included on the website. Starting in elementary and continuing through high school, the EDP program creates an adaptive continuum of career and self-exploration that culminates in students finding a successful career path and filling the talent pipeline in the economy, hopefully, and most especially, that of Michigan's.

NMC Extended Education offers lifelong learning. Enjoy fun and informative learning in short courses, ranging from personal enrichment to professional development. For ages 3-100.

NMC Extended Education home page

There is no fee for participation in the Orion’s Quest (OQ) Program. Curriculum development, classroom material and classroom visits are provided without cost. OQ is an internet based, education program for upper elementary, middle and high school students. OQ employs current NASA research to reach and inspire “the next generation of explorers. Teachers must enroll in the program in order for students to enroll. 

More info about Orion's Quest       
Teachers Enroll

A company created (quarkmined) to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in northern Michigan, through events, education, and project-based hands-on learning. Offering robotics camps, challenges, and space to tinker, or dive into STEM hands-on. Check out Quarkmine for a full list of class offerings. Make, play, and learn, with a variety of STEM technology.

Quarkmine home page

RAFT offers a variety of lessons, idea sheets, activity kits, and tip sheets all in the STEAM fields.  Some of the lessons offered are Reduce your Impact on the Environment, Freshwater Transport, and Digital Citizenship. RAFT offers resources applicable to K-12 students on their website. 

RAFT EDUCATOR Resources Page

A community of educators, learners, and organizations that connect with the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab. K-12 students can engage in STEM learning in a fun and interactive way. Some students even have opportunities to design experiments to launch to space.

Lesson Plans

The STAR Library Network (STAR Net) is a hands-on learning network for libraries and their communities across the country. STAR Net focuses on helping library professionals build their STEM skills by providing “science-technology activities and resources” (STAR) and training to use those resources.

ST Math’s program starts by teaching the foundational concepts visually, then connects the ideas to the symbols, language, and robust discourse. With visual learning, students are better equipped to tackle unfamiliar math problems, recognize patterns, and build conceptual understanding. 

ST Math has made access FREE to districts as well as parents who are homeschooling their children during the nationwide COVID-19 closure.

ST Math home page

TC New Tech is a community for the tech enthusiast! Connect with entrepreneurs, local talent, and tech companies.  A great place to meet mentors, or pitch your own start-up idea. A winner is chosen each month from 5 pitch presentations.  If you are a tech expert or if you are generally interested in learning more about the tech field your attendance is strongly encouraged. 

Connect with TCNewTech

Tinkercad is an easy to use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It used by students, teachers, and hobbyists to create and design. 

Tinkercad home page

Students have the opportunity to be inspired by the excitement of hands-on STEM learning and know the feeling of creating something with technology. Robots are for everyone and VEX makes it possible for students to build and program educational robotic kits.

Vex home page