STEAM Resources

Click on a STEAM discipline to filter through the resources! Select two or more disciplines to find intersecting resources.











Art Canada Institute: Teacher Resources

The Art Canada Institute (ACI), is a not-for-profit charity and educational organization based at Massey College at the University of Toronto. In collaboration with Canadian teachers and cultural advisors, they have developed over 40 Teacher Resources Guides, available for free in both English and French, to enable K-12  educators to teach cross-curricular subjects through art. Developed […]

Coding in Classrooms

Coding is a set of instructions given to a computer to produce different kinds of output. Learning to code involves a variety of  competencies that can be introduced or developed in K-12 classrooms across the curriculum.

woman gestures with her hand while wearing virtual reality goggles

Embodied Learning: physical engagement and digital tech integration

Embodied, for our purposes, means that the learner has initiated a physical gesture or movement that is well-mapped or linked to the content to be learned.

man and child sitting in the forest, looking at plants and consulting a book

Species ID: whose names are these?

Engaging in species identification and classification is a common and, many would argue, necessary aspect of science education. There are many tools, digital and analogue to assist us as we explore and learn about the world around us. In a recent collaboration with the Education Library, we showcased a few resources and approaches to support […]

Design Thinking & ADST

Design Thinking is a series of steps that can help people understand the nature of a problem, then consider and test solutions. These steps are part of a cyclical process: the proposed solution may not solve the problem, and then participants will have to go back to earlier steps and work their way through again. […]

Space Exploration Resources (K-12)

Many students are fascinated by outer space and space exploration. Understanding our planet, solar system, galaxy, and beyond is part of the BC Curriculum for science at several different grade levels, including objects in the sky at grade 1, the earth’s orbit in grade 4, and tides and eclipses in Earth Sciences 11, among others. […]

Place-Based Learning: using your senses and digital tools as you experience nature

Hybrid Approaches to Facilitating High-Impact Experiences With the global pandemic, teachers are being challenged to teach online, face-to-face or both. The current situation, in addition to shifting practices in education over the past decade or more, causes us to wonder: How can we virtually facilitate high-impact, place-based learning experiences with our students? What practices might […]

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Design Challenges: Creating Class Community

Providing students with opportunities to work together, to set and achieve goals and problem solve through the process can help foster community building. Having students participate in a design challenge (developed by the teacher) is one way to facilitate purposeful, interdisciplinary engagement, in your classroom. As students become more familiar with the design thinking process, […]

Chat GPT: preliminary thoughts and resources

If you’ve been following the media in the past while related to generative AI (artificial intelligence) including ChatGPT (links to external resource), you may find the following resources of value as you consider the impact on teaching and learning. Many teachers are already incorporating or considering how to incorporate teaching about these technologies in their […]


Known also as fab labs, tinkering areas, or hackerspaces, makerspaces are generally areas where people can gather to make, create, and experiment with a variety of materials and tools. As the name suggests, makerspaces are spaces where people can make stuff. While these creations are often physical things, digital productions can also be included. Varying […]

Desmos Graphing Calculator

Most secondary math classes require the use of a Ti-84 graphing calculator.  However, nowadays there are other online options to produce elegant graphing and math simulations. One of the free,  yet still powerful, options is Desmos. Desmos is a free online tool that can make the affordances of a graphing calculator more accessible. It is […]

Podcast Series: interdisciplinary learning

Thinking Outside the Sandbox was created in summer 2020 as the result of a collaboration between two graduate students Belén Guillemin and Nashwa Khedr, together with Yvonne Dawydiak, Learning Design Manager, Teacher Education as part of the 2020 Scarfe Sandbox team. The inspiration for the podcast series came about as Belen and Nashwa interviewed Faculty […]

Honing  Pattern  Recognition  Skills through  Dance

Teaching dance steps can be an effective and  engaging  way to demonstrate and explain the concept of pattern recognition. Pattern recognition  is one aspect of computational thinking and is integral to the Applied Design Skills and Technologies Curriculum (ADST BC Curriculum). It is useful in fields such as: mathematics; computer science (programming and machine learning); […]

poetry graffiti

Found Poems: creating poems from words around us

Found Poetry is a form of poetry created from existing texts or literature. Words or phrases are taken out, refashioned, reordered, and presented as poems with new meanings. Similar to a collage, poetry can be made from newspaper articles, magazines, letters, street signs, speeches, poems, or even textbooks. Creating found poems can support interdisciplinary learning […]

Math Problems on IPad

Mathematics All Around Us: Podcast Resource Blogpost

“Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.” Galileo Galilei The last three episodes (episodes 7, 8, and 9) of our Thinking Outside the Sandbox podcast, are dedicated to discussing possible creative ways of teaching Math outside abstraction, in ways that embody more physicality and representation. Dr. Kerry Renwick, Dr. Susan Gerofsky, […]

Learning about and through Food: podcast resource post

Food is an interdisciplinary concept that intertwines through a wide range of subjects: home economics, science, math, arts, and many more. In Episode 5 of our recently launched Thinking outside the Sandbox podcast, Dr. Kerry Renwick, Dr. Susan Gerofsky, and Dr. Lorrie Miller share their ideas and experiences with respect to food and the development […]

Digital-Tech Integration: podcast resource post

Digital literacy is a critical element as we look to enhance teaching and learning in today’s classrooms. In Episode 2 of our recently launched Thinking outside the Sandbox podcast, Dr. Jennifer Jenson, Dr. Marina Milner-Bolotin, and Dr. Sandrine Han share their ideas and experiences with respect to digital technology integration and the development of digital […]

UBC physics and astronomy

Phenomenal Physics & Astronomy… At Home!

Throughout the summer, the UBC Physics and Astronomy Outreach team will be introducing physics and astronomy activities that can be easily done at home and adapted for online teaching & learning. Accompanied with extensive tutorials and detailed instruction guides, the Phenomenal Physics & Astronomy at Home program is an ideal resource for teacher candidates to […]

Opportunities for Outdoor Learning: podcast resource post

The recent announcement (May 19, 2020) by the Ministry of Education, while clarifying many aspects of what schooling will look like for the balance of this school year, has also caused concern and questions for both in-service and pre-service teachers. Below, I’ve shared a few resources that might support BEd TCs as they plan for […]

Intertwining Art: PodCast Resource Post

Art can be one of Education´s best ally! Wether it be by witnessing, or creating it, Art gives students and teachers the oportunity to engage with knowdlege in multiple ways.

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Math outside the classroom

The National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM) “is an international association advocating for high-quality mathematics teaching and learning for each and every student.” They are currently offering free memberships and providing access to research based resources including articles, learning plans and more. Given our current situation, teachers may find that parents and students are […]

Room Design Apps

What are room design apps? Room design apps are web or mobile applications that are used by interior designers to create mockups for floor plans. They vary in features, functionality and accessibility but all are similar in their function of creating a working layout for an interior design. Most of these apps are designed to […]

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TLEF Grant 2019 – 2021: Weaving together Arts with STEM

Weaving together Arts with STEM: Creating a living repository of pedagogical resources for UBC B.Ed., Graduate and Diploma Students Duration 2 Years Initiation 04/01/2019 Project Summary The BC curriculum emphasizes big ideas, inquiry, interdisciplinarity, and Indigenous ways of knowing. This unto itself poses an immense challenge to a Faculty of 700+ B.Ed., 800+ Diploma, 1100+ […]

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Interdisciplinary Unit Planning: Secondary Art, Sci, SS

Moving beyond a fragmented and isolated approach in lesson planning towards an interdisciplinary approach to unit planning with connections to social realities, this blog post takes you step-by-step through one approach to designing an interdisciplinary unit.

ADST Woodworking Basics Resources

Woodworking is an activity that can support life long skill development and the ADST curriculum across grade levels. With careful planning and consideration for safety (as well as appropriate school permission!) even very young children can learn to use hammers, saws, screwdrivers and other woodworking tools. In my own elementary school teaching, I had the […]

Circuitry Explorations: Tech Ed Stations

Play-based, hands-on learning activities appeal to our creativity and our curiosity. When combined with specific prompts and tasks, they encourage children by providing greater success and a more rewarding experiences (McLean & Harlow, 2017) as they learn about the world around them. When you combine a 9V battery with a handful of playdough and a […]

Tinkercad logo


According to its website, “Tinkercad is a free online collection of software tools” for what is known as 3D CAD (three-dimensional computer aided design) as well as coding, circuitry, and 3D printing. With a variety of target audiences, including students, parents, and teachers, as well as hobbyists and general enthusiasts, Tinkercad provides users with web-based […]

Geering Up! 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD)

STEM learning is more than different subject areas simply threaded together. Rather, STEM learning is “a seamless experience for the students that scaffolds the use of disciplinary concepts and practices for solving inter-disciplinary problems” (Dasgupta, Magana, & Vieira, 2019, p. 123). In keeping with that amalgamated spirit, this week’s focus as Create, Make, Innovate! wraps […]

Setting Our Sights on Virtual Reality

Virtual realities (VR) are computer-created environments in which people can interact with what has been programmed or, when linked to some kind of network or on-line access, with each other. Typically, users wear some kind of headset or goggles to facilitate their sensory experience, which is primarily visual (sometimes fully 360°) and perhaps aural and/or […]

Design-Based Learning: STEM and Simple Machines

Watching children play, particularly very young children, we can see they behave scientifically. Children observe and collect. They wonder and deduce, and they’re methodical. They collaborate – sometimes! – and when they’re puzzled, they experiment and make adjustments. At whatever age STEM learning occurs, though, make no mistake: it is real STEM learning, not mere […]

Secondary Science: some possibilities for digital tech integration

One cannot truly experience science without experiencing its technological dimension. As a result, emergent technologies have increasingly shaped students’ experiences with science as well as influenced their relationships with natural/physical world. (Oliveira et al, 2019) This fall, I had the pleasure once again of working with two of our Science Ed instructors, Leslie Johnstone and […]

Design-Based Learning (DBL) and Challenge Learning

“… we learn by doing.” So observed Aristotle in his study on how we should live, The Nicomachean Ethics, a work that is named – so scholars think – out of fondness for Aristotle’s father and son, both of whom were named Nicomachus. While obviously not a new concept to educators, the principle of learning-by-doing […]

Multimodal Learning and Multimedia Technologies

Multimodal and multimedia – are they the same? Multimodalities comprise symbols and our decisions to use them as well as our interpretations of them. For instance, the letters and words of this blog entry represent a visual mode of language that, taken together, present a text to an audience – it’s something we read! As […]

Upcycling and Repurposed / Recycled Art

Planning lessons and units on the basis of a theme or concept helps teachers to adapt a more interdisciplinary approach. This enables students to understand the chosen theme or concept through different disciplinary lenses. For instance, within the broader concept of environmental sustainability, students might study Math in order to “understand extremely small numbers… which […]

Spin Class: Drop Spindles and Textiles

Interdisciplinarity can be understood as a response to the rapid changes our world is facing today, particularly social, technological, and environmental changes. Yet interdisciplinarity does not advocate for an end to traditional subject disciplines. Rather, it calls on each discipline to “develop open, dynamic, and transactional approaches capable of depicting research in a network representation […]

Making Connections: playing with electrical circuits

This week in Create, Make, Innovate, we explore electrical circuits: squishy and paper-based. Play-based, hands-on learning activities appeal to our creativity and our curiosity.

Green Screen #wormholechallenge videos

The #wormholechallenge seems to have emerged on Twitter over the past few weeks spurred on by some improvements in iMovie that make ‘green screen’ videos highly accessible to those with the free mobile App or the full iMovie application on iOS. Using any green (or blue) background, you can create the appearance of a wormhole […]

UBC Seed Library: getting our hands dirty with making, creating, innovating!

Hands-on activities can be fun, even inspiring, and they’re a great way to introduce people to different concepts and new ideas, first-hand. Getting people active and chatting with each other helps get the ideas flowing… sometimes in ways we’d never thought of before, and sometimes with people we hadn’t realised have so much in common […]

Play-based Learning: introducing digital (and other) technologies

“Play is nature’s way of teaching children how to solve their own problems, control their impulses, modulate their emotions, see from others’ perspectives, negotiate differences, and get along with others as equals. There is no substitute for play as a means of learning these skills.” (Gray, 2013) Through play, children of all ages, including adolescents, […]

Play-based learning to Introduce Digital Tech – Lesson Plan

Play based learning and Digital Tech (Storybird example lesson plan – IMHO can be adapted to most any application, tool or technology from K to post-sec) Rationale: Learning through an experiential and socially constructed play-based approach, students are provided with agency and the opportunity to communicate and co-create their understandings. By NOT providing step by […]

Seeds and STEM: Science Rendezvous in the Faculty of Ed.

Thank you for participating in the Science Rendezvous event at UBC, for visiting the Faculty of Education and welcome to the Scarfe Digital Sandbox, an open educational resource to share digital technologies and STEAM learning resources and ideas for teaching and learning! If you took part in the Teacher Ed Green Screen, you can find […]

Poems from the Garden

Explore and be inspired by gardens that were, that are and that might be. Create and share eco-poetry in an online map. Consider the possibilities and issues with respect to outdoor learning and digital technology integration.

Merge Cube

Merge Cube is an Augmented Reality square that applies realistic graphics and 3D models with which users can engage (available on iOS or Android) using both free and paid apps on a mobile device. Merge Cube, along with available apps, allows users to apply a different interface to their experience. Some apps are simple viewers […]

Blocky-Games: Programmer en jouent

Blocky-Games est une série de jeux éducatifs pour enseigner le codage.  C’est fait pour les enfants qui n’ont jamais eu d’expérience en informatique.  A la suite de ces jeux, les joueurs pourront utiliser la base de texte pour programmer. Blocky-Games est conçu pour des élèves plus jeunes dans l’école primaire (de la maternelle à la […] logo (FR)

Code․org est une organisation non lucrative qui veut que toutes les écoles aient accès à l’informatique de la même manière que pour les maths et les sciences.  La formation des cours suit les pédagogies les plus communes au primaire et au secondaire. Un cours de Code Studio dure environ 20 hrs et des personnes de […]

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Tech Integration: Possibilities for Secondary Chemistry

Learn more about integrating digital technologies and emerging technologies into a Chemistry Classroom. This post shares the resources co-developed with Leslie Johnstone, a UBC Science Instructor, for use in her UBC BEd Secondary Chemistry Methods course.


Storytellers can bring life to words as they weave together details that create beautiful imagery in your mind and now there’s a digital tool that can bring those images to life. Storybird is a cloud-based tool that allows students and teachers to select from a variety of high-quality images and artworks to tell a story. […]

AR Flashcards: A new way to engage your students

AR Flashcards are a series of Augmented Reality apps used to teach your students words and concepts based on different categories such as animals, shapes, colors and planets. By using 3D animation, AR Flashcards bring print outs of animals and planets to life. Some main features include: colorful renditions of animals, dinosaurs and the solar […]

Paper Circuits

Paper circuits are easily constructed with different combinations of conductive material glued to or laid over paper. Materials may include conductive copper tape, conductive thread, insulated wires, paper clips, bulldog clips, pencil lead, virtually anything that allows electricity to flow. Combining these with 3V lithium batteries, LED lights, buzzers, etc. creates endless possibilities of circuits. […]

MakeyMakey and Educational Games

MakeyMakey is a fun and easily configurable controller students of all ages can use to interact with educational games while being creative and learning a bit about electronics. Once the MakeyMakey controller is connected to the computer students can use it to play almost any game or musical instrument that can be played with a keyboard! If you […]

Simulations for Science and Math

PHET, from the University of Colorado, Boulder, is an online repository of interactive simulations and lessons for the Science and Math classroom. Teachers can create a free account and begin to use PHET after confirming their account via email. free, open resources teacher account required requires download to play sims widely used in educational institutions […]

Tech integration in your Math classroom

Tech integration in math class is more than bringing a graphing calculator to class nowadays. With a wealth of digital resources on the web, math class can benefit from activating strategies that bring in familiar technologies and real world problems. With technology doing the bulk of calculations and solving formulas, tech integration in education opens […]