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Teaching and Learning with Online Educational Videos: A Subject List of Web Resources for Educators (August 2013): Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

By Susan Ariew

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

In terms of educational subject matter, some of the best and highest-quality educational videos on the World Wide Web appear to be in the sciences for learners at all levels of inquiry.  Below is a list of STEM-related video sites by broad subject categories.

Astronomy and Physics

Carl Sagan’s COSMOS
(YouTube One Channel)

This channel is devoted to the best of Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos.  Clips cover science topics that range from the historical to the futuristic.

Mars Exploration Rover Mission

This multimedia video gallery sponsored by California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers short videos of the Mars exploration launches; cruises on the terrain of Mars; navigation; entry, descent, and landing; and impact to egress.  All videos are offered in various formats, including some with captions.  The webcast archive includes more videos, ranging from “Women Working on Mars: What Do Engineers Do?” to newscast “PreLaunch Briefings” with the media.  The site also features a Mars for Kids section with games, resources, and fun activities.  Mars for Educators includes lesson plans, educator workshop information, curriculum supplements, and links to helpful NASA resources.

NASA Television
(YouTube One Channel)

Featured playlists include videos about various NASA expeditions, “sciencecasts” about astronomy, astronauts, and news events.

Sixty Symbols
(YouTube One Channel)

Sixty Symbols, from the University of Nottingham, has a collection of cool videos with experts talking about physics and astronomy topics such as rainbows, northern lights, magnets, black holes, large hadron colliders, and more.


The Periodic Table of Videos

This quirky site, sponsored by the University of Nottingham and created by video journalist Brady Haran, includes videos about all 118 chemical elements in the periodical table of chemical elements.  The videos feature working chemists from the University of Nottingham.  In addition, the site has a new series, The Molecular Videos, featuring favorite molecules and compounds.

General Science

Bill Nye the Science Guy

The very popular TV science personality has spent twenty entertaining years on television helping to foster a more scientifically literate society.  Nye’s site includes fourteen free Bill Nye videos, along with information for young people and teachers that includes home science demonstrations, episode guides, printable worksheets, and Bill Nye’s pop quiz.  Additional videos are linked to his articles in his blog archives at the site.  For example, a video hosted at the Planetary Society site shows him moderating a panel discussion titled “Climate Change on Earth and Other Planets.” with over 600 people attending.  Nye and four distinguished scientists address the issue.

NOVA Education

The NOVA Education site offers a variety of resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to life in educational settings.  The free digital library is tied to teaching standards and includes video, audio segments, activities, and more.  Material is organized by subject matter: anthropology, archaeology, earth science, engineering, environmental science, forensic science, geography, health science, history, life science, math, paleontology, physical science, science and society, space science, and technology.  All topics include information about the media, background information, and questions for discussion.

Robert Krampf Science
(YouTube One Channel)

The videos on this YouTube channel are all featured “experiments of the week” that are part of science teacher Krampf’s The Happy Scientist blog.  Videos explain in simple terms science topics like static electricity, relativity, and radioactivity.

SciShow News
(YouTube One Channel)

When will the universe end?  Does size really matter for attracting a mate in the animal world?  These and many more questions are addressed in Hank Green’s SciShow News vlog, explaining the latest science research findings in the news.  Topics are timely, interesting, and entertaining.  Videos are short and perfect as clips that teachers can use in the classroom.

Science Channel
(YouTube One Channel)

One finds videos about outer space, leading scientific exploration, new technology, earth science basics, and more on this YouTube channel from Discovery Communications’ Science Channel.

The Science Channel
(YouTube One Channel)

Sponsored by Science TV, high-quality videos include science topics that range from the Milky Way to human evolution.

Sick Science!

Sick Science!, from, provides videos of easy, hands-on science experiments that can be done at home or in the classroom.

Vega Science Trust Videos

This site includes video interviews and lectures with great scientists such as Richard Feynman and Nobel Prize laureates.  Also included are videos featuring women in science, science careers, science lectures, research projects, “The Next Big Thing” in science, documentaries, art and science videos, and discussions of issues of concern (such as climate change and malaria).



Starting in 2004, a grant from William R. Hearst III and others enabled MSRI (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute) to offer free access to VMath workshops, seminars, and special events.  Video and media topics from workshops, seminars, and special events include teaching and learning algebra, teaching mathematics to teachers, mathematical knowledge for teaching K-8, quantum geometry, string theory, and more.

Natural Sciences

Animal Planet
(YouTube One Channel)

Aside from videos that focus on the obsession with finding Bigfoot, this channel has some excellent and entertaining videos about life in the animal kingdom.


Sponsored by Wildscreen, a nonprofit UK organization that specializes in endangered species, this site offers over 100,000 photos and videos of animals, plants, and fungi.  Wildscreen is devoted to conservation and protection of wildlife and is a valuable resource for education and public awareness about natural science.  ARKive offers educational resources for kids by age groups.

California Academy of Sciences
(YouTube One Channel)

Videos on this channel explore and explain the world of natural sciences.  Features include everything from informal chats with academy scientists to “science in action” videos relating science to everyday life, news clips about the academy, careers in science, and even animated videos with schoolhouse rock music about amphibians.

Garland Science
(YouTube One Channel)

Garland Science is a publisher of scientific textbooks mostly in the area of cell and molecular biology.  Videos on this channel were developed in tandem with the textbooks in order to “help foster an understanding and appreciation of the remarkable dynamics of the microscopic and molecular world.”  Videos focus on immunology, cell biology, and molecular biology.

National Audubon Society
(YouTube One Channel)

Videos on this site concentrate on the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems, with a focus on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the biological biodiversity of Earth.  Subjects range from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to green projects and information about birds.

Nature Online Video Streaming Archive

The main site of the journal Nature includes a variety of resources related to STEM research: news and commentary, research, careers and jobs, the current issue of Nature, the journal archive, and audio/video resources.  The streaming videos accompany selected articles and letters.  They include interviews with scientists behind the research on a variety of science-related topics.  The site also points to the Nature Video YouTube channel that includes 114 video clips, with content that allows users to embed and share videos through blogs, websites, mobile devices, and e-mail.

Wildlife Conservation Society
(YouTube One Channel)

Videos are related to animals and wildlife in five parks in New York City: The Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and New York Aquarium.  Hundreds of videos feature animals in these parks; others focus on saving wildlife and wildlife habitats.