Science News for Students is a free online STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) news article site with NGSS topics for students in 6th-12th grade that are published daily. The website describes the writing level as, "both shorter news stories and longer features, all written with a vocabulary and sentence structure aimed at readers 9 to 14 years old." It is the kid-friendly version of Science News. Not only does it provide in-class reading material to supplement units in math, science, and language arts, it also has a list of Power Words within each article.
Power Words are STEM-related words that students at the article's readability level may not be familiar with. These words include definitions at the end of the article to help with understanding.
Another component the website has are two types of feature articles: Scientists Say and Explainer. Scientists Say are weekly articles that focus on a specific Power Word. Explainer are articles that focus on a specific topic. They also have current event articles that are uploaded regularly.
Most articles have links within the text to related articles. Many of the Scientists Says articles also have a text to speech component. All articles contain visuals, but only a few have videos to support the content. Some articles also provide questions for educators to use before, during, and after reading the article.
Pros & Cons from a Teacher's Perspective:
I am constantly trying to find free materials that will supplement instruction without causing a lot of extra work. These articles are definitely worth using due to their academic rigor and ability to use cross-curricular. They are also tied to the Middle and High School NGSS standards. In addition, the citation links at the end of the article provide additional resources for that particular topic. However, there are a few cons. First, there aren't many additional resources besides the article and citation links. Every article also has one or two ads that are education related. This was distracting to some of my students. The readability level is really for students in Middle School or higher. This is great for secondary teachers, but not ideal for elementary teachers.
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
The Tech Lovin' Teacher: Ed Tech TOSA, 15 year educator, tech enthusiast, curriculum creator