Family Resources

From exploring personal interests to selecting and paying for college, these discussion starters provide guidance and insight to help facilitate conversations with your student(s) at home.

Family Discussion Starters

9-12
Family Discussion Starter

Finding The Right College Fit

Considering and applying to college can be an overwhelming process for families. This discussion starter will help families focus on key areas in a college search from...
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9-12
Family Discussion Starter

Navigating Financial Aid

For many families, paying for a college education may seem out of reach. Very few can afford to pay for one year of college, let alone four. And many families automatically assume...
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College Tidbit Video Series

Video: College Tidbit

College Tips for Your Freshman Year

You are heading off to college. Congratulations! Before you go, start planning out how to take advantage of the resources your campus has to offer. Who can be part of your supportive network? What other financial planning resources can you seek out? In this video, learn a few tips for navigating your freshman year at college!
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  • Social Emotional Learning
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Video: College Tidbit

Exploring Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering and community service are rewarding in and of themselves, but especially for students hoping to demonstrate to colleges that they are a well-rounded student. But how can you volunteer if most things are virtual? And what are some tips to finding volunteer opportunities? In this video, learn how you can still make a difference in your community with some creative ideas and useful tips.
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Video: College Tidbit

FAQs About Pursuing Higher Education

So you know you want to go to college, but are you feeling lost or overwhelmed with where to start? No matter what grade you are in, it is never too early to begin planning for life after high school. In this video, learn from two young professionals who have graduated college as they share tips about managing deadlines, filling out applications and conducting a college search.
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Video: College Tidbit

How to Find and Secure Scholarships

The cost of attending college can provide serious sticker shock. But there are ways to help “reduce the gap” between your cost of attendance and what you actually owe. In this video, learn a few tips and strategies for searching and applying for scholarships. After all, scholarship money never needs to be paid back!
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  • Social Emotional Learning
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Video: College Tidbit

How to Navigate College Financial Planning

Talking finances with your family may not be easy, but it is important to do so when figuring out how to pay for college. Knowing where to start and what exactly you should talk about can help ease the conversation. In this video, learn a few tips about financial planning with your family that will help you figure out how best to pay for college.
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  • Social Emotional Learning
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Video: College Tidbit

How to Succeed in Virtual Interviews

Whether for college, an internship or a scholarship opportunity, interviews can help set you apart. But with an interview comes a lot of anxiety! In this video, learn about ways to prepare for an interview – especially if done virtually – that will ease your nerves and set you up for success.
  • College and Career Resources
  • Technology
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Video: College Tidbit

Life on Campus, Study Habits and More

Are you curious what life on a college campus is really like? How do you make the most of your meal plan? What are ways to overcome a challenging class? How do you adjust to life away from home? In this video, learn from a current UCLA college student about the ins and outs of life on campus.
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Video: College Tidbit

Tips from College Admissions Officers

Will you be applying to colleges soon? If so, you may be feeling application anxiety. But fear not, you are not alone! In this video, hear from two admissions officers – from Clark University and Wellesley College – as they share valuable tips and insights into what they look for when reading college applications.
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  • Social Emotional Learning
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STEM Unplugged Video Series

Video: Stem Unplugged

Breaking the Force to Explore Surface Tension

Are you ready to break the force – the intermolecular force, that is?! With a few common household items, this episode of STEM Unplugged will explore the chemistry concept of surface tension with two exciting activities that can be done at home.
  • STEM
  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

How to Build a Moon Model to Study Lunar Phases

Do you ever wonder how astronomers study moons and planets that are millions of miles away? By developing models! Even though the moon is out of reach for most people, we can still build models to understand its orbit and rotation. This episode of STEM Unplugged shows students how to build a model of the moon to understand lunar phases.
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  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

How to Calculate the Volume of a Clubhead

How does an ancient mathematics principle connect to the sport of golf? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, students will go back in time to learn how an ancient Grecian principle is used by modern golf professionals when measuring the volume of club heads. Using the Archimedes Principle, golfers can understand how a club head’s volume can affect their swing and overall game.
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  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

How to Experiment with Pharmaceutical Engineering

Do you ever wonder how vitamins and pills actually do their job? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, students will learn how engineers design pill casings for medicines to deliver a desired effect in the human body through a step-by-step experiment that can be done at home.
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  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

How to Use the Engineering Design Process to Solve Problems

Do you ever wonder how engineers build some of the world’s tallest towers? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, students will learn about a five-step engineering design process that they can use to find solutions to real-world problems. Students will come away with new skills that will allow them to tackle all types of engineering design challenges.
  • STEM
  • Engineering
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Video: Stem Unplugged

Making Rock Candy Crystals

Do you want to learn about the science of candy? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, students will uncover the chemistry behind rocky candy crystals through a hands-on at-home experiment. Using materials found around the house, students will learn how to make rock candy and get a quick lesson in seed crystals, solubility and supersaturation!
  • STEM
  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

Mind Jar: A Simple Tool for Calm

Ever feel like your mind keeps racing? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, we’ll highlight how our brain reacts when we’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed. A quick lesson on the biology of the brain introduces students to the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala while explaining the role they play in keeping the mind calm. Following five easy steps, students will leave the lesson with a mind jar that that will bring them a little peace of mind.
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  • Social Emotional Learning
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Video: Stem Unplugged

No Pressure with this Easy Barometer

Do you ever wonder how meteorologists predict the weather? With a few common household items, this episode of STEM Unplugged will show you how to make a tool that can help track changes in air pressure to predict the weather at home.
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  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

Outdoor Explorations

Have you ever really explored the sights, sounds, colors and textures in your environment? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, students will go on an outdoor exploration of their backyards or neighborhoods and investigate with their senses to dive deeper into the natural environment. All that’s needed is a notepad, a writing utensil, and sharp observation skills!
  • STEM
  • Science (Life)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

Testing Methods to Clean an Oil Spill

Have you learned about oil spills and wonder how exactly scientists clean up a mess of that scale and size? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, students will explore the science behind an oil spill and perform household experiments to understand the various solutions to this real-world environmental hazard.
  • STEM
  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

The Science Behind Bubbling Lava Lamps

Curious about what causes those mesmerizing bubbles in lava lamps? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, students will make their own lava lamp using a few common household items while getting a quick lesson on density and chemical reactions.
  • STEM
  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

The Science Behind Chromatography Art

Did you know that there is more to color than meets the eye? In this episode of STEM Unplugged, students will take a quick course in chromatography, conducting a hands-on activity that brings together science and art.
  • STEM
  • Science (Physical)
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Video: Stem Unplugged

The Scientific Secret of Fluffy Pancakes

Do you want to learn a little chemistry while cooking? In this episode of STEM Unplugged we'll walk students through a quick at-home experiment to show how a simple chemical reaction can lead to some yummy, fluffy pancakes!
  • STEM
  • Science (Physical)
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Design Challenges

Ready to have some fun? These family-friendly activities will unlock your creativity to explore, design and test solutions for real-world problems. The challenges use everyday household items but you can switch them out with similar items you have at home.

Watch the Design Challenges Introduction for students at homeInvent a Vehicle Demonstration Video

5-Day Challenge: Design a Game

Build a game that the family can play by the end of the week.
Design a Game Challenge Spanish Language Version

5-Day Challenge: Musical Instruments

Build musical instruments that the family can play at the end of week.
Musical Instruments Challenge Spanish Language Version

5-Day Challenge: Animal Shelter

Build an animal shelter with materials found inside and outside the house.
Animal Shelter Challenge Spanish Language Version

5-Day Challenge: Wordless Picture/Photo Book

Use a simple design process to create a wordless picture or photo book.
Wordless Picture/Photo Book Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Invent a Vehicle

Develop a new vehicle for transporting hazardous waste.
Invent a Vehicle Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Move the Marbles

Create a maze to move marbles from the tabletop to the floor.
Move the Marbles Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Build an Alphabet Block

Create a cube/block with letters of the alphabet.
Build an Alphabet Block Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Build an Arch

Build an arch that is three feet tall.
Build an Arch Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Miniature Amusement Park

Build an amusement park on a square of cardboard.
Miniature Amusement Park Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Spin a Marshmallow

Create a device that will spin a marshmallow.
Spin a Marshmallow Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Suspend It

Suspend an egg from a paper clip hanging from a yardstick.
Suspend It Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Car Showcase

Create a pedestal for each of the miniature cars.
Car Showcase Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Parachute

Design a parachute that can hold weight and descend slowly.
Parachute Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Move the Ping Pong Balls

Build a ping pong ball launcher.
Move the Ping Pong Balls Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Go The Distance

Create a flying machine that travels the farthest possible distance.
Go The Distance Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Move The Can

Using a string, you must move an unopened can across the floor.
Move The Can Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Tallest Tower

Build the tallest, free-standing tower with newspaper.
Tallest Tower Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Move The Cotton Balls

Move the cotton balls into the paper bag without touching the cotton balls.
Move The Cotton Balls Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Design A Trampoline

Design a trampoline that will lift an object that weighs three ounces.
Design A Trampoline Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Basketball Shooter

Design a basketball shooter and hoop.
Basketball Shooter Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Space Lander

Design a lander that can keep two mini marshmallows (“aliens”) inside a cup.
Space Lander Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Simple Device

Design a device that will move a cup of beads from one side of the table to the other.
Simple Device Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Bridge Builder

Build the strongest bridge with a unique design.
Bridge Builder Design Challenge Spanish Language Version

Flotation Device

Design a device that will float in water and hold 50 pennies.
Flotation Device Design Challenge Spanish Language Version
Meet Kavya Kopparapu

Meet Kavya Kopparapu

Named Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018, Harvard student Kavya Kopparapu is on a mission to introduce more girls to STEM. Her nonprofit, GirlsComputingLeague, has allowed her to reach thousands of girls and speak at numerous distinguished STEM events across the country.

Learn More