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Steps to Success » Maths and Science

STEM Resources to Explore at Home

Just like my students, I once had to study for my exams. Some people learn well by repetition and memorising. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. For me to be able to answer questions on a topic, I have to experiment until I fully understand it.
There are lots of learners like me, who do better by learning a subject deeply rather than quickly. For them, hands-on tools and real-world examples are the best way to study. I’ve got plenty of suggestions that are sure to help students at any age:

Young Scientists

The Young Scientists Magazine – This is a magazine weekly from Singapore. It’s published in English and available in Hong Kong. There are four levels covering all the way from P1&P2 to P6&S1
Horrible Science – If you’re familiar with the Horrible Histories books, you’ll like the science versions as well. They’re full of the gruesome, yucky bits of science. Awesome!

In Secondary School

New Scientist – A very popular magazine which brings you some of the most recent scientific developments. I always enjoyed reading it when it arrived weekly at my school library.
CGP Study Books – These books are aimed mainly at GCSEs/A-levels, but they’re fun and easily digestible. This means even if you aren’t taking these exams, you can still brush up on a huge range of topics.
BBC Bitesize – The BBC has massive library of resources on nearly every school subject in easy to understand English. Again, these are aimed at UK exam syllabuses but have interactive demos on many of their pages that are well worth watching.
PhET Simulations – I remember using these little applets at school with helpful animations to get to grips with some of the more mind-bending topics. You can find them at phet.colorado.edu (Look for the ones marked HTML5 for tablets/phones)

Preparing for Uni

Popular Science – This scientific periodical discusses up-to-date research and sometimes looks at the ethics related to the ever changing world we live in.
Podcasts – If you don’t already listen to podcasts, then you might not realise they’re a great way to digest information on the go. One on my favourites is the Guardian Science podcast. It goes quite deep into certain topics, and I always find it an enjoyable listen.
YouTube – You’d be foolish to dismiss YouTube as just for fun. There are thousands of hours of high quality educational materials available free if you look in the right places. Here are some of my picks: Numberphile (Maths), Periodic Videos (Chemistry), DeepSkyVideos (Astronomy), Veritasium (Science), 3Blue1Brown (Maths), Minute Physics (Physics), Minute Earth (Biology), fermilab (Particle Physics), SciShow/SciShow Space (Science), and Sixty Symbols (Physics).
Minutelabs – If, after watching some of those YouTube videos, you find yourself scratching your head, then these interactive demonstrations might help. Go to minutelabs.io to play with these simulations and solidify your understanding.