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Back to School with Science Buddies' Google Classroom Integration

New Science Buddies' support for Google Classroom allows teachers to more easily manage STEM assignments. With new quizzes, project submission forms, and hundreds of assignable projects and STEM reading materials available, teachers can create science assignments with the click of a button.

Science Buddies is excited to announce immediate availability of its new Google Classroom Integration, a robust set of free tools on the Science Buddies website designed to make it easier than ever for Google Classroom teachers to create and manage student science assignments and science projects.

Supporting Science Teachers in the Classroom

Science Buddies provides free science education resources for more than fifteen million users each year and is a trusted resource for K-12 science education teachers and their students. As an award-winning online source of science education materials and project ideas, Science Buddies makes it easy for students to locate projects of interest and for teachers to access science education and science fair materials. With new Google Classroom Integration, Science Buddies takes educator support to the next level and enables teachers greater flexibility for using Science Buddies materials in a digital classroom.

In recent years, flipped classrooms, blended learning, paperless classrooms, and increasing use of in-class computers and devices have changed the way teachers and students interact with educational materials and the way teachers approach making assignments and collecting student work. In developing its new support for teachers using digital classroom management systems, Science Buddies chose to integrate with Google Classroom, a tool already being used by an estimated 27% of the Science Buddies educator community. With Google Classroom Integration, Science Buddies extends enhanced teacher and classroom support to thousands of teachers and their students.

Google Classroom in Schools

Google Classroom, part of the Google Apps for Education suite of tools, is a popular blended learning management system for school districts. With Google Classroom, teachers can create assignments, and students can complete and submit their work online in a secure virtual classroom environment. Science Buddies' Google Classroom Integration fills in a missing piece of the digital classroom puzzle for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers and makes it possible to easily create science assignments from Science Buddies and to assign and track the entire life cycle of a student science project.

With Google Classroom Integration, the content teachers already trust can be digitally assigned to students for streamlined management. More than 15 thousand pages of original K-12 science education material are now available, at the click of a button, to assign to students. Popular checklists and handouts have been updated and reformatted specifically for use with Google Classroom Integration, and new assessment materials have been added.

Powerful Google Classroom Integration

Science Buddies' Google Classroom Integration enables teachers to assign students quizzes, submission forms, reading materials, project-finding activities, science projects, and even research-oriented homework from the Science Buddies website—all with the click of a "Create Assignment" button. When making an assignment, teachers can specify due date, possible point value, and specific assignment instructions. Once students complete their assignments, teachers can view, grade, and return submissions using our Google Classroom Integration tools.

Assigning students to find and do a science project has never been easier. Teachers who send students to Science Buddies to use the popular Topic Selection Wizard to help students discover projects of interest can now "assign" the Topic Selection Wizard and see the project recommendations each student received. Students can submit a project selection form for teacher approval, and teachers can assign individual steps of the Scientific Method and Engineering Design Process to keep students on track. The ability to create assignments for each step of a science project is one of the most requested features from teachers, and we are excited to be able to offer teachers enhanced visibility to student work at each step of the project.

The Digital Science Classroom

"For more than a decade, teachers have been printing out resources from Science Buddies and having students use our Topic Selection Wizard to find a great hands-on science project," says Dr. Sandra Slutz, Director of Science at Science Buddies. "With our Google Classroom Integration, teachers can bring all of these resources into Google Classroom as digital assignments."

"In launching our Google Classroom Integration, we spent time talking to teachers and focusing on what they need," Slutz continues, "Along with helping teachers move towards a paperless classroom, Google Classroom Integration enables Science Buddies to offer teachers new tools like quizzes to assess student knowledge about how science and engineering are done and guided 'My Science Project' submission forms to help students working on science projects."

Key features of Science Buddies' Google Classroom Integration include:

  • Master Google Classroom Integration page for easy access to assignable content
  • Ability to assign materials related to all steps of the Scientific Method and Engineering Design Process
  • Availability of quizzes to help assess student understanding of key concepts related to the Scientific Method and Engineering Design Process
  • Ability to assign the Topic Selection Wizard to students and see their results
  • Availability of project submission forms to help teachers review, approve, and track student projects
  • Ability to create graded and non-graded assignments
  • Ability to create assignments from more than 1,150 scientist-authored student Project Ideas
  • Ability to create assignments from our shorter Science Activities or Classroom Activities
  • Ability to create assignments related to Science Career profiles
  • Ability to create assignments related to Science News articles from major sources, including Science News, Science News for Students, Scientific American, EurekAlert!, and NASA

Making a Difference for Thousands of Teachers and Students

According to Kenneth Hess, Founder and President of Science Buddies, Google Classroom Integration represents an important step for Science Buddies, one that has the potential to increase the number of students doing hands-on science exploration each year by making it easier for teachers to manage these assignments. "With our Google Classroom Integration, we continue to meet teacher demand for leading-edge digital management tools to support K-12 science education and hands-on science projects," says Hess.

"With Google Classroom Integration, we are giving science teachers robust new tools that extend the value of Science Buddies for 21st century classrooms."

Gathering Teacher Data and Feedback

Google Classroom Integration is available for immediate use by any Google Classroom teacher. A pilot program with Google Classroom teachers in Texas (TX) and Michigan (MI) will begin later this month.

"The teachers who are participating in the pilot program are highly engaged Google Classroom educators who have agreed to give us feedback about how they're using the tools we've created and what they would like to see next," says Megan Arnett, Project Manager at Science Buddies. "Feedback we gather from the pilot program will give us immediate and definitive information about how the Google Classroom Integration is being used and how it can be improved."

Questions about Science Buddies' new Google Classroom Integration? See our Google Classroom Integration FAQ.

Supporting K-12 STEM Education

Development of Science Buddies' Google Classroom Integration was made possible thanks to generous support from the Cisco Foundation and other sponsors.

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