How to use this site in the classroom

Science News for Students publishes stories about recent research and current events across the full breadth of STEM fields. We offer several types of articles, weekly features and additional content that can aid the classroom.

Stories are grouped into topics, such as “space” “life” or “earth.” Each topic and any associated subtopics can be viewed in the dropdown menu at the top right of the page. Articles also can be searched by keywords using the search bar at the top right of the page, located above the topics.

In addition, many additional resources accompany stories to boost their impact in classrooms and on overall science literacy (see below).

Article Types

News Stories: The latest in science news, written for everyone. These are shorter news pieces (typically 350 to 800 words), usually focused on a single research study or advance.

Features: Published weekly (usually on Thursday), these longer pieces (around 1,500 to 2,400 words) have a broader focus and include reference to several scientists and research projects.

Explainers: SNS offers explainers on many topics, from how to read brain activity to the greenhouse effect. Each is designed to help teens and others take a little deeper dive into the concepts that underlie science news and research. Look for these explainers as convenient sidebars within news stories and features.

Scientists Say: This series features a new vocabulary term every week. Want to know what “keratin” is, or how to pronounce “niche”? Find out here. Each term is defined, used in context and accompanies an audio clip so that students can hear how the words are pronounced. Scientists Say fulfills Common Core English Language Arts standards for reading informational text. Check out the full list of words here.

Experiments: Bethany Brookshire takes students through real scientific research projects, showing them how to apply the scientific method to develop their own experiments. With a background in scientific research and a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology, Bethany takes normal classroom demonstrations and turns them into full experiments, with hypotheses, methods, results and analyses. Check out the full collection of experiments — and give one a try!

Cool Jobs: Scientists aren’t just people working in labs wearing white lab coats. This series offers dozens of feature-length articles about careers in science, technology, engineering and math. From scientists who study volcanoes to those who study artcrime scenes or pets, this series has something for everyone.

Invention and Innovation: Students today are growing up amidst a proliferation of new technologies. This series offers news stories on the latest in scientific innovations from wet suits inspired by sea otters to tiny robots that work in teams. This series is made possible with generous support from the Lemelson Foundation.

Analyze This: This series explores science through data, graphs, visualizations and more. Students are asked to interpret a visualization — and sometimes graph the original data. The series is intended to provide teachers with an easy-to-use tool for classroom learning about data interpretation.

Technically Fiction: These stories look into the science behind fiction, from Harry Potter to bigfoot to what it would take to make an elephant fly.

Student Science Competitions: Society for Science & the Public, which publishes Science News for Students, runs three student science competitions throughout the year: Broadcom MASTERS, the Regeneron Science Talent Search and the International Science and Engineering Fair. Science News for Students covers each event through profiles of competitors and highlights of winners.

Classroom resources

These resources can be found on the right side of the page on any story:

Readability level: Each article includes a readability score, indicated by a Flesch-Kincaid grade-level score of 6.0 to 9.0.

Classroom questions: Each feature-length article contains a link to a series of classroom questions. The questions are broken into groups to be answered before, during and after reading to enhance reading comprehension. Some questions also can be used to stimulate classroom discussions.

Word find: Each feature-length article also contains a word find puzzle, incorporating Power Words used within the article.

Another version in Science News: Many SNS stories have a corresponding version in Science News. Science News stories tend to use more advanced terms and more complex sentence structures — and thus read at an upper high school to college-level Flesch-Kincaid score. In some instances, educators may wish to have some of their students tackle the Science News version and other students the one in Science News for Students. Both are written by the same team of renowned journalists and contain the same facts, citations and sources. (Check out the Science News in High Schools program to learn more about how teachers can use Science News in their classroom.)

Further readings: Each article includes three further readings on the topic. These links lead to other articles about similar topics, allowing teens to dig into a topic more deeply, following their scientific curiosity.

These resources can be found at the bottom of the page:

Power words: Each article comes with a set of “Power words” located beneath the text (there is also a link to the list in the Resources at the top of the story). These glossary terms help students understand the scientific words they may encounter in the news and support Common Core English Language Arts standards for reading informational text.

Citations: Most articles will include a citation to any scientific research paper, report or meeting presentation referred to in the piece. The citation also includes a link, where available, so that educators and students can check out the primary sources of data and analyses that serve as the basis of news.

Next Generation Science Standards: Many stories contain codes related to the Next Generation Science Standards that they support. In addition, stories are searchable by the appropriate middle-school or high-school codes.