STEM Lab Grade 5   (#5020120)

Version for Academic Year:

Course Standards

General Course Information and Notes

Version Description

This course offers students an opportunity to deepen science, mathematics, engineering, and technology skills.  The primary content focus will be to expand knowledge of current grade level standards in mathematics and science by applying that content in a real world, hands-on situation involving engineering and technology.  For fifth grade, themes will focus on the investigation of number sense, measurement, geometry, and physical science concepts.

Students will participate in various hands-on STEM activities in this supplemental course to assist in the mastery of current grade level mathematics and science standards.

Instructional Practices 
Teaching from a range of complex text is optimized when teachers in all subject areas implement the following strategies on a routine basis:

  1. Ensuring wide reading from complex text that varies in length.
  2. Making close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.
  3. Emphasizing text-specific complex questions, and cognitively complex tasks, reinforce focus on the text and cultivate independence.
  4. Emphasizing students supporting answers based upon evidence from the text.
  5. Providing extensive research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).

Science and Engineering Practices (NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education, 2010)

  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering).
  • Developing and using models.
  • Planning and carrying out investigations.
  • Analyzing and interpreting data.
  • Using mathematics, information and computer technology, and computational thinking.
  • Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).
  • Engaging in argument from evidence.
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

English Language Development (ELD) Standards Special Notes Section:

Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English Language Learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in science and math.  For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success.  The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL's need for communication and social skills.  To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link:  {{AzureStorageLink}}/uploads/docs/standards/eld/sc.pdf.

General Information

Course Number: 5020120
Course Path:
Abbreviated Title: STEM LAB 5
Course Length: Year (Y)
Course Attributes:
  • Class Size Core Required
Course Status: State Board Approved

Educator Certifications

One of these educator certification options is required to teach this course.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this course.

Original Student Tutorials

I Sense a Disturbance in the Force… and Motion.:

Explore forces and how changes in forces can affect the motion of objects in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Kickin' It: Playing Soccer with Inertia:

Explore the relationship between mass, forces, and motion on the soccer field in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Electric Circuits:

Investigate how the flow of electricity requires a closed circuit in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Push It! Force and Motion:

Explore different kinds of forces, including pushes, pulls, magnetism, gravity, and friction in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Energy Transformations:

Investigate electrical energy and how it can be transformed into different forms including heat, light, sound, and motion energy in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Bee A Coder Part 1: Declare Variables:

Learn how to define, declare and initialize variables as you start the journey to "bee" a coder in this interactive tutorial. Variables are structures used by computer programs to store information.  You'll use your math skills to represent a fraction as a decimal to be stored in a variable.

This is part 1 of a 4-part series on coding. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.


Type: Original Student Tutorial

Investigate Like a Scientist: Types of Scientific Study:

Explore the differences between an experiment and other types of scientific investigations as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Electrical To Thermal Energy:

Learn how electrical energy is produced from earth's natural resources. In this interactive tutorial, explore the process to power buildings and other electronic devices.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Einstein's Guide To Forces And Motion:

Investigate and explain that when a force is applied to an object but it does not move, it is because another opposing force is being applied by something in the environment so the forces are balanced. This interactive tutorial also includes practice items to check your knowledge.


Type: Original Student Tutorial

Energy and Motion:

Explore the connection between energy and motion and help Thomas the turtle win the race by using your knowledge of energy and work in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Identifying the Control Group:

Learn to identify a control group and explain its importance in an experiment with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Do You Need Me to Repeat That?:

Learn about the importance of repeated trials in a scientific experiment with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Energy Scavenger Hunt at an Amusement Park:

Investigate and describe some basic forms of energy, including light, heat, sound, electrical, chemical, and mechanical, at the amusement park in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Some Like It Hot:

Learn how heat is a form of energy. You will also look at other examples of energy as they are found during a camping trip.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Marvelous Solid Mixtures: Let’s Sort them Out!:

Learn and demonstrate that mixtures of solids can be separated by observable properties in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Do We Do Science?:

Learn how authentic scientific investigations do not always follow the steps of the traditional "scientific method" with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Amplifying Forces with an Atlatl:

Ancient weapons technologies developed by humans proved that they were better at physics than the saber-toothed cats.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast


Testing for Static Electricity:

This four minute video features a great explanation and demonstration of static electricity. The video also includes a great activity suggestion: create your own electroscopes to test for the presence of static electricity.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

A Pendulum:

This virtual manipulative will help the students learn some important concepts of classical mechanics, such as gravitational acceleration, energy conservation and so on. This activity will also help in students learning via the process of making predictions (about number of pendulum swings), discussing outcomes and sharing results.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Friction (at Molecular Workbench):

Friction is important in enabling the movement of objects. Friction is a force that acts in an opposite direction to movement. Friction is everywhere when objects come into contact with each other. Observe what happens when the surfaces are very smooth or slippery, it reduces the friction and thus it makes harder to stop the motion.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Static Electricity:

This online manipulative models and simulates common static electricity concepts such as transfer of charge.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Signal Circuit:

This virtual manipulative will help you learn why the lights turn on in a room as soon as someone flip the switch. This virtual manipulative will allow you to flip the switch and watch the electrons.
Some of the sample learning goals can be:

  • Explain what happens when you turn on the switch.
  • Determine whether the blue spheres are positive or negative charges. Explain your thinking.

Type: Virtual Manipulative


This resource will build the following skills:

  • Describe the relationship of mass and volume to density.
  • Compare objects of same mass and different volume and vice versa.
  • Explain that density of a certain object does not vary with its mass or volume.
  • Measure the volume of an object from fluid displacement.
  • Use density to identify an unknown material.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Balance Challenge Game:

Play with objects on a teeter totter to learn about balance.

  • Predict how objects of various masses can be used to make a plank balance.
  • Predict how changing the positions of the masses on the plank will affect the motion of the plank
  • Write rules to predict which way plank will tilt when objects are placed on it.
  • Use your rules to solve puzzles about balancing.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Explore the forces:

Students can create an applied force and see how it makes objects move. They can also make changes in friction and see how it affects the motion of objects.

  • Identify when forces are balanced vs. unbalanced.
  • Determine the sum of forces (net force) on an object with more than one force on it.
  • Predict the motion of an object with zero net force.
  • Predict the direction of motion given a combination of forces.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Forces in 1 Dimension:

This is a virtual manipulative which demonstrates the principles of force. Students can click on a man and push different objects of varying masses across the screen. The resulting forces (frictional and total force) are shown. Graphs show forces, position and acceleration as a function of time. Free body diagrams of all the forces can also be viewed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Circuit Construction Simulation:

An electronics kit in your computer! Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, batteries, and switches. Investigate conductivity of various materials. Take measurements with the realistic ammeter and voltmeter. View the circuit as a schematic diagram, or switch to a life-like view.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this course.