NWAEA Online Resources

Supporting STEM in the classroom

Accessing the Resources

Did you know that Northwest AEA Media provides a number of digital resources that can be used to support STEM in your classroom? Iowa AEA Online is a virtual library that provides no-cost access to 14 high quality, web-based resources for accredited public and non public PreK-12 schools in Iowa. Students and staff have access at school and home. Find out more by visiting the Iowa AEA Online website or reading this one page summary of the resources.

In addition to the 14 resources provided by the Iowa AEAs, NWAEA also provides some additional resources. You can find out more about these resources by visiting Northwest AEA's homepage and clicking on the AEA Online resources link found near the top of the page.

To access these resources you will need a username and password. Every school served by Northwest AEA has been provided with a unique username and password. If you don't know what your username and password is, contact your teacher librarian or Pam Buysman at the AEA.

Some examples..

AEA Digital Library

AEA Digital Library is an Iowa AEA Online resource. AEA Digital Library is a relatively new resource and unlike other subscription based digital services, AEAs buy the digital content for AEA Digital Library. This collection includes streaming video, still images and digital documents. The resource has quality science resources that primarily target Middle School teachers. Educators can also create their own individual accounts in AEA Digital Library. Doing so will allow access to teacher materials that include teacher guides for using the content in your classroom. You'll need a building key to create your educator account. Again, ask the teacher librarian in your building or contact the AEA.

Atomic Learning

Atomic Learning provides online technology training for teachers and students. Topics range from all things Google, Common Core lessons, iPad training, Microsoft Office, apps, online safety and online teaching and learning. You can also use Atomic Learning to assess students and staff on technology skills based on ISTE standards. Want to learn more about Atomic Learning? Watch these series of tutorials to learn how to use Atomic Learning in your classroom.

BookFlix and TrueFlix

BookFlix and TrueFlix are interactive, read aloud eBooks. Both are part of the Iowa AEA Online set of resources. BookFlix targets a PK-3 grade audience, while TrueFlix is aimed at students in grades 2-5. Both resources provide science content that students can read independently or have read to them. The site also includes lesson plans, project ideas, recommended web sites, and comprehension activities.

Britannica School

Britannica School provides content at four different reading levels. Britannica Learning Zone is for PK-2 grade students. There is also an elementary, middle and high school version. What's unique about Britannica school is the seamless way content can be differentiated for users. It's easy to choose different reading levels without changing the interface. Britannica School also lets all users create individual accounts. Educators can use a school code to create a teacher version of that account. Britannica provides popular how to's which includes how to write a science lab or science report. Britannica also has learning games, manipulatives and interactive lessons to help students master mathematical and scientific concepts.
Britannica School

Gale Resources

Gale is primarily a periodical resource. If you want to find current information on science, technology or engineering topics, Gale would be a good choice. Gale provides resources for students across grades levels as well as professional resources for educators. The Gale resource also includes images, videos and podcasts. Click on the following links to learn more about the Gale resources: Kid's InfoBits, Infotrac Junior, and Infotrac Student,


MackinVia is one of the additional resources Northwest AEA provides. In fact, seven AEAs in Iowa have formed a mini consortium to purchase eBook and more recently audio book content for their schools. MackinVia is the portal where eBooks purchased by Northwest AEA are made accessible. The collection is K-12 and includes many nonfiction titles. Many of the titles have unlimited simultaneous access as well which means the eBooks can be used by all students in your classroom at the same time. Other titles have multiple copies but access is limited by the number of copies available. MackinVia allows users to create individual accounts as well by creating a backpack account. The backpack allows users to tag favorites, view checkouts, and save notes. MackinVia also has an app so eBooks can be read and accessed on mobile devices.
One librarian's take on How2 use MackinVIA.

SIRS Issues Researcher

SIRS lets students explore and consider the pros and cons of over 300 social issues. A few examples of issues that would be of interest in STEM classrooms include: alternate energy sources, animal cloning, environmental issues, genetically modified foods, and Internet censorship.


TeachingBooks.net provides resources of instructional materials that will help you use both fiction and nonfiction books in your classroom. Available resources include: author interviews, meet the author movies, book guides and lesson plans, book trailers, book readings, and booklists. Nick Glass, creator of TeachingBooks.net also provides ideas about using books in various curricular areas including science.
Introduction / Overview Tour of TeachingBooks.net