Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Fairfax County logo

Teen Events and Resources

Stuff for Teens

Good Starting Points

For online practice tests and tutorial courses for students, see LearningExpress Library database. (Choose School Center. Requires a library card.)

  • Distance Learning Resources
    • Wide Open School
      This collection of free activities and resources aims to help students, parents and teachers feel more comfortable with distance learning. It consists of three main sections.
      • Student Activities. Students choose subjects such as math, science, social studies, reading, fitness, arts, field trips and more. Then they choose their grade level category to find lessons, videos, websites and activities. They can also select the Daily Plan for their grade level to find daily lessons, well-being activities and brain breaks.
      • Family & Teacher Center. The Family Center offers advice to parents and caregivers to help make a better learning from home experience. The Teacher Center helps teachers find resources to work with families, tips for teaching with technology and more.
      • Recursos en Español. Offers activities and resources for Spanish speaking families.

Wide Open School was created by nonprofit organization Common Sense with more than 80 content partners and supporters.

  • DK Find Out!
    This highly visual site offers articles, quizzes and videos to help kids learn and explore the world.
  • Khan Academy
    This site offers free educational videos for kids and teens. Content includes math, science, history, reading, test preparation and more.
  • Newsela
    Create a free account to read articles about current events and other topics. Each article is available in five reading levels from elementary to MAX (the original version). Articles come from Newsela’s content partners such as The Washington Post, Scientific American and Smithsonian.com. You may practice writing responses and answer quiz questions about what you’ve read. Some articles are also available in Spanish.
  • Smithsonian
    The Smithsonian Institutions are world-renowned facilities of research and education. There are a variety of subjects of interest and primary resources for research needs. Kids and teens can learn about art, history, culture, science and nature. Also check out Open Access for free use pictures from all the Smithsonian museums and collections.
  • TED-Ed
    Students can discover big ideas by watching short, animated videos. The subjects include math, arts, science and social studies. TED-Ed encourages students to create their own TED-style talks. This project is part of TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.

Languages

You may also like Online Language Resources and Learning English.

  • Conjuguemos
    An "online workbook" that lets students practice vocabulary, verbs and grammar. Includes French, German, Italian, Korean, Latin, Portuguese and Spanish languages. With a free account, students may record grades and keep track of their progress.
  • Duolingo
    The philosophy behind Duolingo is that everyone should be able to learn a language for free. This site offers courses in Spanish, French, German, Italian and other languages.
  • WordReference
    This free, online translation dictionary focuses on the language pairs of English-Spanish, English-French, English-Italian, Spanish-French and Spanish-Portuguese although other languages are represented.

Literature

You may also like Online Literature Resources.

  • Crash Course Literature
    Follow John Green as he helps you explore literature through classic texts such as The Great Gatsby, Romeo and Juliet, The Catcher in the Rye and the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Continue discussing additional titles in Literature 2, Literature 3 and Literature 4.
  • Literary Criticism on the Internet
    This site links to legally available, free articles for literary criticism of American and British writers. The articles, screened by a literary scholar, have been published in peer-reviewed journals and books from academic presses.
  • Shmoop — Literature
    Study literature and poetry and be entertained at the same time. Developed and written by Ph.D. and masters students from top universities, Shmoop's mission is to make learning and writing more fun for high school and college students.

Math

  • American Mathematical Society — Information for High School Students
    Learn about math competitions and contests, math clubs and events, and careers in math fields. Mathematical Moments shows the role of math in science, technology, nature and human culture. AMS also offers links to websites that can help students learn and practice math concepts.
  • Euclid's Elements
    Geometry.
  • IXL
    This site offers math practice for students in pre-K through 8th grade and for students taking Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Precalculus and Calculus. IXL explains how to solve the problem if you answer it incorrectly. You can also practice math skills for the Virginia Standards of Learning exams IXL - Virginia math standards. Students may try up to 20 free practice questions per day.
  • Khan Academy
    Hundreds of math videos explaining topics such as basic math, algebra, geometry and calculus.
  • Math is Fun
    Covers a range of math topics such as basic numbers for pre-K students to calculus for high school students and explains the concepts in an understandable way. Includes a math dictionary and games.
  • Measurement and Conversion
    A collection of links including U.S. weights and measures and a conversion calculator. Provided by Fact Monster.

Science

Good Starting Points

You may also like Online Science Resources.

  • Exploratorium
    This museum in San Francisco offers fun online science activities for kids.
  • Science — How Stuff Works
    How does science work? This site offers understandable explanations for questions about life science, nature, physical science, engineering and more.
  • Jefferson Lab
    Students can learn about science on this site. Practice taking Virginia SOL science and math tests. Read science questions and answers. Watch Frostbite Theater science videos to see experiments with liquid nitrogen, static electricity and more. Play games and puzzles to help understand science topics.
  • Science News for Students
    This site is designed for students in grades 4-8. It offers shorter news stories and longer features on science topics.
  • Science Projects

    • Science Buddies
      Use the Topic Selection Wizard to help you select a science fair project based on your interests or browse more than 1000 project ideas in many areas of science. The Science Fair Project Guide offers information from getting started through communicating your results.
    • SciStarter
      Are you curious about science? Citizen Science can help you find a project or event. Get "hands-on" experience that can make a difference in our world.
    • Steve Spangler Science
      If you need a science fair project idea or just want to try some fun science experiments, look at these interesting activities.
  • Scientific American In-Depth Reports
    Special reports on timely topics include articles, podcasts and videos.
  • SciTech Daily Review
    This site lives up to its claim of providing informed, thought-provoking coverage of scitech issues. Voluminous in scope, it offers a solution to the "I have to write a report about a science article" assignment.
  • Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology — STEM Resources
    Explore sites offering activities and games for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Animals and Biology

  • Biology4Kids
    Covers cells, microorganisms, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates and animal systems.
  • Bug Guide
    An online resource devoted to North American insects, spiders and their kin, offering identification, images and information.
  • Crash Course Biology
    This course taught by Hank Green is based on the AP Biology curriculum and includes several sessions on introductory anatomy. For more in-depth information on anatomy, watch Green's Anatomy & Physiology Crash Course which is based on an introductory college-level curriculum.
  • Dino Directory
    Search dinosaurs by name, timeline, geographic location or body shape. Sponsored by the British Natural History Museum.
  • Encyclopedia of Life
    This free online encyclopedia seeks to document all life on Earth. Learn about plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. Images, sounds and videos are available for some of the species.
  • Endangered Species
    • Endangered Species Program
      Learn about the plants and wildlife that are on the Federal list of endangered and threatened species. You can search by your state and county or by any other U.S. state or territory. This information is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    • Wildlife Factsheets
      Defenders of Wildlife has factsheets on endangered species all over the world. Factsheets include a photo and information about the animal. They also mention threats & status, range & population and behavior & reproduction. Some factsheets include recent news and blog posts.
  • Human Body — DK Findout!
    Learn all about the amazing human body including bones, brain and nerves, heart and blood, senses and more.

Botany

  • Biology of Plants
    Elementary school students can learn how plants grow and about the parts of a plant. This site also describes how plants make food and how they make new plants.
  • Native Plant Information Network
    This database is a guide to native plants of North America. Search by the plant’s name (you can use either scientific or common name) or by state. You will see a description of the plant, color photos and more information about it.

Environment and Ecology

  • Biomes
    • Biomes Around the World
      This site can help students in elementary school learn about biomes and ecosystems. Read about rainforests, tundra, taiga, deserts, grasslands and temperate deciduous forests. Find out about rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, wetlands, shorelines and oceans. The information is from the Missouri Botanical Garden.
    • Major Biomes of the World
      This site describes the distribution and characteristics of biomes. It was created by Radford University and has been used by students in middle school through high school.
  • Energy Kids
    Students in elementary school can learn all about energy. The Energy Basics section describes energy and how it is used. The Energy History area has timelines of different energy sources and short biographies of scientists. See the Games and Activities section for fun things to do. This site is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Field Guide to Fairfax County’s Plants and Wildlife
    This guide shows some of the common plants and animals that may be seen in outdoor areas of Fairfax County.

Astronomy and Space Exploration

Chemistry

  • Chem4Kids
    A guide to the basic ideas of chemistry. The subjects include matter, atoms, elements, reactions and biochemistry.
  • Crash Course Chemistry
    Hank Green teaches this course which is based on the 2012 AP Chemistry curriculum. It also includes a few episodes on organic chemistry.
  • Crash Course Organic Chemistry
    This course covers the chemistry of carbon. It uses your knowledge of general chemistry and takes it to the next level. The host, Deboki Chakravarti, has a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering. She works as a science writer/communicator.
  • Periodic Table of the Elements
    This source gives students the number, symbol, weight and other data of each element in the Periodic Table. You can also see an element’s history and properties, where it is found, how it is used and more. Provided by Los Alamos National Laboratory's Chemistry Division.

Geology

  • Earthquakes for Kids
    Kids can learn all about earthquakes at this site. They can also see what happened “today in earthquake history” and find ideas for science projects. From the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Geology.com
    Offers articles and news on geology and earth science. There is also a geology dictionary. The site has both U.S. and world maps with satellite images.
  • NASA Climate Kids
    What is climate change and why do we care about it? Kids can learn about weather & climate, water, atmosphere, plants & animals and more.

Physics

  • Crash Course Physics
    Dr. Shini Somara covers AP Physics 1 & 2. Produced with PBS Digital Studios.
  • Physics Central
    What is new in physics research? Find out here at the American Physical Society. Explore the science and try physics experiments.
  • The Physics Classroom
    This site helps beginning physics students review basic topics. You can “Check Your Understanding” at the end of each section.

Weather

  • NOAA SciJinks — All About Weather
    What causes a thunderstorm? How do snowflakes form? Learn the answers to these questions and more. Topics include weather; hurricanes and storms; clouds, water and ice; tides and oceans; atmosphere; seasons; satellites and technology; and space weather. See the glossary to explore weather terms. For upper-elementary and middle school students. From NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Weather History and Data Archive
    Find historical weather information for a specific date. Search by zip code, city or airport code.

Computer Science

  • CODE
    Learn the basics of computer science using drag and drop programming. The "Hour of Code" programs are designed for students of all ages. Learn to code with characters such Moana, Anna and Elsa, or worlds such as Minecraft and Star Wars. The site also features a 20-hour course Code.org which introduces core computer science and programming concepts.
  • Crash Course Computer Science
    Carrie Anne Philbin covers AP Computer Science Principles. Students can learn about computers: history, design, future and more.
  • Scratch
    Program your own stories, games and animations and share your creations. Provided by MIT Media Lab.
  • Tinkercad
    Create 3D designs with this free software that you can use in your web browser.

Engineering

  • Crash Course Engineering
    Engineers try to solve the problems they see. This course covers four fields of engineering: civil, mechanical, chemical and electrical. Dr. Shini Somara discusses the history of these fields and the difference between them. This course is based on introductory college-level material.
  • Cyberchase
    Kids can explore activities, play games and watch videos to learn about engineering. This site is based on the PBS "Cyberchase" show.
  • Design Squad Nation
    Kids can be engineers! Build things such as an unpoppable balloon, a robo arm or a rubber band car. Watch videos and play games to learn more about engineering. This site is from PBS Kids.
  • Engineer Girl
    A site designed for girls to discover engineering careers and find dream jobs. Learn about engineers, what they do and how to get there.

Biography

  • Academy of Achievement
    The Academy of Achievement recognizes real-life heroes in five major categories. Read a short life story of these achievers. You might find your own role model!
  • Biography
    This site aims to tell the most "gripping, surprising and fascinating" stories about famous people. Produced by A+E Networks.
  • Black Women's Suffrage
    Black women made many contributions in the campaign for voting and other civil rights. This site showcases key figures in the Suffrage movement and beyond.

Current Events

You may also like Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints database for information about hot-button social and political issues from capital punishment to immigration, offering pro/con viewpoints, reference articles, maps, infographics and more.

  • AllSides
    This news service tries to balance the news. This means that you will see the same story from left-, center- and right-leaning sources. It also includes media bias ratings to give readers an idea of where news sources lean on the political scale.
  • Intelligence Squared US
    Watch videos of Oxford-style debates argued by leading authorities. You can also read the transcripts of past debates. View the research used by the debaters and see the graphs showing pre- and post-debate voting results.
  • ProCon.org
    This site offers pros and cons of controversial issues. Most topics have an overview, pro/con arguments, a list of discussion questions, actions to take and a list of sources.
  • Public Opinion Polls and Surveys
    The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press publishes information about “issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.” It conducts public opinion polling and research. Read poll results and learn the facts of political and social issues.

Economics and Personal Finance

  • Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids
    These music videos are designed for 7- to 12-year-olds. They teach kids how to be smart with money.
  • EconEdLink Financial Fun Pack
    The activities in these fun packs can help students learn about personal finance. There are four separate downloadable packages which are based on a grade band. Choose K-2, 3-5, 6-8 or 9-12.
  • EconLowdown
    Learn about managing your money, saving, and investing with these free government resources. Choose a grade band: elementary, middle school or high school. Then choose filters to find materials based on subject, concept, and English or Spanish language.
  • FCIC's How Money Smart Are You?
    Congress created the FDIC to "maintain stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system." The site has games that will help you learn about earning, spending, saving, borrowing and protecting money. There is also a Resources section for Key Takeaways, Tools, FAQs and Helpful Links.

Government

United States

You may also like Government and Presidents from Virginia.

  • Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids
    Students can learn about the U.S. Federal government. Information is divided into three levels of learning. Read about the three branches of government, how laws are made, how the federal and state governments share power and more.
  • Branches of the U.S. Government
    The Constitution of the United States organizes the federal government into three branches. Infographics show what each branch does. Discover how the branches respond to each other. The site is also available in Spanish.
  • Electoral College
    The United States elects the President and Vice President through a process called the Electoral College. Learn how it started and how it works. View historical election results.
  • Kids in the House
    Learn about House members and officers, how bills become law, House history and art. Information is divided into four levels of learning. From the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • U.S. Government and Politics
    This Crash Course is for high school students and is based on the 2014 AP Government and Politics curriculum. There are 50 short videos on topics that will help you learn how the U.S. government works.

World

You may also like International Information.

  • Countries
    Take a trip to another country with National Geographic. This site has amazing photos! Read the quick facts about other countries. Learn about the people and culture of the country. Read about the country’s government and history. You might see what animals live there or what the land is like. For upper elementary students.
  • Flags of the World
    This site has thousands of flags! Search by country name to find images and facts about its flags. There are also black and white outline drawings of many flags.
  • Rulers
    This site lists the names of the rulers and other heads of government. It covers all countries and territories and goes back to about 1700. It also includes a list of relevant events by month from 1996 to the present.
  • World Factbook
    The factbook includes detailed information about 262 countries. Explore photos, maps, history, statistics and more. Students might like to see the one-page summary that gives an overview of each country. Provided by the CIA.

History

Good Starting Points

You may also like History of Virginia.

  • Crash Course
    The Crash Course video series is entertaining and educational. History Crash Courses include Big History, which is based on the Big History Project. It covers history of the universe from the Big Bang into the Deep Future. Big History 2 delves deeper into why Big History matters. European History (from 1450 to the present) is based on AP European History and college level Introduction to Western Civilization curriculum. U.S. History is based on the 2013 US History curriculum.
  • DK Find Out! — History
    Learn about ancient history, kings and queens, castles, pirates, spies, World War I and II, and much more. This visual site includes facts, quizzes, pictures and videos to help with homework.
  • Khan Academy — History
    Khan Academy covers topics on U.S. history and world history. Each topic has multiple subtopics, so you can break up the material in parts. First, watch the videos. Then answer practice questions. Finally, take a test at the end of each unit to check your understanding.
  • Speeches
    • American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank
      This site contains more than 5000 speeches. Depending on the speech, you can read it, listen to it, or watch it. Explore important speeches from the 21st century. Find the top 100 political speeches of the 20th century. The site also includes movie speeches and Christian rhetoric.
    • The History Place: Great Speeches Collection
      This site contains dozens of speeches selected by the author. There is an introduction before each speech to give it historical context.

Ancient History

Historical Documents and Images

  • 100 Milestone Documents
    These documents tell the story of important events in U.S. history from 1776 to 1965. You can view and download an image of the original document. You can also read the document transcript. Each document includes an introduction to place it in historic context.
  • Avalon Project
    The Avalon Project is a collection of law, history and diplomacy documents from ancient to contemporary times. The documents are text transcriptions. Links to supporting documents are included when possible. The Avalon Project is provided by the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School.
  • Famous Trials
    This collection focuses on six themes: free speech, murder, religion, race, war/corruption/politics and wrongful conviction. Professor Linder of UMKC Law School has written original commentary on the selected trials. The site also includes trial transcripts, maps, images and other materials. The site is intended for high school, college and law school instructors and students. Professor Linder also offers a Constitutional Law companion site which focuses on United States Supreme Court cases.
  • Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930
    Many people have chosen to move to the United States. This collection offers a look at some of the experiences those immigrants had. The collection includes digital books and photographs. Browse topics by category or region. You can also search the collection by keyword. Provided by Harvard University

United States History

You may also like History of Virginia.

  • America's Story
    This site for elementary school age children can help kids discover more about American history. Meet famous Americans and jump back in time. Explore the states and find unusual events. Learn about sports, hobbies and entertainment. Provided by the Library of Congress.
  • Eagle Eye Citizen
    Middle and high school students can practice critical thinking. They will solve challenges by breaking down primary sources. Topics include American history, civics and Congress. Sources are provided by the Library of Congress.
  • Interactive Constitution
    Learn about the Constitution. Scholars who have different outlooks discuss the clauses to provide a broader understanding. They explore the history of the text. They also debate how it can be interpreted today.
  • KidCitizen
    This site is for K-5 students. Students will look at primary source photographs to explore government and civics topics. From the Library of Congress.
  • Presidents
    • American President
      This site is geared toward high school students. It contains a "Facts at a Glance" section in addition to essays on each U.S. President. The essays include information on life before and after the presidency, campaigns and elections. The essays also cover domestic and foreign affairs, impact and legacy, and key events. The first ladies and cabinet members are profiled as well. The site is sponsored by the Miller Center of Public Affairs. The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia.
    • Library of Congress — Presidential Images
  • Shmoop — US History
    Shmoop tries to make learning about history fun for high school or college students. Most topics include an introduction, summary and analysis, timeline, facts, and information about the people who made it happen. Many of Shmoop's writers are PhDs and PhD candidates. They write in a teen-friendly way and want to help students understand why they should care about history.
  • Supreme Court: The Oyez Project
    Browse cases by court term or issue. See the question, facts about the case and its conclusion. Read the opinion(s) and supporting documents where available. You may listen to oral arguments from 1968 to the current term. The site includes biographies of the justices. From Cornell's Legal Information Institute, Justia and Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Writing

  • MLA Style Center — Citations by Format
    This site gives examples of common sources that students use in their papers using MLA style. There is also an Interactive Practice Template. The Style Center includes information on formatting research papers, sample papers in MLA style, and grammar and punctuation quizzes.
  • Plagiarism Prevention Presentation...with some help from Dr. Seuss
    Plagiarism happens when you take credit for someone else’s words or ideas. This site uses Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss to show examples of the incorrect use of quotes, paraphrasing and failing to give citations.
  • Purdue OWL
    The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University provides guidelines on various aspects of writing. General Writing Resources  includes exercises for grammar and punctuation. Plagiarism Overview gives information about plagiarism and how to avoid it. Research and Citation Resources shows how to use the MLA and other format and citation styles. The OWL also has short videos on writing. Use the search feature or navigation links to browse pages.
  • Strunk's Elements of Style
    A classic guide on the basic principles of composition, grammar, word usage and misusage, and writing style.
  • Vocabulary.com
    More than an online dictionary, this site offers a personalized learning program to teach essential English words for academic success. Create a free account to track your progress.
  • The Writing Center
    This advice for writing papers goes beyond grammar help to include topics on procrastinating, brainstorming, proofreading and more. Use the Citation Builder to prepare citations using MLA, APA, and Chicago style manuals. Provided by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Fairfax County seal