Check out this cool video! It illustrates the importance of STEM in our world and inspires viewers to explore STEM concepts and ideas 🙂
Try this STEM Activity Challenge at home or in the classroom!!
– Materials List
– Video Tutorial
Materials listed below are per group (3-4 students):
- 2 aluminum foil squares that are 15cm by 15cm (1 square will be in case they make a mistake or want to redesign their boat)
- 1 beaker or clear cup (to show the aluminum foil and penny sinking at the beginning of this activity)
- approx. 50 pennies (I put these in a small cup)
- A fish tank / large bowl for setting these in when filling with pennies (1 tank per class)
Available for purchase in my TpT Store: k-2 Grade Activity, 3-5th Grade Activity
– Student Worksheet
– Teacher / Parent Instructions
– Grading Rubric
– Other fun and exciting STEM Activity Challenges!
Check out this really exciting STEM Activity! This video gives instructions on how to run the lab AND also explains the science behind it! Click here to download the printable materials that go with it!
Summer is fast approaching! It’s time to start thinking about how to engage your students (or kids) over the summer to help prevent the dreaded “summer lag”! Here’s an idea that’s sure to help with summer learning loss AND cure summer boredom: STEM activities!!!!! Send home a simple 6 sheet printed packet – “Summer STEM Box Challenges” (or just send them the pdf file!).
What is a summer STEM box challenge? It’s an open ended STEM project with a given “problem” and a box of materials (such as pipe-cleaners, craft sticks, toilet paper tubes etc.) to solve it with (parents will need to compile the materials – most can be found at the dollar store or are already in their home!).
The Summer STEM printable includes:
• Suggested Materials
• 10 STEM Challenge Cards
• STEM Engineering Process Page / Poster
• Parent Instructions (How to put together a “Summer STEM Box”)
• Planning sheet
• Reflection Sheet
How to create a Summer STEM Box:
1. Compile all or some of the materials listed and any others
you’d like to add. Most are things you already have or can get at
the dollar store!
2. Find a box, bin or basket to put them in.
3. Cut out the “challenge cards”, fold them in half and place them in a jar.
Kids can pull out a (random) card to get the challenge for that day!
These challenges are open-ended—the sky is the limit for creativity! They
are great for individual or group work…maybe even a family competition!!
Check out these fun clipart sets. Created by my talented wife, I’ve used these kids and supplies in my own TpT STEM products and I know you’ll like them as well. This clipart is for commercial and personal use, so it’s great for any STEM or science TpT product…or in your classroom…or just for fun!!! The sets contain tons of images!! Each image also contains color and black line-art versions.
Clipart: Borders & Frames BUNDLE (Sets 1-4) …. a set that’s not related to STEM but is a great combination with any of them!
Check out these free posters – six different posters, FREE, on TpT! Download them HERE!!
Check out these super fun FREE resources! 10 free and fun STEM & science posters!!
STEM Posters (Science Demo Guy)
States of Matter (Science Demo Guy)
Science Tools Mini Posters (Amber Socaciu)
Weather Posters (The Super Teacher)
Bell Ringers (Presto Plans)
Lab Team Roles (Science Penguin)
Scientific Method Posters (Danielle Mastandrea)
Science Vocab (Science Penguin)
Science Method Poster (Everyone deserves to learn)
“Mrs.” Science Demo Guy here 🙂
With 2 boys home sick from school (sick enough for the school to make them stay home, not sick enough to have a boring day) I decided that the TV and iPad were NOT going to be the plan for the entire day. Inspired by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls “Straw Roller Coaster” STEM project, (http://frugalfun4boys.com/2016/08/14/engineering-project-kids-build-straw-roller-coaster/ ) I set up an open-ended STEM activity for my “sick” boys to have fun with. I gave them a number of different materials to use (mostly purchased at Dollar Tree, one of the BEST stores in the universe) and told them to build a roller coaster for a ping pong ball…showing them the example from Frugal Fun.
I gave them duct tape to use….if we did this again I’d provide masking tape instead. My fingers are a bit raw from tearing off an infinite number of small pieces of duct tape.
Calvin (5 yrs) was VERY apprehensive about the task of building a rollercoaster from scratch and almost completely refused to do the activity. I talked him into it and he was so proud of his outcome, “Doesn’t it look like a 6 year old built this!?” Zach (7) was pretty uncertain as well—he didn’t think his coaster would be successful but was ready to give it a whirl.
Plan / Design:
They started out by drawing pictures of what they want their coasters to look like.
Then construction began. The longer they spent building, the more and more excited they became about their creations!! Hudson (2 yrs) was “helping”…the older two didn’t appreciate his help 😉
Zach was excited with his outcome, “isn’t it amazing that it actually works?!” I especially like the ring of fire at the end of his coaster.
Calvin was really proud of his creation as well!
I asked Zach what he thought would make his coaster better. At first he proudly said “nothing!”…but after thinking it through, he wanted to add a jump at the end.
Calvin decided to build another ramp AND a ball holder at the top of the big ramp.
Science behind the activity
At the end we talked about inertia and how gravity is the force that makes the ball move.
Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion; this includes changes to its speed, direction, or state of rest. It is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant velocity.
Errrrr….boys, that means…your ping pong ball isn’t going to move unless a force makes it move —which was what? Zach, “gravity”…yes, yes you are right buddy. Good job. It’s also not going to change direction unless it’s guided by the edges of the coaster.
As for how REAL roller coasters work, well, I’ll leave it to the guys in this video to explain 🙂
We ended up watching a number of other cool roller coaster videos. The video I linked to is totally safe but some of the others have a few PG words.
This whole project consumed over an hour of our time AWAY from the iPad and TV…minus the time spent watching roller coaster videos on my computer. Now for lunch, “quiet book” time (more like, come out of your room and interrupt mom time)…and then back to the mindless entertainment provided by Netflix…
STEM projects are GREAT…but it’s hard to track how much my students are really learning!!
So here’s my solution:
1. Exit Ticket Assessment
2. Grading Rubric
3. Student Score Chart
The Exit Ticket contains four basic questions that can go with almost any STEM lab. The answers to these questions will help you assess your students’ level of involvement and understanding of the concepts addressed. It also gives an idea of which labs are effective and which are not and maybe what could be done different next time.
The Grading Rubric gives a common standard to score these assessments on. It makes grading a ton easier.
The Student Score Chart helps keep all that data organized!!
You can check it out here, in my TpT Store! It’s only a dollar…like something awesome on the shelf at Dollar Tree…only it’s way better and you don’t have to drive…just click the link below!!
Have a great time with STEM!!