Eight STEM Activities for the Classroom

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) topics are receiving increasing emphasis in the curriculum. The Web offers plenty of fun activities to engage students in STEM, and sites such as iExploreSTEM offer resources, activities, printables, conferences and workshop information for educators.

The following activities offered by iExploreSTEM covers all four STEM subjects.

Science

• Exploring AquifersStudents get a clear plastic bottle and can create their own simulated aquifer with dirt, sand, rocks, leaves, twigs or mulch. Kids can test the effectiveness by pouring water containing oil, dye, or small particles through the aquifer.
• Lava Lamp:  With water, a clear plastic bottle, vegetable oil, Alka-Seltzer and food coloring, students can create their own lava lamp. This activity can be used to demonstrate both physical and chemical components of science.

Technology

• Binary Coding Sounds:  With this Web site, students can access a number of songs with high and low pitches symbolizing binary code. Then kids use text and code it to create sound.
• Harold the RobotIn this simple activity, children give commands to a robot who is attempting to build a tower of blocks. The robot will follow directions that are clear, but will not follow directions that sound unclear or are too complicated.

Engineering

• Bridge ConstructionIn pairs, students will work toward creating a paper bridge between two paper cups and balancing a third cup on the bridge. The directions will offer help, such as instructing kids to fold the paper like an accordion. They will learn that when force or weight is spread out, it can be distributed over multiple structures.
• Paper Cup WalkWith paper cups and cardboard, students create a platform that can support their weight. This activity teaches about weight distribution.

Mathematics

• Best Buy:  Real-life examples help students understand discount shopping. Using beans, macaroni or play money, kids will practice estimation and learn what is a better buy.
• Sizing Science: The Geometry of M&Ms:  Students will learn about math, shapes, dimensions, volume and geometry. By lining up or stacking M&Ms, students tackle the concepts of diameter, division, radius and more.

Related resources

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor
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