You’re always hearing about STEM activities in your student’s classroom, but should you extend the learning to home? Yes! STEM enables your child to see how math and science is more than just addition and biology. STEM can increase curiosity and help your student learn what they’re good at! It can even get your child thinking, “what do I want to be when I grow up?”
Here are some of our favorite STEM activities to complete at home.
1. How Strong is Spaghetti?
Looks can be deceiving when it comes to spaghetti! Try this activity to see how materials have different strengths and weaknesses. Use blocks, books, or even shoes to test out uncooked spaghetti’s strength.
2. Hot Chocolate Experiment
This sure is a tasty experiment! The temperature of water sure makes a difference when it comes to a good cup of hot chocolate. Have your student test how quickly hot chocolate mix dissolves with water at different temperatures. Throw a cup of milk in the mix and see how that changes things!
3. Snowball Launcher
Who is ready for a snowball fight?! Minus the snow, of course. This Styrofoam snowball launcher experiment is an easy test to measure how far things can fly – and it doesn’t stop with snowballs. Try different sizes of snowballs, small stuffed animals, ping pong balls, or any other item that will fit in your launcher.
4. Ancient Building Challenge
Build your very own ancient Greek building with this challenge! Just find paper cups and trays, and you’re on your way. Your cups will be the columns, and the trays will be the foundation and roof. It takes testing for believing, but with the right layout, it can support a person! Have your student arrange the cups in multiple layouts and see which is strongest. To take things to the next level, build a double decker!
5. Pringles Ring
If you and your student are in need of a snack, this is the activity to do. They’ll need their thinking caps for this one. Create a ring with Pringles – it sounds impossible, but with the right pattern, your Pringles will turn into a wheel! It will take some trial and error, so make sure to talk thought how different strategies could work with your student.
These activities are all the proof you need to know that STEM outside of school can be fun and accessible! In need of a structured, educational after school experience? Visit our website for information on programs and more. With over 40 locations and partnered schools in South Carolina, we’re sure to find the right fit for your student.
Technology is ever changing- and that’s something that effects your students!
Classrooms are very different than they once were. Textbooks and workbooks are not the only materials used for lessons. STEM is a hot topic of discussion for educators, and it is taking over your student’s homework and class activities. Technology changes quickly, so it’s important to stay informed of how those technology changes play out in the classroom and with your child.
Here’s a list of items you might see in your child’s classroom!
Let’s start with the obvious – mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets can be more than just a distraction to our students. Mobile devices are utilized in the classroom for research, online education games, and even reading their textbook. Technology in the classroom has given teachers the opportunity to find free resources online, and then share with students!
Mobile devices give students wide access for projects and studying materials. Coming up with ideas, finding a template for a design, or using a flashcard app are just the beginning of the possibilities. Pinterest, Canva, and Quizlet are apps to look out for!
Game-based learning makes for a fun day in the classroom. Lessons are presented in an engaging way, while students are having fun with classmates to grasp topics. Game-based learning works well as a study tool. Jeopardy is a classic online game to play when preparing for a test. Studying can be a daunting task, but added an educational game takes a bit of the stress off.
What student doesn’t love to win? Game-based learning motivates students to learn the material, so they can bring home the gold! Your student is able to feel good about doing well during an educational game, because they know they are actively learning.
Take the learning to the comfort of your home! Flipped learning is a process where students view lessons online at home, and complete homework in class, where their teacher is available to help. While students have different levels of access, all teachers make sure lessons are accessible to students before flipping their classroom.
With flipped learning, homework becomes more collaborative. Students are often encouraged to work in a group to problem solve. Homework can be frustrating, especially when answers are not easily found without a teacher present. Flipped learning is a great way to change up the classroom, and without technology, it wouldn’t be possible!
Teachers can pay more attention to students’ needs with Screencasting. Screencasting is a prerecorded lesson the teacher plays for students, whether it’s found from another source or recorded by the instructor.
This gives teachers flexibility to move around the classroom, and not be stuck at the board. Teachers are free to roam around and engage with students, making sure they stay engaged! Being prerecorded, Screencasting allows teachers to practice lessons, and make sure they hit all the highlights. It gives teaching a storytelling approach and allows lessons to be delivered fully without distractions.
Everyone’s talking about it – STEM! It’s been developing for many years and is heavily incorporated into most school’s curriculum. STEM offers lessons about coding, graphic design, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and more. Students are able to prepare for future jobs and see where their interests lie by working on projects. The classroom turns into a hands-on haven, where students can look forward to a STEM filled lesson!
Resources for additional reading