It’s that time of year when you’ll want to engage your students in STEM that inspires! Right now, it can be particularly challenging to engage your students in any type of learning. The end of the school year is fast approaching, and students’ minds are often distracted by the changing seasons and the lure of the outdoors. It’s a time to engage your students in STEM that inspires!
STEM Activities That Engage & Inspire
1. Have students design and build simple machines that solve TODAY’s problems. These can be used to perform tasks such as moving an object from one place to another or lifting a heavy object.
2. Provide materials and open-ended instructions that will allow students conduct botany experiments related to “green“ technologies or sustainability. They can grow plants from seeds that will help provide food for individuals in a harsh climate (very hot or very cold). They can also study the different parts of a plant and how they function, creating a 3-D model of a favorite flower of herb for STEM that inspires!
3. Set up a a simple exploratory lesson for students to learn about the basics of coding and programming. They can create simple programs to perform tasks such as sorting numbers or creating patterns. At the beginning of the lesson, provide them with an introduction to the simplest of coding languages—binary.
4. Ask the students to create artwork inspired by nature. They can use leaves, flowers, and other natural materials to create paintings, sculptures, or fabric art. Also request that they label the parts of the artwork that relate to scientific terms (i.e., stamen, pollen, etc.) This is an excellent idea for STEAM programs and can certainly contribute to STEM that inspires!
5. Have students build 3-D models of the solar system. Ask them to research the planets and create scale models of them. They can also create models of the sun, moon, and stars. For an extra challenge, ask them to provide the most recent information about planets or other astronomical bodies “in dispute” (i.e., Pluto, etc.)
Just LOVE Those Simple Machines! – by STEM-apalooza.com
Growing a Self-Sustaining Plant Ecosystem – by Carly and Adam
Exploring the Parts of a Flower: A Science Project for Kids – by Jacquie Fisher, KC Edventures
30+ Hands-On Ways To Teach The Solar System – by Learn in Color
Let’s Learn to Code! – by STEM-apalooza.com