The Importance of STEM Learning
Want to ignite student learning in your STEM classroom this fall? Surprisingly, you can grab and sustain the student attention in STEM learning with just a little forethought and planning. This article will help you accomplish just that. At the same time, it will also offer you a great list of clickable STEM activities to get started!
Whether you teach in a traditional classroom or in your own homeschool setting, it’s no secret that STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is essential for ALL students at every age level. According to projections made in 2022 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States will need approximately one million MORE STEM workers in 2030 than it did in 2020. Unfortunately, this does not include the number of STEM workers that will be needed to replace retiring workers or workers who leave the field for other reasons. Never before has it been more important that we educate kids to be problem solvers, critical thinkers, engineers, coders, inventors, and other makers. Moreover, our country and our world desperately need these STEM workers both now and for the long term.
Back-to-School STEM Activities to Ignite Student Learning
There are many educational STEM activities kids can do to get them back into the swing of things for the new school year. To help, here are just a few ideas:
Build a Solar-Powered Car from Home Science Tools – Build a solar-powered car to introduce your students to alternative energy concepts. At the same time, incorporate problem-solving, design, and modeling. In addition, students can experience using hand tools, as they construct their solar vehicles.
Design and Create a Simple Circuit from STEAM Powered Family – Electricity is a vital and key part of our daily lives. It is all around us, everywhere we go, transforming everything we do. So it is important that kids are given a solid foundation in electrical engineering projects. Here you’ll learn how electrical circuits work with a collection of innovative hands-on project ideas.
Build Weather Measuring Devices from Sciencing.com – Empower kids to take charge of their own learning process with these easy, homemade weather instruments. Simplicity is the key to a successful weather station. Introduce kids to temperature readings, rainfall, atmospheric pressure and wind speed and direction.
Create a Paper Rocket Launcher – by LanceMakes, AUTODESK Instructables – Here is one educator-maker’s take on the compressed air paper rocket launcher. Enjoy!
Conduct a Chemical Reaction Experiment from Science Fun –Click on the experiment image or the view experiment link provided for each experiment on this page to see the materials needed and procedure. Have fun trying these experiments at home, classroom, or for science fair projects.
More STEM Activities to Further Engage Students
Code a Basic Website or App from STEM-apalooza!® – An Introduction to Binary Code
This is a 3-day STEM Unit in Technology, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. It is adaptable for students in grades 4-8. Instructor does not need prior knowledge of coding or programming.
Build a Model Bridge or Tower from Science Buddies – Investigate what makes a strong and stable bridge design. Build and test a paper bridge or use a FREE online tool to create bridges that can stand during earthquakes, or design trusses (frameworks to support bridges).
Grow Plants Hydroponically by Kevin Espiritu, Epic Gardening – Here is a STEM activity that includes a guide, providing solutions to three problems hydroponic gardeners experience all too often.
Design and Construct a Parachute from Teach Engineering – Students create parachutes using different materials they think will work best. They test their designs, and then contribute to a class discussion (and possible journal writing) to report which paper materials worked best.
Create a Basic Water Filtration System from engineering4kids.org – This water filtration system doesn’t make muddy water clean enough to drink, but it does show you how filtration systems work and how you can get most of the dirt out of water.
In conclusion, these are just a few back-to-school STEM activity ideas that will grab kids attentions and engage them in learning important STEM concepts. Have fun using these resources and let us know if you need more STEM ideas or assistance! We’ll be glad to help you further to ignite student learning in STEM!