STEM activities to inspire fun and creativity during the summer

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Manufacturing Stories highlighted a list of fun ideas to keep kids learning through the summer, focusing on STEM and integrating curiosity, critical thinking, and fun. Check out these activities and more, from Project Lead the Way:

Create a discovery jar. Sit down with your child at the beginning of the summer and brainstorm all of the questions or ideas your student is curious about. Maybe it is why grass is green or how space travel started. Or how many varieties of leaves exist on the trees in the yard. Then put all of the questions into a mason jar. Pull one out each day for your child to research and explore. PLTW Director of Assessment Claudia Guerere (@ClaudiaGuerere) recommends this activity, which she says engages kids’ natural curiosity and discovery.

Bake! It’s one of the best ways to teach young children math and science. Work on their math vocabulary and measurement skills as you measure out ingredients. And explore where ingredients come from, or how solids and liquids transform during baking for a basic science lesson. Then reward them with a chocolate chip cookie or a Rice Krispies® treat!

Explore architecture and public works! @BennettBrownIA recommends taking children on a fieldtrip to your local infrastructure facilities – the waste water treatment plan, electric plant, or manufacturing plant – to learn about civil engineering and architecture. Most do free tours if you call ahead.

Grow a salad. Explore life sciences with this fun activity. Grow lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes in your garden or in separate pots. Students will learn the growth cycle of plants and the impact of soil, sun, water, and nutrition on plants’ growth.

Go star gazing! Warm nights and clear skies allow for fun interstellar observation, with or without a telescope, says PLTW Director of Curriculum and Instruction Gerald Holt (@Holt10). Sky Map, built by a team of amateur astronomers who work at Google, helps Android users locate stars and planets in the night sky. NASA also provides a fun way to locate the International Space Station with its Spot The Station website.

Build a paper rollercoaster. @JoanneDonnan recommends Canon’s printer-friendly roller coaster template and corresponding instructions. Print and assemble your very own paper roller coaster, and then assemble your coaster car and race it around the track.

Check out the whole list by Project Lead the Way here.

Source: Twenty super cool summer STEM activities | Manufacturing Stories