Education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is crucial to prepare children for jobs of the future. As the world becomes more and more dependent on computers and technology, understanding STEM subjects has become increasingly important. However, many schools and education systems only teach basic science, leaving the bulk of STEM education to universities. By the time kids get to college, they have likely already decided what general field they want to study. Engaging kids in hands-on STEM research and activities at a young age can instill an early love of science. Here are some ideas of STEM activities you can do in the classroom.
Make Lava Lamps
All you need to make homemade “lava lamps” are a clear plastic bottle, water, Alka-Seltzer, vegetable oil and food coloring. You’ll get to show them the physical properties of how oil and water don’t mix, as well as the chemical reaction of the fizzing Alka-Seltzer.
Computer coding is one of the most important skills your kids can learn to prepare them for the future. Everything from science to math to design to communications relies on it. Teaching kids from an early age sets them up for success. There are lots of resources to start teaching kids coding, including apps and computer games.
Build a Bridge
Have kids construct a small bridge using only paper cups and paper. They have to be able to balance a third up on their bridge in order for it to be successful. You can offer help and suggestions, but try to let them figure it as much out on their own as they can. Kids will have fun building while learning about gravity and force.
Make Math Practical (and Fun!)
Memorizing multiplication charts, while useful, doesn’t help kids understand the theory behind it. Put their math skills into practice by showing them how multiplication works. Demonstrate using small candies to show how it’s different from (and similar to) addition.
What are other STEM activities you implement in the classroom?