The STEM program is an initiative to build up America’s young people in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math – subjects in which other countries have been performing better.
Engaging our kids in these subjects will not only benefit them as individuals, it will help our country as they grow up and take on jobs improving technology, health care, and protecting the environment.
The health and longevity of our Nation’s, citizenry, economy and environmental resources depend in large part on the acceleration of scientific and technological innovations, such as those that improve health care, inspire new industries, protect the environment, and safeguard us from harm. — Committee on STEM Education National Science and Technology Council
You can help your kids develop a love for STEM subjects just as much as their schools. When you’re at home on the weekend, over a school break, or over the summer, adopt some of these fun activities to open their eyes and minds to the science, engineering, technology, and math!
STEM Paper Airplane Challenge
The Kids Activities Blog is a great resource for any activity for your child, but it also highlights STEM-specific projects to do with your kids.
The Paper Airplane Challenge engages kids because it asks them to solve a problem. They will often forget they are doing something educational!
The problem you are asking them to solve is: how much cargo can a paper airplane carry? You will need construction paper, tape, a handful of coins, and a doorway.
The kids will need to fold a paper airplane and then see which will glide 10 feet with the most amount of money. Try to offer as little input as possible since kids learn through problem solving with their own ideas!
Fireworks In A Jar
This is a fun science project that will lend itself to conversations about density. You will need a jar, vegetable oil, water, and food coloring.
- Fill the jar three-quarters of the way with warm water.
- In a separate dish, mix 3–4 tablespoons of oil and add drops of food coloring.
- Use a fork to gently mix the oil and food coloring. Since the food coloring will not dissolve in the oil, it will remain in droplet form.
- Pour the oil and food coloring mixture into the water. The oil will remain at the top, but the food coloring will begin to sink through to the water. Once that happens, the food coloring will mix with the water, producing an explosion-type effect.
Food coloring dissolves in water but not in oil. Because the oil is less dense than the water, it will float at the top. The colored droplets will begin to sink because they are heavier than the oil. Once they sink into the water, they will begin dissolving into the water (which looks like a tiny explosion). – icanteachmychild.com
Water Cycle Bag
This is an easy activity for young kids, ages 3–7, that will illustrate a water cycle. You can easily do this at home, with help from your kids!
- Draw a sun, cloud, and ground on a Ziplock sandwich bag.
- Mix food coloring with 1/4 cup of water.
- Pour the colored water into the bag.
- Tape it to the window.
- Watch the water cycle go!
Over the next few days, the boys saw the water warm in the sunlight and evaporate into vapor. As that vapor cooled, it began changing back into liquid (condensating) just like a cloud. And when enough water condensated, the air couldn’t hold it anymore and the water fell down in the form of precipitation. – Playdough to Plato
Additional STEM Resources
- 21 Fun Activities To Get Your Kids Excited About STEM
- Playdough to Plato: 40 STEM Activities for Kids
- Kids Activities Blog: Math and Science