Is it summer yet? I’ve been sharing some fun summer STEM activities that will keep kids’ minds engaging and learning to prevent summer learning loss.
Students are getting ready for some fun in the sun, but according to recent research, the equivalent of one month of learning is lost over the summer months if students don’t keep their brains fine-tuned.
These are some engaging STEM activities that can be easily implemented at home using low-cost (and hopefully already acquired) materials to help prevent that dreaded summer slide.
Make a Soda Bottle Submarine– Howtoons, a comic book meets science lab sort of site that presents science and engineering concepts in a very engaging and informative way, offers a really cool Soda Bottle Sub, which is constructed out of yep, you guessed it, empty soda bottles and a few other household objects. Along with a Howtoon that guides kids through how to build the soda bottle sub, kids also learn about the science behind it (buoyancy), making it high-interest, educational…and fun to play with in the pool!
Dough Creatures– Brought to you by SciGirls, this PBS program focuses on getting girls interested in STEM. In the Dough Creatures activity, kids learn to make both conductive and insulating dough to make electric circuits. So, add some batteries and some easy to find electronics and kids can make dough creatures that light up or even sound a buzzer.
Kudo Game Lab– This site, sponsored by Microsoft, is a visual programming language that teaches kids how to code. The PC version is free to download and allows kids to create their own worlds and join the Kodu Community to share their worlds with other kids. To download Microsoft Kodu and get started programming, visit the Kodu Game Lab site.
Bouncy Balls– Provided by Science Buddies, this easy activity does not disappoint. With a complete materials list, procedure and lab sheet, kids can experiment to see which combination of ingredients will make the bounciest ball…and learn about chemical and physical changes. For more about this activity, check out Bouncy Polymer Chemistry.
CryptoClub– At the CryptoClub site, kids can play encoding and decoding games, try some brainteasers and send and decipher their own messages.
BristleBot– If you haven’t made a bristlebot yet, you are missing out! This creative summer STEM activity from eGFI (Engineering Go For It) uses a toothbrush, watch battery and pager motor (available on Amazon for about $5). Kids will probably need help with this one as soldering is required, but it is well worth the effort. By building a bristlebot, kids can learn about electricity, motion or even robots.