As back-to-school preparations are amping up amongst teachers, I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to start a new day with my students- STEM soft starts!
Soft starts in general are a way for students to come in and get mentally ready for the day. STEM is the perfect way to do this. It naturally gets students thinking critically and creatively which puts them in the right mindset to get the day off to a great start. Having STEM soft starts ready to go will have your students designing, creating, engineering, predicting, comparing, building, & reflecting on their challenges.
The STEM School Box Challenges is a packet of 12 STEM Challenges that will fit into a school box which makes them perfect for STEM Soft Starts or when students arrive at school early. This packet contains Challenge Label, Inside the Box Student’s Directions, a Teacher’s Page with the directions and materials, and Student STEM Journal.
These activities can also be used for STEAM Activities, Maker Spaces, Tinkering Labs, or After School Clubs. Your students will love designing, creating, engineering, predicting, comparing, building, & reflecting on their challenges!
Do you have a STEM Makerspace set up in your classroom or school?
STEM is a great way to get students working on multiple subjects at one time. It combines science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into one and usually takes the form of an educational challenge for students to work through. Sounds fun, right?
To optimize time working on STEM in the classroom, I like to have a designated area, or Makerspace, that we can use again and again.
What is a Makerspace?
Makerspaces, also called Tinkering Labs, Learning Labs, or even STEM Labs, are essentially dedicated spaces for hands-on STEM learning. These spaces are great for allowing students to use their creativity to explore and learn different STEM concepts.
What makes a good Makerspace?
There are so many things you could include in your STEM Makerspace, the sky really is the limit here! Here are some of my favorite supplies to have on hand for the perfect STEM Lab or Makerspace.
I hope these ideas help you get the perfect STEM Lab set up for your students. What are your favorite items to have in your Makerspace? Let me know in the comments! For some fun STEM activity ideas, check out some of my favorites here!
Have you read any great books with your students lately? If you know me, you know that I absolutely love all things STEM and books! In fact, I have created multiple resources that connect these two passions of mine that you can check out here.
Today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite STEM books. These books are the perfect pair to a STEM activity because they will get students thinking critically and problem-solving. They are great for upper elementary to middle school students.
Check out these STEM books to find your next favorite!
Summer is here and it’s time for relaxing in the sun with the smell of sunscreen in the air. But that doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop! Just make it extra fun. How do you do that? STEM!
STEM stands for Science Technology, Engineering, and Math. It’s my favorite subject because it incorporates all of these subjects plus reading, researching, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and even some history, all at once. What’s not to love?
Summer STEM activities are the perfect way to get students engaged in learning during those hot and sunny days because it allows them to have a lot of open-ended exploration while learning. If you’re looking for some summer STEM challenge ideas, you’re in the right place.
What is a STEM challenge for kids?
An example of simple STEM activities for kids would be something where students are given an educational problem to solve and they need to come up with a solution to solve it or they need to build something. It’s so amazing to see their creativity flourish as they all put their own unique spin on the answer!
What are some STEM challenges?
Ready to get started with some amazing summer STEM activities for elementary students? I have you covered! Here are some of my absolute favorite STEM challenges for kids that are perfect for fun summer learning. Each of these activities is a unique, hands-on experience that will take students through the STEM process as they work to complete the challenge.
This is a packet of experiments your students will love! Flying and creating paper airplanes is a fun activity that will engage your students as they collect data and use measurement skills. Includes Google Slides for remote learners.
A great literature connection is added as students research the history of airplanes and the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, and Bessie Coleman.
Also, these activities can also be used for STEAM Activities, STEM Fun Fridays, Maker Spaces, Tinkering Labs, Summer Programs, or After School Clubs.
This resource includes three activities that your students will love while exploring the theme of camping. Students will design and construct boats, tents, and fishing poles. These challenges will engage your students as they design, engineer, and test their creations. Students will go through the Engineering Process as they build and test their creations using various materials to construct them.
Your students will love designing, creating, and engineering. They will problem solve and think critically as they complete their challenges.
Tip: It is important to keep the challenges open-ended so students will start thinking about other challenges or tests they would like to perform.
STEM Jumping Frog Challenge is a fun STEM activity that your students will love as they create origami frogs to test their jumping abilities. Students will problem solve and think critically as they complete their challenges.
Your students will love going through the design process as they cover the Next Generation Science 3-5-ETS1-1 &
You’ll love how excited students get when testing their frogs and testing how far their frogs will jump! Students can use paper folding instructions to construct their frogs.
I hope you have lots of fun this summer with these STEM challenges! If you want more summer STEM fun, check out my post here!
The weather is getting colder and that means that it is the time of year we will start spending our recess time inside. While we can still have fun, we are a little more limited in the ways to let the kids play or the things they can do.
I love using inside recess to create and to build, and STEM is a great way to do that! STEM is great for recess because generally, it doesn’t even feel like learning! It is a hands-on activity that students love doing, so they won’t mind spending their recess on it.
A great way to incorporate it into your recess time is by setting up STEM stations. Come up with 3 or 4 STEM activities (depending on the length of your recess) that you love and put stations or centers up around your classroom with all of the supplies needed. Let students wander to the station that appeals to them or put them in groups and rotate them every 10 or so minutes.
I do recommend keeping it a little more structured so that you can ensure all of the STEM supplies are staying where they belong. The last thing you want is for the activity to be put on hold because someone stuck an essential supply in the wrong bin.
Here are some of my favorite STEM activities that can be used as inside recess builds
These supplies will give your students activities to do at recess that will engage their brain in STEM thinking as well as allow them to relax and blow off some steam during recess. With these activities, students won’t even mind when it’s time for indoor recess!
What are your favorite indoor recess activities? Let me know in the comments!
The end of the year is rapidly approaching! How excited are you? The end of the year is so fun for us and the kids. If you’re looking for a way to end the year with a bang, you have to try some easy end-of-the-year STEM challenges!
Quick stem challenges are the perfect way to get students engaged in STEM thinking while having fun. This means you can easily add it to your lesson plans or even your class parties! Something I love about STEM is that a lot of times, students don’t even feel like they’re learning.
If this sounds like something you’d love to do but you’re a little confused about how it all works or what makes a good STEM activity- let’s start with the basics!
What is a STEM challenge?
STEM challenges are hands-on activities where students can research, design, engineer, and build solutions to the problems they are presented with. You can use any resources you have on hand to really encourage creative thinking! This encourages students to use their creativity, problem-solving skills, math skills, and more!
Have students create some snazzy end-of-the-year awards! These STEM awards require students to use simple supplies like tin foil and cups to create an Oscar! Once all of the trophies are done, hand them out to students Hollywood award show style. This is a fabulous way to reward students for all of their hard work this year and make them feel special.
These STEM challenges for kids are the perfect way to kick off the summer season. This resource connects to the book The Boy Who Invented the Popsicle by Anne Renaud and Milan Pavlovic and it is sure to be a hit. This popsicle STEM activity allows students to research the invention of popsicles and Frank Epperson, the inventor of popsicles. Students will compare entrepreneurs and inventors. Students will problem solve and think critically as they complete their challenges. Connect research, history, economics, and STEM!
Both of these STEM activities are perfect for ending the year on a high note. If you are learning from a distance, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of STEM fun to be had. For end-of-the-year virtual STEM activities, check out these STEM challenges.