In this article you will read about 7 free STEM activities that are easy to set up at home. You don’t need to be a scientist to teach your children to love science through play and hands-on experiments!
It is now evident that our world is becoming more and more technologically driven. Today, technology has become a means of doing things in our homes or businesses. From eCommerce, travel, business, education, and in normal life, we literally rely on technology to accomplish tasks.
If it’s not dancing to Alexa, we are using AI-powered chatbots to attain customer assistance, and besides that, we are learning with technologies like AI and VR (virtual reality). In general, this shows how our world will continue to be driven by science and technology. More so, the problems that the modern world face require modern brains and scientific knowledge to solve them.
With all that, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the science field is receiving more attention in the education realm today. Schools worldwide are devising means to make young learners more interested in science. And for that, STEM education is seen as one of the best approaches to attract students to the scientific realm.
STEM education generally involves hands-on activities and tailored curriculum that help students build their knowledge and skills in different disciplines, like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Currently, there is also a range of STEM learning apps suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 9.
Today there is a range of STEM activities that can be conducted at home and in classes to increase students’ interest in the science field. Additionally, STEM activities can target different age groups and goals. They can enhance a child’s ability to comprehend and understand concepts. They also support students’ thinking skills which makes learning and comprehension of material easier for them.
At this juncture, we would like to look at seven STEM app activities that can increase students’ interest in science.
1. Oobleck – the best stem activity to try
Oobleck is a fluid that changes consistency (non-Newtonian) and is slimy in nature. The Oobleck experiment takes its root from a book by Dr. Seuss “Bartholomew and the Oobleck”. This STEM activity is easy to conduct and can help children understand the different states of matter i.e liquid and solid states. That generally depends on the materials used.
With this experiment, you will need:
- ½ cup of cornstarch
- ¼ cup of water
- a bowl
- a stirring utensil
- food coloring
It is a messy activity and you may want to perform it in a spacious area. However, it is a fun activity and can allow students to develop an interest in science.
2. Growing Plant Experiment
There are many STEM plant activities that can help children learn about nature and how food reaches the kitchen. Plant experiments like “bean in a jar” are some of the basic growing plant STEM activities that can introduce students to several science fields like agriculture, horticulture, and floriculture.
Any STEM plant activity will teach students about plant life cycles, processes like photosynthesis, and how plants die.
With this form of a STEM activity, you may choose to conduct the experiment indoors or outdoors depending on the learning goals. Besides that, it may also depend on the engagement you want your learners to achieve.
For example, growing beans may require you to use glass peat pots in case you don’t have a garden.
Otherwise, essential supplies include bean seeds, soil, light, etc. Experiments in this category can also be conducted using mushrooms or grass.
3. Crystal Sun Catchers
This is a super fun science activity and one of the best mediums to learn and play. It is also easy and the results will amaze your learners. Materials required include:
- Epsom salt
- an empty jar
- a tray
- a fork
- a bowl
- a pin
- a string
Cut out the inner circle of one plastic lid, then get a second lid and poke a hole in the rim using a needle and then fit a string through the hole.
Then make a salt solution with an equal amount of Epsom salt and water.
Make sure to heat the water before using it.
Stir the solution for at least three minutes and then pour it into a plastic lid. Then transfer it to a sunny place and cover it with the lid you cut out.
Leave it there for at least four days to culture crystals.
4. Amazing free stem activity -Magnetic Slime
This is another wonderful activity that allows kids to make their own slime and watch it move and dance. The required materials include:
- iron oxide powder
- a cup
- a bowl
- liquid starch
- a craft stick
- white glue
Precisely, add a tablespoon of iron oxide powder into a bowl. Then add 2 tablespoons of liquid starch and mix the ingredients using a craft stick.
Mix until smooth and uniform in color.
Then add two tablespoons of glue and mix until you get an even consistency. Put on the gloves and then knead the slime until smooth and dry.
When non-sticky, your students can play with it using bare hands or use magnets to make the slime dance.
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5. Fun and Free – Cloud In a Jar Stem Activity
This is a hands-on activity that can be leveraged to teach students states of matter, how clouds form, and water cycles. Precisely, it will teach students the physical changes that take place in reality. Supplies can include:
- 5 cubes of ice
- food colouring
- a glass jar with a lid
“Cloud in a jar” is an easy STEM activity for kids and one of the best mediums to enhance creativity in kids or help them become more involved in the science subject. It is ideal for beginners and it’s also easy to get the supplies.
6. Build a Balance Scale
STEM activities can support many active learning strategies since they involve putting one’s hands to use.
The “Build a balance scale” is an excellent hands-on activity to help kids or students explore weights. The activity generally involves a few supplies such as:
- a plastic hanger
- a string
Let the kids watch you create a balance scale or involve them in the process. You can also let them do it by themselves.
7. Rainbow Experiment- simple and free stem experiment
Exploring rainbow science experiments will allow your students to have fun while learning. Basically, it will help them understand several concepts like crystal growing, reaction, and polymers.
You can let your kids concentrate on a single experiment at a time until they understand it thoroughly.
For example, the rainbow crystals experiment allows kids to grow beautiful crystals using pipe cleaners and borax.
Other rainbow experiments like light sources and rainbows, erupting rainbows, and walking water rainbows, are also ideal for STEM learning.
You don’t have to possess expert knowledge to conduct certain STEM experiments. In fact, many STEM activities can be conducted at home under the guidance of a parent. However, whether conducted at home or in a classroom, these experiments can help increase students’ interest in science.
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.