Recently I asked these questions of my readers:
Can we talk about distance learning? What does it mean for you?
For many of you, it means online lessons and assignments. But, what about STEM?
Can we have STEM at Home? Will students plan and carry out design challenges? Guess what! They can and they will!
STEM Activities for Kids has several projects and resources that will keep your students engaged with designing and creating as we navigate through distance learning together.
Get Caught Engineering
Wendy from Get Caught Engineering® has been using their Enchanted Engineering lessons with her first and second graders over distance learning.
The activities have worked well because the children are already familiar with the fairy tales and so there is no need to locate a book for teacher, parent, or child as a reference.
The stories can be easily told orally and discussed on the online platform. Wendy then proposes a problem one of the characters is having and chats with her students about possible engineering solutions using recycled materials that the students already have at their home. She introduces criteria for the activity and posts the information on her class website so the kids can access the challenge as needed.
The students work on the project over several days, send her pictures or videos, and share their results at a future class gathering. Her students have created chairs for Baby Bear to replace what Goldilocks broke, a raft for the Three Billy Goats to cross the stream and avoid the troll, a new castle with drawbridge for Cinderella, and a bridge to get to Sleeping Beauty.
This chair was created by a first grader and, as you can see, it is quite sturdy!
The results have been unique, interesting, and provide a great review of measurement, simple machines, 3-D shapes, structural and material engineering, and problem-solving skills. She has received numerous thank you’s from parents who appreciate that the activities are offline and that the activities only require simple recycled materials and tape or string.
Meredith @ Momgineer
Keep projects quick and simple for your littlest engineers during distance learning. Use recyclables for a STEM challenge tied to fairy tales or a nursery rhyme. Start by reading a fairy tale story or nursery rhyme to your students (or have them help you re-tell one), and then provide a challenge or have them work through a choice board to complete open-ended challenges.
Kerry Tracey @ Feel Good Teaching
This YouTube channel is for kids who love STEM Challenges, but may not have a lot of materials at home to use for building. The videos walk kids through a STEM Challenge over the span of a week. There are also optional assignments in Google Slides and questions in Google Forms in the descriptions under the videos, making it easy for parents and teachers to decide to extend the activities or just let their kids build.
Sarah @Science and STEAM Team
This build a bug STEM / STEAM Challenge is the perfect way to get students excited about insects at the beginning of a unit, or it can be used as an assessment at the end of a unit. Students will build an insect within given parameters while using their creative side to make it unique!
You can share this resource with your students through Google Classroom or Google Drive.
STEM At-Home Activity Calendar: Keep students engaged at home with 6 weeks of daily online and offline STEM activities. These charts are for grades PreK, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.
STEM Space At Home: Every Thursday through the end of the school year Vivify releases a new STEM video challenge led by an engineer and using materials you can find at home. The free videos and activity guides are made to support kids in elementary and middle school through fun engineering design challenges with a real-world connection.
Brooke Brown @ Teach Outside the Box
Are you ready to go 100% PAPERLESS with STEM Bins®?
This file contains BOTH Google Slides STEM Bins and Seesaw compatible STEM Bins Activities.
This is provided in formats for lower and upper grades. Both versions are ready to click and share immediately with students for use during distance learning at home!
WEEKS of simple, daily STEM Bins activities are provided (30 activities per
grade level band)
Students will watch videos about structures, draw and label blueprints, add photos of their builds, and write descriptions of their structures.
STEM Journal for ANY Challenge (Google Slides and Seesaw) for Distance Learning -This file contains a both Digital Google Slides and Seesaw STEM Journals and a printable STEM journal (full page and half page versions) that can be adapted to any STEM Challenge! A Full STEAM version for Google Slides is included.
STEM/STEAM Journals include space for students to record the Engineering Design Process as well as Self-Check-up and Teacher Check-up Rubrics. Please view the preview to see specific components.
Carol @Teachers are Terrific
I adapted some of our favorite STEM Challenges to work with students at home. Each of these challenges has a 3-page student handout in a printable format and a Google Slides format. A teacher’s guide is also included!
Students watch a quick video to add some background knowledge in all the challenges. Some challenges have an experiment that takes place before designing. Students can sketch ideas, take photos of their sketches, and insert these on the Google slide. Sharing time is fabulous as students show their structures or share photos of them!
In addition to three sets of STEM at Home, I have a free challenge following the same format>>> STEM at Home FREEBIE
Renee @Science School Yard
Let’s find a new perspective on end of the year celebrations then…head on over to the Science School Yard Blog for some great end of the year tips and tricks as well as a free resource! This includes Virtual Field Trips, STEM Digital Ideas, Virtual Awards, STEM or Science Tic-Tac-Toe, and more! Home learning/distance learning/remote learning/virtual learning just to name a few…whatever you are calling it these days, it is all new territory to most of the classroom teachers out there.
It is definitely new territory for the Science School Yard’s, author Renee. Now, it is time to reflect and finish up the school year, from the confines of our own homes. Let’s find some spectacular Science and STEM opportunities to connect with our kiddos!
As always, here at STEM Activities for Kids, we would love to help you with your questions and needs. Feel free to comment or email!