Have you heard of STEAM or maybe STEM? It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. (STEM is the same, just without art.) I’m sure it’s been around forever, but I’ve only recently heard of it. Once I did a little research, I was hooked. I decided to make it a theme of the summer. I need something to do with the kids. I might as well have them learn something in the meantime, right??
Every single one of these ideas off Pinterest. Attribution to each blogger is noted. I’m so grateful for other bloggers that have shared each of these great things with the rest of us!
Candy Bar Science– Which candy bar will sink or float? (Original idea found here) I bought a package of mini candy bars. It contained snickers, milky way, milky way midnight, twix and 3 musketeers. The kids had to make a prediction as to which would float or sink.
The 3 Musketeers was the only one that floated. We cut them each open and talked about why that was. (It has the most air, no caramel or nuts, etc)
A Walking Rainbow. (Original idea found here)
It was fun to watch the colors climb the paper towels and mix. The kids loved checking up on this all day long.
We made our own butter. This wasn’t found online (though you can search for it). I just knew that if you pour heavy cream into a jar and shake it like crazy, eventually you will have butter. My daughter declared it was the best butter ever. (I added a tad bit of salt when it was done)
We made a projector. This actually wasn’t online either, but rather from a magazine my daughter read at the library. Screenshot is below.
All you do is use a magnifying glass to trace/cut a hole out of a box. Tape the magnifying glass to the box. Then play a movie on your phone or tablet. The only catch is you have to play it upside down. My phone kept auto rotating (even though it was turned off) but eventually we tried my daughters tablet, which didn’t rotate, so it worked. (The magnifying glass refracts the light waves thus producing an upside down image.)
And last but not least (for the day) was our favorite. A Greek Architecture challenge. (Original, fabulous idea found here) This demonstrated the post and lintel system.
I bought a box of paper dixie cups (The “posts”) Any size will work but I could only find the small bathroom size. And for the “lintel” I used cookie sheets. Then just start layering. Our daughter had the idea to use 2 at once, just flipping them bottom to bottom (next photo.)
After each layer we tested the weight. First with a few heavy books and then with each other.
Amy’s surprised face just cracks me up!
It even held me!
Could we do FOUR?? Is it possible?? Let’s try!
It measured 18 inches high. It was too hard to step up onto it, so the kids used a chair to step down onto it (we have bar height chairs.)
This even held me… all one hundred and blah, blah, blah pounds (closer to 200 than 100, truth be told.) We just didn’t get a picture. We had to stop here because i ran out of cups and cookie sheets. But I’m sure it could have kept going!
Anyhow- this was really fun. It was definitely our favorite.
I can’t wait to do even more projects this summer! If you have a favorite activity, leave it in the comments. 🙂