STEM Education has made teachers all around the world roll up their sleeves. Many schools globally have integrated STEM Education in their curriculums starting from classes as young as primary classes. We have realized Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are going to be at the forefront in the coming ages. Children are encouraged to perform STEM projects in their classrooms along with learning theoretical knowledge. These projects can range from coding to chromatography. Whatever is the field that your child is interested in, every STEM project and every bit of information helps them to increase their creativity and logical thinking. These projects are an effective way of learning for kids. While schools are provided with the resources and tips to conduct these activities inside the classroom, parents can still engage in some STEM-tastic projects at home. When parents work closely with kids, it also helps grow trust and bonding, along with curiosity and knowledge. Let us look at some exciting STEM projects that you can easily perform within the four walls of your house, affordably and comfortably.
1) Find the Fastest Way to Move
Physics is a very tricky subject to reach out to kids with. Only when you relate complex concepts with practical experiences that they can relate to, kids take an interest in Physics. Collect things around your house like toy cars, and some supplies like magnets, papers, straws, string, and cardboard pieces. Arrange these supplies to form a racing path on a level table. Ask them to carefully observe the items and the path, and come up with the fastest way they think that the car can take to win the race. If you have kids, you can make it a competition among them or you can join in. You can make it more fun by timing the race. This activity can help them to learn about speed, distance, magnetic fields, and gravity.
2) Thinking in Code
STEM learning is the same as logical learning. Some people don’t understand what coding is. Coding for kids is often wrongly interchanged. It is simply understanding a code language, performing tasks in that language, communicating and solving problems with the help of that language. Just like your kids learn English and Mathematics, how to write letters and numbers, the flow of writing, and so on, coding can be learned too. For young kids, you can hide a surprise in some room of the house. You can share the location of this item with your kid. Then ask your kid to direct their sibling or another parent to that location only using directional instructions like “North, South, East, and West”. Another activity is to help your kid make up their own secret language. They can make up their own letters, you can learn from them and again let them guide you to their treasure. This activity helps them think in different scenarios, how to give directions using language, and execute tasks.
3) Creating Plastic
Did you know that you make plastic at home? Many adults themselves are surprised at this fact. So your kid will be excited too. Plastic can be made at home with one simple ingredient – Milk. Before synthetic plastic became the craze in the 1940’s, people used Casein plastic. For this activity, you need some household ingredients like – milk, white vinegar, and a strain. You need to be always supervising your little one with this activity. For younger kids, you should perform this activity and ask them to observe. First, we need to heat up the milk until it is hot, but not boiling. Transfer this hot milk into a bowl. Slowly and steadily, pour white vinegar into this and stir for a minute. Pour this through a strainer, into another container. There will be some blobs left on the strainer. Then you can rinse these blobs in water when it cools off. You can mould them into any shape, and it will harden in a few days. This activity can increase your kid’s interest in Chemistry.
You can have more fun and creativity in your STEM projects by adding a dash of art in STEM. Such art projects are entertaining as well as they help in effective learning. This addition is also now officially called “STEAM”. Chromatography is the technique of separating a mixture by passing it through a solution. This activity can teach your little ones the concept that different materials move at different rates. You will need some canvas filter papers, markers, droppers, and water. Ask your kids to colour the paper with a black marker on one part of the paper. Then with a dropper, add a few drops of water to that area. And observe the beauty of chromatography! This black colour splits into different colours that it is made of and spreads into different areas of the paper. This activity teaches them how colours work.
5) Clouds in a Jar
You can bring your kids’ attention to climate-related concepts like condensation, water cycles, and states of matter with a simple activity. You can use water and hairspray to demonstrate the formation of a cloud for kids. This simplistic activity can be for the littlest ones—or you can step up for older kids with an experiment to create a cloud, along with a lesson about how water cycles work. You can also take the kids out on a cloudy day and perform this activity to help them connect in real life. Most of the parents are also giving robotics classes for kids, to have their bright future.