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Have you heard of S.T.E.M.? I hadn’t heard of the term until my husband and I coached a F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League team in Alaska. I wasn’t completely sure what it meant, you know, I know what the acronym stood for but didn’t understand why exactly science, technology, engineering, and mathematics needed to be “special“. I had always thought of these areas of study as a natural connection. While we were coaching our homeschool F.I.R.S.T. LEGO League team I soon realized that while the boys saw the connection they still were not putting the subjects together. While that has been said, it is fair to mention that our team did win First Place for Engineering. Other then joining a LEGO Team, I do suggest forming one, I have listed 10 easy S.T.E.M. activities for your homeschool that you can do with materials around house and with little expense.
10 Easy S.T.E.M. Activities
- Read. You probably new that would be the first choice , we are Book Bound, after all . Some suggestions for S.T.E.M. reading are: Anna, Kid Engineer by Dr. Shenek Alston, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkawmba, my son’s favorite, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown.
- From The STEM Laboratory you can use the LEGO Challenge Cards and other fun stuff.
- Straws! I give these to little boys at the restaurant I work at when it looks like their parents are getting tired of entertaining them. I cut them up into a variety of lengths and challenge them to build something and show it to me after they eat. If you want to get serious you can visit Play Dough to Plato about building straw bridges,
- Playing Cards. Not only can you have hours of fun using critical thinking and math skills you can build houses and towers with them!
- Did I say VIDEO GAMES? Yup, Enter the National STEM Video Challenge using SCRATCH, Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, where you can design “interactive stories, games, and animations” for free.
- For the future pilot in your home join the Aircraft Engineering Challenge and construct an aircraft at The Homeschool Scientist.
- Years ago, when my middle son was around 8 years old, we gave him a box that was filled with Duc Tape, foam board, craft sticks, paper clips and anything we could find that we thought he could be creative with. You probably have made one before but now there is a cool name for it: S.T.E.M. Inventors Box. Our little friend Anna from Anna, The Kid Engineer has an inventors box too.
- If you don’t have a marble run you can make one from paper towel tubes! It looks like a lot of fun to put together. Hmm, I think you could construct a straw bridge to this project.
- This wouldn’t be the easiest activity but it would certainly be a challenge. What are your thoughts on toothpicks? We already built bridges and houses with straws how about a pyramid with toothpicks?
- Here is my favorite! It’s my idea however the idea was not as unique as I thought. I did find several resources for this science project and this Build the Three Little Pigs houses I found to be better used in a homeschool setting. The idea came from this Build A Tiny House .
These 10 simple activities will make bringing S.T.E.M., science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, easy to bring into your homeschool. What other ideas do you have? There must be more. . .