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It's steamy outside.  Crank up your own STEAM with these integrated activities from Project-Lead-the-Way.

 

Take pictures while you work on the activities.  Write a diary entry about what you learned. Then bring your finished project to school at Open House, and we'll add it to a huge STEAM display for Back-to-School Night!  

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  1. Create a discovery jar. Brainstorm all of the questions or ideas you are curious about, like why grass is green or how space travel started, or how many varieties of leaves exist on the trees in the yard. Then put all of the questions into a mason jar. Pull one out each day to research and explore. 

  2. Do try it at home! Lemelson Center’s collection of ‘Do Try This at Home!’ activities develop your innovation and creativity. 

  3. Keep your math skills sharp. IXL.com offers grade-based math activities that feel more like fun than practice.

  4. Bug out! Did you know that insects outnumber humans 200 million to one? No matter where you live, insects are a vital part of your community and play an important role in everything from recycling waste to helping plants spread pollen. Discover what bugs live in your neighborhood, and try to identify those you haven’t seen before.

  5. Explore computer science. You don’t need to be a professional to create computer Apps! Learn basic computer science principles with these easy-to-use computer science platforms:

    • Scratch Jr. (PreK-3) – A free App available on both iPad and Android tablets that allows even the youngest students to learn to code.

    • Scratch (grades 3-9) – A free platform to program interactive stories, games, and animations. All you need is a laptop and creativity.

    • App Inventor (grades 5+) – Create your own Apps in less than an hour. You’ll need two devices: a Web browser on computer, as well as an Android device. Both must be able to access the same wireless Internet network.

    • Tynker (grades 4-5) – A blocks-based programming platform available on desktops, laptops, and tablets that helps students learn to code. Both free and paid memberships are available.

    • DroidScript – Students of all skill levels can easily and quickly write Apps for Android using JavaScript. Use a PC and an Android phone, tablet, or Smart Watch. Both must be connected to the same wireless Internet network.

    • Lightbot – An educational video game for learning software programming concepts. Paid versions ($2.59-$4.99) exist for both Apple and Android tablets, as well as Windows and Mac devices.

  6. Feel the beat! Learn how different activities affect your heart rate. Ask an adult how to measure your resting heart rate, and then collect it at different points throughout the day to learn how quiet versus physically active tasks change your heart rate. Find a helpful guide here.

  7. Bake! It’s one of the best ways to learn math and science.  With the help of an adult, work on your math vocabulary and measurement skills as you measure out ingredients. Explore where ingredients come from, or how solids and liquids transform during baking for a basic science lesson. Then reward yourself with a chocolate chip cookie or a Rice Krispies® treat!

  8. Explore architecture and public works! Take a field trip to your local infrastructure facilities – the waste water treatment plan, electric plant, or manufacturing plant – to learn about civil engineering and architecture. Most do free tours if you call ahead.

  9. Sharpen your problem-solving skills! PBS Kids offers a great resource full of problem-solving games for young students. 

  10. Go to camp! The Engineering Education Service Center is a great resource for a list of summer engineering camps happening across the U.S. Camps are listed by state.

  11. Take a snack break. Exploratorium’s Science Snacks has hundreds of ideas, sorted by subject. Some of our favorites require few materials and even provide talking points for parents.

  12. Make getting the mail fun.  Tinker Crate promises not to be just another science kit. This monthly subscription-based service designed for kids ages 9-14 creates ‘low threshold, high ceiling projects accessible and fun for all types of learners.’ A version of Tinker Crate is also available for ages 3-4 and 4-8.

  13. Upcycle! See what you can create with a bin full of recyclables. Gather your old materials and this kit of connectors ($12.50). Modern Parents Messy Kids has another take on this creativity-inspiring activity.

  14. Master physics. Minute Physics channel on YouTube, set to engaging animations, make some of the most complicated science topics easier to understand.

  15. Grow a salad. Explore life sciences with this fun activity. Grow lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes in your garden or in separate pots. Learn about the growth cycle of plants and the impact of soil, sun, water, and nutrition on plants’ growth.

  16. Take the egg drop challenge. What happens when you drop an egg from ceiling-height? It cracks and creates a giant mess, right? Engineer a vessel that will protect the egg and keep it from breaking when dropped.

  17. Go star gazing! Warm nights and clear skies allow for fun interstellar observation, with or without a telescope. Sky Map, built by a team of amateur astronomers who work at Google, helps Android users locate stars and planets in the night sky. NASA also provides a fun way to locate the International Space Station with its Spot The Station website.

  18. Boost your critical thinking skills with“instant challenges.” These challenges, set to a specific amount of time, force you to think on your feet, work in teams, and use your critical thinking skills. Google ‘Instant Challenge’ for ideas, or check out some of our favorites:

  19. Learn about microorganisms! Microorganisms are important to life on Earth, acting as decomposers in various ecosystems and playing a vital role in the nitrogen cycle. Learn about the different bacteria in your daily environment and the important role each plays with this interactive game.

  20. Build a paper rollercoaster using Canon’s printer-friendly roller coaster template and corresponding instructions. Print and assemble your very own paper roller coaster, and then assemble your coaster car and race it around the track.