A few weeks ago, I mentioned on my fan page that I was getting ready to do a STEM Day. In case you don't know what STEM is it stands for Science Technology Engineering and Math. Basically, STEM gives your kiddos a chance to practice problem solving. You give them a task and within that task you mix in at least three of the four areas. For example, if they need to build a bird house, you may work that into an animal unit, have them research how to build a bird house, actually build the house, and then graph or measure all the materials used.
That sounds like a lot, but it's really a lot of fun. Plus, your kiddos will think that they are playing all day. I know this because that's what my kids said to me. Over and over they kept telling me it was the best day ever because they thought they got to play all day.
So, how do you pull off a STEM Day? Here's what I did. I made a schedule so I knew what I was trying to get done in one day.
Then, I made a list of all the materials I needed to get. Honestly, I had most of the materials already. The materials I didn't have were pretty cheap. I managed to get everything I needed from The Dollar Tree or Target.
Alright, so here are pictures of the lessons we did. I found several of these on Teachers Pay Teachers, so if it's from TPT, I'll give you a link so you can grab it.
This challenge was fun, but I have to say it didn't go as planned. No idea what we did wrong, but we kept stacking boxes and boxes of crayons on my kids' bridges and it held it all. I gave my kids the exact tools that it said to give them. We used crayons instead of pennies as the weights. My kids figured out very quickly to spread the straws out, tape them down, and stack everything on top.
I'd still recommend this activity and even this packet. Several of my teammates did the activity where their kids had to build a Peep boat that would float. It turned out awesome! Here are some pictures from one of my teammates.
You can get this packet from Smart Chick.Pumpkin Roll by Regina Davis. Since an Egg Roll didn't exist I just made it up as I went. I gave my kids 12 straws, 20 small popsicle sticks, 7 pieces of paper, tape, and a plastic egg. My kids had to build a ramp and see which team would have an egg roll the furthest. Once the kids got started building their ramps, I decided to build a ramp too. We had tons of fun on this one!
The next part was fun. We talked about zoos, looked at pictures of zoos, and then each kid drew a picture of an animal habitat he/she wanted to create. Then, the kids went back to their groups and had to pick one drawing to use as their model. Surprisingly, they narrowed them down pretty quickly.
So, here's where I messed up. My kids get their models done and they looked great! Well, I go to return supplies to one of my teammates and I notice her landform models and her Activboard. Oops! We did habitats, but we were supposed to build specific landforms. Probably why it's named Landforms, huh? So, I have pictures of my teammate's boxes so you can see it done right. Honestly, I kind of forgot to get good pictures of mine, so I'll try to add them after Spring Break. By the way, we ended up moving this to the following day and we worked on our boxes for around an hour and a half.
You can find this project at Ivy Taul's TPT store.
As crazy as it sounds, this was the hardest ones for my kids to figure out. It also ended up being the one that caused them to argue a little because they had differing opinions on how to do this.
Now, I know you see Challenge 6 at the top. We did Challenge 6, but I completely forgot to take pictures. It went okay, but it required a lot of adult help, so I'm going to try it again next year and hopefully then it will work perfectly.
So, if you've gotten this far you are probably thinking this may be fun. Here are a few tips.
Alright, I hope this post helped you some. I know my teammates and I have decided that we want to use some of these next year for our Fun Fridays. Most of these activities are just right for that amount of time.