Notions: Summer STEM


I don’t usually think of activities as being related to STEM, because we bring science, technology, math and engineering into our lives pretty naturally. The girl is a self-described “sciencey girl,” she loves space and building and math challenges.

But while science comes up commonly in conversation around here, we don’t always specifically plan to do science activities. Which is a shame, because I’m sure she and we would find them really fun.

So in the interest of building our catalog of summer STEM activities I bring you this roundup. Check out this great roundup of STEM activities for kids, for summer and beyond.

Lemon Lime Adventures has a great collection of 20 must-try summer science activities. I’ve already got plans to try frozen treasure, but the lemon suds, homemade rain clouds and DIY anemometer look like a lot of fun, too. An outdoor chemistry lab would be great for some messy fun on a cool morning.

Vinegar and baking soda make a classic dramatic reaction, which is used by Playdough to Plato to make what she calls hot ice. It’s a somewhat long experiment because it involves cooking down and then cooling the mixture, but it offers lots of opportunities for kids to offer hypotheses about what might happen. And it’s cool looking.

When it comes to engineering, our favorite things to build with are Legos. I love this Lego water wheel from Frugal Fun 4 Boys. It’s pretty simple to make but it’s an activity you can work with in lots of different ways, such as building paths for the water to flow through, making a dam or building a pool.

Another fun, easy way for kids to construct, deconstruct and reconstruct is with a marble run. This craft stick marble run, which also happens to be from Frugal Fun 4 Boys, involves gluing craft sticks together to make a track. These were glued down to a piece of foam board, but they’re so easy to make you could easily do this again and again on different surfaces. Or you could add peel and stick Velcro to the track pieces and use it on a felt board. Or magnets on a magnet board. Lots of possibilities with this one.

Do you have a favorite science experiment your kids really love? I’d love to hear about it!

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