All in STEM

4 Amazing Summer STEM Challenges for Kids!

Whether you are teaching summer school, summer camp, or you are spending the summer at home with your own kids, there are two words you desperately try to avoid hearing…

“I’m Bored!”

Cure summer boredom with STEM challenges. STEM keeps kids engaged during the long summer months while preventing the summer slide.

The best part is kids love them!

The following are our top 4 summer STEM challenges.

Our Favorite Back to School Read Aloud STEM Challenges

The lessons you teach at the beginning of the year are crucial for laying the foundation and setting the tone for the rest of the school year.

STEM challenges are the best way to begin building classroom community and teamwork. They also create a classroom environment where mistakes and failures are valued and viewed as learning opportunities.

The best part is, students LOVE them!

The Best STEM Challenges for the End of the Year

Congratulations, you have made it to the end of the year! Now what?

If your end of the year experience is anything like mine was then you may be running out of curriculum to teach, classroom management strategies, and possibly even energy and patience!

Now is the perfect time to incorporate hands-on projects and cooperative activities that will keep students motivated and engaged in learning up until the last day of school.

The following are our top 8 end of the year STEM challenges.

Four End of the Year Read Alouds and STEM Challenges Your Students will Love

What are you teaching at the end of the year?

"Make" memories with your students and keep them engaged up until the last day of school with STEM!

Create a cereal box memory book to help students process the "last day blues", engineer an amazing treehouse, learn about the Chicago World's Fair and make a Ferris Wheel, and unleash the creativity of your students as they imagine, design, build, and write about their dream house using Geometry and 3D Shapes!

The following are our top 4 STEM read alouds and activities to engage students at the end of the year.

Increase Student Curiosity with the Curiosity Jar

How do nocturnal animals hunt?
What animal is the smartest?

What would happen if worms didn't decompose dead things?
These are just a few of the questions that my third graders came up with this past year. As a teacher I love it when my students are using their curiosity and asking good questions. 

Engage Students in Solving Real-World Problems with STEM

If your students aren’t excited about STEM the problem might be a lack of exposure to real-world challenges.

Real-world problem solving should be at the core of any STEM education program. It increases student buy-in as students realize that their work has an impact that extends beyond the classroom walls. It also helps students develop empathy as they take a walk in someone else’s shoes in order to understand the problems they face before coming up with potential solutions.

How to Make Test Prep Engaging with STEM

Test prep doesn’t have to be boring!

Whether you agree with state testing or not, it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. You can either fight it, or you can choose to set your students up for success by providing them with test prep activities to help them feel prepared.

Unfortunately, many of these activities take the form of worksheets and/or “drill and kill” types of activities. I am sad to admit that I used to use some of these activities with my third graders as we prepared for state testing, but then I found a better way.

During this testing season you don’t have to choose between fun classroom activities or test prep. You can have both with STEM. Let’s learn how!

Questioning Strategies for STEM Challenges

Do your kids give up easily when encountering a problem?

We get it. We've been there, both in parenting and as teachers. A kid stops trying when they get stuck on a task. They don’t want to work on it anymore. They just want the answer, or for you to do it for them.

It's our job as teachers and parents to help kids move forward when stuck and unlock the power of grit. After all, grit is a teachable skill.

We’ve found that a well-timed question can spark new thoughts in kids to develop perseverance through a tough task.

The following are some of our favorite questions to ask during each phase of the STEM process. You can grab a copy of these questions HERE and start supporting your students through difficult STEM challenges today!

Black History Month Read Alouds and STEM

What are you teaching your students during the month of February?

Don’t just teach, invite students into a story this month with STEM!

Create a space capsule to bring Apollo astronauts back to earth safely with Katherine Johnson, build an air powered rocket shuttle to launch Mae Jemison into space, invent something new with Lonnie Johnson, learn the power of words with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and code astronauts to the moon with the Hidden Figures!

The following are our top 5 STEM read alouds and activities to engage students in Black History Month.

Make a Valentine's Day Paper Circuit Card

Teach circuits in an engaging way by having students create a Valentine’s Day card that lights up!

Students learn the difference between an open and closed circuit. They also learn how a switch can be used to alternate between an open and closed circuit.

Students will have so much fun they won’t even realize how much they are learning!

Hidden Figures STEM and Coding Activities

Are your finding time to teach social studies?

Finding time for social studies was a struggle for me when I was in the classroom. As a teacher in a testing grade, I felt the pressure to spend the majority of my instructional minutes on math and language arts topics.

It doesn’t have to be this way! Fortunately, I found a way to integrate social studies with my math and language arts lessons through STEM!

Teach about Black History Month and Women’s History Month with STEM activities that incorporate, reading, writing, math, and making!

The Biggest Snowman Ever Build a Snowman STEM Activity

Getting kids to focus during the winter months was always a struggle for me. The cold temperatures made it impossible to go outside, leaving kids with no way to burn off energy. Times like these require extremely engaging lessons to keep students focused and engaged.

Fortunately, I found the secret to keeping students engaged, even during the long winter months…STEM! You too can increase student engagement during the long winter months with a STEM activity like building a snowman using the read-aloud The Biggest Snowman Ever.

Martin Luther King, Jr. STEM and STEAM Activities

Are your finding time to teach social studies?

Finding time for social studies was a struggle for me when I was in the classroom. As a teacher in a testing grade, I felt the pressure to spend the majority of my instructional minutes on math and language arts topics.

It doesn’t have to be this way! Fortunately, I found a way to integrate social studies with my math and language arts lessons through STEM!

Teach about Martin Luther King, Jr. this month with STEM activities that incorporate, reading, writing, math, and making!

Snowflake Bentley STEM Activity (Build a Snowflake)

Getting kids to focus during the winter months was always a struggle for me. The cold temperatures made it impossible to go outside, leaving kids with no way to burn off energy. Times like these require extremely engaging lessons to keep students focused and engaged.

Fortunately, I found the secret to keeping students engaged, even during the long winter months…STEM! You too can increase student engagement during the long winter months with a STEM activity like building a snowflake using the read-aloud Snowflake Bentley.