science activities

STEM Activities for Your Classroom

E-Learning

Will we be doing more e-Teaching and e-Learning in the future, even when the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us? E-Learning is useful for snow days, and has worked in the past for homebound students; some K-12 educators are embracing it. Teachers and students in higher education have been using it successfully; the term was coined in 1999, and it appears that it was happening a couple of decades prior to that. For now, at-home resources may be useful to you during this challenging, and possibly transitional, time in education. Here we list some that we feel are useful:

DiscoverE Engineering STEAM activities, some that can be done at school, some at home with minimal materials and altered instructions. Examples: Design and build a mobile that warns birds away from a window or a building, Windy City Tower, Step Launcher, Keep an Ice Cube from Melting. Categorized by grade level.

engineering

DuPage Children’s Museum Build a Bridge, Wings and Things, Sound all Around, and three more. Forty-five-minute labs, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned for grades 1–4, to spark curiosity, promote critical thinking and problem solving.

STEM Engineering

Exploratorium This San Francisco science museum has hands-on “Science Snacks,” teacher-tested activities for classroom and home. With inexpensive, easily-available materials, and detailed instructions, these are adaptable to a range of curricula, content areas, and grade levels.

Museum of Science and Industry Chicago’s own, for at-home activities, check out their Learning Labs: Mission to Mars, Forensics – Chromatography, and Building Bridges. Jr. Science Cafes feature videos with STEM professionals.

explore STEM

SCARCE Teaching about Air, Water, Energy, Resource Conservation, or Soil? This well-known organization in DuPage County has an online library of videos and downloadable materials to enable students’ remote learning. Curriculum materials follow NGSS.

STEM Nature

Science Buddies Packed with info, this site offers hands-on resources for school and home: activities, interactive tools, videos, and career info.

30 Minute STEMtastic Activities

Geared towards middle school students, these activities can be adjusted for grade level and learning outcomes. They were developed at the request of teachers who wanted interesting activities that could be done at home, while online with their class, or at school. Other goals for the activities were flexibility, possibility for extensions, and the use of minimal supplies that students would not have to share. The DuPage ROE STEM Team goals for the learners are that they engage their critical thinking, problem solving, questioning, and experimentation skills, and that they learn in an enjoyable and authentic context. In the spirit of the Illinois Science Learning Standards and the Common Core State Standards in Mathematical Practice, we believe these activities will provoke questions as students work, and discuss their work with you and their classmates, and that those questions will motivate and drive their search for answers.

We plan to add more activities to this collection. If you have feedback on any of these lessons, please share at stem@dupageroe.org.

No Special Supplies: Activities in this section require limited supplies that are typically found in a student’s home. Students may need a handout that could be sent to them electronically and printed at home.

  • Water Holder: An engineering design challenge.
  • Whirlybird from Paper: An engineering design challenge integrating aerodynamics.
  • STEM at the Breakfast Table: Use breakfast cereal to learn about measuring tools, nutrition, and nutrition labels.
  • At Home Scavenger Hunt: STEM is everywhere! Have your students look for it in their homes in a friendly competition, and then discuss their findings.
  • Paper Airplanes: Reverse engineer paper airplanes to determine how each paper airplane flies the way it does.
  • Balance Bird: Discover what it means when something is balanced.
  • Honeycomb Lab: Observable characteristics of polygons explain why honey bees use hexagons to build their combs. The geometric concepts of tiling and area are applied to our natural world.

Request Supplies: Activities in this section require items that most students would not have at home. Contact the DuPage Regional Office of Education STEM Coordinator, Dr. Mary Biniewicz, mbiniewicz@dupageroe.org to request supplies. The supply of these items is limited and will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis.