STEM Starters

The eclipse is Coming!

What is a total eclipse?

“Critical Thinking” Thinking

How do you approach the problem?

Ice Fishing

How would you determine the
thickness of the ice on
a frozen lake using only a ruler?

Weather Data

How could some places get colder, while most have gotten hotter?

It’s a leap year!

What is a leap year?

Nature: Architect or Engineer?

How do trees grow so tall & hold up their limbs?


Architecture is classified as a STEM career. Can you explain why?

What STEM do you do?

Read the list, and note activities you’ve done.

School Humor

Explain this school humor

Icicles: What? Why? How?

Draw some, as you think about how they form.


Think about snow. List five questions you have about it.

What Makes a Career a STEM Career?

Which of these are STEM careers? STEAM careers? Neither? Explain your answers.

Freezing Point Depression

Why is the area around this piece of rock salt clean when there is still snow on the driveway?

What are these?

Note increasing magnification

What are QR codes

where have you seen them? Explain how they work.


What are the “things” and what evidence do you have?

Tent Trickery

Can you determine which sign is truthful and which tent your sleeping bag is in?


Where was this picture of the eagle NOT taken? Use clues to determine where this picture would not likely have been taken.

The Eshima Ohashi Bridge

Find the slope of the bridge. Remember, it reaches its highest point halfway across.
Image credit:

Eye Spy in The Classroom

Search-Find-Locate-Discover-Observe-Notice-Detect-Hunt-Explore-Spot-Uncover as many of these Eye Spy items in the time allotted.

Morning Glory Flowers

Look closely at the 3 photos and compose a story that relates your hypothesis of what’s occurring in photos 2 & 3.


Hobbies are fun, educational, and constructive, you can meet new friends, and more! Do you have any?

US Postal Stamps

Pick at least one image that is striking to you.
What did you pick? Why?

September is Here!

Look at these photos. Compose 10 questions about acorns.


If you had a robot at you house, list 2 chores you’d like to program it to do. Think of a challenge you would encounter for programming each chore.

Bot or Being?

What question could you ask to determine whether you are chatting with a bot or with a human being?

Playground Equipment

Make a sketch for a piece of playground equipment, and share your idea.

Maple Seeds

Maple seeds fall from their mother tree in sort of a whirlybird motion. Why is that a good adaptation for species survival?

3D Printers

Have you ever used a 3D printer?

Kentucky Derby

Match the “naked number” with a sensible unit.

Candle Timer

This lit candle with nails is an ancient alarm clock.
What is your hypothesis as to how it works?

Water Facts

List at least 5 ways that you personally can save water.


Why are trees important in life and our environment?

Earth Month!

Which of these items can be recycled in your recycling bin?


Why do you think beavers have rust-orange colored teeth?

PI in The Strangest Places

Can you find it in this pyramid in Egypt?

Poor Sharon!

A decision Sharon came to regret.
Can you explain this cartoon?

Creating an Invention By Improving its Design

Choose a simple item you use often. How would you improve upon its design?

Bits, coding, binary

What do these have in common?

Bernoulli’s Principle

Note the two ping pong balls. What do you notice about them?

Unique Tree Growth

How do you think these trees grew these ways?

A Useful Invention

Using 5-7 items around you, sketch a design for an invention.

Fake Foto or For Real?

Explain how this works. Are there any pieces of the table that are not necessary?

The Training Tangle

Put these in a logical order using clues from the context of the sentences.

Animals & Technology

Can you think of ways technology imitates animals?

A Novel Question

If I have read up to the bookmark, do I need to take another book, or is there enough left of this one for the trip?

Get Your Sleuth On!

Let your creative juice run and make up a story behind it.

Babies Ration

If the likelihood of having a girl is 50%, after many years, what’s the expected ratio of girls to boys in Trafalgeron?

Ever Wonder About Spider Webs?

We think of spider webs as food traps. Do you think there are other purposes for these webs?

No Gravity

Describe your day if you lived in a world without gravity.

What Amazing Superpowers Do Animals Have?

Match the animal with its superpower

Coffee Cars Gas

How much does it cost? (20 ounces of plain coffee averages about $2.10) How much would that be per gallon?

Water for All

The U.S. Drought Monitor recently published this graphic showing the drought conditions in the United States.

What’s Going On With This Tree?

Record 5 observations as you look at this tree.

Brain Scrambler

Which is quoted in red?
Which is quoted in blue?


There are five ways you can arrange four congruent squares to form a polygon.

Breakfast Cereals

Compare these breakfast cereals. Which would you choose as the best for your health?

Shape Classification

Sort the figures above into classes and subclasses.

Our Sun!

Think of 5 things you know about our nearest star.
Write them down and be
prepared to share.
image credit: NSO/NSF/AURA


Fill in the entries in each sequence.

What size would your food be?

Use your height and weight to calculate how big the food would be in proportion to you.

The Last Episode of STEMMAN

Can you put these sounds in order-first to last-of when they appeared?

Aroostook County, Maine Solar System Model

How fast would you have to move to travel across the Aroostook County model at the speed of light?

What is This?

Record 5 observations & then take a guess.
What more information would you like to have to identify it?

What’s Going On?

Tell your own story for each graph.
What are the units on your axes?

March Math Madness

What fraction of the teams are eliminated each round?

Trivia Questions

What’s the most snow we’ve had in one year?
What’s the least snow we’ve had?
More questions click photo

Black Dot Optical Illusion

How many black dots do you see in this picture?

Data collection

What do you need to know in order to find out…

Under The Microscope

What are these mystery pictures under the microscope?

Those Nasty Weeds

How many people does it take to clear an invasive species out of an acre of forest preserve over a particular period of time?

Laboratory Equipment

Which laboratory equipment would accurately measure 25mL of water?

Look at this photo and make five inferences.

An inference is a conclusion reached based on evidence and reasoning.

Tell This Tree’s Life Story

Count the Pine tree’s dark rings to determine the tree’s age.

World’s Simplest Electric Train

How do you think this happens?
What are the jobs of the magnets, the battery, and the coil?


Which coupon is more valuable the “fall rolling” or “home, happier”?
Give an example that supports your answer.

Glove Estimation!

How many gloves are being worn on North American hands at this moment?
What are some conditions to consider that may result in a more usable estimate?

Hand Dryers

Are hand dryers better for the environment than paper towels?
What are some of the questions you would need to answer to make that decision? Write at least 5 questions.

Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones, a famous treasure hunter was stuck at a cave with 4 doors…

Good Questions

What questions would you ask to solve these problems?
A lamp won’t light.
A shirt doesn’t fit.
A bad grade in Social Studies.
A dog keeps licking its paws.

Time for Pumpkins and Gourds!

What is the difference between a squash and a gourd? How do squashes and gourds grow? Did you know that pumpkins are fruits? Why are they classified as such? Are they squashes or gourds?

OOPS! Everybody makes mistakes!

Can you find the mistake in this training slide?
How would you correct it?

What is this?

both pictures are of the same thing, different focus point
Give 5 pieces of evidence for your answer.

Hint: the pictures were taken November 16th, 2021

Candle Flame on Earth vs Space

Compare a burning candle on Earth to a candle burning in Space on the International Space Station (ISS).

mage Credit: Science@NASA


Read down the list of relationships on the left and match it with its counterpart on the right to create an analogy. Describe the relationship in words.

This photo was taken at S.K.O.B. in Siesta Key FL.

How many dollar bills are on this wall?

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

How are they different than internal combustion vehicles-those that are powered by the burning of gasoline?

Image Credit:

Weather Map

The distance from the indicated location (blue dot) to Aurora is 30 miles. By comparing the weather map to the graph, can you tell in which direction the storm is moving?


Does your family garden? What are your favorite fruits and vegetables? And, what does gardening have to do with STEM?

Missing Numbers

The numbers in each column of the table relate to each other in a certain way. Can you fill in the missing numbers?

Alien invaders

Use these pictures to write a short story. It can be fiction, science fiction, or non-fiction.

Aunt Jo’s Pies

My Aunt Jo uses 2 3-pound sacks of flour to make 10 pies. How many pies could she bake with 3 5-pound bags?

Road Dashes

Have you ever thought about the dashes down the center of a road? How long do you think they are? Without using a ruler or checking on line, how would you check your answer?

Chinese Rocket Debris

“A huge Chinese rocket will fall to earth this weekend!”
This news was reported over and over the first week of May 2021.
What is the likelihood of the rocket debris hitting a populated area?

Image Credit: : BEIJING (AP)

Camouflage Animals

Find the camouflage animal in these nature scenes.
How would you define camouflage? Why is camouflage important?

mage Credit: ati

Why do these birds flock together like this?

Which bird is the leader?
How do these starlings behave as one?
Explain your answers.

Order! Order!

Which combination gives you a number other than 5?

Taken from Hubble Telescope

Answer one of the questions and be prepared to share your finding

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and TSTcl


Fungus are important to ecosystems. Use this photo to explain why.

Frozen Bubble

This photo was taken on the coldest day of 2021!
What are these objects, and explain why you think so.

Ibn Wandrin has lost his way

Give him directions to get him back to where he started.
How did you arrive at that answer?

St. Regis Tower

The Tower’s shape is known as frustums designed by Jeanne Gang.
What is a frustum?

Think Outside The Box

Can you think of a letter that does NOT fit the criteria?
Could you have done it with less work? why or why not?

What happened here?

Explain your idea using evidence from the picture.

What is the area of this trapezoid in square units?

For what careers is finding areas an important skill?

Can you list 5 human diseases caused by viruses?

Try to list 5 viral diseases that you have been vaccinated against.

Soda Can

Describe what will happen to the soda when the can is opened after being shaken.

Around v Through

If it takes 15 minutes to drive around a city, how long do you estimate that it would take to drive through that city?

What is This?

Find a picture on the internet that supports your hypothesis.

Great Horned Owls

These are male & female Great Horned Owls.
Write 5 things you know about owls.

The Misfit

One of these is unlike the others.
Which is it and why?

Mental Math

Choose the correct answer to these questions:
89 x 4,231
339 ÷ (2/3)

Ever Given

If you worked for the Suez Canal Port Authority scheduling convoys crossing the canal, what information would you need in order to manage the traffic most efficiently?

Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2021, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Lizard Run

To make a portable rectangular cage for your pet lizard to run around outside.
Which dimensions would give the lizard the most freedom?

Surface Tension

Some insects can walk on water. How do you think they do it?