Must-Try STEAM/STEM Activities for Fall

You are likely familiar with STEM (or science, technology, engineering, and math) as an education movement across schools in the U.S. A newer movement, STEAM, includes an A for art as a bridge to the other disciplines, as well as an essential component for driving innovation and problem-solving. Introducing your student to STEAM and STEM through engaging activities can be very beneficial. STEAM/STEM activities for fall can include exploring nature, experimenting with building and design activities, and getting a jump start on a science fair project.

Interested in incorporating STEAM and STEM activities into the autumn months? Keep reading for must-try STEAM/STEM activities for fall:

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Explore nature with fall STEAM/STEM activities

The world is your oyster when it comes to learning about nature via STEAM or STEM. Look around your backyard or a public park for elements to observe in your natural environment: for instance, mushrooms and tree rings, as well as more autumnal items like fallen leaves and pine cones. Go on a scavenger hunt outdoors for naturally occurring fractals, and then recreate them at home with art supplies. On cooler days, bring nature inside—grow flowers or other plants indoors, and record their development. Trace the veins of autumn leaves, and then research the purpose of these veins.

Use fall STEAM/STEM activities to build and design objects

The process of building and designing objects develops engineering skills, and it asks students to problem-solve questions of physics and balance. Try a classic activity, like building the perfect egg drop contraption. Experiment with various materials, like wood, paper, marshmallows, and clay. Build a structure using bamboo skewers joined by balls of clay or gumdrops, or make a geodesic dome by feeding pipe cleaners through straws and securing them. Don’t forget to consider different types of structures, such as bridges and boats.

On the design end, origami is a great STEAM-based learning activity that touches on fractions, geometry, and physics. Follow instructions to make a specific design, or try multiple ways to create the same design. Draw mazes and use magnets, on both sides of the paper, to move through the maze. Experiment with different art materials like watercolors, vinegar, oil, and dish soap, which you can use for tie dye or other paper projects.

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Get a head start on science fair projects with fall STEAM/STEM activities

Fall is a great time to try various science experiments, especially ahead of the science fair that often takes place in the spring. Make a volcano, create a water cycle in a plastic bag, or grow flowers in the dark. Whip up a batch of Oobleck, a mixture of cornstarch and water that acts like a liquid and a solid based on how you interact with it. Ask your child’s science teacher for ideas, or find books that pertain to your student’s interests.

[RELATED: 3 Ways to Get Ahead on Your Student’s Science Fair Project]

Fall is a great time of transition—both in nature and at school—that is ripe for STEAM and STEM activities. Have fun!


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