3 STEM Activities for Students this Summer

With summer vacation fast approaching, parents may wonder how to keep learning alive for their students over these months off from school. One great way to do this is to plan creative STEM activities for your students this summer—STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, subject areas that give students a multitude of room for creative activities to keep them engaged and excited about learning.

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There are many STEM activities for students to enjoy during the summer, including building with Legos, experimenting with the water cycle, and illustrating how shadows work. See below for more details on how to execute these!

STEM Activity #1: Get creative with Legos

When it comes to creating things with Legos, the possibilities are endless. One great way to incorporate STEM into the summer is to have students build something to go with their favorite book. This could be the setting for the book, or a particular scene or aspect of the story. By doing this, they will learn the process of engineering, problem solving, and improvising—things that are key in STEM practices. They will learn how to take the pieces and objects they have and make their ideas come to life.

As previously mentioned, there are many different STEM activities you can engage in with Legos, so don’t be afraid to try other ones out. Get creative!

STEM Activity #2: Water cycle in a bottle

Do you have students interested in the weather, but not sure how to teach them about it? A water cycle discovery bottle could be a great way to get them engaged in learning about the weather. This experiment allows students to visually see the effects of evaporation and condensation inside the discovery bottle.

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In this experiment, you’ll need a plastic water bottle, food coloring, water, and a sharpie. Feel free to encourage your students to draw clouds or other weather imagery on their bottle. Mix a half cup of water and food coloring (blue can work well), and set the bottle by a window. Your student will then be able to see the stages of the water cycle. While your child won’t see precipitation firsthand in the discovery bottle, he or she can see evaporation and condensation, and you can discuss precipitation. Your child won’t be able to see the stages in full, but this is a great way for him or her to visualize the effects of the water cycle when learning about how it works. It also shows your student that whether it’s a sunny, rainy, or cloudy day, the water cycle is always at work around us.

STEM Activity #3: Experimenting with shadows

A great way to teach your student about the Earth’s rotation and shadows is to do a human sundial experiment. For this activity, make sure to pick a sunny day and follow the below steps:

  1. Mark a spot on the sidewalk, driveway, or other hard surface for your student to safely stand throughout the experiment, and make sure you leave plenty of space around to trace out shadows.

  2. Trace your child’s shadow using sidewalk chalk three to five times throughout the day.

  3. Your student will stand facing the same direction each time, but his or her shadow will look different every time it is drawn due to the rotation of the Earth and the sun being at different angles.

  4. The end effect will be three to five different shadows pointing in different directions around the circle.

  5. Have your child take note of the different shapes, sizes, and placements of each shadow.

Once the experiment is complete, you can discuss with your student how shadows are made, how the sun moves, and why each shadow looks different.

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Summer is a great opportunity to keep your student interested in learning with fun, creative STEM activities. There are endless chances to encourage your student’s STEM growth, so get started!

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