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April 12, 2017

Spring Into Three STEM Projects

By Nancy Jang
Grades 1–2, 3–5

    Spring brings rain, flowers, and a wonderful time to bring even more STEM projects into your classroom! Assign them as homework or work on them in class, either way it’s a win.

    April:  Egg Drop Challenge!

    Since Easter egg hunting is a highlight of many children’s memories, eggs make an interesting and easy topic for a spring science and engineering connection! We dissect eggs and learn about the various parts and then create egg protection devices for an egg drop challenge!

    In my class, we throw eggs that are placed in protective containers off the top of our play structure and make predictions about which eggs will survive. Then we record the results. The owners of the devices that successfully protect an egg get a certificate of recognition and a prize from my prize box.

     

    Check out this video from Mark Rober that shows five different easy ways to make the egg drop challenge a breeze.

    Teacher-to-teacher tip: use a tarp or butcher paper with a target taped on to it to make clean up a breeze!

    May: Kite Challenge!

    Flying kites in good weather is a fun pastime for people of all ages. Have students build a kite from easy-to-find materials like paper, straws, tape, string, and party streamers. If the weather permits, have students launch their kites by running into the wind, and then measure the length of string and/or time in the air.

    If you can get your hands on a Tyvek mailing envelope for your building material, this kite is even more durable, but a piece or cardstock or copy paper works just fine for an afternoon of fun. Here are step-by-step directions from the Babble Babble Do website.

    Here is a link to the NASA website that has another version of the sled kite. You can photocopy it onto paper or copy it onto cardstock to use as a tracer and see what other materials fly well! Try cellophane, Saran Wrap, shower curtains, wrapping paper, paper and plastic grocery bags, butcher paper, poster board, etc. The sky’s the limit!

    June:  Solar Oven Challenge!

    The weather is heating up and the kids are excited that summer is almost here. A hot sunny day and a few materials are all you need for creating solar ovens to cook your s’mores!

    In class, we create a simple solar oven using a Styrofoam cup, tissue, black construction paper, and aluminum foil. The challenge is to use the knowledge from our solar ovens to build a better solar oven out of household materials that will reach 103 degrees — enough heat to melt chocolate and soften the marshmallows (weather permitting)!

    Here is a quick video to show you how to make an easy solar oven!

     

    I hope that your class enjoys these spring STEM challenges!

    Happy Teaching,

    Nancy

     

     

     

    Spring brings rain, flowers, and a wonderful time to bring even more STEM projects into your classroom! Assign them as homework or work on them in class, either way it’s a win.

    April:  Egg Drop Challenge!

    Since Easter egg hunting is a highlight of many children’s memories, eggs make an interesting and easy topic for a spring science and engineering connection! We dissect eggs and learn about the various parts and then create egg protection devices for an egg drop challenge!

    In my class, we throw eggs that are placed in protective containers off the top of our play structure and make predictions about which eggs will survive. Then we record the results. The owners of the devices that successfully protect an egg get a certificate of recognition and a prize from my prize box.

     

    Check out this video from Mark Rober that shows five different easy ways to make the egg drop challenge a breeze.

    Teacher-to-teacher tip: use a tarp or butcher paper with a target taped on to it to make clean up a breeze!

    May: Kite Challenge!

    Flying kites in good weather is a fun pastime for people of all ages. Have students build a kite from easy-to-find materials like paper, straws, tape, string, and party streamers. If the weather permits, have students launch their kites by running into the wind, and then measure the length of string and/or time in the air.

    If you can get your hands on a Tyvek mailing envelope for your building material, this kite is even more durable, but a piece or cardstock or copy paper works just fine for an afternoon of fun. Here are step-by-step directions from the Babble Babble Do website.

    Here is a link to the NASA website that has another version of the sled kite. You can photocopy it onto paper or copy it onto cardstock to use as a tracer and see what other materials fly well! Try cellophane, Saran Wrap, shower curtains, wrapping paper, paper and plastic grocery bags, butcher paper, poster board, etc. The sky’s the limit!

    June:  Solar Oven Challenge!

    The weather is heating up and the kids are excited that summer is almost here. A hot sunny day and a few materials are all you need for creating solar ovens to cook your s’mores!

    In class, we create a simple solar oven using a Styrofoam cup, tissue, black construction paper, and aluminum foil. The challenge is to use the knowledge from our solar ovens to build a better solar oven out of household materials that will reach 103 degrees — enough heat to melt chocolate and soften the marshmallows (weather permitting)!

    Here is a quick video to show you how to make an easy solar oven!

     

    I hope that your class enjoys these spring STEM challenges!

    Happy Teaching,

    Nancy

     

     

     

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