By now you may be familiar with the acronym STEM, standing for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Its popularity in the homeschooling community has grown significantly, as more parents are turning toward these subjects to prepare their children for high school and the future job market.
For this first section, we will be concentrating on STEM science project ideas for children K-12. This may sound difficult for young children, but the science STEM activities available make learning science concepts fun. And if you’re already using technology, such as an online program for homeschooling, you’ll find them easily accessible for all grade levels. So, let’s get started.
STEM Science Activities for Elementary School
Science for young children in kindergarten through fifth grade can be especially exciting. Between hands-on STEM science experiments, interactive computer-based learning and everyday discoveries they’ll soon learn that science is all around them.
If you’re children enjoy computer learning, and most kids are fascinated with computers. Science4Us, which is a part of Time4Learning’s elementary science curriculum, is designed to provide science STEM activities just for this age group. There are many other options that parents can explore using everyday items or kits bought online. They all incorporate STEM science experiments and activities. They include:
- Apple oxidation: Children soak apples slices in different liquids such as sugar water, plain water, apple juice and more and discover the results.
- Lava lamp experiment: All you need is Alka Seltzer, food coloring, water and vegetable oil.
- Leak-proof bag: Fill a gallon size bag with water and poke pencils straight through the bag and out the other side.
- Rain cloud in a jar: A large jar, shaving cream, gel food coloring, and droppers will produce a fun experiment for kids.
- Build a solar oven: A small pizza box, tin foil, ingredient for s’mores and a few other things will help with this cool experiment.
- Science kits: There are many kits available online. They range in pricing. Examples include Circuit Maze, Zoo Challenge, and many more.
The science STEM activities for young children are nearly endless. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll find plenty. Using a variety of learning resources keeps your children focused and learning for longer time periods. Try them all and watch your kids have a blast.
STEM Science Activities for Middle School
As your children become older, you may notice that STEM science experiments and activities blend all four components: science, technology, engineering and math. For instance, math is used in science and engineering, technology is used in all three and so on. This amalgamation boosts your children’s skill level in all four areas.
Time4Learning offers a middle school science curriculum that includes three main courses: Earth/Space Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. The computer-based learning environment makes learning challenging concepts easier by combining a mixture of resources. They include thoughtful collaboration with experienced teachers, virtual labs, expressive graphics, animations, interactive tools and STEM science project ideas.
Many parents use the internet to find STEM science project ideas that their middle schoolers can do at home — without making too much of a mess! Check out these additional ideas:
- Symbiosis: Plants, Nitrogen and Bacteria: Learn about why nitrogen fixing bacteria are important to plant growth.
- Greenhouse effect: With just a thermometer, jar and plastic wrap, children can record data and come up with their own conclusions.
- Designing a helping hand: Using science and engineering, students will create their own artificial hand.
- Construct a Rube Goldberg machine: Combining science physics and math, students will create a complicated machine to do a simple task.
- Separate water into hydrogen and oxygen: Using electrolysis, students prove that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen.
- Middle school science kits: From mini weather stations to motorworks engine kits, there are plenty of kits to choose.
STEM science project ideas are easily found on the web. You can combine a few of them with an online learning curriculum, which would create a well-rounded STEM learning program for your children.
STEM Science Activities for High School
Now that your students are in high school, there are many more opportunities for them to study science. For instance, Time4Learning offers biology, chemistry, physics and many electives such as environmental science STEM activities.
The environmental science curriculum is especially dynamic as it takes knowledge from other science disciplines, allowing high schoolers to apply the knowledge they’ve acquired in biology, physical science, and earth sciences. Additional STEM science project ideas that you can find online include:
- Faraday’s experiment: Students will prompt current in a wire with a magnet with just four materials.
- Build a super-sensitive charge detector: investigate the electric fields created by static electricity.
- Potato powered battery: This is a science kit that teaches students to produce electricity and make a battery from a potato.
- Oil spill cleanup kit: Students will learn about oil spills and explore ideas to clean them up.
- Water wheel project: With materials you can probably find around the house, students will create and test the general principle of a water wheel at work.
- Spinning wire sculpture: All you need are five things to create your own sculpture that spins.
Beyond environmental STEM activities available at Time4Learning, there are also other science disciplines that could bolster your student’s science education. These include Contemporary Health, Foundations of Personal Wellness, Healthy Living, Sociology and Psychology.
By incorporating science STEM activities into your homeschooling plan, you’ll be boosting the necessary skills your children will need as they progress through school. But it doesn’t end in school, these skills will also translate into real-world talents — talents that will help them land a job. That’s preparing for the future!