Each component of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) offers students a world of learning opportunities and opens the door to tons of career options. The ‘T’ in STEM aims to help students become more familiar with technology, whether it’s a device or program. Activities using technology can help your student become more comfortable when working with computers, video cameras, smartphones, and other tools and devices.
Although it’s common to combine various components of STEM when teaching, such as science and math, many educators like to focus on individual areas at a time for a more in-depth learning experience. In this post, we’ll share some fun, hands-on technology activities for kids, as well as show you how Time4Learning incorporates STEM technology projects into our comprehensive curriculum.
STEM Technology Activities for Elementary School
The earlier you start incorporating STEM into your child’s education, the better. Even before they are old enough to walk, babies love using their hands to learn and explore. These STEM technology activities can help them do just that as they get hands-on and gain a number of valuable skills.
- Activities using technology are at the core of what we do at Time4Learning. What better way to give your child a head start in STEM than by using an online curriculum? Beginning in preschool, the youngest of learners will start to become familiar with how to use a computer — from typing words on a keyboard to using their fine motor skills to guide a mouse, point and click.
- Have your child use a tablet or phone to go on a photo scavenger hunt. Give them a list of items to take pictures of, either around the house or at a park. You can challenge older students by having them use different camera features and modes, as well as experimenting with different filters.
- Got an old keyboard lying around? Help your child take it apart bit by bit by unscrewing parts, taking extra care with small parts. Little ones can use the letter keys to create words, spell their name, or for sensory activities. If you have older elementary students, you can challenge them to put the keyboard back together.
- Create a stop motion animation movie. The name of the game here is patience, but your child will have tons of fun creating their video and seeing the final product.
- Learn a new language – coding! There are tons of free coding apps and tools available for students to either learn the basics or pick up new skills and knowledge. Code.org is a great place to start and features several free projects. Just click ‘create’ on the upper right hand corner to get started. Coding is so popular, Time4Learning even hosted a Homeschool Coding Day for local families.
STEM Technology Activities for Middle School
If your child is craving independence, many of these STEM technology activities are easy enough that they can do on their own, while some may require your assistance. From movie-making to electricity, these activities pack a punch when it comes to STEM skills.
- When life gives you lemons, create a battery! Students will love getting hands-on as they explore alternative sources of energy and discovering how simple items found at home can generate electricity. Pinterest has tons of ideas to help you get started.
- Learn about QR (quick response) codes. Chances are you’ve seen them in magazines, on TV, online, and tons of other places. These codes are designed to be scanned with your phone or tablet using a scanner app (most of which are free to download). Once scanned, you can learn more about a particular item or topic. Take it a step further and have your child research how to create their own QR code.
- Create a circuit! This fun STEM technology project will teach your kids tons about electricity. They’ll learn about open and closed circuits, and discover how everyday items can (conductors) or can’t (insulators) conduct electricity.
- The Time4Learning middle school curriculum features a number of digital modeling activities as well as multimedia projects and presentations within our life science, Earth science, and physical science courses.
- Lights, camera, action! Have your child create a movie on a phone or tablet. You can find tons of free editing apps that will help your child(ren) put everything together. You can either give them a genre or allow them to get their creative juices flowing by working with their siblings to create their one-of-a-kind blockbuster film.
STEM Technology Activities for High School
Now that your student is getting ready to wrap up their secondary education, chances are they will be either going to college or entering the workforce. Either way, these projects will help them gain tons of skills that can help them both academically and professionally.
- Get writing (digitally)! Have your children create and then publish an e-newsletter. They can write about a topic they are passionate about like soccer or dance, or even write a family newsletter with updates on how everyone is doing. You can find a number of free resources on the web that will help students with page layout and design.
- Spinning wire sculptures powered by a battery and a magnet? Yes! With a few items you probably already have in the garage, your child can create a homopolar motor and watch their sculpture come to life. This quick video shows you how to set it up.
- Students taking any of the Time4Learning high school science courses like physics and/or the psychology elective take part in various interactive activities such as perception and personality tests, and engaging Virtual Labs. How fun!
- 3D modeling is everywhere nowadays. Introduce your child to the concept with Alice. This online tool is provided free of charge thanks to Carnegie Mellon University, and is used in a number of colleges and universities. Students will love the engaging and interactive environment, and you’ll love that they are learning computer programming and so much more.
- Watching their favorite show or movie on their smartphone will take on whole new meaning when your child creates a smartphone projector. This technology project for kids is fun, simple to do, and will have them proudly showing off their creation. Don’t forget the popcorn!