All week long we are celebrating STEAM. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. We will be doing activities that are going to excite the little inventor in your house. When we include the art in our curriculums we we are enhancing skills and different brain areas than when we focus on STEM alone. These skills include communication, collaboration, flexibility , adaptability, creativitiy and social/cultural skills. Adding the art component can also make the science, technology, engineering, and math portions feel more approachable (for both parent and child). To get started, I suggest a simple STEAM project that will help you gain confidence without a lot of time or expense. I am including affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure here.
Don’t feel intimidated. There are lots of great STEAM projects waiting for you at home. You can use affordable resources and create fun educational projects. Check out this page for lots of great ideas (scroll down for a free printable) and a great list of household items to use can be found here.
- unit block set
- unit block set
- toy cars
- different small balls
Forces are a great introduction to physics for young kids. Little kids are always working the laws of physics. Take your little one out and roll a ball. Then start asking those thinking questions. I love “what if” questions to get those observation and prediction skills engaged. What if we roll the ball this way? What if I kick it like this? Kids love to feel like this is something you are discovering together. When you get the kids hooked in, ask about what they think is causing the ball to move. They are going to tell you that you are kicking it, which is true. However, there is a more general term we are using to be able to move the ball and that is force. A force is any push or pull. Even the pull of gravity is a force.
These types of activities are not just for little kids. We actually have come back to this type of engineering task many times. We recently pulled out the hot wheels tracks and blocks and began to look at transferring energy between objects.
Explore some more. Kids loves balls. They also love straws. Spit balls are still not appetizing to me, but students can use the air in their lungs to push the balls or even if they are super strong pull the balls along. I like to use ping pong balls for this. You can increase the size of the ball and let the student figure out what they need to do to get the ball to move. This is a great extension for older kids. We actually have come back to this type of engineering task many times.
Don’t Forget Your Lab Book
At the end of their play, take the time to write down what you have learned or have them take a video. This is a great activity to make a flip book from or just have the students draw an illustration. The most important thing is for kids to understand that part of science is communication. It wouldn’t matter that Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA (with the help of Rosalind Franklin) without communicating their results. Many scientists now work with very specific rules on how often then need to share their results with other scientists. These rules are such an important part of a scientist’s job that they are often used to determine whether a scientist can keep working on a problem.
We will be highlighting STEAM projects all week, so please stop back by.
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I would love to see what type of STEAM projects that you are doing. Reach out to me on social media. #learninghypothesis # STEAMKids