Need an extension activity or something to cover one or a couple of classes? Here are some easy STEM activities to get you out of trouble.
Take Apart A Machine
Go something old that you will never use lying around? Then let them at it!
Sometimes this is easier said than done but if you have all the tools then it’s a fun, hands-on way for students to learn. A great extension activity.
Paper Towers Competition
Students use a set amount of paper (I used to give students a newspaper each) to make a tower that holds a tennis ball for 10 seconds without falling over. Tallest tower wins.
NOTE: I need to control the amount of masking tape I give students, which I make them cut into 1-inch sized square pieces before they can use it.
Paper Plane Competition
I use this sometimes to introduce students to the design process. To show them how they go about completing a task. Research, production, evaluation, research, etc.
To run it I usually give students a time limit, then judge the winner by distance.
Scrap Bin Ideas
What can you do out of the scrap bin?
Build a Catapult
These can typically be made out of the scrap bin, some dowel, and a couple of elastic bands. I like to have a competition to see how accurate students can throw an eraser.
Rube Goldberg Machine
Get out the hot glue guns and scrap bin and let your students work the rest out for themselves. Depending on group sizes all you need to do decide on a minimum number of steps.
YouTube is an easy place to get ideas for students who are stuck. Here is a video with plenty of examples:
More Scrap Bin Ideas
- Make a famous landmark
- Use an image to reproduce a landmark
- Build a trap
- Create a scenario (maybe scientists trying to catch animals to tag them) and have students create a trap
Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition
This one takes me 2 weeks of class time to run but students enjoy and take ownership of it.
It covers topics like forces (physics), teamwork, and task/project management.
To see how I do it see this playlist of YouTube videos.
Hang Time Competition
This one is my favourite. A new take on the egg drop competition where students are trying to achieve a longer time than their classmates.
- Spatial Reasoning
- Creative Thinking
- Logic & Reasoning Skills
- Selective Attention
Just to name a few!
You can see how I do it with this YouTube playlist.
Have You Got Any Easy STEM Activity Ideas?
I’m tapped out of ideas. If you have any that you think fit ‘Easy STEM Activities’ then you can contact me. If it goes on the page I will give you a shout out.