If you’ve already resolved to teach your kids and pupils to code, but are struggling with the best way to keep your teaching interesting and their attention at its peak, we’re here to save the day! Here are our attested 10 best resources with STEM projects for kids, from the simple to complex, but first and foremost, always fun.
STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses all of the essentials one needs to understand and grapple with our modern world of technology and smart systems. Increasingly, it’s becoming a staple in education worldwide, because we’ve realized how vital it is to teach the basics of STEM early on, making sure they stick and provide an advantage on the job market of tomorrow for the kids of today. But teaching STEM (or STEAM, as it’s often referred to in order to include Arts) can be challenging, because it is new. We have compiled the 10 of the best resources with STEM projects for kids that you can use as a teacher or parent.
If you’d like to explore the reasons for why STEM is so important in today’s education, take a look at one of our recent blog posts where we explain this. In short, our society will continue to be shaped by intelligent technology and to feel empowered enough to interact with it, create it, and adjust it to our own needs and desires will mean being a full-fledged citizen of the 21-century. The best resources with STEM projects for kids are a start to how you can explain the complex principles of science, technology, engineering, art and maths to kids and also, how to help them realize that these fields are all related and interconnected.
Another important component of learning STEM is making sure the complex principles behind it are explained in appropriate complexity for young kids. The best way to achieve this is to teach them through play. Play-based education, a method approved by both educators and psychologists, not only speaks to children ‘in their language’, thus making everything easier to digest, but it also conveys the message that errors and failures made on the road to learning are acceptable, and even positive. Positive because one can use them as a learning experience. Since coding, a staple of the STEM disciplines, is all about the endless trial-and-error process, it’s a great way to help them adopt it while they’re still small and their brains still have great plasticity.
So how best to help them understand it? Here are the best multi-approach sources to teach STEM to your kids and pupils:
Kiwico’s team of scientists and researchers has developed a multi-purpose kit that you can get and follow their experiments with. With many of the experiments, you won’t even need the kit, just your regular household items. The experiments touch upon the basics of physics, chemistry and engineering and step, by step, allow kids to tinker with these disciplines in a digestible manner. Their projects have several levels of complexity that you can adjust your lessons/play dates to. Perfect for all curious children who love to experiment. Create your own slime, make a replica of a beating heart with just the help of a few mason jars, foil and straws, and many more.
The best part about Explorable’s lessons is that you only need the basic items that we all have at home, or at the most require a short trip to the grocery store, to explore the basics of STEM. Create your own popcorn, let bread mold in different temperature conditions, make an egg bounce with just a few kitchen ingredients. Their experiments include detailed instructions, a list of ingredients as well as a discussion about the results.
3. Science Kids
A similar concept to Explorable, again, free online stem projects that you can try out with your kids to get impressive results. Create soda that glows in the dark, breed bacteria, play some music with the help of glasses and water. This site also combines and alternates artsy projects with more scientific ones, putting an emphasis on the A in STEAM. Ideal for all children with an interest in music and visual arts.
Now we’re getting to the A in STEAM in more detail. If you’ve ever been confused about how arts fit together with science, engineering or math, look no further to find out. This website uses the basics of geometry, perspective and ratios to teach kids how to draw basic objects with more accuracy. As such, it teaches them art at a deeper level – art in itself is a science, as every classical painter who had drawn an unbelievably detailed painting in the 16th century would be able to tell you. Now your kids will be able to tell you as well, right after they finish their sketches or suburban houses, Harry Potter figures, and more.
This resource offers many crafty ideas for kids to make at home or in the classroom. Crafts for kids leads children to create their own art, but in a way that serves a degree of functionality and goes beyond the purely visual appeal. With projects provided on Easy Peasy and Fun, children will understand layering, some basic physics (what to do to make different objects stick together, to make them stand upright, etc.) and elementary geometry (create different shapes using paper and simple tools that will serve a certain function). Make your own bookmark, a clip to hold your laundry, candle holders; and use natural resources to add to the beauty of your creations!
This one goes again more in the direction of physics and chemistry. Create expandable foam, replicate the structure of molecules using sweets and decorations, use your LEGO tools to build a rainbow. STEAMsational promises to show how several school disciplines can be combined into one, and to simultaneously teach kids some basic soft skills – such as, a good work ethic, logic, group work, or the application of creativity to technical problems. Their activities are divided into smaller subsections, such as Technology, Creativity, Science, and more. All experiments include an easy-to-follow guide complete with illustrations.
For those who would rather learn the individual STEAM fields separately, this resource offers just the opportunity. Explore science, technology, engineering, arts and math in separate experiments, based on what you need to improve and work on most, alternate between them at your wish and go more in-depth in all of them. The site offers more complex projects as well as five-minute crafts for those whose attention span is yet shorter. Play at being a brain surgeon, train yourself at math with cards, create optical illusions, or paint. The world is your oyster.
This mom can serve as inspiration for all curious parents out there who would like to help their kids learn the basics of STEAM through crafting. You can start by age or category, which range from themes, holidays to materials, or even select the time of the year to get some current inspiration based on the season. For those interested in Indian culture, there is a section dedicated to projects based on India. Find out of all the things you can make with cardboard, rhinestones, or all the ways in which you can create toy animals!
This resource is also subdivided into several sections, such as engineering, art, design, and science for kids. You can create your own lava lamp, color ice, and even dip your toes into cooking by making confetti rice. You can choose one of the dozens of projects based on category, and as they’re very hands-on and practical, your kid can also learn some real-life skills, such as cleaning, cooking and decoration-making!
As the name suggests, these stem projects for kids again swerve into the realm of more scientific experiments. Make your own toothpaste, find out why the sky is blue, catch a cloud in a jar, make a robot. Some of these projects require some tools to be bought, but most can be selected in a way that will require you to buy or get nothing out of the ordinary. The projects are also divided into smaller sections, such as technology, engineering or crafts. Furthermore, you can find more than 150 STEM challenges to inspire you further.
Do you feel inspired to roll up your sleeves and get your and your kids’ hands dirty with slime and hand paint? Or are you ready to bring out your tool kit and prod together to construct a simple tech tool? Whatever your heart desires, you will find it in one of these 10 best resources with STEM projects for kids, and what we hope for most of the time is that you will have fun!
Our own product, a modular robotics kit by Robo Wunderkind, also inspires kids to learn the basics of STEM without hassle and while enjoying themselves immensely. Learn about the basics of engineering, arts, math and technology with one of our kits, with no previous experience needed at all. We always have a social media challenge or webinar running for you to explore new ideas and projects together with your kids and students, and since we offer several apps based on different programming interfaces, Robo Wunderkind is appropriate for kids from ages 5-14, always offering a healthy challenge along the way!