Low Cost Ways to Incorporate STEM into the Classroom
The STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math can be very daunting when considering incorporating them more into the classroom. We put together a list of simple activities that can be done with supplies already in the classroom to teach different STEM lessons!
- Go Ice Fishing
- All you need is ice cubes, some pieces of yarn or string, and some salt.
- Put some ice cubes in the sink filled with water or a container. Have the children first try to pick up ice cubes with just the piece of yarn or string.
- Then have them put some salt on the string or yarn and try again. If they let the string sit on top of the ice for about a minute this should allow the ice to slightly melt where the salt touched it, and refreeze again to the string, allowing the kids to pick up the ice with the string.
- Coding with a deck of cards or small slips of paper
- This accessible activity allows children to try out coding hands on, without the need for computers. Layout a grid of playing cards or small slips of paper (any size works). Using small toys or objects from around the room, place a few items on some of the cards or papers. Then ask the children to verbally give precise directions to get an object from the starting point to ending point while avoiding the other objects.
- You can then change it up by moving the objects, seeing who can find the shortest route, and more.
- Building a Paper Boat or Bridge
- You can have children work independently or in partners to design a paper bridge or boat from start to finish. Get them to draw out a design, build it together and then test them out as a class. Who’s boat can hold the most weight (how many erasers can it hold before it sinks?). Who’s bridge is the longest without collapsing?
- You can conclude the lesson after by going over what shapes and structures were stronger than others.
- A huge part of engineering is trial and error. If someone’s boat sinks right away, let them try and change it to see if it can float again.
- Create your own store
- Have the children in your class come up with an item or a few items to sell at their own store. They could be completely imaginary, a transformed classroom item, etc. Then using paper money, have the kids take turns buying items from different stores or selling their own items. They’ll have to practice paying the proper amount, giving back change, and seeing if they have money to buy all them items they may want.
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