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STEAM or STEM...What are they?


As a parent or guardian, you might have heard teachers or administrators talking about STEAM or STEM. This is not steam from a tea kettle or a stem of a plant but a new way to think about learning. STEAM, or an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. STEM is an acronym as well meaning the same, without the addition of Art. As the world is becoming more technologically advanced, schools are trying to prepare your child for a future filled with these concepts. No matter the age, STEAM or STEM is useful. Below are some activities that will help your child get into the STEAM/STEM mindset.


STEAM/STEM ideas for your preschooler-2nd grader

  • Will it Float or Sink- Fill a small tub of water. Go on a scavenger hunt around your home to gather about 5-10 things that are able to get wet. Have your child place each item into the water to see if it will float or sink. Ask your child why the object either floated or sank. If your child really likes this activity, you can have them use everyday materials (aluminum foil, cotton balls, playdough, or wax paper) and create a boat that would float on the water.

  • Gumdrop Bridge- You will need gumdrops and toothpicks (please monitor the child at all times). Have your child build a bridge using only the materials provided. If you would like to add an element of competition, have the child see how many toys the bridge can hold.

  • Fizzy Rainbow- You will need baking soda, vinegar, a plate, a pipette (if available), and food coloring. In the plate, place a generous amount of baking soda. On top of the baking soda, have your child squeeze a few drops of each color of the food dye. Using a pipette or similar object, add the vinegar a little at a time. The baking soda will fizz and make a beautiful colorful design. To further your Childs thinking, ask them why they think there was a reaction? What made the fizz? You can also see if the child could think of another substance that might make the fizz bigger or smaller (ask them what else fizzes).

STEAM/STEM ideas for your 3rd-middle schooler

  • Slime- What child doesn't love the feel of slime between their fingers? Did you know this is a STEAM/STEM activity? You will need 1-6oz bottle of glue, food coloring, 1-1/2 TBSP of contact solution, and 1/2 TSP of baking soda to create the slime. Once you mix your basic slime mixture, add lotion, glitter, beads, or shaving cream and see how the slime changes.

  • Coding- Computer coding is telling technology to do something and it does it. Coding is now easier than ever to learn due to the amazing websites by well known organizations like MIT. Ms. Annmarie has a coding club every Tuesday at 4:30 via zoom. All participants need is a computer with the ability to stream zoom and use a website. To register email Ms. Annmarie at kidsread@poconolibrary.org or call 570-894-8860 ext 3.

  • Egg Drop Experiment- A classic among science clubs, the egg drop experiment requires an egg and a high surface that you can drop something from. The object of the activity is to drop the egg from the high surface and the egg still remain intact. Kids can use any objects they would like to surround the egg so that it can be protected from the drop. This activity requires a great deal of engineering skills!

Make sure the learning is full STEAM ahead!

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