15 Last Minute Stem Projects for Kids

What is STEM?

STEM is a well known term used when talking about science, technology, engineering, and math subjects. This is commonly used when talking about education and careers.

The Importance of STEM

STEM is a core competency extremely important to a child’s success in their education, personal life, and future career. In recent years, there has been an increased focus around STEM in education and early introduction of these subjects. That is because STEM jobs are increasing faster than any other workforce and many non-STEM jobs still use these skills. 

Both at home and in the classroom, introducing quality STEM education early is beneficial to students long term. These STEM lessons and activities help improve STEM literacy and create comfortability in these subjects. Oftentimes, life gets busy and curriculum plans get full. In this article, STEM Sports® has compiled a list of easy-to-implement STEM activities that require minimum materials and preparation time.

DIY Lego Balloon Car

The DIY Lego Balloon Car STEM project for kids 4+ is the perfect introduction to engineering, math, and science concepts. This activity requires minimal materials and planning, and is perfect for the classroom, after school, or at home. Children will build their lego cars and learn about motion and movement when using balloon air to make their car travel. 

Extension Possibility: Is your child competitive? Have the whole family participate in this activity and see who can make their car travel the farthest. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here

Rocket Math

In this NASA approved STEM lesson,children use their print out rocket to exercise their addition, subtraction, and counting skills. This activity is great for classroom environments and group learning situations. Children start by coloring their print out rocket and various shape pieces. Then, parents or educators can pose questions that allow children to improve their math skills and think creatively about numbers. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

Do it Yourself Stethoscope

Doctors and nurses are part of the STEM workforce and important parts of society. The DIY Stethoscope activity is a great way to introduce children to these careers while helping them improve their STEM literacy. In four simple steps, children will have their own stethoscope to use on friends and family. As a follow up, parents and educators can teach children about the human body and how the stethoscope is used in the medical field. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

Fool Your Taste Buds Taste Test

Children are taught early in life about the five senses: hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste. Oftentimes, it is assumed that these senses are separate and disconnected from each other. In this STEM activity, children will debunk that theory and learn about how taste and smell are connected. This educational, edible STEM activity is perfect for at home learning where supplies and preparation time are limited. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

Fluffy Dishsoap Slime

Making slime is a great way to introduce science concepts to children through hands-on learning. This slime uses common household ingredients such as dish soap. This simple ingredient list makes it the perfect last minute STEM project. The fluffy slime teaches children more about states of matter, keeping them entertained for hours and even days! 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

Toothpick Bridge Geometry and Engineering Lesson

The Toothpick Bridge experiment is a turnkey curriculum packet that aligns with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for middle school and high school students. During this lesson, children will strengthen their geometry and engineering skills through hands-on learning. It is also an opportunity for them to strengthen their 21st century learning skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and critical thinking. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here

Pipe Cleaner Constellations

For some people, it is easy to look at constellations in a book or online and then find it in the sky. For others and most of our children, they will need more assistance at finding the major constellations. In this STEM activity, children will diagram the constellations using pipe cleaners to better understand how they connect and where they live in the night sky. This lesson is great for entry level STEM students and requires minimal materials and prep time. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here

Coding and Electrical Circuits STEM Activity

Electrical circuits are commonly used in STEM activities for children. That is because they touch on a variety of core STEM topics and connect to the real world. In the Coding and Electrical Circuits STEM activity, students will strengthen their science and technology literacy while exercising their memory. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

Water Filtration Project

In this STEM activity, children are tasked with creating their own water filtration system. This lesson is a great opportunity to implement cross-curriculum teaching and connect this project to history or literature. It is often beneficial for students to see how what they are learning connects to the world around them. A great example here would be to talk with children about third world countries and villages that do not have access to clean water.   

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

How Strong is an Eggshell

This egg experiment teaches children about variables in science experiments and how to investigate these open issues to find a conclusion. In this lesson, children will see first-hand that different shapes of egg shells are stronger than others. Before starting the lesson, have your child write a hypothesis statement and review it at the end to see how it connects to their findings.  

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here

Solo Cup Engineering Challenge

The Solo Cup Engineering Challenge is an easy to implement STEM activity that only requires a pack of Solo Cups or other plastic cups. Through building and rebuilding their cup towers, children learn to use the Engineering Design Process (EDP) and use critical thinking skills. This is a great activity for at home learning with little to no parent involvement. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here

What are the Chances - Probability Lesson

Learning about probability is a core elementary school topic applicable to daily life.Providing children a chance to exercise the probability concept in the formative years will increase their retention and application competency. In ‘What are the Chances?’ children will use dice and coins to learn about probability and the odds that a certain event will take place. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

Telling Time Activity Pack

There are a variety of topics that children learn early in their lives and education that are important to their long-term success. The Telling Time Activity Pack teaches children the essential skill of reading clocks using an interactive approach. It includes various lessons that use different formats and approaches to ensure that children with different learning styles are able to grasp the concept and implement what they have learned. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

The Great Desert Island STEM Challenge

The Great Desert Island STEM Challenge is a bundle offered on Teachers Pay Teachers for grade 4-7 students. This Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned curriculum introduces children to physical science and engineering concepts during five separate challenges. This lesson can be used for individual children or in a group learning environment depending on the goals of the parent or educator. 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

Magic Milk Science Experiment

The Magic Milk Science experiment is the perfect way to introduce preschool and elementary aged children to STEM. During this hands-on activity, children will learn how to make predictions, follow directions, and make observations about what they see. Little Bins Little Hands explains the lesson and the takeaway for children as, “milk is made up of minerals, proteins, and fats. Proteins and fats are susceptible to changes. When the dish soap is added to the milk, those molecules run around and try to attach to the fat molecules in the milk.” 

For details on how to implement this STEM activity, click here.

Learning More About STEM with STEM Sports®

Are you interested in implementing STEM lessons in your classroom or home? Read these blogs that detail activities for K-12 students to help them improve their STEM literacy. 

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