20 Easy Stem Activities for Second Grade Students – K-2 Stem Activities

STEM is an essential part of a child’s education. Especially in the early stages of education, providing students access to quality STEM lessons positively impacts their comprehension, retention, and willingness to continue learning STEM in the future. Parents and educators have the unique opportunity to introduce STEM to K-2 students for what could be the first time. This first-time experience can be used to create a positive connotation with STEM learning and build student confidence when interacting with complex concepts. In this article, STEM Sports® has compiled a list of twenty (20) STEM activities for second grade students. 

Rain Cloud in a Jar

The Rain Cloud in a Jar experiment is easy to implement with second grade students at home or in the classroom. Fun Learning for Kids also includes a printable worksheet students can use to track their progress and comprehension of the lesson. Throughout this lesson, students will learn more about the weather system and how rain leaves clouds and interacts with air as it falls toward the ground. 

Learn more about this activity at Fun Learning for Kids 

2nd Grade Spring Math Activity - Math Mystery

The math mystery assignment on Teachers Pay Teachers introduces second grade students to math through play. This Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aligned lesson plan exercises students’ skills in counting, patterns, and more during this progressive lesson. As students’ skills improve, they can continue working through the lesson until they have collected all of the clues and can solve the mystery! 

Learn more about this activity at Teachers Pay Teachers

Ice Cream in a Bag

Creating ice cream in a bag is a delicious and engaging way to introduce students to key science concepts. Throughout the lesson, second grade students will learn about chemistry concepts, such as phases of matter and material freezing points.

Learn more about this activity at Science Buddies

My Five Senses Sorting Cards

When students are starting out in their education, they will likely have questions about why something is happening and how. Using the Five Senses Sorting Cards, students will learn to differentiate what things interact with each of their senses. This is a foundational element students will use as they continue science learning in the future. 

Download the Five Senses Sorting Cards at The STEM Laboratory

Popsicle Stick Catapult

Creating a catapult using popsicle sticks is a great way to transform students into engineers. In this lesson, students will build their base and test the effectiveness of their catapult when launching their bottle cap and cotton ball. This is a great lesson to introduce students to the Engineering Design Process (EDP). They will work through the process to figure out how to make their catapult more efficient and usable. 

Learn more about this activity at Science Buddies

Spring Themed Math Activities

At the kindergarten to second grade level, students are beginning to exercise their math skills and learn key concepts they will use throughout their education. It is important that parents and educators help second grade students to improve their math literacy skills both at home and in the classroom. The Spring Math activities kit is a free download on Teachers Pay Teachers that includes math board games, math worksheets, and math practice lessons.

Learn more about this activity at Teachers Pay Teachers 

Binary Code Writing Experiment - No Screens!

To implement this lesson, educators or parents will print the code cards and worksheets that students will use to practice their binary coding without screens. Students will practice implementing their code strings and adding their answers to their worksheets. At the end of the lesson, students can compare their code with classmates and have their teacher provide correct answers and guidance when needed. 

Learn more about this activity at Play Dough to Play

STEM Activity A Top of a Tower

The ‘A Top of a Tower’ STEM activity uses common household and classroom supplies to help students exercise and improve their engineering skills. This can become a challenge between family members or classmates to see who can make the sturdiest building. Once students have completed their towers, you can use pennies to see how much weight each student’s structure can hold. 

Teacher Tip: Before testing the structures, students can write predictions about how many pennies they think their structure can hold before breaking. 

Learn more about this activity at Elementary Island Blog

STEM Pattern Block Challenge

Pattern block activities are a great way to introduce STEM into the classroom – especially at the kindergarten, first grade, and second grade levels. Students exercise their problem solving, critical thinking, and motor skills while creating their pattern blocks. The STEM Laboratory has included all necessary cards and printed materials for free. If you have access to blocks, students can use those and, if not, they can color their own paper cut-outs and use those to execute the lesson. 

Learn more about this activity at The STEM Laboratory

Jelly Bean Engineering Challenge

In this engineering challenge, students are tasked with building a structure using only jelly beans and toothpicks. This activates the creative side of students’ brains and teaches fundamental problem-solving skills. This activity can be changed depending on the time of year to make it a seasonal STEM challenge! For example, as the holidays approach, students can use Christmas colored candy to build their structures. 

Learn more about this activity at Lemon Lime Adventures

The Marshmallow Team STEM Challenge

The Marshmallow STEM challenge is a great way to introduce second grade students to engineering in a fun, engaging setting. This group activity gives students the opportunity to work together to improve their 21st century skills and practice working within the Engineering Design Process (EDP).

Learn more about this activity at Teachers Pay Teachers

Colorful Rainbow Density Jar

The Rainbow Density Jar experiment is a great way to introduce students to density in a colorful, engaging way! As students add additional liquids to their jar, they can see it move to a specific layer. To complete this activity, have students rank the density of the materials they used and compare their answers with classmates.

Learn more about this activity at STEAMsational 

Can you Save Fred?

This activity is based on the idea that Fred the gummy worm needs to be saved. The catch is that students (the rescue team) only have paper clips. Students are tasked with working in teams to think creatively about how they can save Fred using their limited materials. This disguised learning activity turns students into engineers while teaching 21st century skills without them even knowing! 

Learn more about this activity at Growing a STEM Classroom

Force and Motion Science Activity

The Forces and Motion Science lesson is a Teachers Pay Teachers lesson for second grade through fifth grade students. In this Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) lesson, students learn about key physics concepts. This easy to implement lesson is a great way to bring creativity into the STEM curriculum and give students control over their education. 

Learn more about this activity at Teachers Pay Teachers

Making Paper - Introducing the Recycling Process to Students

The Making Paper STEM activity is a great way to introduce students to STEM using a real world example. In this lesson, students will follow the recycling process to repurpose the original piece of paper supplied to them. This can become a cross-curricular lesson plan by connecting the science lesson to a history or literature lesson about global warming and recycling. 

Learn more about this activity at STEAMsational

Spaghetti Tower STEM Challenge

Using only four ingredients, students are able to exercise their engineering skills during the Spaghetti Tower Challenge. This can be done individually or in a group depending on the number of supplies and desired outcome. Educators can promote students to look at their design, identify weaknesses, and rework the design based on their findings.

Learn more about this activity at Sunny Days in Second Grade

Oil Spill STEM Activity

During this STEM lesson, second grade students will mimic an oil spill and work with their classmates to clean up the environment they have created. This STEM activity connects to real world examples and is a great way to show students what they are learning impacts the world around them. This is also an opportunity to apply cross-curricular learning methods in the classroom. When working through the oil spill STEM activity, educators can print literature about major oil spills in history. 

Learn more about this activity at The Coalition for Science After School

Animal Engineers Bundle

The Animal Engineers Bundle introduces students to six (6) lessons about animals and the environment. During this lesson, students begin to see how STEM concepts connect to the world around them. For example, students will work to create a beaver dam to stop the flow of water on the river. 

Learn more about this activity at Teachers Pay Teachers

Lego Volcano

The Lego Volcano experiment combines engineering and science lessons during this hands-on lesson. First, students use Legos to build their volcano structure. Then, students create a chemical reaction, causing their volcano to erupt. 

Learn more about this activity at Little Bins Little Hands

STEM Multi-Sport K-2 Kit

STEM Sports® is an education company that provides STEM curriculum for K-8 students. Each curriculum uses sports as a way to facilitate STEM learning with real world, hands-on examples. The STEM Multi-Sport K-2 Curriculum uses basketball, football, golf, and soccer to facilitate eight (8) lessons. This curriculum and kit aligns with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and K-12 Physical Education standards when applicable. 

Learn more about the STEM Sports Multi-Sport K-2 Kit at STEM Sports®

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