3 Easy Virtual STEM Activities for Kids
Many STEM subjects rely on in-person interactions, but these easy virtual STEM activities prove that there are no limits to learning.
In a world where everything is virtual, STEM activities have sometimes become a challenge. Without access to labs and hands-on support from a teacher, students may struggle to execute experiments successfully and fully grasp concepts.
Luckily, there are now more virtual STEM activities than ever that can be used as distance learning tools and help students advance in their STEM education from wherever they are.
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Top Virtual STEM Activities
Distance learning is a challenge, and sometimes requires a lot of creativity from teachers and parents. This is especially true for STEM disciplines.
Some STEM disciplines, such as math and technology, are easier to do in a virtual environment than others that require more natural materials, such as biology or chemistry. Nonetheless, there is no shortage of virtual STEM activities to keep your students busy and their minds at work.
Here are some of the best virtual STEM activities that keep students learning, even behind a screen.
A subject that is popping up more and more in school curriculums and that was virtually unheard of before is coding, and it’s easy to see why. Coding is becoming increasingly important in everyday life, and it’s extremely useful to have at least the basic coding skills down.
Coding is arguably the most accessible virtual STEM activity for students to do, as all it requires is a computer. Although students need instruction when learning how to code, it’s easy to follow along virtually. What’s more, is that coding allows students to be creative. Once they understand the basics, they can take control and explore different options.
Many websites and programs specialize in teaching kids how to code through virtual classes, games, and activities. One of our favorites is Coding for Kids.
Code Monkey aims to teach students the basics of computer science so that they form a foundation that prepares them for the future.
They have several courses broken down into different curricula to teach children how to code based on their grades and current skills. You’ll also find teacher plans, parent plans, and other STEM resources to help guide your young programmers to success on their website.
If your kids are getting interested in coding, our article, Coding for Kids, can help bridge that gap and answer some important questions you and your kids will have.
Online Math Games
If your students aren’t interested in coding, there are still several virtual STEM activities that they may enjoy and that will enhance their STEM learning.
Another subject that is easy to learn online is math. Depending on what type of math your students are learning, they may not need more than a pencil, paper, or calculator to do some problems.
A fun virtual STEM activity that’s been a longtime favorite of math enthusiasts is online math games. These games are not only an educational lesson, but they can also be a lot of fun.
Don’t be fooled, math games don’t just involve completing simple math problems. These activities are actual games that mix real-life practicality with problem-solving and critical thinking skills to produce results. You may even find that your students get hooked and continue to play the games outside of class.
Online math games are especially beneficial for younger students who are learning the basics, such as:
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and division
There are several online STEM resources to choose from when it comes to finding online math games. Math Playground is an excellent website for elementary school students to practice and add to their math knowledge through a series of games.
Math Game Time is another free website that offers math games for kindergarten to middle school students. This website has a large selection of games, ensuring that your students will never get bored.
What are the two main branches of STEM math? Please look at our article, Two Main Branches of Mathematics That Kids Need to Learn to answer all your questions.
Virtual activities do not always have to involve students working alone behind a computer screen.
Even though websites and software programs are incredibly useful tools for STEM learning, there are times when students may appreciate taking a step back from their screens to do more physically active activities.
If you notice that this is the case, a fun virtual activity to try with your young scientists is a STEM scavenger hunt.
Here’s how it works: give your students a list of objects or descriptions for objects they need to find around their house. Give them about twenty minutes or so to find the things, then have them gather back to compare and explain what they found.
The type of objects you have them find depends on the type of lesson you’re teaching.
For example, if you’re teaching geometry, you may give your students a list of shapes and have them find objects of that shape, such as a wedge or a sphere. Here are some descriptions that you can use:
- Something alive (i.e., a plant)
- An object with a certain pattern
- Something powered by electricity or a motor
You can set this lesson up as a bingo game to make this more competitive, with the first student to complete the board winning. If a student is unable to find a particular object, you can give them the option of drawing it instead.
Under this, we have a PDF you can print out for a STEM scavenger hunt with your kids. We also have a ton of other STEM printables you can find here.
This virtual STEM activity involves active participation from your students during a live class and gives them a break from focusing on their screens.
A building challenge has your students build a structure during class using materials that they find in their homes. For better preparation, tell students about this activity before class so that they have enough time to think about and gather the necessary materials.
Your students do not need to go out and buy anything special. This lesson asks them to challenge their creativity by using items they find in their home. Help them out by suggesting common household items, such as:
- Toilet paper rolls
- Lego bricks
To give this activity more of an objective, ask them to either build specific structures, such as a tower that surpasses their height, or build a structure to serve a specific purpose, such as holding the weight of their textbook.
You can give them time to sketch out their designs first, then jump right into building! Once they’re done, have each student show off their structures and explain their process when building. This is a great activity to have your students interact with each other virtually.
Wrapping Up Virtual STEM Activities for Kids
Virtual education has become the norm, but that doesn’t mean that the quality of STEM education has to suffer. Several virtual STEM activities will introduce students to basic principles and help them continue to learn and grow their knowledge.
Virtual STEM activities range from programs that teach useful computer skills, to activities the whole class can participate in together. Whatever you choose, you’ll equip your students with the tools to continue their STEM education.
Thank you for reading, and please check out another great article from us, How to Use STEM Teaching Tools in Your Classroom.