STEM Night Activities – 10 Easy STEM Activities for Kids to Try at Your Next Family Night
As a parent, you probably know a thing or two about kids’ inherent curiosity.
However, when they start asking questions such as whether worms have eyes, why the sky is blue, or why clouds are sometimes grey, it leaves you stumped.
Without further ado, let’s delve into 10 incredible STEM night activities that will engage the whole family. From crafting paper circuits to painting robots, you can step up your family STEM night by a few notches.
1. Virtual Coloring
You can download and install a virtual coloring app to delight in an augmented reality coloring activity. Students choose a coloring page based on STEM topics, such as the parts of a cell or a rocket.
After coloring, your kids can use the app to breathe life into the drawing with augmented reality. An app can also include features that allow learners to zoom into drawings, play trivia games, or click on different sections to learn more.
2. Explore the Universe
It’s no secret that the night sky fascinates students of all ages. Space start apps pave the way for your kids to discover satellites and planets in the night sky, even indoors.
The learning is spearheaded by a scavenger hunt that allows students to explore the stars as well. Available on Android and Apple tablets, you can help your kids find the International Space Station, moon, planets, and Hubble Telescope.
Are your kids up to a 3D Structure STEM Challenge? Check out our article to find everything you need to know.
3. Space Lander Engineering Challenge
It’s the perfect challenge to incorporate into your STEM family night. With this challenge, you can help your kids build a Space Lander using the Engineering Design Process to keep two ‘aliens’ made of marshmallows inside a cup as it descends from different heights.
Using index cards, straws, and mini marshmallows, you and your kids can apply the concepts of stability, drag forces, and shock absorption to craft and test designs.
To avoid making a mess, you can substitute the large marshmallows with two ping pong balls. Furthermore, you can replace the mini marshmallows with cotton balls.
4. Building Towers
There’s no denying that tower-building activities can be exhilarating. At your next family STEM night, you and your kids can take on the challenge to build the tallest tower with the required materials that, include a stack of 100 index cards and 1 foot of masking tape.
To spice things up, you can also set timers of 10 or 20 minutes, after which the final towers are measured and recorded on a leaderboard until the next family night.
5. Forensics Fun
Bring CSI to your STEM family night by revealing your kids’ unique fingerprints and heat signatures through interactive forensic activities. Clear tape coupled with graphite powder can be used to record fingerprints while learning how they’re used in forensics.
A second part of the station includes a thermal camera for students to delve into the intriguing infrared world.
We recommend the Seek Thermal Camera that attaches to a smartphone or tablet. It comes in handy in revealing a body heat signature in addition to exploring heat stemming from friction.
6. Paper Circuits
These are captivating ways to teach your kids conductivity and circuits. Paper circuits entail using easy-to-follow diagrams to craft their cards that will light up.
The materials required for this experiment are coin batteries, LED lights, paper, clear tape, and copper tape. Crayons or markers are also effective in decorating the card.
Building circuits is a fun way of learning electricity. These are two of the best kits to learn without having to cut and splice wires together. Please check out our article, Snap Circuits vs. LittleBits.
7. Stop Motion Animation
It entails combining storytelling with STEM, whereby you set up the scene with a storyline or theme, such as embarking on an adventure to Mars.
You and your kids can get your creative juices flowing by using as many props as possible, including a set of toys or action figures. Tri-fold boards, a blank backdrop, tablets, or Chromebook can be your go-to for creating videos.
While you can make a stop motion video out of anything, I thought this was interesting because my kids love the LEGO Movie. You can find the current price of the LEGO Stop Motion Kit here.
8. Make an Energy Chain
On your next family night, your kids can learn where energy stems from and how to produce it. They’ll also learn the difference between kinetic and potential energy. Making an energy chain is an exciting hands-on activity that involves using craft sticks to harness potential energy before releasing it (kinetic energy).
The craft sticks are weaved into powerful chains, after which you and your kids can kick back and watch the sticks in the chain jumping off the ground when they release the energy at the end of the chain.
9. Study Impact Craters on the Moon
Using cocoa powder, flour, and marbles, you and your kids can recreate the moon’s surface on your next family night, examining what happens when meteoroids land on the moon to form an impact crater.
You can then measure the changes to the moon’s surface stemming from the impact. For instance, how dropping the marble from a different height impacts the size of the crater.
Make sure you always have the crafting supplies that you’ll need for a quick project or two. Please take a look at our list here; we gathered everything you’ll need.
10. Make an Earthworm Habitat and Observe How They Work
You probably remember digging for worms as a kid to satisfy your curiosity. It’s time to get your gardening gloves because you’ll be reliving your childhood with your children.
The only difference is that you can conveniently buy earthworms online rather than dig for them in the soil. In this two-part activity, you and your kids will craft a wormery, after which you’ll put the earthworms in it and observe firsthand how earthworms eat and move.
The Bottom Line
Planning a STEM family night is a straightforward and fun way to bring out the exciting part of learning. These budget-friendly STEM activities include a list of the supplies required, straightforward instructions, and a brief explanation of what’s happening scientifically.
In turn, this makes it easy-breezy for all parent groups to plan and host exciting, successful STEM nights without roping in a rocket scientist co-chair.