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STEM Activity Ideas

To make certain STEM subjects even more interesting, we’ve put together three STEM activity ideas that you could use with your students to give them a more creative take on these subjects.

Sponge Sprouts

Simple to do, students will enjoy taking ownership over this activity! Essentially, it involves growing plants from a sponge and watching the sprouts spring up. This is great for understanding more about plant growth, as well as learning that they need time and nurturing to grow.

What each student will need:

  • Cleaning sponge
  • Seed packet (you could have lettuce, spinach, broccoli seeds or more)
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Shallow plates/paper plates
  • Marker
  • Scissors (teacher supervision!)

Method:

  1. To start, ask your students to grab a sponge.
  2. Then, ask them to soak the sponge gently in some water (they want it to be damp).
  3. Students should then put their sponge on the plate and scatter the seeds on them, making sure to push them in the holes.
  4. Next, moisten the sponge with water using a spray bottle (students could put a clear plastic container on top of their sponges to make sure moisture stays in and doesn’t dry out when they’re not observing it).
  5. Finally, students should watch their seeds grow and mist often with the water. Afterwards, you could explain what’s happening with the seeds and what will happen in future.

Build a Newspaper Tower

Great for the engineering side of STEM, this activity not only encourages students to work together, but also means they can learn about how best to use a newspaper to make a strong tower.

What each group of students will need:

  • Two sheets of newspaper
  • 12 inches of tape

Method:

  1. To start, split your class up into groups of four.
  2. Give them each around two sheets of newspaper and 12 inches of tape per group.
  3. Ask your students to make the tallest tower they can with the materials they have and tell them they cannot tape it to the table or floor, or even use these to support it.
  4. When everyone has done, it’s time for you to decide which one is best! You could walk around each table discussing the heights and measuring which group has the tallest tower – you could also ask your students to measure the heights of their tower to include some maths.

Rainbow Celery

To support your lessons on plants, this is a super fun activity idea and helps with learning more about capillary action, how plants take in water through their roots and enables students to have some celery rainbow fun too!

What you’ll need:

  • Leafy celery stalks
  • Mason jars or drinking glasses filled with water
  • Food colouring (you may need a few colours – preferably all the rainbow colours)
  • Scissors (optional)

Method:

  1. To start, in front of your students, fill the jars or glasses (how many you need will depend on how many colours you want to work with) with water about halfway and make sure to place them somewhere where there is visible sunlight.
  2. Then, put different colours of food dye into the glasses so you have one colour per jar.
  3. Next, put the celery in the jars or glasses (you could cut them to make them shorter here).
  4. Now, wait a few days to see the celery slowly change colour and create a colourful rainbow. Throughout the process, you can explain how plants take in the colour to help students better understand what happens.

Do you have any STEM activities going on with your class? Tell us about them! Tweet them to us to @EducationCity.