Summer is here! It’s one of the best things that starts with an “S.” You know what else is great that starts with an “S?”
And the “S” in STEM stands for … science!
Put summer and science together and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Here at Click-A-Brick, we love us some science in the summer. And we know you do, too.
Let’s look at some amazing STEM activities that can fill your summer with sciencey fun.
1. Bottle Rockets
[Image: Wesley Fryer/Flickr]
Did someone say rockets? You know that sounds exciting. This summer STEM activity comes from the STEAM Powered Family website and involves shooting rockets up in the air with chemistry.
To build your own bottle rockets, you just need:
- An empty, rinsed soda bottle
- Baking Soda
- A cork
- A small piece of paper towel
- A sturdy launch pad (We suggest making one from Click-A-Brick.)
- To decorate, cardboard for fins and duct tape
You just put ¾-1 cup of vinegar in the bottle. Then, put one tablespoon of baking soda in a small piece of paper towel and slip it into the bottle. Shove the cork in quickly, turn it upside down and put it into your launcher. Then, step back and watch the chemistry do its thing and launch your bottle into the air! For extra fun, try adding some fins and a nose cone to see how far in the air you can make it go.
2. Cardboard Tube Marble Run
[Image: Orin Zebest/Flickr]
Over at the Little Bins for Little Hands website, they’ve built a cardboard tube marble run out of recycled cardboard tubes from paper towel, toilet paper, aluminum foil, wrapping paper and anything else that comes in a roll.
You simply grab some painter’s tape and tape the tubes to the wall so that a marble will be able to roll through them from the ceiling (or, however tall you want to make it) to the floor. It involves angles and gravity and slopes and engineering. When you’re done planning and building it, drop a marble in and test it.
[Image: S.J. Pyrotechnic/Flickr]
Wait, cookies? Really?
Yes! Baking has all kinds of science and math going on. You can learn how fractions work and watch as raw ingredients combine into something delicious. And, best of all, you can eat the science afterward. You won’t look at baking the same way again after you’ve delved into the science of it.
4. Star Gazing
The warmth of summer nights allows for some amazing star gazing. If you have a pair of binoculars, point them at the moon and get an up close look at it. If you have a telescope, you can get a better look at those shiny dots up in the sky.
But, even if you don’t have binoculars or a telescope, you can still hunt for constellations. You can download the Sky Map app onto your Android phone and use it to find stars, constellations and planets in the sky. Or check out NASA’s Spot The Station website, which will help you locate the International Space Station as it passes overhead.
Here’s a question: If you do star gazing in a pasture full of cows, does it become ... star grazing?
5. Craft Stick Harmonica
[Image: Tauri Tuubel/Flickr]
What would summer be without some music? You can make your own music on your very own homemade craft stick harmonica from the Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls website. The best part is, you can change the pitch of the sound just by moving the straws closer together or farther apart.
All you need is:
- Two jumbo craft sticks
- A wide rubber band
- Two smaller rubber bands
- A straw
To make it, you just wrap the wide rubber band around one of the craft sticks end to end. Then, cut two pieces of straw each about an inch thick. Place one piece of straw under the wide rubber band and the other piece over the wide rubber band and then put the other craft stick on top of the straws and rubber band and secure it with one smaller rubber band on each end.
The wide rubber band should be on an angle between the two pieces of straw. That is what makes the sound when you blow through it. Change the sound it makes by moving the straws. Then serenade the birds and bugs with your own noises.