Whether you are a teacher facing the challenge of virtual or hybrid instruction, or a parent homeschooling your child, the reality is that remote learning can be difficult. STEM learning can be even more challenging since students may not have equitable access to technologies and devices. In this post, we will focus on ways to incorporate STEM activities at home while maintaining high levels of engagement and learning.
We are all about educational technology here at STEM Education Works. But you don’t always need elaborate technology to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Many STEM activities and experiments can be completed with items you have on hand or can be easily obtained. Examples include cardboard, markers, glue, tape, aluminum foil, construction paper, and any other odds and ends you can find.
There are plenty of online resources for shoestring STEM. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Science Buddies – Engineering and design activities for elementary students that take less than an hour and require the simplest of materials.
- NASASTEM@Home – An incredibly cool resource for any kid who loves space. Famous scientists are highlighted, and lots of screen-less activities are provided.
- STEM Works – Lots of STEM activities, both online and physical. Hours of fun here!
Let’s be real, we love EdTech. So here are some great opportunities for your students to keep exploring their favorite STEM technologies from home.
- Tinkercad – No 3D printer? No problem. Tinkercad allows students to build and collaborate on 3D projects without touching a printer. Once they complete a project, they can email their STL files to their teacher for printing!
- Scratch – Open source coding program that lets kids create their own games, animations, and activities.
- Micro:bit – Code a virtual microcontroller and test out your creations right on the screen! Start with block coding and move into text coding.
- Fuse – Love littleBits but can’t send them home with students? Fuse is littleBits’ answer to your problem. Students can build and test circuits from the site or the app.
Get Out and Explore
One of the best places to learn STEM is in the world around us. After learning inside all day, going outside to explore can be refreshing. From observing animals in their habitats to searching for native plants, there are countless opportunities to get your students outside and learning. Something as simple as taking a walk can be turned into a STEM activity by asking students to make observations about their surroundings and develop questions and hypotheses based on what they see.
Incorporating these activities into your student’s daily routine offers a great way to get them involved with STEM while learning from home. These are not your only options, though. With creativity and curiosity, the possibilities are endless for engaging in STEM at home.