STEM til the END: Engaging STEM Activities for the End of the Year | All About 3rd Grade

STEM til the END: Engaging STEM Activities for the End of the Year

Thursday, May 5, 2016 / 10 comments
Hello darlings!  It's Amy from That Teaching Spark and I am honored to be an author here at All About 3rd Grade!  Keep coming back for more valuable posts specifically for 3rd grade teachers!

 I have 15 days left of school!  How about you?  These seem to be the most tiring and trying days of the year.  Kiddos are getting rambunctious and we have tons of testing, grading, packing, and surviving to do!

But I don't want to just survive the end of the year!  I want to enjoy my last days with my kiddos!  Every few days I try to throw in a fun and engaging STEM activity.  FINALLY science is getting its due and districts are now pushing STEM, when it used to be the subject that wasn't paid much attention.  I LOVE science and am so glad there is finally a push for it in elementary schools!

STEM activities are meant to be inquiry based activities.  Students must work together to solve a real world problem. These kinds of hands-on investigations are open ended and require students to work towards a solution or a product in their own way.  And guess what?  This kind of learning opens up all kinds of higher level questioning and thinking strategies.  And the best part?  The teacher is just an observer and occasional guide. That's right.  Your kiddos are the ones taking charge of their own learning!

So what can you do to keep your kiddo engaged the rest of the school year?  

All you have to do is...
1. Gather the following materials.
2. Give your kids the problem to solve.
3. Give them a time limit (20-25 mins. average)
4.Watch their little minds catch fire!


Kite Construction

Problem

Construct a kite that will rise and stay up in the air the longest.

Materials: (just ideas)

different weight and sizes of paper
tissue paper
plastic bags
Popsicle sticks
string
tape
glue



Smores Oven

Problem

Create an oven that will melt the chocolate to create Smores.

Materials: 

zipped locked bag
foil
marshmallows
graham crackers
chocolate
(outside location that can be monitored throughout the hour or day)



Water Cycle

Problem

Create a water puddle that takes the longest to evaporate.

Materials: (just ideas)

cups
water (same amount of water for each group)
chalk to mark the start
timer


Parachutes 

Problem

Construct a parachute that will stay in the air the longest.

Materials: (just ideas)

different weight and sizes of paper
tissue paper
plastic bags
string
tape
glue
hole puncher
paper clips (for weight)


Spaghetti Tower

Problem

Create the tallest structure.

Materials: 

spaghetti
marshmallows
(make it a challenge with different sizes of marshmallows)

Learning Happens in the MESS!

There you have it folks!  A few tried and true STEM activities to keep your little rascals learning right up until the very last second of school!  All you have to do is gather the materials and watch their investigating minds.  Don't freak out if things get a little messy.  Learning happens in the mess. They can clean it up later!

Do you have any tried and true STEM activities?  We'd love for you to share in the comments!


10 comments:

  1. Thank you for all of these, fun, easy to implement end-of-the-year STEM activities!
    I can't wait to do the S'mores Ovens with my kiddos -
    They will LOVE it!!! xo

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  2. I love these ideas!! Can't wait to try some of them!

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  3. Going to do the spaghetti towers tomorrow! Love it!

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  4. Awesome ideas! I have a book of easy experiments that I'm using through year end for the same reason, but these are better yet!

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  5. Awesome ideas! I have a book of easy experiments that I'm using through year end for the same reason, but these are better yet!

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  6. What a great way to hook your students! I like this idea for the start of school too.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Hi, I was wondering what the directions were for the s'mores oven. It sound super cool and my kids would love it!!

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  9. do you have more information on the smores? interested to see a step by step process.
    Thank you!

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  10. You should take a closer look at t-mobile familywhere for every parent and just people interested in tracking issues.

    ReplyDelete

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