STEAM Up Summer Learning with These Activities

Faculty’s out for the summer time, however that doesn’t imply learning has to finish. Summer days are the right time to explore STEAM—science, know-how, engineering, art, and math—with actions good for the weather. So hold your cool, hold it fun, and continue learning.

By Sara Barry | June 25, 2019

STEAM Tasks for Steamy Summer Days

1. Sink, Float, Make a Boat

When it’s scorching outdoors, there’s nothing like water play to stay cool. Fill a kiddie pool—or a large storage tub—with water. Acquire quite a lot of objects that can get moist:

  • water bottles (full and empty)
  • keys
  • rubber duck or other small toys
  • apple
  • spoon
  • egg (raw or boiled)
  • cork
  • bar of cleaning soap

Have youngsters predict which gadgets will sink and which can float. Then check each object. Have been there any surprises? Encourage youngsters to take a position why some objects float and a few don’t.


Then utilizing what they’ve discovered about what floats and what doesn’t, have youngsters make boats from quite a lot of recycled materials. Then they will check their boats and make adjustments to enhance flotation and stability.

Use the boats in races or a ship parade with prizes for probably the most colourful, uniquely shaped, progressive use of supplies or another criteria you come up with.

Summer Studying Options:
  • Issues That Float and Things That Don’t by David A. Adler
  • Captain Kidd’s Crew Experiments with Sinking and Floating by Mark Weakland
  • What Floats in a Moat? by Lynne Berry

2. Want on a Capturing Star

Summer is a superb time for stargazing—and meteor watching. The Perseid meteor showers are the right time to do some night time sky viewing. In 2019, one of the best time to view the Perseid meteor showers is late night to dawn on August 12 and 13. The moon this yr might be full in the course of the peak of the Perseid showers, taking away a few of the drama, but Mars and Saturn shall be visible in the course of the Perseids’ peak.

Looking forward to meteors takes endurance. Even on a peak night time, you might not see much. Hold expectations low and luxuriate in being out at night time and observing the night time sky. There’s a lot to see even if meteors aren’t streaking across the sky.

Meteors are also known as capturing stars. Have fun making your personal capturing stars and wishing on them with this craft.


  1. Acquire card inventory, tissue paper, scissors, glue, and a pen or marker.
  2. Reduce giant stars out of card inventory.
  3. Glue slender tissue paper strips to the bottom of the star. Let it dry.
  4. Write a want on every star.
  5. You possibly can cease here and hold the capturing stars, or you possibly can fold the star in half along the top point. Fold all sides again midway to make the star look one thing like a paper airplane.
  6. Take your stars outdoors and give them a toss. Watch them shoot by way of the sky.
Summer Reading Ideas
  • Look Up! Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Lady Astronomer by Robert Burleigh
  • Meteor! by Patricia Polacco
  • Wishing on a Star by Fran Lee

3. Growth! Flash! Exploring Summer Storms

Thunderstorms can occur any time of yr but are commonest during summer time months. Whether or not your youngsters are frightened or fascinated by thunderstorms, understanding how they work is enlightening.

Thunderstorms type when chilly and heat air plenty meet. In the clouds, static electrical energy builds up till it is released as lightning. The sound we hear when that happens is the thunder.

One option to study climate is just to watch. Do take care, though. For those who see lightning or hear thunder, take shelter in a totally enclosed building or automotive with the windows closed.

Attempt monitoring your climate for a number of days, especially when storms are predicted. Some issues to watch:

  • Does the temperature change earlier than, during, or after a storm?
  • What do the sky and clouds appear to be?
  • Does the wind decide up or does the air get still?
  • What sort of precipitation (rain, hail) do you get, if any?
  • Which path does the storm come from?
  • How long does it take to get to you? How lengthy does it last?

Use a stopwatch to verify the time between seeing lightning and hearing thunder. (Do this from a protected area inside.) For each five seconds, the storm is a few mile away.


Use dark paper and white, yellow, silver, or pale blue paint to create a lightning storm on the page. Lightning can take totally different shapes. Observe safely from indoors and present what you see in your art. Then attempt creating a collection of drawings or paintings that exhibits the modifications you observed within the sky and clouds earlier than, during, and after the storm.

Summer Studying Options
  • Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Franklyn M. Branley
  • Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
  • Thunderstorm by Arthur Geisert

What the Specialists Say About STEAM

Jeffrey Bennett

Colorado-based astronomer, instructor, writer of the award-winning Science Adventures with Max the Dog ebook collection, and creator of the free app Totality by Huge Kid Science.

What do the STEM/STEAM subjects train youngsters past the basics of math, science, know-how, and engineering?

The STEM topics are deeply intertwined with all different topics. For example, all STEM fields require both verbal and written expertise, and it’s essential understand historical past so as to understand how we’ve got acquired our present information of science. And, as the “A” in STEAM signifies, the sciences and the humanities have all the time gone together.

Is it essential for every baby to hook up with and develop an interest in STEM/STEAM?

Absolutely! Science, math, and engineering are essential for everyone in a modern democracy (not just for many who truly turn out to be scientists or engineers), because you possibly can’t probably understand the various selections that you simply’ll have to make until you’ve a fairly deep understanding of these subjects…You must perceive math to be able to make a great determination about renting versus shopping for, or to vote intelligently on points referring to international trade; you must understand no less than somewhat about engineering and coding to take care of your own home internet connection; and you must understand primary science to make selections and vote intelligently on issues of medical care and climate change.

How can mother and father help encourage their youngster’s curiosity in STEM/STEAM?

All the time encourage your baby’s sense of curiosity and marvel. When your baby brings up some STEM matter—say, one thing about area—assist your youngster consider follow-up questions and assist your youngster analysis the answers.


Wendy Merchant

Founder and government director of Women in STEM Denver

Why is it so very important that we target women specifically in building an curiosity in the STEM/STEAM world?

The STEM workforce is comprised of 25 % ladies, 80 % of those ladies are working in bioscience careers; i.e. healthcare, research, psychology, and so on. The remaining 20 % work in engineering, pc science, and know-how associated careers. With so few ladies working in pc science, know-how, and engineering fields, there’s a giant expertise pool being underutilized.

Are there certain STEM/STEAM actions or angles that appear to interest women extra?

We’ve got found that women usually need to interact with STEM in ways that can help their group and assist humanity general, which is why 80 % of girls working in STEM fields are within the biosciences. We work with women to point out them this connection in other careers as properly. We’d like architects and engineers to construct faculties to teach youngsters, and hospitals to offer care. Pc science and coding help develop software for on a regular basis gadgets we use in our lives.

Is it ever too early to introduce youngsters to STEM/STEAM ideas?

Never! Mother and father can provide encouragement and construct confidence by difficult their toddlers and younger youngsters to find a totally different strategy when [they] get annoyed making an attempt to make a toy work or find a solution to a homework drawback: “How can you look at that differently?” “Have you considered x?” “What would happen if you tried x instead?” This helps youngsters understand there are totally different and artistic ways to discover a answer to an issue and construct confidence over frustration. Drawback fixing is the essential definition of an engineer.

Brenda Lane

Founding father of MindCraft Makerspace at Stanley Market


What precisely is a “Maker”?

A maker is anyone that has ever had an concept, thought, or vision of something we needed to—or wanted to—create to satisfy a necessity or remedy a problem.

How does the maker fit into the STEM/STEAM world?

STEM/STEAM is rather more than a concentrate on science or math, it’s a give attention to the longer term and studying within the 21st century, the place the process of studying is equally as essential because the content material. In order for the subsequent era to unravel complicated international issues, they need to possess the power to creatively clear up issues, assume outdoors the field, collaborate effectively, and communicate options to actual issues. To be literate in math and science is essential, however it is equally essential to have the ability to assume critically, evaluate info, and apply artistic solutions to problems.

How can mother and father help encourage their baby’s curiosity in STEM/STEAM?

One of the best and most partaking experiences for youngsters are hands-on and interactive. When youngsters play, they explore and build expertise and theories about their world. Mother and father can foster youngsters’s improvement of STEAM expertise by offering learning alternatives and supplies that help exploration and discovery. Youngsters be ok with themselves when they’re making, this is the time they are often the director of their time and power and CEO of thought. Set them free and allow them to create!

Display Time

Need a quiet afternoon? Set up the youngsters with an at-home screening of considered one of these STEAM-focused movies.

  • Huge Hero 6 (2014) PG
  • October Sky (1999) PG
  • Apollo 13 (1995) PG
  • Hidden Figures (2016) PG
  • The Lego Film (2014) PG
  • The Martian (2015) PG-13
  • Underwater Goals (2014) unrated
  • Wreck-It Ralph (2012) PG; Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) PG
  • Absent Minded Professor (1961) unrated
  • Dream Massive: Engineering Our World (2017) all audiences
  • Temple Grandin (2010) TV-PG
  • Planet Earth (2006) TV-PG
  • Winged Migration (2001) G
  • The Imitation Recreation (2014) PG-13
  • Science Truthful (2018) PG

5 Everyday Activities that Train Youngsters STEAM Expertise

STEAM activities don’t need to be complicated or require special tools. Listed here are 5 everyday activities that may turn right into a lesson in STEAM.



Make and Blow Bubbles: Take a break from doing dishes to make your personal bubble juice, with ½ cup dishwashing liquid, 2 cups heat water, and ¼ cup mild corn syrup. Experiment with totally different bubble wands, making bubbles greater, smaller, and totally different shapes.


Learn Maps and Directions: Follow giving one another easy directions to a sure location in the house, or directions for doing every day tasks: make a recreation of doing step-by-step instructions to get able to walk the dog or take a shower or shower.


Construct Buildings: Younger youngsters can construct with plastic meals storage containers or blocks, graduating to Legos, and Lincoln Logs. Experiment with discovering artistic building materials as you undergo recycling or yard cleanup. Ask issues like, “Do you think a cereal box will hold up a pickle jar?” “What if the box was filled with packing peanuts?”


Discover Shade: Study the colors of the spectrum in order ROY G BIV (pink, orange, yellow, inexperienced, blue, indigo, violet) and the subsequent time there is a rainbow examine to see that they present up so as. Grasp a prism in a window and paint or colour the shapes and colors it throws on the wall.


Manage Money: Depending on the age of your baby, start with identifying bills and coins, work as much as operating a small lemonade stand, counting the cash and giving change. Next, work collectively on a finances.