As a mom who is working from home during COVID-19, finding STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education resources and activities to keep my teenage daughter busy is challenging. To keep her attention, the activities need to be fun and match her interests. So, I turned to our client Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and their STEM Resource Library.
Why go to the nation’s nuclear energy lab for STEM-project ideas and inspiration? In addition to their unique research facilities and important role in shaping the world’s energy future, INL is a long-time STEM education advocate that partners with Idaho schools to develop hands-on, remote-learning opportunities for K-12 students. These activities vary by grade and, best of all, they only require items you have around the house — so no need to practice social distancing at the store.
Since my daughter loves to garden, I recommended she try the Soil Science project. Ideal for grades 5-8, this activity lets students get their hands dirty while learning how different nutrients affect soil. My favorite part is it can be repeated several times with different results. Plus, her soil preparation gives us an activity to do together later: planting and harvesting fresh vegetables all summer long.
If your K-5 student loves roller coasters and building things, the Build A Roller Coaster activity will be a winner. Using paper, tape and a marble, your little engineer builds and then can color their own mini-coaster.
No matter your student’s interests — from powering a lava lamp with Alka-Seltzer and generating electricity with a lemon to creating compost using a 2-liter plastic bottle — INL’s STEM Resource Library has it all. Let us know which projects your students enjoy doing.