# 21 fun STEM activities for kids - A guide for Parents and Teachers

STEM education is crucial in today's rapidly evolving world, as it provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a rapidly changing job market. STEM activities are hands-on, project-based lessons that help students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills. By engaging students in STEM activities, teachers can inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and equip them with the skills they need to succeed in a technology-driven world.

STEM activities also foster teamwork and collaboration, as students work together to complete projects and solve problems. This not only helps students build important social and emotional skills but also teaches them the value of cooperation and the power of collective thinking. Furthermore, STEM activities provide students with the opportunity to apply their learning in real-world situations and make connections between the classroom and the world around them.

STEM activities are an excellent way to engage students in learning and help them develop the skills they need to succeed in the future. The activities listed in this guide are fun, educational, and can be completed in a short amount of time, making them ideal for teachers who are looking for engaging and impactful lessons for their students. Whether students are interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields or simply want to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, these activities are sure to provide a valuable and enjoyable learning experience.

**21 fun STEM activities for kids - A guide for Parents and Teachers**

- Building structures with toothpicks and marshmallows.
- Making a balloon-powered car.
- Creating an egg drop protection system.
- Designing a mini-garden in a bottle.
- Exploring circuits with snap circuits.
- Constructing a bridge with popsicle sticks.
- Making a simple machine, like a lever or pulley.
- Building a solar oven.
- Studying the properties of air with a balloon-powered airship.
- Experimenting with reaction times using a ruler.
- Measuring and comparing the acidity of various household liquids.
- Building a balloon-powered rocket.
- Exploring the properties of sound by making musical instruments.
- Creating a water filtration system.
- Studying the properties of light by making a periscope.
- Constructing a wind turbine.
- Exploring the properties of buoyancy with a paper boat.
- Studying the properties of air pressure by making a balloon-powered hovercraft.
- Measuring the height of a tree using shadows.
- Studying the properties of water by making a water clock.
- Building an index card tower.

Here's a handy materials list and overview for each activity:

**·
Building structures with toothpicks and
marshmallows:**

Materials: toothpicks, marshmallows

Guidelines: Give each group a set of toothpicks and marshmallows and challenge them to build the tallest, most stable structure they can.

Instructions:

- Gather the materials. Each student or group will need a handful of toothpicks and several marshmallows.
- Start by constructing the base. Using toothpicks, attach two marshmallows together to form a foundation.
- Continue to build up the structure by attaching additional marshmallows to the toothpicks. Make sure to cross the toothpicks to provide stability.
- Encourage students to experiment with different configurations, such as triangles and squares.
- Have students work together to build the tallest structure they can.
- When finished, ask students to evaluate the strength and stability of their structure.
- Encourage students to try again, incorporating what they learned into their new design.

This activity is a fun and simple way for students to learn about engineering and building structures, as well as the importance of stability and support.

**·
Making a balloon-powered car:**

Materials: balloons, cardboard, straws, scissors, masking tape, paper clips

Guidelines: Provide each group with a cardboard base, two straws, a balloon, masking tape, paper clips, and scissors. Challenge them to create a balloon-powered car that can move across a flat surface.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making a Balloon-Powered Car:

- Provide each student or small group of students with materials, such as straws, plastic cups, balloons, and masking tape.
- Introduce the concept of balloon-powered cars by explaining that the goal is to create a vehicle that will move forward powered by the energy from a balloon.
- Explain the importance of considering the size and shape of the car, as well as the size and strength of the balloon, when designing the car.
- Demonstrate the process of making a balloon-powered car by constructing one yourself or showing a video of a previous example.
- Have students begin brainstorming and sketching their car designs, encouraging them to think about how different shapes and sizes will affect the car's movement.
- Have students build their cars, testing and refining their designs as needed.
- Once the cars are complete, gather all the students in a large open space, such as a hallway or gymnasium.
- Have each student or group test their car by blowing up the balloon, then releasing the air into the car to see how far it moves.
- Encourage students to discuss the results of the challenge, sharing what worked well and what they would change in future designs.
- Conclude the activity by emphasizing the importance of innovation and creative problem-solving, and encouraging students to think about how the skills they learned in making the balloon-powered car can be applied to real-world problems, such as designing energy-efficient vehicles.

**·
Creating an egg drop protection system:**

Materials: raw eggs, cardboard boxes, paper cups, straws, rubber bands, string, marshmallows, cotton balls, scissors

Guidelines: Challenge students to create a system that will protect a raw egg when dropped from a certain height. Provide a variety of materials and allow them to get creative.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating an Egg Drop Protection System:

- Provide each student or small group of students with materials, such as straws, paper, rubber bands, and tape, to use in building their egg drop protection system.
- Introduce the concept of egg drop challenges by explaining that the goal is to create a system that will protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height.
- Explain the importance of considering weight, air resistance, and impact resistance when designing a system.
- Demonstrate the process of building an egg drop protection system by constructing one yourself or showing a video of a previous egg drop challenge.
- Have students begin brainstorming and sketching their designs, encouraging them to think about the strengths and weaknesses of different materials.
- Have students build their protection systems, testing and refining their designs as needed.
- Once the systems are complete, gather all the students in a large open space, such as a gymnasium or playground.
- Drop each system from a set height, such as 5 feet, 10 feet, or 15 feet, to see if the egg inside is protected.
- Encourage students to discuss the results of the challenge, sharing what worked well and what they would change in future designs.
- Conclude the activity by emphasizing the importance of innovation and creative problem-solving, and encouraging students to think about how the skills they learned in the egg drop challenge can be applied to real-world problems.

**·
Designing a mini-garden in a bottle:**

Materials: clear plastic bottles, potting soil, small plants or seeds, water

Guidelines: Give each group a clear plastic bottle and challenge them to design a mini-garden inside. Fill the bottle with potting soil, add plants or seeds, and provide water as needed.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Designing a Mini-Garden in a Bottle:

- Provide each student with a clear plastic bottle, such as a soda bottle, and a variety of small plants, such as succulents, mosses, and air plants.
- Introduce the concept of hydroponic gardening by explaining how plants can grow in water without soil.
- Demonstrate how to add water to the bottle, taking care not to over-water the plants.
- Have students select their plants and arrange them inside the bottle, taking care to ensure that each plant has enough space to grow.
- Provide students with small pebbles, sand, or other decorative materials to add to the bottle to create a visually appealing landscape.
- Encourage students to think about light exposure and the orientation of the bottle when arranging their plants, as different plants will have different light requirements.
- Have students place their bottles in a sunny or well-lit location, taking care to protect them from direct sunlight, which can heat the water too much and harm the plants.
- Encourage students to observe the growth of their plants and make adjustments as needed, such as adding or removing water, rearranging the plants, or adding additional decorative elements.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the importance of sustainable agriculture and how hydroponic gardens can help reduce the environmental impact of traditional agriculture.
- Challenge students to explore different hydroponic systems and consider how they might use what they have learned to design and build their own hydroponic gardens.

**·
Exploring circuits with snap circuits:**

Materials: snap circuits set

Guidelines: Provide each group with a snap circuits set and challenge them to build different circuits and explore how electricity works.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Exploring Circuits with Snap Circuits:

- Provide each group of students with a set of snap circuits.
- Introduce the concept of circuits and electrical energy by explaining how electricity flows through conductive materials to power devices.
- Demonstrate how to connect the snap circuits components to create a simple circuit.
- Have students work in pairs or small groups to experiment with creating different circuits.
- Encourage students to use the manual and reference guides provided with the snap circuits set to explore different circuit configurations.
- Have students use their circuits to power a range of devices, such as LEDs, motors, and buzzers, to observe the different ways in which electrical energy can be used.
- Encourage students to analyze the circuits they have created and identify areas for improvement or ways to make their circuits more efficient.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the importance of electrical engineering and how engineers use similar principles to design and build real-life circuits.
- Challenge students to explore more complex circuits and consider how they might use what they have learned to design and build their own electronic devices.

**·
Constructing a bridge with popsicle sticks:**

Materials: popsicle sticks, glue, string, weight (such as coins)

Guidelines: Give each group a set of popsicle sticks, glue, and string, and challenge them to build the strongest bridge they can. Test the strength of each bridge by placing weight on it.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Constructing a Bridge with Popsicle Sticks:

- Provide each group of students with a set of popsicle sticks, glue, and a pair of scissors.
- Explain the challenge: to construct a bridge using only popsicle sticks and glue that can support a specific weight.
- Have students work in pairs or small groups to design and build their bridge.
- Encourage students to consider factors such as stability, strength, and efficiency when designing their bridge.
- Provide a demonstration of how to glue the sticks together to ensure that the students have a clear understanding of how to build their bridges.
- Once the glue has dried, have each group test their bridge by placing weights on it, starting with a small weight and gradually increasing the weight until the bridge fails.
- Record the maximum weight that each bridge can support and discuss the results as a class.
- Encourage students to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their designs and suggest ways to improve their bridges for future tests.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the importance of bridge construction and how engineers use similar principles to build real-life bridges.
- Challenge students to consider different materials and designs for building bridges and compare the results.

**·
Making a simple machine, like a lever or pulley:**

Materials: cardboard, scissors, string, rubber bands, paper clips, objects to lift (such as a book)

Guidelines: Provide each group with cardboard, scissors, string, rubber bands, paper clips, and objects to lift. Challenge them to build a simple machine, like a lever or pulley, that can lift an object from the ground.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making a Simple Machine, Like a Lever or Pulley:

- Give each group of students materials such as popsicle sticks, paper clips, rubber bands, and string.
- Explain the challenge: to build a simple machine, such as a lever or pulley, that demonstrates the principles of mechanics.
- Have students choose between building a lever or pulley and gather the necessary materials.
- For a lever: a. Have students use popsicle sticks to construct a lever by gluing two sticks together to form a seesaw. b. Attach a paper clip to one end of the lever and use a rubber band to create a pivot point. c. Experiment with different distances between the pivot point and the weight to see how it affects the lever's mechanical advantage.
- For a pulley: a. Have students use popsicle sticks and paper clips to build a pulley system by attaching a paper clip to the end of each stick and connecting them with string. b. Attach a weight to one end of the string and experiment with raising and lowering the weight using the pulley system.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the principles of simple machines, including mechanical advantage and how they make work easier.
- Encourage students to think about the different types of simple machines and how they are used in everyday life.
- Challenge students to experiment with different materials and designs for their simple machines and compare the results.

**·
Building a solar oven:**

Materials: cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, scissors, black paint, a thermometer

Guidelines: Provide each group with a cardboard box, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, scissors, black paint, and a thermometer. Challenge them to build a solar oven that can cook food using only the sun's energy.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Building a Solar Oven:

- Give each group of students materials such as cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, clear plastic wrap, glue, and scissors.
- Explain the challenge: to build a solar oven that harnesses the energy of the sun to cook food.
- Have students select a cardboard box and cut the top flaps off.
- Have students line the inside of the box with aluminum foil to reflect the sun's rays.
- Have students cut a piece of clear plastic wrap to fit the opening of the box and secure it in place with glue.
- Have students place the box in direct sunlight and place food inside, such as hot dogs or marshmallows, to cook.
- Observe the temperature inside the oven and track the cooking time.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the properties of light and heat energy and how they are harnessed in a solar oven.
- Encourage students to think about the benefits and limitations of using solar energy and how it can be used in different ways.
- Challenge students to experiment with different materials and designs for their solar ovens and compare the results.

**·
Studying the properties of air with a
balloon-powered airship:**

Materials: balloons, straws, string, paper, scissors

Guidelines: Give each group a balloon, straw, string, paper, and scissors, and challenge them to build a balloon-powered airship that can fly through the air.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Studying the Properties of Air with a Balloon-powered Airship:

- Give each group of students a balloon, a straw, and a lightweight object such as a plastic toy or a pom-pom.
- Explain the challenge: to build a balloon-powered airship that demonstrates the properties of air.
- Have students use the straw to make a hole near the end of the balloon.
- Insert the lightweight object into the balloon through the hole in the straw.
- Have students blow up the balloon and tie off the end.
- Release the balloon and observe how the air rushes out of the straw and propels the airship forward.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the properties of air, including air pressure and how it affects the movement of objects.
- Encourage students to think about the ways air pressure is used in everyday life and its importance in various applications.
- Challenge students to experiment with different shapes, sizes, and materials for the airship and compare the results.

**·
Experimenting with reaction times using a ruler:**

Materials: rulers, stopwatch, partner

Guidelines: Have students measure their reaction times by dropping a ruler and catching it as quickly as possible. Use a stopwatch to measure the time it takes for each student to catch the ruler.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Experimenting with Reaction Times using a Ruler:

- Give each student a ruler and a partner.
- Explain the challenge: to measure and compare reaction times using a ruler.
- Have students stand facing each other with their arms extended, holding the ruler between their thumb and forefinger.
- Have one student drop the ruler and the other student catch it as quickly as possible.
- Measure the distance the ruler fell before being caught and record the result.
- Switch roles and repeat the experiment.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the results and comparing the reaction times of each student.
- Encourage students to think about factors that may affect reaction times, such as age, gender, and physical fitness.
- Challenge students to design and conduct additional experiments to further explore the factors that influence reaction times.

**·
Measuring and comparing the acidity of various
household liquids:**

Materials: various household liquids (such as lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, etc.), litmus paper or pH strips

Guidelines: Provide each group with a selection of household liquids and litmus paper or pH strips. Challenge them to measure the acidity of each liquid and compare their results.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Measuring and Comparing the Acidity of Various Household Liquids:

- Give each group of students litmus paper, a variety of household liquids (such as lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, and water), and a dropper.
- Explain the challenge: to measure and compare the acidity of different household liquids using litmus paper.
- Have students use the dropper to place a drop of each liquid on a strip of litmus paper.
- Observe the colour change of the litmus paper as it reacts with the different liquids.
- Compare the colour change of the litmus paper for each liquid and record the results in a chart.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the properties of acids and bases, including pH and how it relates to the acidity of liquids.
- Encourage students to think about the sources of acids and bases in everyday life and how they affect our environment.
- Challenge students to experiment with other household liquids and compare their acidity levels using litmus paper.

**·
Building a balloon-powered rocket:**

Materials: balloons, cardboard tubes, string, scissors, masking tape

Guidelines: Provide each group with a cardboard tube, string, scissors, masking tape, and a balloon. Challenge them to build a balloon-powered rocket that can soar into the air.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Building a Balloon-Powered Rocket:

- Give each group of students a plastic straw, a balloon, and a piece of tape.
- Explain the challenge: to build a balloon-powered rocket that demonstrates the principles of air pressure and motion.
- Have students blow up the balloon and secure the neck of the balloon with their thumb.
- Have students attach the straw to the end of the balloon using tape, creating a simple balloon-powered rocket.
- Have students let go of the balloon neck, allowing the compressed air to escape through the straw and propel the rocket.
- Observe the motion of the rocket and measure the distance it travels.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the principles of air pressure, including the relationship between pressure and volume, and how they relate to the design and performance of the balloon-powered rocket.
- Encourage students to think about the design of the balloon-powered rocket and how different factors, such as the size and shape of the straw and balloon, affect its performance.
- Challenge students to improve the design of their balloon-powered rocket and experiment with different shapes and sizes of straws and balloons to see how they affect the performance of the rocket.

**·
Exploring the properties of sound by making
musical instruments:**

Materials: straws, rubber bands, paper cups, cardboard tubes, cardboard boxes, paper, scissors

Guidelines: Provide each group with a variety of materials, such as straws, rubber bands, paper cups, cardboard tubes, cardboard boxes, paper, and scissors. Challenge them to build musical instruments and explore the properties of sound.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Exploring the Properties of Sound by Making Musical Instruments:

- Give each group of students materials such as paper cups, straws, rubber bands, cardboard tubes, and bottle caps.
- Explain the challenge: to make a musical instrument that demonstrates the principles of sound and vibration.
- Encourage students to be creative and come up with their own designs for their musical instruments, such as a straw flute, a rubber band guitar, or a cardboard tube drum.
- Have students build their musical instruments using the materials provided and test their sound quality.
- Observe the vibration of the materials as they produce sound and listen to the different sounds produced by each instrument.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the properties of sound, including vibration, frequency, and wavelength, and how they relate to the design and performance of musical instruments.
- Encourage students to think about the design of musical instruments and how different factors, such as the size and composition of the materials, affect their sound quality.
- Challenge students to improve the design of their musical instruments and experiment with different materials to see how they affect the sound.

**·
Creating a water filtration system:**

Materials: clear plastic bottle, gravel, sand, activated carbon, coffee filters, water

Guidelines: Provide each group with a clear plastic bottle, gravel, sand, activated carbon, coffee filters, and water. Challenge them to create a water filtration system that removes impurities from the water.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating a Water Filtration System:

- Give each group of students a plastic bottle, a piece of sandpaper, sand, gravel, activated charcoal, coffee filters, and water.
- Explain the challenge: to create a water filtration system that removes impurities from water.
- Have students cut the top of the plastic bottle and fill the bottom half with sand, gravel, and activated charcoal in layers, with the gravel on the bottom, sand in the middle, and activated charcoal on top.
- Place a coffee filter over the activated charcoal and secure it in place using tape.
- Fill the top half of the bottle with water and screw the top back on.
- Turn the bottle upside down and place it on top of the bottom half.
- Observe the water as it filters through the layers of sand, gravel, and activated charcoal and exits through the coffee filter.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the principles of water filtration and how different materials, such as sand, gravel, and activated charcoal, remove different impurities from water.
- Encourage students to think about the design of water filtration systems and how different factors, such as the size and composition of the filter materials, affect their performance.
- Challenge students to design and build their own water filtration systems using different materials and test their performance under different water conditions.

**·
Studying the properties of light by making a
periscope:**

Materials: mirrors, cardboard tubes, scissors, tape

Guidelines: Provide each group with mirrors, cardboard tubes, scissors, and tape. Challenge them to build a periscope that uses reflection to allow them to see objects that are not directly in front of them.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Studying the Properties of Light by Making a Periscope:

- Give each group of students two mirrors, cardboard tubes, tape, scissors, and a flashlight.
- Explain the challenge: to make a periscope that demonstrates the principles of reflection and refraction of light.
- Have students cut the cardboard tubes into two equal pieces and attach the mirrors inside each piece at a 45-degree angle.
- Assemble the periscope by connecting the two pieces of the cardboard tubes using tape and making sure the mirrors are facing each other.
- Turn off the lights in the room and shine a flashlight at one end of the periscope.
- Observe the reflection of the light in the mirrors and the refraction of the light as it travels through the air and the cardboard tubes.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the properties of light, including reflection and refraction, and the principles of periscopes and how they work.
- Encourage students to think about the design of periscopes and how different factors, such as the size and shape of the mirrors, affect their performance.
- Challenge students to design and build their own periscopes using different materials and test their performance under different lighting conditions.

**·
Constructing a wind turbine:**

Materials: cardboard tubes, paper cups, paper, scissors, straws, rubber bands

Guidelines: Provide each group with cardboard tubes, paper cups, paper, scissors, straws, and rubber bands. Challenge them to build a wind turbine that can generate energy using wind.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Constructing a Wind Turbine:

- Give each group of students a cardboard tube, a piece of plastic, scissors, a pencil, a rubber band, and a small generator.
- Explain the challenge: to construct a wind turbine that generates electricity using wind power.
- Have students cut the cardboard tube into four equal pieces and make two pairs of blades, each blade being one-fourth of the tube.
- Cut a plastic sheet into a rectangle and use it to make a hub for the blades by wrapping it around the center of the tube.
- Attach the blades to the hub using a rubber band and space them evenly apart.
- Attach the generator to the hub and connect the leads to the blades, making sure the blades are rotating freely and not touching the generator.
- Place the wind turbine in a location with sufficient wind and observe the rotation of the blades and the generation of electricity.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the principles of wind energy, including the generation of electricity through the rotation of blades and the conversion of kinetic energy into electrical energy.
- Encourage students to think about the design of wind turbines and how different factors, such as blade shape, size, and material, affect their performance.
- Challenge students to design and build their own wind turbines using different materials and test their performance under various wind conditions.

**·
Exploring the properties of buoyancy with a
paper boat:**

Materials: paper, scissors

Guidelines: Challenge each group to create a paper boat and explore the properties of buoyancy. See how many coins each boat can hold before sinking.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Exploring the Properties of Buoyancy with a Paper Boat:

- Give each group of students a piece of paper and scissors.
- Explain the challenge: to make a paper boat that demonstrates the properties of buoyancy.
- Demonstrate how to fold the paper into a boat shape, creating a hull that is open at the top and bottom.
- Have students fill their boats with water, being careful not to overfill or allow water to spill out the sides.
- Encourage students to observe the effect of adding water to the boat on its buoyancy, stability, and ability to float.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the properties of buoyancy and how this activity relates to real-world applications such as shipbuilding and ocean exploration.
- Encourage students to think about other materials they could use to make boats, such as aluminum foil, cardboard, or plastic, and compare their properties to paper in terms of buoyancy and stability.
- Challenge students to design and build their own boats using different materials and test their performance in water.

**·
Studying the properties of air pressure by
making a balloon-powered hovercraft:**

Materials: balloons, cardboard, scissors, straws, masking tape

Guidelines: Provide each group with balloons, cardboard, scissors, straws, and masking tape. Challenge them to build a balloon-powered hovercraft that can float on air.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Studying the Properties of Air Pressure by Making a Balloon-Powered Hovercraft:

- Give each group of students a balloon, a CD or a plastic lid, scissors, and a piece of cardboard or foam board.
- Explain the challenge: to build a balloon-powered hovercraft that demonstrates the properties of air pressure.
- Show students how to cut the cardboard or foam board into a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the CD or plastic lid.
- Demonstrate how to stretch the balloon over the end of the straw or pencil and blow it up until it is fully inflated.
- Place the inflated balloon on top of the CD or plastic lid, with the mouth of the balloon facing down.
- Place the cardboard or foam board circle on top of the balloon, making sure to keep it centered.
- Have students gently blow air onto the bottom of the hovercraft, demonstrating how air pressure can propel the hovercraft forward.
- Encourage students to experiment with the amount and direction of air they blow onto the hovercraft and observe the effect on its movement.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the properties of air pressure and how this activity relates to real-world applications such as airplanes and hovercrafts.
- Encourage students to think about other ways they could use air pressure to power simple machines or toys.

**·
Measuring the height of a tree using shadows:**

Materials: rulers, pencils, paper

Guidelines: Have students measure the height of a tree by measuring the length of its shadow and comparing it to the length of a ruler or other object. Record the results on paper.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Measuring the Height of a Tree Using Shadows:

- Take students outside to an area with trees and clear, level ground.
- Explain the challenge: to measure the height of a tree using only a ruler, a stick or pencil, and the shadow it casts.
- Give each student a ruler, a stick or pencil, and a piece of paper.
- Show students how to use the ruler to measure the length of the shadow cast by the stick or pencil.
- Have students select a tree to measure and record the length of its shadow and the length of the shadow cast by the stick or pencil.
- Encourage students to find a clear, level spot where they can place the stick or pencil next to the tree and measure the length of the shadow cast by both the tree and the stick or pencil.
- Have students use the ratio of the shadow length to the height of the stick or pencil to calculate the height of the tree.
- Encourage students to repeat this process with a few different trees and compare their results.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the importance of using ratios and proportions in science and how this activity relates to real-world applications such as surveying and construction.
- Encourage students to think about other ways they could use shadows to measure the height of objects, such as buildings or structures.

**·
Studying the properties of water by making a
water clock:**

Materials: clear plastic bottle, water, food coloring, a pencil, paper

Guidelines: Provide each group with a clear plastic bottle, water, food coloring, a pencil, and paper. Challenge them to create a water clock that uses the properties of water to measure time.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Studying the Properties of Water by Making a Water Clock:

- Give each group of students two clear plastic cups, a ruler, water, and a piece of string or fishing line.
- Explain the challenge: to build a water clock that measures time using the properties of water.
- Show students how to measure the height of the plastic cups with the ruler and mark them at the same height on the outside of the cup.
- Cut the string or fishing line to the same length as the height of the cups.
- Fill one of the cups with water and place it upside down on a flat surface.
- Place the second cup next to the first cup and thread the string or fishing line through the bottom of both cups.
- Hold the end of the string or fishing line in place and slowly lift the second cup up until the water reaches the marked height.
- Let go of the string or fishing line and observe how the water slowly drips out of the first cup and into the second cup.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes and see how long it takes for the water to reach the marked height in the second cup.
- Encourage students to make observations and measurements, such as how much time it takes for a certain amount of water to move from one cup to the other.
- Conclude the activity by discussing the properties of water and how this activity relates to the science behind water clocks.
- Encourage students to think about other ways they could measure time using the properties of water, such as creating a water-powered hourglass.

**·
Building an index card tower:**

Materials: index cards, scissors

Guidelines: Challenge each group to build the tallest tower they can using only index cards and scissors. The tower must be free-standing and able to support its own weight.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Building an Index Card Tower:

- Give each group of students a set of index cards and scissors.
- Explain the challenge: to build the tallest free-standing tower possible using only the index cards and scissors.
- Demonstrate how to fold the index cards to create triangular shapes, which are structurally strong.
- Encourage the students to experiment with different ways of folding and stacking the index cards to build their tower.
- Set a time limit for the activity, such as 20 minutes.
- Encourage students to work together and support each other's ideas.
- Once the time is up, have each group measure the height of their tower and record the results.
- Discuss the results as a class and talk about what made some towers taller than others.
- Conclude the activity by discussing how this exercise relates to real-world engineering challenges and the importance of teamwork and problem-solving in STEM fields.

Visit our home page to learn more about Skill Samurai - Coding & STEM Academy.

**Related Posts:**

10 Benefits of STEM Education for Kids