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8 STEM at Home Activities for Students & Families

Supporting younger students at home starts with encouraging their curiosity. Children are natural explorers and by asking a few simple questions, you can inspire their creativity, encourage critical thinking, and build communication skills.

Whether sitting down for a meal together, playing outside, or doing chores around the house, find opportunities to use the questions below with your children.

Find more resources and strategies that support STEM and engage students in deeper learning with Discovery Education STEM Connect.

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Activities for Younger Students

Topic: Energy

Questions to Ask:

  • Think about what you did today; what did you use energy for? Where do you think energy comes from?
  • What happens when you stand in the sun and then move into a shady spot? How does it feel in the sun versus the shade?
  • Where does the energy in your home come from? Where does the energy in your food come from?

At-Home Activity:

Make a list of objects that would melt in the sun. Think about what’s on your list that you might want to take on a picnic (i.e., ice cream, popsicles, ice for drinks).

Come up with a plan to keep your picnic items cold on a hot and sunny picnic day at the park. Then, design and test your plans!

Topic: Water

Questions to Ask:

  • Where can you find water?
  • Turn on the sink. Where do you think water in our sink comes from? How does it get to our home? How does it get to your school?
  • Walking by a stream or body of water, what do you think lives in the water? What would they need to survive? Where do you think this water comes from?
  • Where does a puddle go? Why do you think puddles disappear?

At-Home Activity:

Imagine, plan, design and test your own rain collection device.

Look out your window on a rainy day. How much rain do you think is falling down right now? How could we find a way to measure the rain? How would you tell if it rained more or less today than it did yesterday?

Create your own rain collection device to observe this phenomenon. Find a way to collect water and decide how you want to measure the water levels collected (for example, the collected rainwater is two erasers high today). Record your observations to answer the questions above.

Topic: Communities

Questions to Ask:

  • Our mailbox is filled with letters and flyers. How do you think mail gets here? Where does it start? What happens next?
  • Who else lives in our community? What nature do you notice living here, too? How do we make sure we share our space with the plants and animals that live here?
  • How do we depend upon the community and how does the community depend on us?
  • What problems do you see in your community? What is the cause of these problems and what might you do to help?

At-Home Activity:

Go on a walk around the community, neighborhood, or nearby park. Bring along a piece of paper, pencil, and a clipboard and create a list and tally of the number of certain items you find (mailboxes, swing sets, squirrels, etc).

What is there the most of? What is there the least of? What do you wish you had more of in your community?

Activities for Older Students

Topic: Energy

Questions to Ask:

  • Where does your family get energy to heat your home and power your devices?
  • Have you ever looked at a power bill for your home? What information can you find on the bill?
  • How many kilowatt hours do you use per month? Which appliances use the most energy in your home?

At-Home Activity:

Take a pair of pliers and a wintergreen Lifesaver candy in a dark closet, then quickly pinch the Lifesaver. What do you observe and how do you explain it?

Topic: Digital Citizenship

Questions to Ask:

  • What are two pros and cons of social media?
  • What does it mean to have a digital footprint? What about a digital tattoo?

At-Home Activity:

Create a “positive vibes” video!

Brainstorm a list of positive adjectives that describe personality traits. Create a catch phrase or slogan for your favorites, and make a video with a mobile device. Link to your friends and/or classmates to celebrate their positive qualities.

Topic: Communities

Questions to Ask:

  • What are ways we use plastic every day that are necessary (i.e., medical tools like inhalers or retainers)? What are some ways we use plastic every day that could be changed, like plastic bags or containers?
  • How can we reduce the consumption of plastic in our lives or repurpose it?
  • Have you ever noticed a human-made improvement that negatively affects wildlife or nature? How could we design a wildlife crossing that encourages human exercise while protecting wildlife?

At-Home Activity:

Ask each family member to list all the ways they use plastic in one day. Be specific—used shampoo in a plastic bottle, brushed with a plastic toothbrush, ate a snack packaged in plastic. Look at the lists together to see if any uses could be eliminated or changed.

Place a plastic chip bag in the microwave for five seconds. What do you observe and how do you explain it? Place plastic bags between parchment paper and iron them. What do you observe and how do you explain it?

Road analysis: take a walk along one arterial road and identify the range of building types, animals, and land use. Create a photo tour slide show.

Explore more resources that strengthen STEM skills in and out of the classroom with Discovery Education STEM Connect.

Log In Now Request a Demo