Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are woven into the fabric of our world. From antibiotics to touchscreen gloves, we use discoveries that were made using STEM every day. Illuminating the importance of these inventions helps learners recognize how STEM makes our lives better. It also demonstrates that STEM is everywhere, once you know what to look for. Ideally, an engaging introduction to the STEM will inspire future creators to dive into these creative disciplines and learn more. There are countless ways to help young learners jump headfirst into STEM, but invention stories and hands-on projects are hard to beat.
Easy STEM Day Activities for Elementary Students
- Use history to tell the story: Every famous scientist has a story. Retelling the histories of how great discoveries were made, and how amazing inventions came about, is a great way to get kids into STEM. Choose a scientist, engineer, mathematician or inventor, or let kids do the research themselves to choose a STEM figure that interests them. Stories can be shared verbally, or you can encourage young learners to create homemade comic strips illustrating the history of an invention. The accidental discovery of Penicillin, the invention of the Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago Fair, Marie Curie’s discovery of radioactive elements, or the work of Katherine Johnson (who used math to help launch the Americans into space), are all great starting points. With a little research, students can learn about the contributions of lesser-known STEM heroes, like Alice Ball—who discovered the first effective treatment for leprosy—Agnes Pockels, or Tu Youyou, who discovered a life-saving new malaria medication.
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