Does your school system have summer school or summer camp? I hope so! Summer camp is the perfect setting for STEM activities- many of which can be completed outdoors.
Kids love STEM and summertime is the perfect time to continue to work on those collaboration skills. I have some super engaging challenges to share with you!
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Look for tips scattered throughout this post to help you organize and enjoy these terrific summer challenges (which, of course, can be completed at any time of the year)!
We have always completed the water slide challenge indoors, but this one, in particular, would be great outside. When spills happen outside, and they will, you don’t have to worry about wiping up water.
TIP: If you do decide to try this one inside your classroom have some real cloth towels to clean up the water spills. School paper towels don’t really wipe up the water. Those brown paper things just move the water around!
I actually tried this one during a summer STEM Club we had. We met once a week for four sessions. The great thing about our meetings was the mixture of ability levels. For this Ferris Wheel challenge, I paired third graders with fifth graders. This challenge uses a glue gun to hold the parts together and I normally only complete the challenge with 5th graders.
TIP: Do you use glue guns with students? I have low-temperature glue guns that do not get as hot and teach students how to use a craft stick to hold items in place when the glue is still warm.
This one is perfect for those hot summer days and the noise level of all those bottles flipping will be very different on a sidewalk or picnic table.
TIP: You might notice candy corn in one of the bottles in the photo. Don’t try candy like those pieces! When the pieces got wet (because the inside of the bottle still had water droplets in it) the pieces stuck together in one solid mass!
This is such a fun project! It would work great outdoors if you add a rule that requires the bucket to hold water!
TIP: Use a lightweight 3-ounce cup for your bucket! Just use a hole puncher to make holes on two sides. I tried this one year with these cute little metal buckets I found, but they were too heavy!
Is this just the perfect summer challenge? Of course, it is!
TIP: You need fabric scraps for this challenge or you can use craft foam sheets. (Dollar Tree has foam sheets.) I found fabric scraps in the sewing department of Wal Mart. The pieces I purchased were cut specifically for quilting so the pieces were already small.
TIP: You also need cardboard tubes for your trees. Get parents to save these for you!
Another perfect outdoor summer project! I am not sure if there will be enough wind to sail these outside, but kids would love to try it anyway.
TIP: We try these indoors with a long under-the-bed-storage box filled with water. I use a small fan to create the wind to make our boats sail!
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