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Summer Camp STEM is the Best Outdoor Fun!

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!

Summer Camp STEM- fun projects for elementary students. Check this post for ideas to keep those summer camp kids busy and engaged!

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Summer Camp STEM: Water Slides

STEM Water Slide Challenge is an amazing engineering activity for upper elementary and middle school students. Teams must build a waterproof slide to carry a toy figure.

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!

Summer Camp STEM: Ferris Wheels

STEM Challenge- students design and build a double-sided turning Ferris Wheel. Math skills needed! Summer Camp STEM!

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.

Summer Camp STEM: Bottle Flipping

STEM Experiment and Design Bottle Flipping Activity- students experiment with different sizes of bottles and use their data to design a new method of flipping.

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! 

Summer Camp STEM: Hammocks

STEM Challenge- Students use the Engineering Design Process to design a hammock that will hold weight. Summer Camp STEM!

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!

Summer Camp STEM: Rafts

STEM Challenge- Students use the Engineering Design Process to design a raft that will hold weight! Summer Camp STEM!

Another perfect summer camp STEM challenge is building rafts. Students love this one and if you are outdoors and have a creek nearby, plunge right in and see if the rafts will float and stay upright!

TIP: One of the main materials for this challenge is straws. You may want to think about the ages of your students when trying this one. My younger students had no thought about straws taking on water and were quite surprised when the straws filled up and their rafts were wobbly!

I hope you have found some great projects for your summer camp STEM. Click on any of the images to see more details about the challenges. You may also enjoy these posts with some of our favorite activities!

Favorite STEM Gadgets!

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