STEM subjects are essential in the education of a young child. It helps them build the very foundation of their advanced studies. And so it is important that educators spend time and efforts to develop the interest and curiosity of the students towards STEM subjects. Let us look at some STEM activities for middle school that the teachers can incorporate in their classroom to pique the interest of students in STEM subjects.
10 Unique STEM Activities for Middle School
STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics can be a tough nut to crack for young students. These are concept based subjects and can get quite dry. However, they are important subjects to develop critical thinking and logic in young students. So teachers might need to get innovative in their approach. Here, we have compiled 10 simple STEM activities for middle school a teacher can do with the students in their classroom to make STEM subjects more fun.
1] Build Your Own Catapult
This is a fun and simple engineering activity that can be accomplished by simple craft supplies. Use Popsicle sticks, glue and rubber bands to build your very own catapult. Then launch various objects across the room with the help of the catapult. What a fun way to learn about physics and engineering.
2] Building Bridges
This is another fun engineering activity the kids can attempt in the classroom. Divide them into groups and ask them to build a bridge out of glue and parchment paper or newspaper only. They will have to innovate and find a way to build a strong foundation for the bridge. Motivate them by giving rewards for the strongest bridge, longest bridge, most innovative bridge, etc.
3] Math Hunt!
It is a task to make mathematics fun for students, especially the younger ones. Teachers can make an effort by designing a math hunt. Post 10 different questions in the playroom or the garden and their respective answers all spread out. Ask the students, in groups of 2-3, to go explore the playroom and find the questions and corresponding answers. The one with the most pairs by the end wins.
4] Money Math
This is a great way to teach young students basic mathematics concepts by using coins. They can see the actual application of mathematics in real life. Give the students some coins and pretend to go grocery shopping with them. Give them practical scenarios that involve basic addition and subtraction.
5] Oil Spill Activity
This is a science experiment that helps the students see the real effects of environmental issues and disasters. Take a container and mix some water with oil. Add to this some feathers, egg shells, etc. Now ask your students to remove the oil without removing too much water. Also, ask them to observe how the oil affects the feathers and how difficult the clean up is.
6] Make a GIF
Studies have found that teaching coding to children, even as young as kindergartners, can have a huge benefit to their learning skills. One fun way to teach them the basics of coding is to teach them how to make their own GIF’s using coding. They will be hooked!
7] Make a Stop-Motion Video
Another brilliant idea to get kids interested in technology is to teach them about animation and the process behind it. With the help of a basic animation app and a phone or tablet, you can teach them the process behind making a basic stop-motion animation video. This also helps develop their creativity.
8] Build Your Own Aircraft
We all know how to build a plane out of paper. But encourage your students to take this a step forward and make different models and types of airplanes using simple craft materials. A glider, a helicopter, and many such models are possible. It teaches students about the basics of aerodynamics and encourages thinking outside the box.
9] Magnetic Slime
There are some very interesting STEM activities for middle school and this one is especially fun. Kids love playing with slime and goop. With three simple ingredients, you can make magnetic slime that is attracted by a strong magnet. You just mix water, glue, iron oxide powder mixed with liquid starch and mix properly. It is a great way to teach kids about magnets and magnetic metals.
10] Ant Farm
This is a good activity for middle-schoolers. In a glass container or a fish tank, you can introduce some ants with some hydrated mud and plenty of sunlight. Over the next few days, the ants will build their own ant colony. Kids will learn interesting facts about insects and ants in particular and be able to observe some facts for themselves.