Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education at an early age fosters growth in the curiosity and creativity of young minds. These young minds are the basis for the next big discovery and the world depends on STEM innovations. STEM exploration includes interactive and hands-on activities, and let’s be honest, learning through play is more fun! It is never too early to start building the skills that youth will need for their careers and future success as adults. I encourage you to take the opportunity to allow Cloverbuds to “explore” through “doing” and spark the thought process that leads young minds to understand there is “more than one way to complete a task successfully”. To get you started here is an activity to use at your next meeting to explore STEM.
Rain Cloud in a Jar
A great way to demonstrate how rain arrives to us through clouds.
You will need a few supplies:
– food coloring
– clear jar (pint or quart)
– shaving cream
– plastic pipettes or eye droppers
– small glass
- Mix a few drops of food coloring into water in the small glass and set aside.
- Fill the glass jar ¾ of way with cool water.
- Fill the glass jar the rest of the way with shaving cream creating your “cloud”.
- Now we are ready to make it rain!
- Kids can now use the pipettes to squirt the colored water into the top of the shaving cream.
- Once the cloud gets heavier with liquid, colored rain will make its way through the cloud and start falling onto the ground (bottom of the jar).
Clouds are formed from billions of water droplets. When those droplets get heavy enough, gravity pulls them down as rain.
Source: Activity retrieved August 29, 2019 from thestemlabratory.com
Fall is a wonderful time of year with the cooler temperatures and leaves changing colors, but it also means there is more time spent indoors. For Cloverbud members, it’s important to find fun and educational activities to keep them busy so you don’t hear those dreaded words…. “I’m bored!”
Have you considered the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) as a topic for a meeting?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Read a story – There are many books about preventing litter or recycling. A favorite is: The Wartville Wizard by Dan Madden
- Invite a guest speaker from your Community Action group or local Recycling Facility to talk about the importance of recycling and reducing waste
- Make a craft out of items that can’t be recycled, for example Tops or Light Catchers made from old CDs. Search for other ideas or make your own! Creativity is part of the fun.
Craft 1: CD Spinning Top
- Old CDs
- Plastic Bottle Caps
- Hot Glue Gun
- Decorate the top of your CD, allow kids to use markers and stickers to make it as creative as they want.
- Turn the decorated CD over and use a hot glue gun to glue a marble into the center hole of the CD. This step is best done by an adult when working with younger kids.
- Turn the CD right side up and glue a plastic cap to the top of the CD. This step also needs to be done by an adult when working with younger kids.
- Allow the top to dry! Then use the plastic cap to spin your top.
Craft 2: Light Catchers
- Old CDs
- Hot Glue Gun
- Tacky glue
- Decorations –Silk Flowers, Markers, Stickers
- Decorate the top of your CD, allows kids to use markers, stickers, or glue on sequins. Remember that the back will be attached to ribbon, so they don’t need to decorate that side.
- If silk flowers are being used, use a hot glue gun to glue the flower into the center hole of the CD. This step is best done by an adult when working with younger kids. Allow the glue to dry before attaching to the ribbon.
- After the CDs are all decorated, use hot glue to attach the backside side of the CD to the ribbon. Leave some space at the beginning and end of the CD strand and between each CD.
- Hang the ribbon in a spot where it can catch light or in an area that needs brightening up!