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STEAM Projects Children Will Love Creating

Steam projects children will love creating (800x600) copy

Designated times and activities are usually set in place for teaching children one subject at a time. Math time might be at 9am, science time might be at 10am, art time might be at 11am, and so on. These subjects are taught separately, but they don't have to be.

Science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) can all be incorporated together into the same activities. For activities that allow children to learn many subjects at once, check out Simple Steam: 50+ Science Technology Engineering Art Math Activities for ages 3 to 6. This book eliminates science time, art time, technology time, and so on because the activities allow children to learn and practice all STEAM concepts at once!

Use the activities in this article with children to get them interested in STEAM and eager to do more STEAM-related activities.

 

Making a Magnetic Powered Car

Children will build a magnetic-powered car to gain an understanding of magnetism and force.

Talk like Technology Experts

  • Force: strength or energy exerted or brought to bear
  • Magnet: a piece of material (such as iron or steel) that is able to attract certain metals
  • Magnetism: the property of attracting certain metals
  • Mass: the property of a body that is a measurement of the number of materials that it contains, that causes it to have weight

What You Need

  • Toy car
  • Road tape (available at craft stores) or painters tape
  • 2 magnets, if possible one should be a bar magnet. Safety Note: Keep a close eye on small children when using loose parts such as magnets. Magnets are a choking hazard for young children, so supervision is critical.
  • STEAM journal

How to Do It

  1. Begin the activity by asking children, “What is a magnet?” Discuss how alternative means of power are being explored for use in our cars.
  2. Talk with children about what you notice about magnets and conduct further research if they are curious to see more types of magnets.
  3. Tape a magnet to the top of the toy car. Test your toy car by using a second magnet to “push” or “pull” it by moving it toward the toy car.
  4. Lay down a road for your magnetic-powered car. This is not necessary to test your car but it does make it more fun.
  5. You can experiment by using a ring, horseshoe, or other magnets.
  6. Experiment to see if you can make the cars turn, go up a hill, or go backward.
  7. Encourage children’s curiosity: What would happen if we used different magnets?
  8. Encourage children’s critical-thinking skills: What can you tell me about making a magnetic-powered car?

Add more STEAM activities:

  • Science: Discuss how you can push or pull the car without touching it.
  • Engineering: Use blocks and boxes to create a city for your roads.
  • Arts: Decorate your city.
  • Math: Switch the magnets and record responses. See how far they “push” your car.

 

Three-Dimensional Art—Making a Tree

Children will learn about three-dimensional art by making a paper tree.

Talk Like Artists!

  • Autumn: the season of the year between summer and winter; the weather gets cooler
  • Leaf: part of the plant that grows from a stem
  • Three-dimensional art: art that has height, width, and depth
  • Tree: a woody perennial plant having a single, main stem generally with few or no branches on its lower part
  • Two-dimensional art: any artwork on a flat surface (painting, drawings, and so on)

What You Need

How to Do It

  1. If possible, look at some leaves to compare color and size. Ask children, “What can you tell me about leaves on trees?” Talk with children about how many leaves change colors in the fall.
  2. Show children a picture of a tree and discuss that the picture is two dimensional or “flat.”
  3. Tell children that you are going to make a three-dimensional tree.
  4. Take the bag and make many cuts from the top to approximately two-thirds of the bag (to seam or fold).
  5. Open the bag (you may want to put something in the bottom of the bag to give some weight to assist the bag staying upright).
  6. Take the top part of the bag and carefully twist just above the seam.
  7. To form branches, gather two or three strips at a time and twist together.
  8. Cut and glue small pieces of tissue paper onto the branches.
  9. Encourage children’s curiosity: Which tree looks more real—the two-dimensional or three-dimensional tree?
  10. Encourage your children’s critical-thinking skills: What can you tell me about making a three-dimensional tree?

Add more STEAM activities:

  • Science: Research and discuss seasons and why leaves change colors.
  • Technology: Review videos for children on changing seasons and leaves changing colors.
  • Engineering: Draw pictures in two dimensions, then try to build a three-dimensional structure.
  • Math: Measure the height, width, and depth of objects.


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