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November 8 is National STEM/STEAM. day in the United States. The day offers opportunities to focus on helping kids advance in fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math.
Science and engineering careers are growing 70 percent faster than other occupations. The goal of introducing STEAM concepts to kids encourages students to tak08e an interest in the subjects at an early age, and that’s what National STEM/STEAM day is all about.
Here are some ways to celebrate the holiday:
Do a Science Experiement
There are plenty of science experiments that are simple enough to do in the home. In order to celebrate STEM day, you can teach children about science by doing fun things like creating a festive pumpkin volcano.
Baking soda science experiments are some of the most well-known experiments, but this one takes a fun spin on it by using hollowed-out small pumpkins instead of the usual container. All you need is the pumpkin, baking soda, vinegar, dish soap and water to conduct this experiment. See full instructions here.
You can also do things like creating kid-safe lava lamps or elephant toothpaste. All of these experiments require a small amount of ingredients, so they’re relatively cheap and easy. In the spirit of STEM/STEAM day, make it fun and have the kids do most of the work for the experiments.
Pack a Creative Lunch
You can pack your kids a STEM-themed lunch by including items like animal crackers, string cheese made to look like octopi and maybe some goldfish crackers. As an added bonus, you can write fun facts on the napkins and make lunch educational as well as fun.
Another suggestion is to make fun food with your child, including PBS’ petri dish jello or science lab dip. By buying plastic petri-dishes or beakers, you can make almost any food science themed and educational for the day.
Play With Toys
Playing with toys like LEGOs can be one of the best ways to celebrate STEAM because it celebrates engineering and art at the same time. You can pull out the LEGOs and build famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China. If you need inspiration, you can find STEM Challenge cards here.
You can also use toothpicks and jelly beans to teach kids about building structures in any shape. This activity also works with marshmallows. Just give your kids the materials and let them build.
Teach About the World Around You
What better way to celebrate science, technology, engineering and math than to teach about the world around you? Take the day to teach your kids about the way science and math affect everyday life. If it’s raining or snowing where you are, teach your kids about the water cycle.
To celebrate the math part of STEAM, you can pull out some board games requiring math. Games like Hi, Ho Cherry-O and Yahtzee require the use of math to play, and depending on the age of your child, they can be great games to play to celebrate math for STEM day.