There are a number of creative ways to incorporate STEM topics into your homeschooling. During this year’s Podcast Awards I released 15 mini-episodes that shared 15 STEM and STEAM Ideas for Homeschoolers.
I’ve compiled all 15 of those ideas into this single podcast. Listen to or read all of the great ways you can teach STEM and STEAM topics to your kids.
1. Watch YouTube Videos
I thought I’d deal with the low-hanging fruit first: Watching YouTube videos. There are dozens of STEM- and STEAM-related YouTube channels that you and your kids can watch and enjoy. Here are five that I highly recommend:
2. Build with LEGO
All STEM and STEAM categories can be covered using LEGO bricks. The possibilities seem endless! Check out some of these great resources for using LEGO bricks to teach STEM and STEAM topics.
- Teach STEM with LEGO learning – 50 Activities, Free Printables, Games, and More
- 20 Fun Activities for Learning with LEGOs
- Free LEGO Homeschooling Resources
3. Duct Tape Arts & Crafts
People use duct tape for all kinds of things from repairing a car’s bodywork to constructing prom gowns. Your kids could get creative and do a little STEAM-learning along the way. Here are some resources to get you started:
4. Build a TARDIS
If you have a Whovian in the house, what could be more exciting than having your own TARDIS? Here are some small and large projects you might want to consider building with your Whovian:
5. Dash and Dot
I’ve mentioned the fun little robots in the past. We’ve had Dash & Dot from Wonder Workshop for some time now and my kids still ask me on a regular basis to use them. While this is more costly than previous suggestions, Dash & Dot are a great investment for young kids interested in robotics and programming.
6. Play games
If I started listing all of the games you could use to teach STEM topics, we’d be here all day, so here are 5 that get my highest recommendation:
7. Meet Edison
I’ve mentioned Edison in a previous episodes and even interviewed the inventor. This inexpensive, LEGO-compatible little robot is a great way to introduce your kids to robotics. There are even free lesson plans and worksheets you can download.
8. Instructables projects
Whether you’re looking for a low-cost project using household items or a high-tech project that involves building custom components, you can find many projects that incorporate STEM topics with detailed instructions at Instructables. Here are 5 projects I found that will keep you and your kids tinkering.
- Candle-powered Hot Air Balloon
- Arduino Weather Station
- Simple Circuits from a Pizza Box
- NEar-Space Balloon
- Budget Bicycle Warning Lights
Whether it’s because you’re pressed for time or you don’t feel comfortable covering certain topics, a complete curriculum would be nice to have when teaching STEM. fishertechnik has STEM kits that are not only fun for the kids to build but also have worksheets and lesson plans for you which explain what objectives and topics are covered in each activity. I reviewed two of their kits earlier this year. You will not be disappointed.
10. Kiwi Crate
If you’re looking for a way to supplement your STEM education with fun activities, Tinker Crate by Kiwi Crate is a great option. Each month, a new activity is delivered to your home that your kids can dive into and learn about STEM topics without being bogged down by technical terms. Theses crates will inspire your kids and spark their curiosity.
11. Design and build a soapbox derby car
When I was kid, my summers included building gravity cars. It was a rite passage and the competition with outer kids to build the fastest and best-looking race car kept us busy for weeks. If you don’t think you can design one on your own, here are a few projects to give you some ideas:
12. Start coding with Scratch
When I’m asked by parents how to get their kids started with programming I always point them to Scratch.
Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.
They even provide a free curriculum guide that you can use to teach your kids.
13. Creation Crate
If you’re looking for monthly projects that focus on technology, Creation Crate is the subscription service for you. Every month you get a project that utilizes an Arduino UNO R3 micro-computer to create a fun and educational gizmo. Your kids assemble the project on a solder-less breadboard and program the project by typing the code then uploading it to the UNO.
14. Play with fire
I know what you’re thinking. I haven’t lost my mind putting out these mini episodes. Burning something is a great way to determine its composition. Whether or not something burns tells you a lot about its properties and it’s science! When you’re experimenting with fire, kids are always paying attention. We’ve told them it’s dangerous and they like danger! So what are you waiting for? Go set something on fire!
15. Film simple science experiements
I thought about this one for a long time and whether or not I should include it in the list. It seems like a cop out. However, if you have an artistic-leaning child perhaps the idea of being able to film the experiments or projects and create a story around it would make them more interested in participating. All you need is your camera, smartphone, or tablet and some simple, free video editing software and you’re all set!
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The Wired Homeschool is a proud member of the Tech Podcast Network. For more family-friendly tech podcasts visit techpodcasts.com
Music for the podcast by Kevin Macleod.