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STEM Activities Spotlight: Spring

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

By Angel Bhandari


Spring is a wonderful time of year that brings new life and energy to the world around us. It is a season of growth, renewal, transformation, and a great time to engage in STEM activities. STEM activities are a fantastic way to encourage people to explore the world around them, develop critical thinking skills, and learn about the natural world. In this article, we will explore some fun and engaging spring STEM activities that you can do.



Build a Birdhouse (GRADES 6-12): Spring is the perfect time to build a birdhouse. This STEM activity involves engineering and math. You can learn about the different types of birds and their habitats. You can also learn about the different types of materials used to build a birdhouse and the importance of placing the birdhouse in the right location.


Materials:

  • any type of wood

  • nails (length 1.5 times the wood depth)

  • hammer

  • screwdriver

  • wood screws (length 1.5 times the wood)

  • grass/hay

  • leaves

  • paper plates

  • small twigs

  • bits of plastic

  • 3 plastic drinking straws

  • 6 ft string

  • Scissors


Procedure:

  1. Cut the wood into the following dimensions: "Front- 6 x 4 x 1 in with hole 1.25 in diameter centered 3 in above bottom. Back- 6 x 4 x 1 in. Top and Bottom:- 4 x 4 x 1 in, Side- 6 x 6 x 1 in" ("Build").

  2. With your wood, hammer, nails, screws, and screwdriver connect the wood in the shape of a birdhouse.

  3. With the collected twigs and hay pad the birdhouse.

  4. With your plates put water in them and tape plastic straws onto the plate.

  5. Attach the birdhouse with a string to a place outdoors!


Study Insects (GRADES K-5): Spring is a great time to study insects. This STEM activity involves science and math. You can learn about the different types of insects, their life cycles, and their habitats. You can also learn about the importance of insects in the ecosystem and how they help to pollinate plants.


Materials:

  • a notebook and pen, for taking notes on the species and behavior

Procedure:

  1. Go outside and observe insects while taking notes on the species and behavior



Build a Popsicle Catapult (GRADES 6-8): You can learn about science and engineering by building a popsicle catapult. This STEM activity involves engineering and science. You can learn about physics and how it works, and the different types of this.


Materials:

  • 1 pack of gummy bears

  • 1 ruler

  • 2 marshmallows

  • 8 popsicle sticks

  • 3 rubber bands

  • 1 plastic spoon

Procedure:

  1. With 7 popsicle sticks, stack them horizontally on top of each other

  2. Take a rubber band and wrap it around one end of the sticks

  3. Take your last popsicle stick and put it vertically in between the first two popsicle sticks

  4. Take another rubber band and wrap it around the other end of the stack

  5. Line up the spoon with one end of the vertical popsicle stick, and keep it in place with a rubber band on the stick part of the spoon

  6. Place a gummy bear on the spoon

  7. Place your ruler vertically next to the catapult, to be able to record the height it roughly reaches

  8. After launching your gummy bear measure the distance it traveled

  9. Place a marshmallow on the spoon

  10. Place your ruler vertically next to the catapult, to be able to record the height it roughly reaches

  11. After launching your marshmallow measure the distance it traveled

  12. Compare the distance both traveled and reached. Why do you think one went higher than the other? Why do you think one went farther than the other?


Spring is a beautiful time of year to engage in STEM activities with children. These activities can help you learn about the natural world, develop critical thinking skills, and foster an interest in any field of STEM.


Works Cited

Chapman, Debbie. “Popsicle Stick Catapult.” One Little Project, 21 Feb. 2023,

onelittleproject.com/popsicle-stick-catapult.

“Build a Birdhouse - Activity.” Teach Engineering, 2005,

www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/wpi_birdhouse_act_joy.



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