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STEM Activity Spotlight: St. Patrick's Day

By: Clare Schinzel

Here are some activities for St. Patrick's Day that also tie into STEM!

Green Color-Changing Flowers:


  • White flowers (any variety)

  • Mason jars or vases

  • Green food coloring


  1. Cut the stems of the flowers at an angle.

  2. Place several drops of food coloring into a mason jar that is halfway full of water. 

  3. Place the flower in the jar.

  4. Observe the flower change color. Have the student record observations on a piece of paper. 

This activity demonstrates capillary action––the process by which a flower brings water through its stem all the way to its leaves. The green hue gives students a visual representation of the movement of water and is perfect for any age student, whether they are taking high-school-level biology or elementary science classes. This activity is perfect for artistically minded students who want to blend both the “A” and “S” in STEAM!

Rainbow Skittles Experiment:


  • Skittles (multiple colors)

  • Water

  • Flat bottomed dishes

  • Shamrock Cookie Cutters


  1. Sort a bag of Skittles into colors.

  2. Arrange the Skittles in a pattern around the edge of a plate. 

  3. Place the cookie cutter in the center of the plate.

  4. Pour water inside the center of the cookie cutter and along the border of the plate (do not shake the plate). 

  5. Have the student write down observations about the color-changing process.

This lesson teaches students about concentration gradients. The main takeaway from this lesson is that solutes move from a high concentration to a low concentration. Since each Skittle has about the same amount of sugar/food coloring, the colors do not mix because all of that sugar is focused on moving toward the same area with a low concentration of sugar: the center of the plate. This can be a great lab for a General Chemistry class dripping their toes into the concepts of concentration or just a fun activity for younger children interested in a little more advanced topics. 

Leprechaun Trap:

Materials (all suggestions––let the student be creative!)

  • Crafting sticks

  • Legos

  • Rubber Bands

  • Chocolate coins

  • Construction paper

  • Clothes hanger clips

  • Any other safe household object 


  1. Tell the student that have half an hour to construct a trap capable of capturing an elusive leprechaun.

  2. Either give them craft materials or allow them to wander around the house to collect whatever object they think will be useful for capturing the leprechaun.

  3. Place chocolate coins in the trap as “bait.” 

  4. To keep the magic alive, leave the finished house out the night before St. Patrick’s Day and disturb it so it looks like a leprechaun visited the trap. 

  5. The next morning, have the student brainstorm what went wrong and how they can improve their trap for next year. 

This is a great activity for creative students who are interested in engineering. The key is to give as little instructions as possible in order to allow the students to figure it out as they go along. If the student has siblings/classmates, having collaboration between kids is an excellent way to model collaboration in the STEM career world. This could easily be a family tradition for younger students who want a little more magic on St. Patrick’s Day. 

Works Cited (both photos and content): 

McClelland, Sarah. “9 Leprechaun Trap Ideas for STEM.” Little Bins for Little Hands, 20 Feb. 2022,

-day-activity. Accessed 16 Feb. 2024.

McClelland, Sarah. “27 St Patrick’s Day Experiments and STEM Activities.” Little Bins for Little Hands, 3 Mar. 2023,

science-activities-and-stem-projects/. Accessed 16 Feb. 2024.

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