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STEM Activity Spotlight: Thanksgiving Themed

By Francesca Vidal

With Thanksgiving break soon approaching, what are some fun STEM activities and experiments for kids to do? From a pumpkin volcano, to an egg drop experiment, and a turkey balloon race, we have compiled a list of simple and educational activities for kids of all ages to enjoy!

Pumpkin Volcano

Photo courtesy of the Little Bins for Little Hands website

We all remember the iconic volcano experiment from elementary school, but instead of using a jar as the volcano, this experiment uses a pumpkin. Kids from ages 5-9 would most enjoy this experiment. Adult supervision is recommended when conducting this

experiment as the “lava” could flow everywhere.


  • A pumpkin

  • A carving knife

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Dish soap

  • Water


  1. Make a circular cut across the top of the pumpkin and scoop out all of the seeds and pulp.

  2. Place warm water and food coloring in the pumpkin until it is about ¾ full.

  3. Squeeze 4-5 drops of dish soap into the pumpkin.

  4. Place a couple of tablespoons of baking soda.

  5. To watch the volcanic eruption occur, add ¼ cup of vinegar.

How It Relates to STEM:

The pumpkin volcano experiment is a great way to demonstrate to kids what chemical reactions are. The eruption occurs from the chemical reaction between the acetic acid in the vinegar with the sodium hydrogen carbonate in the baking soda. This chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide.

Turkey Egg Drop Experiment With Popsicle Sticks

Photo courtesy of the STEAM Sational website

This activity is very similar to the egg drop experiment where you drop an egg from a certain height, but the turkey egg drop experiment involves the egg being decorated into a turkey before it is dropped. The only requirement for this experiment is that popsicle sticks must be used to prevent the egg from breaking.


  • Raw eggs

  • Materials of your choosing to protect the egg from the fall

  • Construction paper

  • Scissors

  • Glue

  • Googly eyes

  • Popsicle sticks


  1. Decorate your egg into a turkey! We recommend that you cut the construction paper into tail feathers and a beak, and glue them and googly eyes onto the egg.

  2. Using popsicle sticks and any other materials (ziplock bags, cotton balls, aluminum foil, etc.), create some sort of structure that will protect your egg from the fall.

  3. Drop the egg from a height of your choice and check to see if it has any cracks

How It Relates to STEM:

The turkey egg drop experiment teaches kids about engineering and technology as they might have to alter their design and the materials they use in order for their eggs to not break. It also teaches about trial and error and how not everything will work on the first try. It is important for kids to learn to not give up and to persevere until they reach their goal. Dropping the egg from different heights also teaches kids about physics as the higher the distance the egg is from the ground, the more likely it is that the egg will break.

Turkey Balloon Races

Photo courtesy of the STEAM Powered Family website

The turkey balloon race activity involves a balloon, decorated as a turkey, being attached to a string on top through a straw. The balloon is released and travels a certain distance along the string. This activity is great for family members and friends to have competitions to see who can make the balloon travel the furthest.


  • Balloons

  • Construction paper (and/or any other material to decorate the the balloon with)

  • Googly eyes

  • Glue

  • String

  • Straws

  • Tape

  • Scissors

  • Binder Clips

  • Anchor points that can be used to hold the string horizontally


  1. Blow air into the balloon and place a binder clip at the end so the balloon does not lose air.

  2. Decorate the balloon into a turkey with construction paper, googly eyes, and any other materials. Get creative!

  3. Cut the straw into four inches and place it onto the string.

  4. Tie the string onto the anchor points.

  5. Tape the balloon onto the straw.

  6. Move the balloon to the front end of the string and remove the binder clip.

  7. Watch how far the balloon goes and have competitions with family members or friends to see who can make the balloon travel the furthest distance.

How It Relates to STEM:

The turkey balloon race activity teaches kids about Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When the balloon is let go, air exits the balloon backwards. The air exiting causes the balloon to thrust forwards and travel a certain amount of distance.

Works Cited

Brewer, Shelley. “Thanksgiving STEM Activities - Turkey Races Equal Physics Fun!” STEAM

Powered Family, 18 Nov. 2020,


Little Bins for Little Hands. “Exploding Pumpkin Volcano Science Activity.” Little Bins for

Little Hands, 15 Aug. 2019,


MacArthur, Brenda. “Turkey Egg Drop Project with Popsicle Sticks.” STEAM Sational, 1 Nov.


Osmo. “How to Make a Volcano for Kids | Baking Soda Vinegar Volcano.”, 8 Apr. 2021,


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