The end of the school year doesn’t have to mean the end of science, tech, engineering, and math enrichment for your child. With these three fun summer STEM projects you can do at home, kids of all ages will be engaged in learning more about the world and prepared to hit the ground running when September rolls around.
With this activity, teach your kids to measure their resting heart rate, and then try different types of exercises throughout the day to see how the heart rate changes with activity. First, help your child find their pulse using either the carotid artery on the neck or the radial artery on the inside of the wrist. Using a stopwatch, have your child count their pulse for 10 seconds while at rest and then multiply the number by six to get the resting heart rate. Once they have the procedure down, repeat the measurement after doing a range of activities such as dancing, running around the block, doing jumping jacks, practicing yoga, and other fun exercises. To boost the math enrichment of this activity, help them make a chart to record how their heart rate changed throughout the day.
Give the classic baking soda volcano science project a summery twist by using a watermelon! First, cut a hole in the top of the fruit and scoop out the insides with a melon baller, just as you’d do if carving a pumpkin. Your kids can enjoy the watermelon as a sweet treat after the project is finished. Next, pour half a cup of baking soda into the hole at the top of the now-empty watermelon. Add a few squirts of dish soap, as well as food coloring if you’d like a vibrant reaction. Finally, pour vinegar into the top of the melon for an exciting eruption your kids will love. Have them report on the experiment in written form or draw pictures of the volcano with descriptions.
This project allows your kids to make amazing images using just sunlight, water, and a favorite object. First, pick up some sun-print paper, which can be purchased at your local craft store. Allow your kids to choose cool or interesting objects to make their prints. Place these objects on the paper and expose the paper to the sun for several minutes. After you rinse the paper with water, the images will magically appear. That’s because sun-print paper contains a light-sensitive chemical called Berlin green, which turns blue when exposed to light. The resulting chemical, Prussian blue, cannot be rinsed from the paper. This means that when the paper is rinsed, ghostly images will be formed where the light was blocked. Your kids can also draw on the paper with different colors of permanent ink to determine which colors are water-soluble and which remain on the paper when it is rinsed.
If your child needs extra help over the summer, check out Best in Class Education Center for math enrichment, reading and writing programs, and private tutoring. We even have a summer camp program that incorporates STEM, math, English, nutrition, art, and other key areas, allowing your children to have fun while honing skills that will serve them well in the classroom. Visit our website to find a location near you.