Elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) are the foundation for many modern-day careers. Teaching STEAM skills early on can guide young children to think creatively, logically, and critically about things that they see and do. Between the ages of two and five, STEAM activities can look like anything from patterns, weight, sorting, reactions, scientific terms, cause and effect, and counting. Here are a few STEAM activities perfect to incorporate this March!
Static Electricity Butterflies
What happens when something that is negatively charged reacts with something that is positively charged? In this exercise, students will see the effect of static electricity right before their eyes. To make this happen, you will need card stock, cardboard, tissue paper, a balloon, googly eyes, scissors, and glue. The cardboard will serve as the base or background of the butterfly. Next, draw and cut out your butterfly from the tissue paper. If you are limited to the size of the cardboard that you have, make sure your butterfly will be smaller than your cardboard. Set the butterfly onto the cardboard and do NOT glue it down. Next, create and cut out the butterfly’s body from the card stock paper. Be sure to keep the body a bit longer than the wings, this piece will need to touch both the tissue paper and the cardboard. This piece WILL be glued to the tissue paper in the middle. Once the body is created, googly eyes can be placed onto the butterfly. Finally, blow up a balloon and rub it through hair or against students’ clothes for a while. This will charge the balloon with negatively. Take the balloon and bring it close to the tissue paper wings. Watch how the wings move close to the balloon because of the static electricity!
Hot and Cold Water Density
In this density experiment, students will see what happens when hot and cold water are mixed. This experiment can be done to show cause and effect, color reactions, and practice using the scientific method. To do this experiment, you will need a big bowl, six mason jars, access to hot and cold water, index cards, and food coloring. Begin by filling three mason jars with very hot water and three with very cold water. Next turn one hot jar and one cold jar yellow, blue, and red with the food coloring drops. Line up the jars with different color combinations of the hot and cold water (hot yellow and cold red, hot blue and cold yellow, hot red and cold blue). Next, ask students to formulate a hypothesis about what they think is going to happen when one jar is placed on the other. Will the colors mix? What colors will form? When conducting this experiment, place the jar in the bowl, and an index card on the other jar. Place the jar on top of the other one and pull the index card out. Hot water is less dense than cold water and will rise to the top. So when the hot water on the bottom will begin to mix with the cold water on top, creating a secondary color. When the cold water jar is on the bottom and hot water is on top, the two colors will stay separated.
Lucky Charms Coding
Introduce coding to your early childhood students through this hands-on activity perfect to use around St. Patrick’s Day. All you need is this free printable and some Lucky Charms. Pour about a cup of lucky charms out for each child and begin by having them sort out the marshmallows from the cereal. Once that is completed, make such each student has the necessary marshmallows for the activity. Students can also count out how many of each kind of marshmallow that they have. On the printable, it shows several different patterns. On the left side of the printable, students can repeat the pattern using their marshmallows. On the right-hand side, the students can use their marshmallows to continue the pattern shown. Once the activity is over, the students can eat the cereal!
For more information on how to incorporate more STEAM into your classroom, purchase ‘STEAM Up Your Class‘ by Pam Oviatt and ‘Put Some STEAM Into Your Classroom‘ by Carole Schroeder.