Instructables has created a collection of 100 STEAM Projects created for teachers and educators to do with youth.
Each project encourages exploration, modification, and students to pursue their own ideas and curiosities. They are meant to be accessible, both in approach and availability and cost of materials. You're encouraged to adapt them to your local learning space.
The problem with STEM is that teachers often have to purchase the materials at their own expense.
Sarah has assembled this collection of STEM engineering challenges that are fun and engaging, and that also make use of recycled or inexpensive materials.
Creative Crash Test Cars
This maker challenge from TeachEngeneering challenges students to design or improve an existing passenger compartment so that it better withstands front-end collisions, protecting riders from injury and resulting in minimal vehicle structural damage.
With a raw egg as the test passenger, teams use provided materials to add their own safety features onto either a small-size wooden car kit or their own model cars created from scratch. The accompanying web page includes a guiding worksheet and pre/post-quizzes.
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How To Bend PVC Pipe & Make Incredible Shapes
PVC can be a cheap building material. But it's not easy to bend into different shapes ... until now.
Heating sand on a portable induction cook top or hot plate and pouring the heated sand into the taped pvc with a funnel works great, as this video shows.
We like this way as it should eliminate most of the issues of PVC fumes when heated.
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Make PVC look like real wood
OK, now you have your PVC pipe bent, how do you make it looks like something other than PVC pipe?
This video shows you how to remove the printing found on PVC pipes for a nice clean white finish, then give them a wood grain look. All using simple tools,
They also show an alternate way to bend PVC so it looks like a branch of wood.
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TeachEngineering provides educators free access to an ever-growing collection of activities, lessons, units, maker challenges, "sprinkles", and living labs. Resources are broken out by grade level, subject area and standard covering K thru 12th grade.
Some example resources include...
- Be "Cool" with Popsicle Engineering
- Make a Backscratcher from Everyday Materials
- Engineering a Mountain Rescue Litter
- Biodomes Engineering Design Project
- Water Bottle Rockets
- Clay Boats
- The Benefits of Inclined Planes: Heave Ho!
- Convertible Shoes: Function, Fashion and Design
- Solar Water: Heat it Up!
- Solving Everyday Problems Using the Engineering Design Cycle
TeachEngineering is a collaboration of university engineering faculty, graduate students and K-12 teachers across the nation, coordinated by the University of Colorado Boulder and Oregon State University engineering departments.
This hands-on experiment and lesson plan from TeachEngineering provides students with an understanding of the issues that surround environmental cleanup. Student teams create their own oil spills, try different methods for cleaning them up, and then discuss the merits of each method in terms of effectiveness (cleanliness) and cost.
The materials needed are readily available – aluminum pie pans, feathers, vegetable oil, food colors. We've even seen this demonstration use marshmallows. What ideas can your students come up with?
It's fun to build toy-like projects. It's educational to learn through applied physics. It's invaluable to know that you are someone who can make something from nothing, and solve any challenge that comes your way while doing so. That's the philosophy of the Made by Stem website.
They've indexed over 30 STEAM projects, indexed by grade level in areas such as launchers, flyers, hydraulics, vehicles, structures, and gadgets. Everything is based around a common set of supplies. Buy in bulk and create multiple projects.
Purple Plow Challenge, from the American Farm Bureau, encourages students to research scenarios related to food, hunger and sustainability and build their own prototypes to solve the defined problem.
Resources are provided for facilitators, students and volunteers, aligned to national learning standards and reviewed by industry experts.
While aimed at grades 6,7 and 8, the ideas presented here would also be of interest to high school students.
Check out Hands On Learning and the Related Topics links below to see more STEM project ideas.
STEM demonstrations do not have to be elaborate or expensive.
Sciphile.org believes that science education is important, and pursuing it should be fun. They host a library of bite-sized science demonstrations, experiments, activities and lessons designed to help teach a variety of science topics and inspire your student's inner geek. The materials are freely available for use in the classroom.
Howtoons is what happens when you combine a comic book artist, an inventor, and a toy designer.
Howtoons provides engaging content that teaches kids how to build things, combining all materials and instructions with storytelling for ages 7-12.
While the main web site is not operational, many of the project ideas are available thanks to Make Magazine.