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Showing posts with label holiday fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday fun. Show all posts

A Rainbow of St. Patrick's Day STEM Ideas That Are Golden

Seasonal STEM is a great way to introduce your students to the engineering process in a fun way. St. Patrick’s day leprechaun mischief and rainbow science activities are some of the absolute best to capture the interest of your kiddos and engage them in hands-on STEM experiences. Whether you’re doing STEM at home or school, check out a few of my favorites below that work for nearly every grade level, and with minimal expense and effort to implement! 

From that magical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, to the Lucky Leprechauns who helped you implement engaging St. Patrick's Day Challenges, your co-workers might be a bit green with envy!

Here are over 12 different Science and Engineering ideas that are golden:

Leprechaun Hair is so fun to grow! All you need is: Soil • School milk cartons (one per child) • Grass seed • Pattern • Paper to cover carton (I use green)

Leprechaun Traps: Lucky Learners always love making traps. Grab supplies around the house, in your recycle bin or from your classroom. Here are some suggested supplies: Different sized boxes • Sticks • Tape • String • Store bags • Cups • Large cans • Construction paper • Baskets • Styrofoam plates/paper plates 

Indoor Rainbows are simply amazing to students and I must say I love to see a rainbow inside or outside. You need the following supplies: Cake pan • Water • Flashlight • White typing paper • A mirror...You can also use CD's and a flashlight! 

Rainbow Goo: All you need is Borax • Water • Glue (white for opaque, gel for translucent) • Plastic spoon • Green and yellow food coloring • 3 plastic cups • Ziploc baggie

Each of these ideas are part of my St. Patrick's Day Science Pack. With a few other treasures included. 

Setting up a Makerspace in your classroom or even making individual bags of supplies to hand out to your students along with task cards and a fun tic tac toe challenge will keep them chasing a few rainbows on St. Patty's Day as well. 

Makerspace Tasks might include: building something with only 3 supplies like a clover, build something to keep a coin or treasure inside, or even something that you wish was at the end of the rainbow. I take the task cards now and screenshot them to place in seesaw to make it easy for my kidds to see instead of handing them out or keeping them at a station that we can't utilize during COVID.

Want these Makerspace ideas in one place, grab the Makerspace St. Patrick's Day Pack that is versatile for any season!

STEM Stations or STEM Table Top creations are an easy way to let students engineer in a small group or individual way. Again I give my kiddos a bag of treasures that they can choose from and then challenge each to complete it by a given time. 

We include these STEM and Science Connections: 

-Shamrock Shakes during our Sound unit
-Somewhere over the rainbow for variables
-Pot o gold paths as we build out of tubes onto a wall space in our room to show food chains that start with grass and clovers 
-Up, Up, Panda Way with our air and weather connections in science 

Each of these ideas can be found in my St. Patrick's Day STEM-Velop Pack because I love developing engineers through my science lessons!

My little kindergarteners just love our St. Patrick's Day Math and Science Connection Activities as they count and learn!

From Conveyor Belts to Roman Arches and Wishing Wells...if your looking for challenges for your older students find STEM challenges that will be sure to please! Grab a free resource! I am so lucky you are here! Enjoy!

Let's make science and STEM child's play!

Leap Year STEM

In STEM club this week, we wanted to find a way to add some Leap Year Science and engineering to our hour. The funny thing is that no one really knew why leap year even exists. We generated some great ideas and then we headed over to Mystery Doug to find out the answers. We followed up with some great origami inspirations, which was taught by a student led team... and we finished it up with creating a game that needed to incorporate our frog in some way.

The criteria and constraints:

  • the frog had to be part of the game
  • you only have 15 minutes to prepare the game 
  • the game must have written rules
  • the frog doesn't have to jump as part of the game
  • you must use what you see around the room as the supplies for the game

The science components that we included in day two of our STEM club Leap Frog Theme was to create a controlled experiment using our frogs.

We tested the following variables:

  1. Does the size of the frog make the frog hop farther?
  2. Does the type of paper used determine how far our frog jumps?
  3. Does where we fold the bottom affect how far the frog jumps?
  4. Does how/where we push on the back of the frog affect how far our frog jumps?
Mystery Doug has a great video all about Leap Year, which is a perfect springboard for your leapfrog lessons in science! Find the Mystery Doug video here. 

Leap Frog Leap Year Science and STEM Pack Found HERE.
I am hoppy that you joined me here in the Science School Yard! Happy February 29th!
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New Year...New STEM Ideas

Happy New Year's Eve eve! I hope you are busy soaking in the last few days of 2019. I'll make this short and sweet so that you can back to enjoying your much deserved break. I have been taking some time to breath this break. I have watched a ton of Netflix and played many games of scrabble. I even took some tests to see how the new year will go for me! I am a rooster born in 1969 and they say 2020 is going to be my year! I also learned on another test that I am a type 2 on my enneagram test which means I am a supportive advisor...so I guess that means I am going to help my teacher friends a lot this new year! So let's get started!

I have a bit of time right now to plan for Thursday, back to school. I thought I would share some New Year STEM ideas to get you ready for the new year!

New Year STEM Idea 1: Confetti Thrower/Popper

Suggested Materials: 
  • balloons
  • toilet paper tubes/cups
  • rubber bands
  • little papers for their resolutions
  • things to decorate the tubes such as markers, stickers, pompoms...

Book Connection: Squirrel's New Year's Resolution

Big Idea:

Students can build shooters in order to fling their resolutions to a circle, where each resolution gets picked up by someone else and read out loud. This gives them an audience and gives others great ideas for the new year!

New Year STEM Idea 2: Ball Drop

Suggested Materials:

  • different types of paper
  • string/yarn/fish line
  • cardboard tubes
  • binder clips/paper clips
  • dowels/rulers
  • tape, scissors, glue
  • variety of small balls or have them create their own
Big Idea:

Teams create a new year's eve ball drop after learning about the history of the ball drop. This is also a perfect time to talk about traditions in your classroom after students come back from a break and often have just participated in a tradition. 

Video Connection:

New Year STEM Activity 3: Noise Makers

Suggested Materials:
  • rice/dried beans/popcorn
  • toilet paper rolls
  • popsicle sticks
  • egg cartons
  • plastic spoons
  • paper
  • glue/tape/markers/crayons
Big Idea:

Sound science lessons can fit nicely here. Each student creates a noise maker using the supplies set out after generating a list of instruments they use in music class or have seen being played. 

Book Connection:

A great book that shows all of the cultural celebrations that New Year's brings. I use black-eyed peas to signify good luck like the book!

New Year STEM Activity 4: New Year Hat


I will only let them use paper and glue this year...last year we used way too many pipe cleaners! You have to say we all can learn! I think they are amazing out of pipe cleaners though...your call.

Big Idea:

I teach cycles and patterns in our universe for a science lesson. This is a great book to talk about new beginnings and about how cycles of events continue to come and go. This book can be read all year long!

Book Connection:

All of these ideas can be found all in one place! Grab the New Year STEM pack this week for a great hands on way to add science and STEM to your first week back! 
My whole store will be on sale to ring in the new year from January 31st-January 1st! Perfect time to get it on sale and to also grab the Chinese New Year Pack for January 25th!


Cranberry Ideas For Science and STEM Fall Lessons

It's fall and cranberries are being harvested here in Wisconsin! November brings to the stores those amazing tart berries which are perfect for connecting science and STEM. Here are some great connections for you and your students!

STEM Activity #1: Cranberry Towers

Cranberry towers are perfect for reviewing measurement as they try to build the tallest towers. All you need are fresh cranberries and toothpicks. I also use cranberries and toothpicks with kindergartners to review shapes.

STEM Activity #2: Cranberry Bog Boats

One of the NGSS focuses is to make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and into a new object. This is a perfect opportunity to use the cranberries and the toothpicks again. We design and build bog boats...yes bog because that is where the berries grow and are harvested. This is perfect for connecting a bit of cranberry information.

We use the following video to connect our boats and find that not all boats will float. We then make observations and gather evidence as to what floats best. (it also gives some really great information about the plant and we tie it into native american lessons along with pemmican which was eaten by Wisconsin First Nations)

Science Idea #1: Sink or Float for Littles and Bigs

First off, our students eat craisins at breakfast fairly often, so I figured when I showed them a cranberry they might know immediately what I was holding...was I wrong. Here, we live in a state that produces more cranberries than everyone and our students don't know what this native fruit is. I heard grapes and raspberries, but not one said cranberry. We predicted what would happen if we put them in water, then I demonstrated. We then opened them up to see why they floated. They have air pockets! We then tried a variety of different fruits and vegetables to test their buoyancy .  This concept is great for any age! Cranberries can be a perfect fall springboard!

Science Idea #2: Cranberry Juice and Chemical Reactions 

I found this video a few years back and I have been using it every year during our FOSS Mixtures and Solutions Unit every year since. Using Cranberry juice as well as vinegar and lemon juice can create a perfect activity to talk about acids and bases. 

Want to find all of these activities along with sheets, links, record sheets, lesson plans and more engaging cranberry Science and STEM ideas? Find everything you need HERE!
Just in time for that Thanksgiving week lessons...both fun, engaging, and educational!

Those of you with free educator EPIC book subscriptions, the book Cranberry (Watch It Grow) is perfect for your lesson as well! Happy Thanksgiving!
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Day of the Dead Traditions and STEAM Connections

This year, our school is focused on finding ways to celebrate our diverse cultures at my city school. Out of our 300+ students we have a large Hmong and Hispanic population, as well as African American and Native American students as well! I love the rich diversity that our school represents in our district, which mind you is the absolute opposite at my country school. This is what makes our district so unique. This is what makes my job so unique!

In my after school STEM club, it allows me to find creative ways to celebrate the variety of traditions that our students celebrate! Each week, I have focused on a new tradition that came from our survey that we asked students and families at the beginning of the year. From pumpkin patches and corn mazes which traditionally are visited in our town, to finishing up with the Hmong New Year in November we are finding ways to bring in ways to show how we are all the same...yet we are all different.

This week, we are celebrating Dia De Los Muertos in STEM club! We created tables and marigolds.
The tables were made simply from blocks, Jenga, 10's sticks, and tongue depressors. We created tissue paper marigolds and learned through a great video that that reminded us of the movie Coco! This is a great springboard to share this tradition with your students.
Grab the Day of the Dead STEAM Pack to add a little tradition and cultural diversity to your school day!

This week...$2.00 for four STEAM Stations! Find the Day of the Dead STEAM pack here!
Enjoy your October traditions!
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STEM St. Patrick's Day Stations

It is finally March. I sure hope the snow starts to melt. We have over 30 inches of snow so spring can't come too soon! I am teaching an after school STEM class and one of my favorite times to teach this is right around ST. Patrick's Day where we can win with some hands-on pot-o-gold activities.

The first activity that we do is the Somewhere Over The Rainbow catapults! Giving my students the tongue depressors, rubber bands, and Yellow Pompoms along with rainbow patterns that they have to catapult over is a great "croquet" like game that becomes a fun competition.

The second activity that we love to do is the Pot-O-Gold Wall Maze. We give them toilet paper tubes, Paper towel tubes, and masking tape along with yellow pompoms and a cup with a pot-o-gold pattern / or pots of gold from the Dollar Store.

Pot-O-Gold Fun with Toilet paper tubes!
The fun part about this activity is that they get so excited to compete against other teams to see who can get to the pot of gold first. I always throw in they have to use the same amount of tubes as well as so many turns or changes of direction (usually 2-3) depending on the grade level.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow!

Up, Up Panda Away with pulleys!

With my older students I like to have them make pulley systems called Up Up Panda Way...our little St. Patrick's Day Panda's love the free ride...while the littles love to make Leprechaun hats to take home!

Shamrock Shakes in progress!

Ready to shake it up!
The finale...Shamrock Shakes! We make instruments and then play them along with a fun Irish jig! The kids love to dance along to it as well! Here is one of the jigs we play along to! Irish Jig found HERE!

Time for you to create some shenanigans with your students! Join the fun by developing STEM students with STEM-velops in envelopes, folders, packs, buckets...FIND the St. Patrick's Day Activities Today HERE!

Time For St. Patrick's Day Fun for everyone! Happy March, Friends! I hope you find your pot of gold!

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Learning With Pumpkins

I just love this time of year, when the outdoors can come indoors! I know not everyone might have a school garden, but our pumpkins are ready to pick and we are ready in science to do some pumpkin integration!

Pumpkins are a great way to tie everything together! Grab one of the many amazing pumpkin themed books, I love to start with non-fiction to tie in the pumpkin life cycle, then we start with our many stations!

Here are ways to use pumpkins in each one of your disciplines!


1. Does a pumpkin sink or float?
2. Life Cycles and Pumpkins
3. Labeling parts of a pumpkin
4. How pumpkins are grown and harvested


1. What is the circumference of a pumpkin?
2. How much does a pumpkin weigh?
3. Pumpkin graphing such as your favorite pumpkin food, or try a food and vote

4. Counting pumpkin seeds and ribs of a pumpkin
5. Pumpkin shapes


1. Pumpkin song connections:  listen to Spookley The Square Pumpkin song and write about point of view or compassion
2. Write the steps to planting and harvesting a pumpkin
3. Write about the life cycle of a pumpkin
4. Write about what the five senses and the pumpkin inside and outside


1. Pick a great book to read to your class that can connect any of the above ideas such as From Seed to Pumpkin
2. Let students share the stories that they wrote in the writing center with each other or in an app on an iPad.

Here are a few of my favorite read alouds:

This is the PERFECT time to bring the outdoors into the classroom! Read and write about pumpkins and investigate them inside and out! This post is full of book suggestions and ideas for pumpkin math activities that you can easily do with the students in your classroom.
Math: Weight, Height, and Circumference

This is the PERFECT time to bring the outdoors into the classroom! Read and write about pumpkins and investigate them inside and out! This post is full of book suggestions and ideas for pumpkin math activities that you can easily do with the students in your classroom.
Time to Count Pumpkin Seeds

Image result for pumpkin picture books
Time to Learn about Life Cycles From Seed To Pumpkin

Image result for pumpkin picture books
Another great book on the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin

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I have used this one, too! Pumpkin, Pumpkin!

Let's not forget to add some STEM!

1. Build a fence for 10 Little Pumpkins
2. Pumpkin Catapults
3. Pumpkin picker upper with pumpkin candy
4. Pumpkin Bowling 
5. Pumpkin Elevator
If you want to save some time, I have also created a few new Pumpkin Themed Packs that I will be using this month for my own Science integrated lessons!

Want some pumpkin ideas for this week? Check out these pumpkin themed packs for your pumpkin themed lessons this week HERE!

Time for your little pumpkins to have some science fun!



ST. Patrick's Day STEM Stations

As my kids were growing up, the leprechaun visited our house every year! He would turn our milk green or even our toilet water. He would sprinkle green glitter in our hair as we slept. He would leave a mess in our room with remnants of his trickery! I love having kids learn about another culture, other traditions, even have a little o' fun in Science as well as STEM club!

 I am so in love with this new STEM Pack. I was trying hard to find ways to keep my STEM station supplies all in one spot and not have to purchase something for it. So when I saw a box of Manila envelopes in the office I needed to figure out how to utilize them in my organization.

So now it's time to find ways to utilize them...meaning new STEM stations! Some of my favorites yet!

Why am I so excited about them? Well...

  • They include activities that can be used within other science concepts such as motion and simple machines.
  • The materials are easy to find and affordable! 
  • This pack can be used with primary and intermediate classrooms because the sheets for each station are differentiated!
  • All the sheets you will need are included: Teacher set up and materials list, stduetn materials list, student guided questions, primary and intermediate record sheets...all in one pack.
  • It reinforces teamwork and problem solving!
What STEM Stations are included?


  • tubes
  • masking tape
  • pom poms
  • pot o gold or cup with pattern for catching the pom poms
We made a game out of it. Each group competed to see who could get four pom poms in the cup fastest. If it missed the cup they had to keep trying! We discussed inclined planes as each group had to have three bends in the maze!


  • cups
  • masking tape
  • egg cartons
  • spoons
  • tongue drepessors
  • bowls and plates
  • beans, popcorn kernels, rice  (something to fill it to make noise
  • any other items you can think of to make an instrument...a shaker (WE CALL THESE SHAMROCK SHAKES!)
They had to create a Shamrock Shake that could add to our band! We talked about sound energy along with volume, vibrations, pitch. Another great way to add a science concept!


  • cups (we used Styrofoam)
  • spoons
  • masking tape 
  • pom poms
  • rainbow pattern
They made this into a game as well! We put each rainbow on a different rainbow color. They had to hop over each color in order of the rainbow and at the end they had to get their pom pom into a pot o gold! We talked about rainbows and their colors. We added the milk and Skittles, water and Skittles  and Mt Dew and Skittles activity to see how colors blend! Here is the idea for a Variable lesson...

This week, we also created pulleys.


  • tubes
  • rulers
  • string
  • empty school milk cartons/ cups for riders
  • you can give them binder clips, big paper clips...for a harness (these are my littles so I didn't)
We discussed simple machines and pulleys. We also with my littles talked about push and pull and motion. We discussed friction as we figured out what would support our pulley better at the top!

Next week, we will continue more engaging March themed STEM activities and Science connections so stay tuned. You might be lucky with more easy and engaging ideas you can use this ST. Patrick's Day...until then sign up for my newsletter and in your in box you will get a ST. Patrick's Day freebie!

Want all of the supply lists, differentiated sheets, teacher guide? Here is the complete set! Follow the link for this STEM Velope Pack!!
Give it a pin if you want to remember the activities...or try it out in your inbox with a free language arts connection activity STEM -Velope Style! 

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