Classroom Projects - STEM Projects
A simple experiment - one of my favorites!
Peeled or Unpeeled Orange - Sink or Float!
Take a clear Bowl, tall glass or a Pitcher for this experiment. You will need Water and 2 oranges – one of them peeled (make sure its still a whole orange).
Fill the bowl/glass with water. Put the peeled orange, kids observe it will sink. Now, put the other orange (the unpeeled one), the kids observe it will float.
Reason: The rind(peel) of the orange has tiny air pores which help it give a lower density then water, and hence it floats.
Remove the rind (peel) from the orange, the fruit of the orange is denser than water and as a result making it sink.
Now, place only the rind( the orange peel) in the water and observe will it sink or float? Yes, it will float.
Kids maybe young to understand this concept of density– but an early exposure with this simple experiments creates a picture memory and the logical reasoning can be enhanced as they grow.
What is Density? Density is the mass of an object relative to its volume. Objects with a lot of matter in a certain volume have a high density, while objects with a small amount of matter in the same volume have a low density.
Also read comments below from supermom @Kamya Krishnakumar where she beautifully explains this concept of Sink and Float with the life jacket analogy.
Ideas from the class of Teacher Rindala!
You love lego, magna tiles , blocks anything building ...........you are going to love this... ICE building blocks. Yes, you read it right "ICE" .. really I mean the cool frozen water from your freezer. Presenting you todays Activity - Ice building Blocks.
Ice building blocks - the fascinating world of ice and salt.
Materials Required: Ice and Salt. Flashlight (optional)
A fun experiment for young kids to make ice cubes into building blocks by using salt as the glue. Take an ice cube, sprinkle some salt and stick another ice cube. Kids can build small ice structures with this super fun project. Sensory play , fun learning project for all ages.
Link to the Video Demo :https://www.facebook.com/kajal.dharod/videos/10156327950306005/
I am thrilled to present todays activity "Ice Pearls". Its a Stem project but serene! Learn science with this very calming hands on project.
Ice Pearls or as my kids call it bubbles in the jar
Materials Required: Ice and Oil. Food colors (optional)
Discuss the only similarity between oil and ice with the kids- both are slippery.
Put some oil in a clear glass/ jar.
The science before you start the experiment - you may already know that when you pour water in the oil it will sink to the bottom. Oil and water do not mix. Oil is known as hydrophobic, meaning that it repels water.
Why does the water sink , because the density of water is higher than the oil.. but a fun fact - The density of ice is lesser than the density of water and oil. Thus, when you put ice into water or in this experiment into the oil, the ice will float.
Begin the experiment - Ask the kids to gently place one medium sized ice cube in the oil jar/glass. The ice will float. As the ice starts to melt, water droplets which look like ice pearls will slowly form and drop to the bottom of the jar and start collecting there. This is the stage when the kids start seeing ice pearls in the jar.
The process of melting ice and forming water droplets is beautiful and calming for the kids to watch. Excite them as they observe, they can count the pearls(or bubbles formed) collected or sometimes they pop as they settle down. Add one or 2 additional cubes to make it more fun. Optionally you can add food coloring to the ice to see a colored ice pearl.
At the end of the experiment after all the ice has melted - you can see the water on the bottom and oil on the top. Also the glass will be cold/frosty on touch.
Do watch our home activity video for this experiment and share yours when you take up this project!
(Idea inspiration from class of teacher Rindala)
I also tried an additional experiment by reversing the process by putting the glass of oil and water in the freezer. As the water began to freeze, the ice did not float back up as the surface tension of the water was strong enough, and the Ice was trapped in the bottom. Slowly it froze to the side of the glass. When I took it out from the freezer after almost a day the glass was frosty. The oil froze at some point too. I left it out on the countertop and slowly the ice started melting and pieces staring floating up again. Slowly the clear view of the oil floating on top of the water was visible again.
Ingredients - baking soda, vinegar and dish soap, optional - colors and glitter
In a small jar - take baking soda, add some glitter and color, add a few drops of dish liquid soap.
Slowly add vinegar and see the solution brewing , when brewing stops , add more vinegar to continue the brewing process , try more jars with different colors with your little wizards..
Baking soda experiments are great to introduce chemical reactions to kids, baking soda is alkaline and reacts with acids like vinegar, releasing fizzy carbon dioxide and water . Combine with dish soap to slow down the fizz and make more bubbles giving it a slow brewing effect.
Idea inspirations from the class of Teacher Rindala!
Materials - Water, Oil and Alka Seltzer (effervescent tablets/ look for ENO tablets as an alternative)
Suggestion - if you do not effervescent tablets handy, you can use a few spoons of regular salt - the reaction maybe slower but it will still work.
In a tall glass or jar, add 2/3 water and add a few drops of food coloring.
Pour oil on the top, leave some space on the top of the glass for the bubbles to fizz so it does not drip out.
Now, add the Alka Seltzer tablet, the effect will continue for some time, when it settles, repeat.
Explore colors of shadows - discuss transparent, translucent and opaque concepts with this fun experiment.
Take a cardboard pipe (tissue/toilet paper roll) or any cardboard sheet , punch in 3/4 holes. Take pipe cleaners and make branches of the tree and then attach colorful cellophane leaves. Explore colorful shadows as you soak in some fun sun.
Yes, shadows can be colorful !
Idea inspiration from the class of teacher Rindala.
Let’s be an Engineer - Structured STEM Playtime.
Imagine. Plan. Execute
STEM Play - Structured playtime for kids
Have blocks, legos, Magna tiles or any building blocks at home/classroom?
“Let’s be an Engineer” - is a fun way for the kids to pretend to be an engineer and follow the 3 step Stem approach - Imagine, Plan and Execute .
Step 1: Imagine - Ask the kids to first imagine what they’d like to build with the blocks and talk about it. Ask the kids to reason their choices.
After a quick discussion and showing them the the blocks, my daughter decided she wanted to make a castle, and my son a plane.
Step 2: Plan - the kids make a blueprint/plan of the structure they have imagined. The number of blocks they will use , colors or sizes any any other specification. You can help the kids draw it out for the first few times till they get the concept.
the blocks in the classroom were different sizes - so we coded them S, M, B (small medium and big)
Step 3: Execute - the kids get to work. They have the plan in front of them and they build based on the planned design
This structured process is a great skill acquisition for the kids as they get more hands on and work on school projects or other creative imaginations. It helps them pen their thought process and gather focus to execute their constructive ideas.
Simple and enriching ideas from the class of Teacher Rindala.