young student working on a STEM project

Science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively known as STEM, are four subjects that are essential for students to learn to be successful in the modern world. STEM activities build critical thinking skills, relate classroom lessons to the real world, and spark creativity. STEM has become a central focus for many schools, with teachers working hard to incorporate STEM elements into their curricula. This is a great move, since the Department of Defense states that over 80% of jobs over the next decade will require STEM-related skills. To help you get a jump start on your STEM planning for your class, here are 5 fun STEM activities for students of all ages:

1. Balloon Car Race

Teach students about the laws of physics and motion with a competitive balloon car race. Have each student grab a balloon, an empty plastic bottle, four bottle caps, a few straws, and some tape. Build the cars according to these instructions, then have students compete against each other for whose car will go the farthest.

2. Pizza Box Solar Oven

Teach students to use items they have on hand to build this easy solar oven out of a pizza box. All you’ll need is the pizza box, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, glue, tape, and a utility knife. Follow these instructions to build the pizza box solar oven, then head outside with some good things to eat (we recommend s’mores!). This activity works much better on a warm, sunny day.

3. Volcano

A volcano is a classic STEM activity that is sure to wow any classroom. However, the classic science fair volcano takes a while to put together, so try these lemon volcanoes instead! The acidic lemon juice inside the lemons takes the place of the vinegar in a traditional volcano, allowing each student to create their own mini volcano! Just grab some baking soda, food coloring, and tools to scoop out the lemons and you’re ready for an explosive STEM lesson!

4. Catapult

Every kid loves a catapult, a fact proven by the popularity of the handheld catapult (aka a slingshot). All you’ll need for this fun STEM activity is various sizes of craft sticks, rubber bands, and a box cutter…plus some items for testing. Let each student create their own mini catapult using these instructions, then watch your head as they test their creations! Make it a competition and see which student’s catapult will throw a small item the farthest, such as balls or an eraser (be sure to instruct students to not catapult anything hard or heavy at their classmates!)

5. Lava Lamp

Grab some empty jars or bottles, food coloring, Alka-seltzer tablets, water, and oil for these fun STEM experiment creating mini lava lamps. Give each student their own jar or bottle, then have them follow these instructions to create these psychedelic visual wonders. You’ll also need access to hot water and a refrigerator or freezer to make this experiment work.

Let Students’ Creativity Flourish with Fun STEM Activities

These five activities are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun ways to teach STEM principles in the classroom. For more STEM activities organized by grade level check out the Science Buddies site. Many of the supplies you’ll need to make these STEM experiments happen can be found at GEDDES, America’s premier wholesale supplier of school supplies, novelty toys, and more. Check out our catalogs, shop our online store, or contact us at 888-431-1722 for more information.