As we head into a much-needed summer break, it’s more important than ever to celebrate and have a little fun. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Camp Invention®, our flagship summer education program, we’re sharing two hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities that you can use for your own celebrations.
Designed by our expert education team, these activities inspire creative thinking and allow children to cultivate their interest in STEM-related subjects. They’ll have so much fun, they might not even realize they’re learning!
In this hands-on STEM activity, children use the acid-base reaction produced by combining vinegar and baking soda to inflate balloons. Children will explore the properties of carbon dioxide-filled balloons and compare them with balloons filled with the gas mixture from our breath. In this way, children can observe the properties of science firsthand and use the balloons they create to celebrate their discoveries.
In this delicious activity, children make their very own bag of ice cream. First, they will fill a bag with heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and their choice of flavor add-ins. Then they’ll place it inside a bag of salt and ice to see the power of chemistry at work! Because liquids conduct heat more efficiently than solids, super-chilled ice water is able to lower the temperature of the sugary milk and cream faster than ice alone. This process transforms the mixture into a solid, creamy treat for everyone to enjoy.
Turn this STEM activity into a party game by having children throw a karaoke celebration. Made possible by National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees Gerhard Sessler and Jim West’s invention of the electret microphone, participants record themselves singing their favorite songs using a smartphone or karaoke machine. Then they design new ways to make use of Sessler and West’s invention and discover the fun of upcycling as they create and share prototypes of their ideas.
Check out many more STEM activities
For more hands-on STEM activities, we invite you to visit our blog. We also encourage you to check out our brand new at-home learning resources page for more activities your child can enjoy.