Just because children are out of school during spring break does not mean that their passion and interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) need to be put on hold. In fact, time spent outside of the classroom provides families with a valuable opportunity to use hands-on activities to explore these topics in exciting new ways.
Thanks to the hard work of our expert education team, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) regularly publishes STEM activities that encourage students to pursue their innovative dreams. Read below for a collection of activities that encourage outside-the-box thinking!
Inspired by the work of NIHF Inductee George de Mestral, who based his design of VELCRO® on elements he found in nature, this activity encourages children to think about the outside world in an entirely new way. Using a magnifying glass to observe a bird feather up close, participants will brainstorm ways to use natural elements in their design process. Using recycled materials from around the house, children take their ideas and transform them into prototypes.
Perfect for a rainy day, this activity invites children to reinvent one of their favorite games or create a brand new one! Using STEM themes to enhance their experience, they will brainstorm and design a prototype of the game using crafting materials, and then have their friends and family test it out. Because invention is always an interactive process, the games that your child creates can always be changed and improved over time.
In this hands-on STEM activity, participants are invited to put their design thinking and creative problem-solving skills to work and build their very own shoe out of Duck Tape®. By following just a few easy steps, your child will create a functional Duck Tape shoe that they can wear and improve on over time. Perhaps they would like to add a secret compartment to their shoe? Maybe they could even add wings — the possibilities are endless.
Great as either an indoor or outdoor activity, here children design personalized fishing rods in order to catch fish using magnets. Inspired by the work of NIHF Inductee Percy Spencer, who discovered a more efficient way to manufacture magnetrons, participants will explore the science of magnets in an interactive game setting. Because the STEM disciplines encourage continuous improvement, throughout this game, children will continue making their fishing rods better using experimentation.
Check out all our STEM activities
For a full selection of our interactive STEM activities, we invite you to check out our blog. We also encourage you to share the fun you have with these activities on our Camp Invention® Facebook page.