There’s no better way to help children develop an interest and passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) than to encourage hands-on experiences that engage their natural curiosity.
The summer months provide the perfect time for kids to get outside and explore, so we’ve put together a few screen-free ways to get active, dive into STEM and make some exiting discoveries outdoors.
1. Start a Coffee Compost
Did you know that used coffee grounds are an ideal ingredient to use when making a compost pile? Because they are about 2% nitrogen by volume, when combined with other organic materials like food scraps, leaves and grass clippings, coffee grounds can help create soil that flowers and plants thrive in. With this eco-friendly STEM activity, your child can create a designated compost area where they can pour each morning’s coffee grounds, along with equal amounts of other organic ingredients. By regularly mixing the compost pile over the course of a month, they’ll end up with a natural fertilizer they can use to grow flowers and other plants around your home!
2. Become a Geology Detective
This STEM activity challenges kids to explore their own backyard or go to their local park to collect three different types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Equipped with a bucket, gardening gloves and a shovel to help with excavating, your child can gather their samples and then determine the different types of rocks they have found. If they want to take their analysis even further, all they need is white distilled vinegar to discover which of their samples might include limestone! Because limestone rocks contain calcium carbonate (often from the remains of marine fossils), when they make contact with white vinegar (acetic acid), a chemical reaction occurs and produces carbon dioxide. If bubbles begin to form on the surface of your child’s rock after pouring vinegar on it, they’ll know they have found a rock that contains limestone!
3. Join an Adventure at Camp Invention
Filled with action-packed STEM activities and opportunities for outdoor fun, Camp Invention® is an inspiring summer camp for young innovators. Led by certified educators, Camp Invention has provided millions of kids across the country with safe and exciting experiences for more than 30 years.
With this year’s all-new program, Recharge, your child can take apart their very own wireless microphone, design a rubber duck-launching device, build solar-powered crickets and prototype a vehicle that traverses any type of terrain. These hands-on activities offer so much fun, your child won’t even realize how much they’re learning! Reserve your spot for an in-person or at-home Camp Invention program today.
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For more ideas on how to bring screen-free STEM learning outdoors this summer, we invite you to visit our blog.