It's almost Valentine's Day. Children will be celebrating the holiday making valentines, designing card boxes, and enjoying a party either at school or at home. Below are some of our STEM favorites to help moms and dads plan a fun Valentine's Day STEM party.
We suggest using four stations and have the children move around to each one in 10-15 minute increments.
1. Conversation Hearts Experiment (Science) You will need: Conversation hearts, water, vinegar, salt water, coke, clear cups, spoons, and prediction charts. Children place the conversation hearts in the cups containing the four liquids. First, have them predict what will happen to the candy. Then as a group discuss their observations. Finally, review the predictions and write down what actually happened.
2. QR code Hunt (Technology) You will need: A QR code creator/reader, Smart Phone, and questions you would like to ask. QR codes allow you to design your own questions. Parents can create riddles, math problems, and or customize the questions for the group. If you don't have a QR code creator/reader you can download a free QR code creator/reader app to get started.
3. Design Cupid's Bow (Engineering) You will need: heavy duty plastic spoons, masking tape, string, 10 paper cups, and unsharpened pencils to use as the arrows. First, place the bowls of the spoons on top of one another with the handles pointing outward and tape the spoons together. Second, tape the string to the handles of the spoon (make sure it is tight). Next, set up your cups as a target. Finally, Insert the unsharpened pencil into your bow and aim for the cups. Other supplies can be used to modify the bow design after the first few attempts at hitting the target.
4. Valentine Measuring Art (Math) You will need: Construction paper, pencil, string, glue, tape, scissors, and markers. Cut a long piece of string and measure it in cm. Children will be designing their picture without cutting the string. Begin by sketching a pattern on the construction paper for the string to follow. Second, add glue and place the string on the pattern. Third, cut a small window on the paper. Then you will need to tape a small piece of paper behind the window, to write down the amount of string used in the art piece (then close it). Finally, add the title, "Can you predict how many cm of string was used?"
Do you have a favorite Valentine's Day STEM activity? We would love to hear about it. Share it with us in the comments below.
Delia Bayna, M.Ed. is an K-8 educator and frequently provides professional development opportunities for K-8 teachers state-wide.