By: Ayzia Johnson
With all of the noise makers and banging pots and pans to ring in the new year, add this sound experiment into the mix! Using materials you can find right at home, you can experience the science of sound waves!
You will need:
One metal teaspoon
One metal serving spoon
4 feet of yarn
Wooden or heavy plastic ruler
Lets try it!
Make a loop in the center of the length of yarn. Insert the end of one spoon and pull the yarn tight. There should be a loose knot around the handle of the spoon.
Wrap the ends of the string around your pointer fingers. Hold the string up to your ears.
Have your friend hit the round part of the spoon using the ruler. Listen to the noise traveling through the string to your ears! Is it loud? Soft? Does it sound like a bell? Or a gong? Is the pitch high or low?
Repeat all three steps with both sizes of spoons and compare the sound that they each produce!
Every time you hear a sound, there are sound waves traveling through the air, or through a string, until it reaches your ears. This experiment demonstrates the way that sound can travel through a material straight to your ear.
Join us at The STEM Shoppe this year for fun science, engineering, technology and math! Learn more and have a great time with us!
There are so many fun science experiments you can do at home! Check these 8 safety rules so that you can stay safe and have fun while you learn something new.
1. Adult Supervision
When doing any experiment at home, it is important to have adult supervision. Many experiments involve household chemicals or the stove top. Always ask an adult to help you find and use chemicals for an experiment, and never use the stove top without an adult present.
2. Appropriate Clothing
Just like in a real laboratory, it is important to wear safe clothes while experimenting at home. Loose clothing that could catch on fire or get in the way of an experiment can be a hazard. Wear an outfit that fits you well. Wearing closed toed shoes and tying back long hair will also help to keep you safe as you experiment.
3. Protective Gear
For some experiments, you must wear protective gear. Whenever you experiment with chemicals or mixing, it is important to protect your eyes and skin. Safety goggles, gloves, and a lab coat or apron can be worn to keep you safe.
4. Follow the Instructions
Doing a science experiment can be fun and creative, but it is important to find and follow a set of general instructions to help you stay safe. Read the important information about the materials and procedure carefully before you begin your experiment. Following the instructions will help to keep you safe and out of trouble while experimenting.
5. Pay Attention
Experiments requires a lot of focus. When you are doing an experiment at home, you must pay attention to what you are doing and what is happening around you. This is important to avoid an accident. Always be aware of the objects sitting on your work space, and of the people you are working with.
6. Measure Carefully
When experimenting with varying amounts of materials, measuring carefully can help you stay safe and get better results. Use a standardized measuring container and check twice to ensure you are using the correct amount.
7. Avoid Horseplay
It is fun to run around and be wild, but not during an experiment. Stay safe by being careful to walk, not run, and to keep your hands to yourself. Avoid horseplay and running so that you can also avoid spills and injuries.
8. Clean Surfaces
Start with a clean surface before you do an experiment. Keep your workspace clean and not over crowded. Making a mess during an experiment could result in an injury. Clean up spills as soon as they happen, and remember to clean up and put everything back in it’s place when you are done with the experiment.
Remember these 8 Safety Rules every time you do an experiment. Let us know what experiments you like to do at home! Learn more about experimenting with us at The STEM Shoppe by visiting our website at www.TheStemShoppe.com.
At the STEM shoppe, we love neat STEM tools that help us learn about technology, engineering, science and mathematics! Using a variety of resources to engage in learning helps to make STEM so much fun! What is your favorite STEM tool?
Dash and Dot
If you have been to the STEM shoppe, you have met our blue friends, Dash and Dot! These adorable robots are an incredible STEM tool! Dash and Dot are interactive, friendly robots with fun and challenging software. Learning with Dash and Dot is never dull as you experiment with the fascinating features and exciting adventures. These amazing STEM robots help you improve hand eye coordination, and learn how to program.
Another amazing STEM tool we love at the STEM shoppe is the Arduino microcontroller. This tiny, powerful microcontroller combines computer programing skills with electric circuits; bringing a computer code to life. With the Arduino microcontroller, you can learn how to code a lightbulb to blink or a robot’s wheels to whir. The possibilities are endless with this neat technology.
Van de Graaff Generator
Have you ever heard of a Van de Graaff Generator? This amazing STEM tool harnesses the power of static electricity! This hands-on learning devices helps you learn incredible principles about energy fields, lightning, and static attractive and repulsive forces. And you may end up with a wild hairdo!
3D printing is revolutionizing the way products are being designed and manufactured. This new technology is one of our favorite STEM tool at The STEM Shoppe. Engineering a design for a 3D printer incorporates computer software, problem solving redesigns, and many aspects of the engineering process. Learn about toy design, manufacturing, and bring your ideas to life with a 3D printer.
What makes an iPad an amazing STEM tool? The hand held, touch screen technology of a tablet opens worlds of possibilities for young learners. We love using iPads at The STEM Shoppe as a resource for research, learning software, and hands on application of technology. Tablets of any type are a valuable learning tool that can even be used at home! Educational apps make learning engaging, versatile, and so much fun!
Join us at The STEM Shoppe for fun with these 5 amazing STEM tools. Learn more about our classes, special events, and how to register at www.TheStemShoppe.com
From a very early age, kids are naturally curious about their surroundings. This curiosity is evident in the wide eyes of an infant trying to take in everything they see, the never-ending questions from a toddler, and the passion a young child discovers for a favorite animal, or subject in school. As parents, it is important to recognize and engage this curiosity. Encouraging curiosity will strengthen your child’s problem solving skills and help them to succeed as they continue their education throughout their lives. Here are a few tips to help you engage your kid’s curiosity.
Don’t Answer Immediately
This first secret to engaging your kids may seem contrary to helping your child learn. However, answering a question they ask quickly and directly will shut down curiosity. This question that has peeked your child’s interest will be forgotten or dismissed if they are spoon fed an answer. Instead, try responding to questions in a way that encourages them to continue to ponder and problem solve for them self. Such a response might be “That is a good question. What do you think?” or “Hmmm, good question, let’s talk about it. We can figure out the answer together.” Answering their simple, or complex, questions in this way may require more patience on your part, but will ultimately benefit your child’s ability to learn.
Read with Them
Engage your child’s curiosity by exposing them to new worlds, adventures, and possibilities that can be found in books. As you read, encourage your kid to ask questions during the story. Talking about the events in a story will not only improve your child’s listening comprehension, but it will also help them to be engaged in and curious about the book. This strategy will lead to a lifelong love of books, and an increase in curiosity.
Ask Stimulating Questions
Another great way to engage your kid’s curiosity is to ask them questions! If your little ones get bored during a long drive, engage them in conversation. Try asking them questions about their surroundings, their favorite characters in a book or movie they read or watched recently, or their favorite things. Encouraging your child to think things through and answer stimulating questions will build curiosity for a subject, and teach them to articulate their thoughts and feelings. The ability to think critically and articulate thoughts are invaluable skills that will benefit your child in their future in many ways.
When curious children are asking questions about the physical world, it is never to early to introduce the engineering process! Occasionally, engage your kid’s curiosity by helping them take their question and turn it into an experiment. Form a hypothesis, do some research, and come up with a way to test it out and make a discovery! This hands-on way of engaging your kid’s curiosity will encourage them to keep asking questions, and give them the resources and abilities to find answers.
Go to a Museum
Putting your kid in an environment where they will see and experience new and different things will stimulate and engage their curiosity. A trip to a museum can be a memorable way to get your child thinking about the world around them. Plan to visit Utah’s Museum of Natural History or the Clark Planetarium with your kids. The exciting exhibits are thought provoking and a lot of fun.
Visit the Library
Engage your kid’s curiosity by taking them to the library. Books for children of all ages are a great resource for learning something new. Doing research or reading a fun book is a great way to satisfy curiosity. A trip to the library is a great way to expound upon a child’s curiosity, and to encourage them to keep learning.
A great way to keep your curious child engaged is to send them outside. There is nothing like playing with a friend or alone with nothing but the surroundings to entertain to encourage curiosity and creativity. Imaginative play encourages children to think outside of the box, entertain wild ideas and possibilities, and explore curiosity. Encouraging your kid to play in this way will help them to develop their creativity and engage their curiosity.
Another way to encourage creativity as a method of engaging curiosity is through art. Whether your child likes to doodle with a crayon, sculpt with play dough, finger paint, make up a dance or sing a song, supporting your kid’s exploration of art will help them think about the world in different ways. Expose your child to art work and ask them what they see, or how it makes them feel. Conversations about art will engage your kid’s curiosity and get them to think about things in a new way. Exploring their curiosity through creating art will boost creativity and problem solving skills.
Child-like curiosity about the world around them may prompt creative or silly stories. For example, if your child found an oddly shaped rock while walking through a park, encourage them to think about why a rock would be shaped that way or make up a story about the rock’s “Adventures in the Park”. Permission to tell a story, fictitious or otherwise, will engage a child’s curiosity and encourage them to be curious about the world around them.
It is important to remember to celebrate the little things in your child’s curiosity, learning, and discoveries. Celebrate with your child when they make a new discovery, or when their curiosity is rewarded by thinking critically. Moments of positive reinforcement will strengthen your kid’s desire to learn more, and encourage them to engage their curiosity their whole life.
At The STEM Shoppe we engage a child’s curiosity and encourage them to be curious about the world around them.
Sneaky ways to get kids to read!
Encouraging children to read can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. It can be tempting to put reading on a chore chart or reward children with prizes after they read a certain amount. However, these tactics may reinforce the idea that reading is a daunting task that must be completed before they can watch T.V. or play outside with their friends. Instead, try some of these tips to get your little one reading!
Young children love asking questions and when they find something interesting, they may want to learn more! No matter what age your child is, take advantage of this curiosity and take a trip to the library. If your kid is fascinated with bugs, they will love reading Bob Barner’s book Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! or Smithsonian Little Explorer book Insects by Martha E. H. Rustad with you. A book about an interesting subject and one on one time with Mom, Dad or an older sibling will help your child associate reading with positive experiences, and motivate them to want to learn to read on their own.
Bring Books to Life
Another sneaky way to encourage kids to love reading is to plan activities or experiments based off of the stories in books that you can do together. Reading a story like Magic School Bus: The Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake, A Book about Kitchen Chemistry by Joanna Cole and Linda Ward Beech and baking a cake together while discussing what they learned in the story! A science experiment with slime at home is a fun and unforgettable learning opportunity. Read The Slime Wars, written by Debbie Dadey and experiment with different slime recipes to have fun with reading and science.
Read Before Bed
Send kids to bed with books they love! Fun science fiction books like Aliens Love Underpants, Galaxy Zack, and Magic Treehouse: Dinosaurs before Dark will get kids excited about science and give kids the chance to read on their own, while getting to stay up a bit later.
Every child is different, and there are so many ways to encourage young children to read! What books do your kids love? What tips and tricks have worked to get your kids reading? Let us know! Visit our website at www.TheSTEMShoppe.com and like our page on facebook!
Delia Bayna, M.Ed. is an K-8 educator and frequently provides professional development opportunities for K-8 teachers state-wide.