STEM is a lot more than just adding numbers or sending a rocket to the moon. STEM equips students with critical thinking, problem solving, creative and collaborative skills through Design Thinking.
These school holidays keep the whole family entertained with our favourite winter STEM experiments. All you need is a few products that live right under your sink or in your pantry. The best part, they won’t even realise their learning!
1. It’s Christmas in July with our faux snow
Dreaming of a snowy winter? Try this fun chemistry experiment and learn how different ingredients react with each other to make fake snow
! A fun tip is to swap out normal math addition and subtraction by having your kids measure out the ingredients and then adding them together! Supplies:
- Baking or bi-carb soda
- Shaving cream or hair moose
- A small bowl
Step 1 – Add 1 cup of baking soda in a cup
Step 2 – Add in 1 cup of shaving cream
Step 3 – Mix the ingredients together with a fork until the mixture becomes snow-like consistency. You may need to add more baking soda or some water.
2. Ice-cream in a bag
Next time you’re low on ice-cream, make your own
with this simple 5 ingredient experiment. Not only is it tasty, it will teach your kids how chemical reactions and mixing ingredients work to turn milk into creamy goodness.
- Half and half or whole milk
- Salt (any kind but chunkier the better)
- Vanilla extract
- White sugar
- 1 small and 1 large ziploc bag
Step 1 – Pour 1 cup of half and half or whole milk into the small ziploc bag
Step 2 – Add 1.5 teaspoons of your vanilla extract
Step 3 – Mix in 1 tablespoon of white sugar
Step 4 –Seal the bag. Make sure there’s no air in the bag
Step 5 – Fill ½ of the large ziploc bag with ice and ¼ cup of salt
Step 6 – Add in your small ziploc bag and top up the ice
Step 7 – Shake the bag for about 10 minutes or until you start seeing the milk solidify.
3. Homemade Christmas Candy Fun
Did you know that observing crystallisation is STEM experiment? Turn your kitchen into a candy science lab
that lets your kids observe the crystallization process firsthand.
- Wooden sticks
- Food colouring
Step 1 – Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a large pot.
Step 2 – Stir in 4 cups of sugar, let it come to a boil and stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved
Step 3 – Allow the pot to cool for about 15-20 minutes
Step 4 – Wet the wooden sticks with water and roll them in the sugar
Step 5 – Once the mixture is cool, add in any food colouring
Step 6 – Pour the mixture into a glass jar and add in your sugar-covered stick into the center of the jar. Make sure the stick is not touching the glass jar at all otherwise the candy crystals will get stuck. To hold the stick up, use the clothespin.
Step 7 – leave the jar in a cool place for about a week to allow the candy to crystallise.
4. Oobleck: the Dr Seuss Science Experiment
is a non-Newtonian fluid is both liquid and solid. Interested? It only uses 3 ingredients to make! This is an awesome way to enhance your children’s science skills and curiosity Supplies:
- Corn starch
- Food colouring
Step 1 – Mix in 1 cup of water to 1.5-2 cups of corn starch.
Step 2 – Add it the food colouring once the mixture becomes a state that is liquid and solid.
Why is STEM important?
The world around us is changing as we know, and digital technology has become a core aspect of our everyday lives and even our jobs. As the work environment changes, our skills must match this change. It is for this reason that STEM learning is important for future careers. STEM equips your little ones with the necessary skills that are currently lacking in our society.
There are many reasons why STEM is so important for our future generation:
- Currently, only 10% of Year 11 and 12 students study STEM
- Science and math’s results are declining or stagnating in school
- Australia’s population don’t understand the importance of STEM or STEM careers
- Around 40% of Australia’s Year 7 to 10 mathematics classes are taught without a qualified mathematics teacher.
At TCS, we are committed to empowering students across Australia and New Zealand with the skills they need to be ready for the workplace of the future. Find out more about how we are addressing this pipeline challenge through our leading primary, secondary and tertiary education programs here