Making STEM Fun in the Outdoors
So much fun can be found outdoors with these STEM projects for kids! From the grass under your feet, to the clouds in the sky, science is all around. Exploring, playing, observing and learning are all key components to encourage your child to love outdoor science!
INVESTIGATE THE SOIL
Dig up a patch of dirt, spread it out, and examine the soil in your yard. Try looking at soil samples from a couple different locations or even states if your family travels during the spring and summer!
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting activity that uses GPS-enabled devices. There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries waiting to be discovered—there are probably even some near you right now.
If you’re looking for a perfect way to spend a sunny summer day, try making your own sun prints. It’s a great way to inspire little scientists! Simple purchase some sun paper (can be purchased on Amazon), have your child collect leaves and flowers, arrange them on the sun paper in the shade, cover with the clear acrylic sheet (comes with the paper), leave the paper in the sun until it turns light blue. Soak the paper in water for one minute and then set them out to dry.
BUILD A SUN SHELTER
Learn about the negative and positive effects of the sun’s rays on people, animals, and plants. Design and build a structure and use UV-sensitive beads. If the beads change color, the child knows the shelter did not work and have the opportunity to make improvements. Discuss the power of the sun and why we need it to survive. But at the same time, discuss why we need shelter from it as well.
EXPLORE THE SENSES
Show your child how to be aware of their senses when they are outdoors. Take your child to the nearest park, forest, field, or community garden and ask them to explore. Help them make a nature journal. A nature journal is a way to place your thoughts, ideas and observations with the natural world
The world needs critical thinkers, doers, and problem solvers. And the world needs kids who understand science. STEM surrounds us every day! Even in the outdoors!