INTEGRATING SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) INTO THE HOME ENVIRONMENT
Families Engineering Together in Communities and at Home
Families Engineering Together Facilitator Guide – this program serves as a bridge between families and learning environments of all kinds and provides a pathway for engineering design to be incorporated into the everyday lives of families and kids.
Use of Recyclable Resources or Common Household Items
Recycled STEM Activities – this website is a great resource for all kinds of at-home projects using recycled materials or common household items. There are STEM specific resources and projects for younger children, but they also provide art projects, holiday themed resources, and more material specific projects like LEGO using common materials and items.
Focus on Elementary Ages (Grades 2 – 7)
Engineering is Elementary – This website is more curriculum-focused, but has great ideas and methods for engaging elementary aged kids in engineering. Following the Engineering Design Process and using scientific inquiry, this site notes twenty hands-on, standards-aligned engineering units that guide students to activate and share prior knowledge as they build communication, perseverance, collaboration, and presentation skills.
STEAM Cafe – This website provides 15 resources, gathered by the STEAM Café team and partnering families and educators. These resources include specific STEM related activities and projects, but also further resources and material that might be used or expanded upon for kids and families.
PBS Kids Design Squad – This is a fantastic resource that includes numerous projects and resources for building and creating at home. There are several genres of projects including art based projects, specific toy builds, various machines, and more. There are also specific guides and information for parents and educators.
Instructables – Project-Based-Engineering-for-Kids/ – Easy and fun collection of STEM projects and lessons for elementary and middle school. Made for teachers, science fairs, and weekend activities.
We Are Teachers – Geared toward educators, this website contains numerous resources and projects that are perfect for the home or classroom. Not only are there STEM projects highlighted, links to various other websites, curriculum guides, and STEM resources are available as well.
Science Buddies – This site provides highly personalized educational experiences to inspire student discovery, engagement, and learning in STEM subjects. They provide high-quality scientist-authored explorations covering all key areas of STEM, from the classics to the cutting edge, in formats tailored for the needs of the audiences having the greatest potential to impact student STEM learning, students themselves, classroom teachers, informal educators, and parents. Free and open to everyone.
Engineering Games and Projects – This site provides detailed background information on the various engineering fields that your child might be interested in exploring, as well as the different educational pathways or experiences needed to pursue a career in engineering. This site was suggested as a resource by Lizabeth, a member of the Lyndhurst S.T.E.M. Club for Girls.
Support for/emphasis on girls inclusion and participation
5 Ways to get Girls involved in STEM – This website and blog entry specifically discusses several ways to spark STEM interest in girls. While there aren’t specific projects listed, this site provides ideas for parents and educators to frame STEM and engineering projects to encourage greater interest and engagement in STEM fields from girls. There are also great resources and writing materials made for and by women in STEM.
STEM Like a Girl – This program focuses on 3rd-5th grade girls and lets them work through fun, hands-on science and engineering challenges that will excite and expose them to the fields of STEM. Their goal is to introduce girls to STEM activities and give families the tools to continue to pursue further opportunities to develop a STEM identity for daughters. Specific at-home activities and guidance for parents and educators are also available.
We have also pulled together a list of books recommended by the Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM, Brightly, … and from local librarians. You can access this list here.