Toolkit “Tools to Socially Learn STEM

Teachers Toolkit STEM activities

1 Identifying types of ROCKS In the National Curricula for a class science in Primary education, students are asked to study their surroundings/environment and recognize different types of rocks. Students are inspired first with the reading of the story “Journey to the centre of the Earth” by Julio Verne. 6-9 years old 60 min
2 Math working model of lines and angles To make a work model in class using wooden sticks and playdough to form parallel and perpendicular lines, as well as the three types of angles studied: straight, acute and obtuse. 6-9 years old Session of 45 minutes to 1 hour
3 Self-drawing machine In this activity students will make a self-drawing machine. The 12V DC engine is displayed and connected with batteries – students will notice that the engine’s leg is rotating. The teacher explains that this rotation of the leg will be essential because it will make the whole device movable and it will draw some shapes. Students will try to find a way to connect the marker to the engine, so that it could move and draw any shapes. One device will draw circles, another – waves, yet another – spirals. 6-9 years old 1 h 30 min
4 Rounding This activity is designed to help students understand the rounding rule. 6-9 years old 45 min.
5 Adaptation (of humans, animals, plants) At the start of the topic, the students discuss the changes in housing, clothing, lifestyle and how all the changes were highly influenced by the environmental conditions. The existence of plants and animals was also highly influenced by the same markers as the humans. 6-9 years old The activity could last the whole school day. There is a possibility to go on a school trip to the Zoo or the Botany Gardens.
6 Stages of the water cycle Activity to observe and track the characteristics of the water in the different phases of the cycle in an easy way 6-9 years old 30 minutes to explain the experience and prepare the material.  2 hours under the sun. 30 minutes to draw the conclusions.
7 Germinating seeds. With this activity we want to make little children capable of experimenting with seeds from different plants. From the observation, we will try to introduce them into the scientific method. We will make two examples and they will have to foresee what it is going to happen (hypothesis). Then, we will check it and we will arrive at a conclusion. 6-9 years old 5 minutes every five days. Observation for at least 20/30 days.
8 Density of water – sink or float A simple experiment about the density of water using some peeled and unpeeled fruits to check whether they float or sink. 6-9 years old One session of 45 minutes-1 hour
9 Types of Soil Students learn and analyse the soil we have in our Planet through a project-based learning question “Which soil is more permeable?”.  Through a brainstorm activity, students try to define “What is soil?” and after they visualize a Youtube short film in English 10 – 12 years old 45 min
10 The Robot moves Students learn in Robotics class to apply coding in everyday activity, using the example of moving the robot. Students are asked to roughly in small groups answer the question “How do I make the robot walk?” Quickly students write sentences describing what they do and each group reads their plan. Teacher shows them that writing a description is not needed, that there is a simpler way called coding using symbols and programming a robot. 10 – 12 years old 45 min
11 Types of Minerals Reading Chapter XX from the book “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by Julio Verne 10 – 12 years old 60 min
12 Calculating distances In a Social/History/Maths classes, students are asked to make a route from one point of the village till school (the teacher will give the students names of places in the village, eg. Post office, Restaurant, bus stop, church…) using the local map. They should calculate the distance between places in kilometres. The students will identify the places on Google maps. 10 – 12 years old 90 min
13 Where does Honey come from? Students are asked in a science class, related to the insets in our planet, to discover about the importance of bees. Students will learn how the honey arrives on our tables, about bees and their importance for nature. After the class all students will have a snack during break where they will taste honey. 10 – 12 years old 90 min
14 Paper Robot The students work in teams of three; they make a paper robot of a packet of milk which reacts to an external stimulus that is already programmed to (the light, the approach or the motion sensor). Through the activity the students will realise how the robots work and that the human brain is the main part of every robotic construction. Learning how to use basic principles of programming using the SCRATCH and the connection among electric circuits is a requirement. 10 – 12 years old Ten (10) – Twenty (20) class periods
15 A Rally of Diameter The learners work in groups of three and assemble the cars which will take place in a race. Each car has the same engine but different sizes of wheels.
Through this activity the students will realize that the size of the wheels, i.e. diameter of the circle, and each turn of the wheel, i.e. the perimeter of the wheel, effect the distance.
The cars essentially offer an experimental presentation and visualization of the theory; that the different sizes of the wheels effect the distances each car will reach.
10 – 12 years old The approximate time required is two (2) teaching session periods.
16 Our music box! (The notion of software/firmware… The music box is a mechanism that can produce a specific melody that is digitally printed (i.e. pins/absence of pins) on its drum surface. In this activity we use it to explain the students the meaning of the program in its drum. In this specific activity we use this recording to explain the students the meaning of the computer program.
The students are helped by the teacher to realize the way the sound is produced while its drum spins/pins. The teacher uses the music box to create the norms for the notions of the “program software”, orders/instructions of the program, “firmware” and “digital”. Then the students create their own “music box”, in other words a program with SCRATCH that will produce their chosen melody.
10 – 12 years old 2-3 teaching sessions
17 The young Dieticians attack to the Sports Lab! Nutrition and healthy diet in combination with the life-lasting exercise consist the meaningful part of health and secures our daily living and…. coexistence. Every young man’s cornerstone of success is the maintenance of his mental and physical health at its best. 10 – 12 years old 2 months
18 Dissection and Observation of Tissues within a Chicken Claw Before the students enter the classroom, purchase and cook the chicken claws. Leave them to cool.  Then, in class, the children will dissect it. 10 – 12 years old 1 session of 45 minutes – 1 hour
19 Make a fossil. Fossils are the remains of living things that were preserved and transformed into stone over millions of years. Although we cannot reproduce the natural process in the lab, we can make fake fossils using remains of living things as moulds. 10 – 12 years old Two sessions:
1. A 45 minutes or 1 hour session to make the fossil and, once it dries up
2. A 1 hour session to show fossils and to write a report on the activity.
20 Working model of an animal cell The children will make a working model of an animal cell with a container as the cell outer skin and some food items as cellular organelles. 10 – 12 years old 1 session of 1 hour and a half.
21 Electronic circuit The children will make an electronic circuit with a battery, a bulb, a light holder, wires (as needed) and a circuit switch. 10 – 12 years old 2 session of 1 hour
22  Homemade water treatment device Making a water treatment device for removing impurities from water. Purifying water consists of applying different methods in order to eliminate residues in waste waters. 10 – 12 years old 45 minutes or 1 hour
23 Homemade rain gauge The children will make a homemade rain gauge with a bottle of water as the main element. 10 – 12 years old 1 session of 1 hour and a half.
24 Bridge construction of pasta Speaking with children about buildings. We are talking about the development of the city and about the construction of its bridges.
Students will build a bridge from some material which is not strong itself, so they can concentrate on engineering solutions that help build a bridge that does not collapse.
10 – 12 years old 1,5 h.
25 Trick Dice Students discuss the results and probabilities of rolled dice and they make trick dice, which always shows 6. 10 – 12 years old 45 min.
26 Shadows of the 3D shapes Students learn how to make solid shapes. They use the shapes they’ve made to find out what 2D shapes cast shadows. 10 – 12 years old 45 min.
27 Hot Air Balloon In this activity students talk about/ discuss properties of materials, air, wind direction or heat. During it they produce a hot air balloon. 10 – 12 years old 1,5 h.
28 Is there a place in the world, which is “a thousand miles from any human habitation”? Students will analyze situation from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book “Little Prince”. They understand that is not possible to find a place in world, with no humans in 1000 miles radius. They will use scaling and knowledge about maps and radius. 10 – 12 years old 45 min.
29 Why some flowers stems bend after blooming and others not? This activity is intended to repeat the part of the flower: a blossom and a stem. To analyze the effect of the three criteria: weight, length and the structure the flowers stem stability. Research and assess the effect of the geometric shape on the weight resistance. Findings are used to make the highest and most robust structure. 10 – 12 years old 2 – 3 h.
30 Travel agency Students must plane a trip which is impossible to plan, or it would be irrational, but they must prove it. 10 – 12 years old The activity should take 5 lessons.
31 The Christmas Cake For Celebrating the Christmas season (in an English Class) students are asked to participate in the group activity “The Christmas cake”.  Students are divided in small groups (3 per group) and search online for the perfect “Christmas cake” – they analyse the ingredients of the recipe filling in a chart (which ingredients to use, quantities and calories). In groups they still search better ingredients which they can replace to make it a healthier cake.
In groups they decide who brings what from home to bake the cake / decide to bake the cake at home and bring it to class for a tasting contest.
Cakes are in an exhibition with the list of ingredients available so everyone can vote after tasting it and evaluate the flavour, use of healthier ingredients and overall aspect of the cake.
10 – 12 years old 90 min (with cooking)
32 School Trip to a local quarry Getting to know our earth/rocks/minerals – after reading and learning about rocks/sand in the class, students visit a quarry to explore the different minerals they can find. 10 – 12 years old 90 min
33 “Come Visit my village!” Students will pretend that they are working for a travel agency and they have to come up with the best Touristic leaflet in small groups.
Firstly, students will get to know better the village with a field trip and taking photos of what they consider important for the leaflets. If needed they can do a quick interview to local people about the monuments they select. In class each group selects the photos they think are best. They will use Publisher to build their leaflet. In the end their will also create a promotional video using the photos. Each group will show their work to the school community and students, teachers, staff will vote on the best.
10 – 12 years old 180 minutes (two classes of 90 minutes)
34 Multidisciplinary approach of color creation using the microcontroller Arduino The students work in groups of 2 or 3.
They are going to construct an electric circuit using a light emitting diode (LED) and a microcontroller Arduino. Next, they are going to program the microcontroller so as to light the diode making the necessary colour mixing creating new colours. The next step is that the students should use temperas to create the similar colours to those created with RGB led in the natural world.
10 – 12 years old Two (2) teaching sessions
35 Resolving daily problems One of the problems resolved with the learners involved the improvement of the doors of the school which were damaged due to bad weather conditions, (strong winds, storms, etc.). We used simple materials and tools, proposed by the learners in order to make the doors shut easier and stop the squeaking noises. Through the experimental problem-solving, the learners put theory of mathematics, physics and technology into a real-life situation which reinforces learning.
Apart from the doors of the school, the learners continued to resolve similar conditions they had at home with the help of their parents. They actually made use of their knowledge and put theory into practice in their lives and were very successful.
10 – 12 years old 3-4 days or 10-12 teaching session periods.
36 Sun-Robot: A Robot that gives Energy According to data from the U.N., over 1,2 billion people on earth, i.e., 1 out of 5 people don’t have access to electricity. This occurs mainly in areas of Africa. In these types of communities, after the sun sets children cannot study and there are also tremendous effects on the economic and social life.
How could we help such areas have access to energy?  We could construct a robot that would collect energy  from the sun as it moves  and store it in its battery and then deliver it to the areas in need . In addition to this, the robot itself would supply itself in the same manner and further protect the environment.  The basic part of the robot would be a mobile solar panel that always moves towards the direction the sun.
10 – 12 years old 4 teaching session periods
37 Escape the Maze In this activity, the students will be able to develop computational thinking skills, especially algorithmic thinking. They will have to create a sequence of steps to solve problems.
This activity has three parts, depending on the experience of the students with the programming of robots and even if they have experience, the activity can be done partially or completely.
10 – 12 years old It is recommended to complete the activity for a week
38 Boom! –A Crash test Lets construct a car of simple materials and place in it a boiled egg as a driver. Take the necessary safety measurements so the egg will remain safe (not damaged or displaced) after a car collision. All ages 2 teaching session periods
39 Learning Science Through Slowmation In LSTS science understanding is based on the use of models, representations and other forms of visualization, in order to explain, clarify and demonstrate complex or abstract phenomena. All ages 1-2 months
40 Celebrating Tolerance Day For Celebrating Tolerance Day, in an English class students are put up to a task “How do we celebrate Tolerance Day?”. In small groups each one will define a Working Plan to implement the activity. They will have 2 classes to do something that will alert the community to the Celebration of “Tolerance Day”.
Parents are asked to come and see the students work and help if they wish.
All ages 180 min.
41 Learning Science Through Theatre LSTT brings together science and art inquiry. Students learn science in a creative way while implementing a theatrical performance related to scientific concepts. In LSTT, students comprehend scientific concepts and phenomena, develop a spirit of cooperation and teamwork, actively participate in the negotiation of scientific concepts and develop creative and critical thinking skills. Furthermore, by participating in dissemination activities and entrepreneurial actions for the promotion and support of their theatrical performance, they contribute to further bridging school with society and develop their own social and entrepreneurial skills. All ages  3-5 months