In one of our previous articles on how to design an effective STEM curriculum, we pointed out that learning that is hands-on tends to stick with students for long. Thus it is always advised to make your curriculum STEM-oriented and include loads of STEM classroom activities to make it effective. At the moment, it may be next to impossible for you to design a new STEM curriculum altogether. That does not mean that you cannot introduce your students to STEM! You can still do it by simply incorporating fun STEM projects ideas into the existing STEM curriculum. And this is where we come in.
Our STEM curriculum experts along with other educational institutes have meticulously prepared a modular STEM curriculum for introducing middle and high school students to the basics of electronics, programming, physical computing, and robotics through engaging hands-on STEM activities and projects. Here are some of the STEM project ideas that you can easily incorporate into your existing curriculum to make it more engaging and that can also be used as science project ideas!
Fun Classroom Activities for Middle School
Middle school is the prime time of education when students are beginning to explore new possibilities and to make their own decisions. Therefore it is the perfect time to encourage them to take STEM seriously. If it appeals to them at this point, then they are likely to choose STEM disciplines in high school and even pursue careers in STEM fields. Here are some easy yet exciting DIY STEM project ideas that students can perform in the classroom to explore the basics of STEM.
Electronics Middle School Activities
Physical Computing Middle School Activities
If just by playing games students can learn so much, imagine what developing their own games from scratch (pun intended) would do! This next activity in our list of engaging STEM curricular activities is a DIY game that students develop themselves in a graphical programming software based on Scratch blocks – PictoBlox. With this activity, students get to learn to code in a fun way and experience the joy of developing their own game!
If one game wasn’t enough to satisfy the inner gamer, here’s another! This PictoBlox game, the next in line of our list engaging middle school activities, takes the coding level a notch higher by introducing little complexities such as introducing two characters instead of one, making the code for each dependent on the other, etc. Once students get the hang of all these complexities or if they think developing this game was a piece of cake for them, they can take the difficulty another notch higher by adding a timer to the game.
Tip: Students can brainstorm how to modify their code to add a timer on their own without the help of the teacher.
What’s a STEM project worth if you can’t have some fun while at it! This STEM project based on RGB LED strips introduces students to digital RGB LED strips and how to control them in PictoBlox by creating different scripts for displaying custom patterns on the strip thus making one of the most interesting curricular activities we have.
When the Angry Birds game was first launched it created a major hype. We’ve come a long way since the first game which is one of the most loved games. Could a popular game like this one be used for STEM learning? Turns out it can! Presenting to you the Scratch based Angry Birds project! An interesting servo motor project, which also makes for a cool STEM project idea for middle schoolers, it shows you how you can control a servo using an ultrasonic sensor.
Robotics Middle School Activities
Who doesn’t love robots?! (if you don’t, then sorry, we don’t know you) Next in our list of STEM middle school activities is this exciting STEM project which introduces students to the basics of robotics and robot building the DIY way wherein they get to build their own robot AND program it to control it wirelessly with a Smartphone. Cool, huh? 😉
It may not know who you are. But it will look for you and it will find you. And nothing that comes in its way will be spared by it. It is none other than the determined and precise Follow Me Robot! The Follow Me Robot is not only a STEM project idea but also an interesting way to introduce students to IR sensors.
Fun Classroom Activities for High School
High school is the time when the real action begins. Everybody’s super serious about their career and is doing all they can to get on the right path. And as a high school teacher, it is of utmost importance for you to ensure that there are sufficient STEM curricular activities in your curriculum so that students have the right exposure to STEM during these years. Here’s a list of interesting and easy STEM project ideas for high school students to perform in the classroom and delve deeper into STEM.
Electronics High School Activities
Want to introduce students to digital and analog signals with their application in real life? Then, this next STEM project in our list of curricular activities is just what you need. In this STEM project, students have to make an LED control circuit with a switch (for turning it ON/OFF) and a potentiometer (for controlling its brightness).
High school physics is incomplete without resistors, inductors, and capacitors. And the next activity in this list of fun high school activities is perfect for studying the (in?)famous RC circuits. In this STEM project, students get to make their own RC circuit and visualize what goes on inside it on evive’s mini oscilloscope.
Physical Computing High School Activities
Ever felt the lack of emojis for certain emotions and feelings? Or wished there was an option to create your own? Kill both these birds with this classroom activity! Students get to create their own customized emojis and display them on evive’s display screen; courtesy: PictoBlox!
If you’re looking for something that encourages students to put on their thinking caps and learn how to make use of multiple concepts together, then this classroom coding activity is perfect. Set in the out space, this fun DIY battle game tests the students’ understanding of programming concepts by making them apply many of them in one activity. The best part? It involves wireless control!
This next activity in our list of high school activities mixes music, electronics, and programming in a perfect DIY way. Students have to program their RGB LED strip in such a way that it changes its color according to the sound sensor of the Smartphone.
Robotics High School Activities
Internet of Things (IoT) High Activities
All the components used for making all the aforementioned DIY STEM projects are available in the evive Starter Kit.
In a Nutshell
Richard Branson has rightly said that the best way to learn is by doing. That is why every curriculum must make sure that students experience what they’re learning instead of just reading about it. STEMpedia has listed down a number of STEM curricular activities that can also work as science project ideas for making your curriculum more effective and ensure that students become better learners.