Category: STEM projects

Mover Kit


Following on our post about digital games for the outdoors, we wanted to mention that a favorite local maker group has a great new mover kit. Technology Will Save Us makes a number of kits, plus hosts great workshops for families around London. (We trialled electronic play dough and little bits, an electrical lego-like toy, at one of their workshops a while back).

The mover kit is particularly interesting because it first engages kids in making a wearable (digital tech that you wear), then by the nature of its function, it motivates kids to get out and move around. Movement triggers light displays from the ‘mover.’ You can order the kit online from their website.


Everyday Science with Kids


I saw a great article over on Forbes by Chad Orzel, a physics professor and author. He reported on the idea of not just talking about science with kids, but actually doing science with your kids. He gives the example of his daughter who read that a person is about 1% taller in the morning than in the evening…so they experimented and measured Chad a.m. and p.m. And guess what! It’s true! They were able to determine a 0.73% difference. He comments,

I mention this not because it’s a particularly impressive experimental achievement, but precisely because it’s not a particularly impressive experimental achievement. It needed a tape measure, a stepstool, and remembering to re-measure my height the next morning. But both of the kids were really excited by the whole idea.

It’s just one example of taking opportunities to measure and experiment with simple things. Noted–a “weird science facts” book for 7 year olds can be helpful. See the full article.

resources for parents on STEM education

A visit to the Science Center in Bicycles, Airships, and Things that Go by Bernie McAllister, Illustrated by John Aardema

A few items for parents interested in STEM education:

“STEM-Works, a resource for teachers, mentors, parents, STEM professionals, volunteers, and everyone passionate about getting children eager to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.” From the engineering school at Southern Methodist University

The University of Washington’s Childcare Quality and Early Learning group has a presentation on Infant and Toddler STEM. This document helpfully breaks down what STEM is in terms of early learning:

“Science is a way of thinking. Science is observing and experimenting, making predictions, sharing discoveries, asking questions, and wondering how things work.

Technology is a way of doing. Technology is using tools, being inventive, identifying problems, and making things work.

Engineering is a way of doing. Engineering is solving problems, using a variety of materials, designing and creating, and building things that work.

Math is a way of measuring. Math is sequencing (1, 2, 3, 4, …), patterning (1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, …) and exploring shapes (triangle, square), volume (holds more or less), and size (bigger, less than).”

Finally, this post on Getting Smart is from last year but helpful still, “5 Ways Parents can support STEM learning.” The methods include encourage questioning and visit a science museum–which is exactly what our characters do in the title Bicycle, Airships, and Things that Go!

human circuit game


The London-based group Technology Will Save Us features the human circuit game for kids. Using low-tech stuff, kids simulate sending electrons (such as pieces of fruit or clothes pins) through a human “circuit”

There’s a handy “instructions” sheet and printable resources for the circuit including batteries, switches, lightbulbs, and so forth. Although this is useful for a classroom, could you make it work at a kids birthday party in some form of “pass the parcel”?