As the temperatures drop and the leaves change their hues, October stands out as the perfect time to celebrate the wonders of STEM education. The changing of seasons brings so many learning opportunities for students of all ages. By encouraging young learners to explore the realms of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we nurture their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. Are you looking for ways to celebrate the wonders of STEM education with your children or students this STEMtober? Here are five exciting STEM activities for children to enjoy throughout the month of October.
1. FAMILY FALL SCAVENGER HUNT
Going on a fall scavenger hunt with your children in October is a fantastic way to nurture STEM skills and knowledge. As kids search for various natural treasures like colorful leaves, acorns, or animals, they engage in observation, classification, and problem-solving tasks, honing their scientific abilities. Additionally, identifying patterns in nature is a math-related skill subtly woven into the scavenger hunt experience. These observations encourage children to ask questions about the environment, fostering curiosity and critical thinking. This fun family STEMtober activity not only connects children with the beauty of the season but also enhances their STEM proficiency.
We’ve put together a printable scavenger hunt checklist to make this activity a snap! We even included some questions and lesson prompts to share with your little scientists along the way.
2. DIY STEM-INSPIRED HALLOWEEN COSTUME
Crafting a Halloween costume from scratch is not only a fun hands-on activity to do with your child this STEMtober, but this activity also provides plenty of 21st century skill-building opportunities. Take your time to research other famous or not-so-famous leaders in STEM for costume inspiration. Collaborate and problem-solve to plan the costume and get a rough sketch on paper before really getting to work. Now it’s time to get creative! Use purchased or recycled household materials to make the costume come together.
At Snapology, we wholeheartedly embrace our love for creativity and a touch of ‘nerdiness’ when it comes to Halloween costumes. If you’re looking for a hint of inspiration, check out this list of STEM costume ideas that are both unique and entertaining, ensuring your child will truly shine this Halloween.
3. HALLOWEEN CODING & ROBOTICS
Unleash the inner coder in your child with spooky-themed coding challenges. Check your local Snapology for upcoming Halloween-themed robotics programs where your little builder can explore the basics of robotics while building and programming some creepy robots like a skeleton or Franskenstein’s monster.
Additionally, websites like Code.org offer engaging Halloween-themed coding activities that teach programming concepts through interactive games. Children can create their own haunted houses, design spooky mazes, or even code a virtual pumpkin carving. Learning to code not only enhances computational thinking but also ignites creativity, making it a perfect STEM activity to celebrate STEMtober.
4. CANDY CATAPULT
Building a candy catapult using LEGO® bricks or everyday household objects is a fantastic hands-on activity that can ignite a passion for STEM education in children. To create a simple LEGO® catapult, start with a stable base and an arm equipped with a cup, spoon, or brick-basket to hold the candy. Experimenting with different angles, lengths, and amounts of tension in the rubber bands or strings provides valuable insights into physics principles such as force, motion, and potential energy.
You can start with a guide similar to this one from Little Bins for Little Hands, but let your child adapt their design as they go. As children tinker with their designs, they not only gain a deeper understanding of engineering and mechanics, but also develop problem-solving skills, fostering a love for STEM learning through experimentation and creativity.
5. EXPERIMENT WITH CANDY
Don’t let your leftover Halloween candy go to waste! As an alternative to catapulting those candy bars into the garbage can, there are plenty of creative ways to put those sweets to good use, including hands-on STEM activities for kids. Check out this handy guide with projects like candy-stained glass ornaments, candy corn structures, gummy candy science experiments, and more.
Celebrate STEMtober all month long through at-home activities, outdoor exploration, or other community events. Check your local schools, recreation centers, libraries and other community hosts for STEM programs and projects taking place all month long. By encouraging young learners to explore the realms of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we nurture their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. So, this October, let’s embrace STEMtober and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators through hands-on activities.