The STEM Activity App
The STEM Activity App provides engaging, family-friendly activities in science, technology, engineering and math.
This free app is designed to foster positive STEM-related interactions between students and their families. Ultimately, we believe this supportive family influence will increase student interest in STEM fields. Encouraging parent engagement in STEM activities holds the promise of inspiring the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists.
Research overwhelmingly demonstrates that parent involvement in children's learning is positively related to academic success. In fact, three out of four college students in STEM majors report that a parent was influential in their decision to pursue STEM professionally. Unfortunately, appreciation for how families can promote learning is largely missing from the national focus on STEM education.
March Project Update: STEM Summer Learning Loss!
The "summer slide" can cost students months of academic progress. To reduce summer learning loss, the STEM Activity App is releasing new activities to support families in making summer an engaging learning opportunity. Families registering for this summer web application will receive two activities per week, beginning in late June.
The Aspire Institute received two Sylvia Earl Innovation Awards to develop and pilot the STEM activity web application. Almost 1,300 users from across the country participated in our most recent program. During the school year, teachers used the activities as fun homework, or as a resource for family engagement.
Examples of Activities Featured in the App:
1. Design your own airplane. Begin with one sheet of paper. Launch as is and see what happens. Now fold it once and launch it again. Did it go further? Fold and trim the paper and see which designs glide the farthest. Why do you think some designs are better gliders than others? What's the farthest you can make your airplane go? - The Discovery Museums
2. How long does it take your heart to beat 100 times? Find your pulse and count out 100 heartbeats while timing yourself. Have a family member do the same. Does it take the same amount of time for both of you to reach 100 heartbeats? Why or why not? Knowing how long it takes your heart to beat 100 times, figure out how long it would take for it to beat 1000 times.
3. How long can you keep an ice cube from melting in your warm kitchen? Try using paper, plastic, or foam cups to hold the ice cube. You can also try wrapping the cups in foil, newspaper, or bubble wrap. Which material or combination of materials do you think will make the best insulators? That is, which material do you think will keep the ice from melting the longest? Make a prediction before you begin! - The Discovery Museums
Photo Credits: Banner image of students in garden from USDOE's flicker feed and image of boy with STEM activity courtesy of RDECOM's flickr feed. Both images used under Creative Commons attribution license.