STEM Activities for Elementary Teachers, Parents, and Families

The STEM Activity App provides engaging, family-friendly activities in science, technology, engineering and math.

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.

Wheelock's STEM Activity app helps increase awareness about the importance of STEM education. The student-family interaction has been identified as an important factor in building the foundation for a student's STEM education. Therefore we designed this free app 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 helps us fulfill our promise to inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists.

The app is full of activities that are fun and interactive! It uses everyday objects to teach students high-level science and mathematical processes. The app then takes it further by questioning the students to encourage continuation in the experiment.

Teachers can encourage their students' parents to use the app independently or incorporate activities into homework.

Examples of Activities Featured In the App

  • 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
  • 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. 
  • 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

To learn more about the STEM Activity App, visit the STEM Activity App website.

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