Hands-On STEM Activities
Try out these science and mathematics activities curated by PEN.
Materials needed: oil, water, soap, glycerin, clear container.
Setup: Mix different samples of the liquids together.
Procedure: Ask the learners to explain how the different liquids mix together. Do they mix to form one uniform substance, or do the liquids remain separate or separate out after being shaken together?
Ask them to brainstorm ways to separate the liquids
Conditions for Germination
Materials needed: 4 bottles or syringes, cotton wool, beans, or seeds, water, oil
Procedure: Place cotton wool at the bottom of each container and add a few beans or seeds to each. In container 1, add enough water to soak the cotton wool. In container 2, add cool boiled water to flood the seeds. In container 3, add oil. In container 4, do not add any water. Record observations over several days.
Materials needed: Tripod stand, source of fire, aluminium bowl, water, wooden stick, metal spoon, matches/lighter.
Procedure: Light the fire source. Place the wooden stick and metal spoon in the bowl at the same time. Guide the learners to touch both objects at the same time.
Let them describe what they experience upon touching both.
Finding Circuit Components
Materials needed: Old or broken electronics (radio, car stereo, computer, phone charger, disc drive, etc.), pliers, screwdriver, soldering iron (optional), empty matchboxes
Procedure: Identify common components inside the devices and place them in separate containers (matchboxes). Pliers or a soldering iron may be necessary to remove some components.
Materials needed: bowl, water, needle, soap
Procedure: Carefully lay the needle on the surface of the water. What happens?
Materials needed: eggshells, vinegar
Procedure: Put some vinegar in a cup and drop some eggshells in. Observe what happens. Explain that indigestion is a burning pain in the chest and/or stomach-ache caused by eating spoiled food, eating too much, or consuming too much fatty food
Food Borne Diseases
Materials needed: Mouldy bread, fermented juice, etc.
Procedure: Guide the learners to inspect and sniff (but not taste!) the spoiled food.
Explain to the learners that eating food that is spoiled or infected with pathogens can make them very sick.
Can You Reverse it?
Materials: playdough or clay, ice, matches, paper
Procedure: Pull the playdough or clay apart into several pieces. Then ask the learners to put the pieces back together. Burn some paper with the matches. Then ask the learners to un-burn the paper.
Materials needed: Plastic bottle, balloons, plastic bag, string/rubber band, straw
Procedure: Cut the bottom off a plastic bottle. Attach a balloon over the bottle mouth so it hangs inside. Fix a piece of plastic bag over the cut base end using a string or a rubber band. (Optional: Fix a straw through the bottle top and attach 1 or 2 balloons to the end inside the bottle.)
Principle of a Thermometer
Materials needed: Bottle, pen tube, stopper/cork/rubber cylinder, food colouring, hot water bath
Procedure: Fill a bottle (about 500 mL) with coloured water up to the rim. Tightly fix a stopper carrying a narrow pen tube into the mouth of the bottle. The liquid level should be just visible above the stopper. Now place the bottle into hot water and heat it for a short time.
In our workshops, we utilize local materials and content aligned to the national curriculum to holistically equip STEM teachers to facilitate hands-on, inquiry-based lessons.
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