Technology in the Science Classroom

Event Description

How can you leverage technology in your science classroom and engage your students in new and exciting ways? This workshop will explore how you can bring new strategies and activities to your science classroom sure to engage your students in new and exciting ways! We will explore Google Science Journal, so be sure to bring a mobile device!

Presenter

Ben Sondgeroth, Regional Educational Technology Coordinator. A Google for Education Certified Trainer, former Director of Technology, and high school social studies classroom teacher, Ben has a passion for bringing creative technology integration into the classroom. Throughout his career, Ben has been able to work with teachers and administrators in bringing best technology practices into their schools and classrooms using iPads and Google Apps for Education.

3 STE(A)M Activities to Do with Your Kids During Remote Learning

In a remote learning environment, it is critical that learning is kept light and fun, and it can be challenging to find light and fun lessons or activities that promote STEM skills with your students. With this in mind, I compiled three of my favorite STEM activities that your kids can do at home with their parents or siblings. 

All of these activities simply require regular household items, and if you don’t have a particular item, don’t worry! Every activity material list is adjustable and customizable for whatever materials you have available. I’d encourage you to get creative and add or remove some of the supplies to keep your kids on their toes. These activities can be for more than just the students as they are super fun to do with the whole family! Families can have nightly competitions to see who can achieve the best results. We also don’t want to forget about art. All of these activities can include an art component to create a STE(A)M activity. Kids can decorate or add color to any of the materials they can use in the activities. Let’s dive in!

Puff Mobile 

This activity is one of my favorites to do with teachers, who then bring it back to their students. During the activity, kids are to design a vehicle that can travel six feet in the fewest “puffs” possible. That means getting down on the ground and using your breath to propel the vehicle forward. The key to this activity is building the vehicle. Your son/daughter/student is provided a specific and limited amount of materials to create it. Having a limited amount of materials will encourage them to use design and engineering principals in the build process and be creative with their use. Below I have a sample material list, but you can substitute or remove any of the materials to make it your own! Here are the instructions.

Challenge: Using at least one of all these materials, design, and build a vehicle that moves only by blowing on it. For added fun, put a timer on the first build, have your kids see how many puffs it takes to move puff mobile the first time. Then give them 5 minutes to make adjustments to their design to see if they can improve their results! 

Materials

  • 3 Plastic drinking straws 
  • 4 Lifesavers
  • 1 Piece of heavy paper
  • 2 Paper clips
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Marble Track

The marble track activity requires less space than the puff mobile but offers the same amount of fun! For this challenge, your kids will be tasked with constructing a track for a marble to roll on. The marble must use the track to roll forward and come to a stop on/in an 8×8 landing area. Given that there are no rulers in the materials list, your kids will have to determine how big 8×8 is. For added fun, put in a rule that the track must meet a specific length requirement, or if you have multiple kids completing the challenge, the longest successful track wins! Like the puff mobile challenge, the materials list can be adapted to any household materials you have available.

Materials

  • 3 Plastic drinking straws 
  • 3 Name labels
  • 1 Piece of paper
  • 2 Pencils
  • 4 Paper clips
  • 1 Marble
  • 3 Rubber bands
  • 3 Toothpicks

3 Little Pigs

This activity I find to be particularly fun and would be an excellent addition for an elementary teacher to pair with a reading activity involving the Three Little Pigs. Keeping in line with the story, kids will construct a house with various materials and then attempt to blow it down as if they were the big bad wolf! If you have multiple kids at home, try having them each construct a house with a different base material, the same way the pigs in the story did! This activity is truly open-ended when it comes to materials, but I’ve listed some ideas below.

Materials

  • Straws
  • Paper
  • Paper Clips
  • Play Doh
  • Modeling Clay
  • Toothpicks
  • Tongue Depressors

These three activities are not only fun for the kids to engage in STE(A)M skills, but could be fun for the whole family! In times of remote learning, experiential activities like this can be a welcome learning experience for kids and families alike!