National STEM/STEAM Day is an unofficial holiday that celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics education in the United States. Since many career fields use these skills, this day seeks to encourage youth interest in these topics. Here are some ways to celebrate this day with your young learners:
- Create art for the NASA Langley Student Art Contest! Entries are accepted from students in grades K-12 between December 1 and 31, 2022. Draw, paint, or digitally design what’s next in science, aeronautics, and exploration! Visit the NASA Langley Student Art Contest website to get ideas. Artwork is submitted digitally, so you can use Spokane Public Library’s scanners or take a digital photo of your artwork.
- Inspire your budding engineer by creating challenges with simple household items. Here are a few ideas:
- Build a tower with a set number of marshmallows, fruit snacks, and toothpicks. Explore which shapes allow you to make a successful structure.
- Make a marble maze using LEGO© bricks and your biggest base plate.
- Design boats using only a certain amount of aluminum foil. Fill a tub or sink to float them. Next, see how many pennies it takes to sink the boats. Which boat held the most pennies? Problem-solve your boat designs to hold more pennies.
- For more engineering challenges, check out these books from Spokane Public Library.
- Book: Junk Drawer Engineering: 25 Engineering Challenges that Don’t Cost a Thing by Bobby Mercer
- Book: Bridges!: With 25 Great Projects for Kids by Jennifer Swanson
- OverDrive eBook: Cardboard Box Engineering by Jonathan Adolph
- Bring your learners to a STEM-themed event for kids at a Spokane Public Library location near you. Here’s what’s going on in November.
- Space Science for Kids: Mars Rover Roundup: K-5th Graders and Caregivers Rovers have been exploring Mars for 25 years! We’ll learn what the rovers on Mars are up to, and build our own rover!
- Earth Engineers: Build a Lego City: Ages 7-14 and their Caregivers. Work together to plan and build a city out of LEGO© blocks!
- Ozobot Robot Balloon Parade: For Grades 2-5 and their Caregivers. Ozobots are line-following robots that are easy to program with colored lines and dots. We’ll make a parade route and tape decorated balloons to our Ozobots!
- Balancing Act: A Homeschool Event: For K-5th Grader and their Caregivers. Kids will learn about the physics of balance and have fun at the same time! We’ll have multiple hands-on activities.
- Design a 3D Printed Cookie Cutter: For Ages 8-18. We’ll learn about 3D printing, and design a cookie cutter to be printed and picked up later. Registration is required. Click on the links below to register.
Cathy Bakken, STEM Specialist, Spokane Public Library