Learning shouldn’t stop when a child leaves the classroom. In fact, the driving philosophy of STEM schools is rooted in instructing children using real-life scenarios and experiences. As a parent, you can expand your child’s education far beyond the classroom with some easy and fun STEM-related projects at home.
If your child is partial to engineering, there are some simple engineering projects for kids that you can do with them at home when school is out for the summer. Not only will these projects help spark your child’s passion for engineering and science, but they will also combat brain drain in the summer and foster engineering design thinking. To get your child’s brain engaged in STEM activities at home, try these exciting yet simple engineering projects for kids.
The Boat Project
In this simple engineering project, your child will use household items to build a boat that can float in water and hold weight, like pennies or a toy car. Give your child straws, tape, styrofoam plates, and plastic cups or bottles, and let them loose to create a seafaring craft.
Once their boat is complete, fill a large bucket with water and test to see if it floats. Once your child has created a sturdy craft, slowly increase the weight to discover the boat’s max weight. Throughout the process, your child will be learning the basics of buoyancy while getting to play with water.
The Gumdrop Structure Challenge
Much like the egg drop project, this building challenge will have your children thinking about construction in a way that they might not have before. Give your child gumdrops and toothpicks, and ask them to form a structure that is sound enough to hold a heavy object like a laptop or a textbook. The key is for them to figure out how to connect the toothpicks and gumdrops in such a way that creates a structure that can withstand the weight.
As with the egg drop project, give them as many attempts as they need to get the structure right. Informed trial and error is the basis of the scientific method, so as they make modifications to their original structure, they’ll be learning about fundamental science and engineering concepts.
The Aircraft Challenge
In this engineering project, your kids will build their own flying aircraft. Give your child some basic tools like tape, straws, paper, wooden dowels, glue, and cardboard, and ask them to to build a craft that will glide when launched.
Your kids will learn the basics of weight distribution and surface area during the project. When your kids complete their first successful flight, you can challenge them to reach a certain distance by making the necessary modifications to their craft.
How Stratford School Can Help
Simple engineering projects at home are an excellent way to extend your child’s learning outside of the STEM classroom, get them thinking outside the box, and put their reasoning skills to the test. If you’re looking for additional ways to prevent brain drain when school isn’t in session, Stratford School can help. We offer tech and engineering summer camps that will engage your child in fun, hands-on engineering projects - learn more about our STEM summer camps today!