Tag Archives: Children’s STEAM

For the final day of our week long STEAM festival, we are highlighting math. Sarah at Share It! Science is looking for the golden ratio in the garden. Here at Growing with Science we are going to celebrate STEM Friday by featuring some new math books and related activities.

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The expert team of Hilary Koll and Steve Mills have developed a unique series of math books illustrated by Vladimir Aleksic. Each feature gritty, real world applications of math with problems to solve embedded within the story. The challenges vary in difficulty and math skills needed.

In Solve a Crime (You Do the Math) Alex, an undercover police detective, shows how math can help catch a criminal. For example, on one page the reader is asked to use co-ordinates to map the evidence and then look on a grid to calculate the distance between certain items. These problems will require a pencil and piece of paper to do the work.

The graphic-style illustrations are bold and serious, adding to the true-to-life feel. Want to see how it looks? You can check out a sample of some of the pages at Google Books.

Related activities:
Math Mavens Mysteries has a Time for Crime math mystery to get students warmed up, complete with audio clips (index to all math mysteries with level of difficulty).

Age Range: 6 - 8 years
Publisher: QEB Publishing (April 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 160992732X
ISBN-13: 978-1609927325

Fly a Jet Fighter (You Do the Math) follows pilot Katie as she handles data, interprets tables, and reads dials and scales. The goal is to create a squadron of jet fighter aces and complete the mission.

An additional activity to accompany this book might be a making a paper plane (Instructions for nine different models).

Age Range: 6 - 8 years
Publisher: QEB Publishing (April 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1609927311
ISBN-13: 978-1609927318

Launch a Rocket into Space (You Do the Math) follows each stage of the  space mission to make sure the rocket blasts clear of the atmosphere and returns safely. It features astronaut Michael who helps the reader compete the math exercises and learn about everything from fractions to timelines. A few problems will require a protractor to measure angles.

Once again, here's a preview from Google Books:

Each of the books has a glossary and the answers for all the questions are in the back matter.

Although recommended for ages 6-8, these books could also be useful for older children who are struggling with math concepts or don't quite see how the math they are learning might be useful.

The books in the You Do the Math series would be perfect for homeschoolers and after school math clubs because they can be entirely child-directed reading.

Age Range: 6 - 8 years
Publisher: QEB Publishing (June 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 160992729X
ISBN-13: 978-1609927295

Related:

Making Room for Math at Science Buddies has instructions for tons of math activities.

Don't forget to visit our growing list of math books for children (from counting books to high school level) at Science Books for Kids.

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Disclosures: The books were provided by Quarto Publishing Group USA for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click through the linked titles or ads and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Proceeds will be used to maintain this self-hosted blog.

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STEAM-festival-button-latest

Our activity schedule is as follows:

June 22: Science
Growing with Science: Science activities for Kids
Share it! Science: Are You a Scientist?

June 23: Technology
Growing with Science: Technology for Kids
Share it! Science: Exploring Kid's Opportunities in Technology

June 24: Engineering
Growing with Science: Engineering Activities for Kids
Share it! Science: Rube Goldberg Machines- an Engineering Challenge

June 25: Art with a STEM focus
Growing with Science: Art Activities for Kids with a STEM Focus
Share it! Science: Family STEAM Night- Where Art Meets Science!

Today:  Math
Growing with Science: this post
Share It! Science: Golden Ratio in the Garden

We would love to hear your questions or suggestions for STEAM-related projects to share with others. Let's heat up the summer with STEAM!

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Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

Share It! Science and Growing with Science are pleased to announce we are teaming up for a week long Children's Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Festival. Please join us for information and project ideas to help your family explore STEAM-related activities for the summer and beyond.

Today we are highlighting art with a STEM focus. Sarah at Share It! Science has an awesome description of activities for a Family STEAM Night: Where Art Meets Science. Here at Growing with Science we are going to investigate string theory using art.

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Whether art should be included with STEM (making the acronym STEAM) is not universally accepted. STEM advocates argue that the STEM acronym was conceived to promote the subjects that needed an extra push. STEAM backers say including art might draw some reluctant students to STEM through the back door, as well as create more well-rounded citizens.

The fact is, many scientists are interested in art and if they are not actively using art for their careers, probably have art-related hobbies. At the same time, many artists are using STEM to create innovative new techniques. The two have never been mutually exclusive and the  boundaries may be blurrier than ever.

Some obvious places art and STEM overlap:

  • Scientific illustration
  • The maker movement
  • Archeology
  • Architecture
  • Industrial design
  • Web design

Art also helps students explore abstract constructs in more concrete ways. Let's look at an example.

Exploring String Theory

String theory (or superstring theory) is the complex and abstract idea from quantum mechanics that ridiculously tiny strands of energy or "strings" vibrate to create all the particles and forces in the universe(s). And, by the way, they are vibrating in 11 dimensions.

Got that? If not, Brian Greene has a TED talk called Making Sense of String Theory that might help.

String Theory for Kids

Who better to explain string theory to kids than another kid? Shaun-Michael Diem-Lane, who was eleven when he made this video, has obviously been thinking about string theory a lot. Watch how he uses concrete examples and art to make his explanation easier to understand.

 

(Note: There might be a wee bit of confusion between energy and matter in the video).

Creating String Theory Art

Painting with rubber bands is one way to think about the energy and chaos of string theory.

1. Rubber band paint brush

Gather:

  • Rubber bands of different sizes
  • Pencil or paint brush to serve as a handle.
  • Acrylic paint
  • Small, shallow bowls or plates to hold paint
  • Paper

(Affiliate link)

Using a pencil or paint brush as a handle, gather a few rubber bands into a bundle. Hold them against the pencil and fasten using another rubber band wrapped around, creating a "mop" of rubber bands. Help of an adult may be required for this step.

rubber-band-paint-brush-07

Pour the paint into a shallow bowl or plate. Dip the rubber bands in the acrylic paint and then apply to paper. Experiment with different techniques, such as dragging the rubber bands across the paper, hopping the paint brush with the rubber bands down, etc. Then try different colors.

2. Rubber band launching device

Ever launch a rubber band using your finger?

Figure out a device to launch rubber bands at paper taped or fixed to a wall. Dip different-sized rubber bands in different colors of acrylic paint and launch them at the paper for a random effect.

sting-theory-rubberband-art02

Having trouble thinking up ideas? Mars Needs Rubber is a physics experiment that evaluates one rubber band launching method (direct .pdf link)

Other STEM and Art Resources to give you some ideas:

 

Did you like our merging of science and art? Would you like to see more posts like this? Just let us know. 

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Disclosures: The book above was from our local library. Also, I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click through the linked titles or ads and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Proceeds will be used to maintain this self-hosted blog.

___________________________________
STEAM-festival-button-latest

Our activity schedule is as follows:

June 22: Science
Growing with Science: Science activities for Kids
Share it! Science: Are You a Scientist?

June 23: Technology
Growing with Science: Technology for Kids
Share it! Science: Exploring Kid's Opportunities in Technology

June 24: Engineering
Growing with Science: Engineering Activities for Kids
Share it! Science: Rube Goldberg Machines- an Engineering Challenge

June 25: Art with a STEM focus
Growing with Science: this post
Share it! Science: Family STEAM Night- Where Art Meets Science!

June 26:  Math
Growing with Science: New math books for kids
Share It! Science: The Golden Ratio in the Garden

We would love to hear your questions or suggestions for STEAM-related projects to share with others. Let's heat up the summer with STEAM!

For the third day of our STEAM Festival, we are featuring engineering. At Share it! Science, Sarah is giving information about designing a Rube-Goldberg contraption. Below we are giving some engineering activity ideas.

What is engineering and how do you do it?

The difference between science, technology, and engineering is not always completely clear, but basically scientists seek understanding by performing experiments, whereas engineers create new products and experiences. If you are doing an experiment, it is probably science. If you are making a model or prototype of something, then the project is probably engineering. Science Buddies has an excellent graphic comparison of the engineering method and the scientific method to help clarify the differences.

Example:

Recently scientists at Colombia University used the spores of a bacterium to harness the power of evaporation. Basically, they found out that the spores change shape in response to changes in humidity.

Then they used that understanding to engineer some very small contraptions powered by the bacteria spores. See what happens when the energy of evaporation is harnessed:

Doesn't that give you chills? Learn more about at Science Friday.

Some Ideas for Engineering Projects

1. Science Buddies has a huge list of engineering projects, including instructions how to make a "Frightened Grasshopper: Solar-Powered Robot Bug" (kit required).

2. Check out books, such as Cool Engineering Activities for Girls (Girls Science Club) by Heather E. Schwartz and Lana F Flakes (Consultant Editor) has many project ideas, most of which would work for boys as well as girls.

This book gives step-by-step instructions for making things like litter grabbers and a table made out of paper.

3. Teachers Try Science lists instructions for how to build your own robot arm. This does not involve electronics, but common household materials.

4. World Space Week (WSW) provides a teacher's activity guide with instructions for quite a few engineering projects. For example, "Houston We May Have an Omelet!" on page 7 involves designing a landing pad to help an "eggnaut" land safely. The WSW educator's page lists links to the activity guides and a number of other resources, or you can download the .pdf at this direct link.

5. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has a list of over 100 engineering project ideas from kids educational sites, like ZOOM, plus some of their own, like this extensive project that involves building bridges.

6. We also have some previous posts about engineering projects here at Growing With Science:

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Disclosures: The book above was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click through the linked titles or ads and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Proceeds will be used to maintain this self-hosted blog.

___________________________________
Share It! Science and Growing with Science are pleased to announce we are teaming up for a week long Children's Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Festival. Please join us for information and project ideas to help your family explore STEAM-related activities for the summer and beyond!

STEAM-festival-button-latest

Our activity schedule is as follows:

June 22: Science
Growing with Science: Science activities for Kids
Share it! Science: Are You a Scientist?

June 23: Technology
Growing with Science: Technology for Kids
Share it! Science: Exploring Kid's Opportunities in Technology

June 24: Engineering
Growing with Science: This post
Share it! Science: Rube Goldberg Machines- an Engineering Challenge

June 25: Art with a STEM focus
Growing with Science: Art Activities for Kids with a STEM Focus
Share it! Science: Family STEAM Night- Where Art Meets Science!

June 26:  Math
Growing with Science: New math books for kids
Share It! Science: The Golden Ratio in the Garden

We would love to hear your questions or suggestions for STEAM-related projects to share with others. Let's heat up the summer with STEAM!