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STEM Family Night
Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:56 PM
I want to host a STEM family night at my elementary school. I am looking for ideas/activities for students and their families. I would also like to have a drawing for prizes so that students could continue with STEM activities at home and over the summer. Any suggestions?
90 Activity Points
Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:27 PM
It sounds like you are at the precipice of an exciting venture...tell us more, please --
How are you defining your STEM focus? What expectations do you have in terms of inexpensive materials and measuring instruments? What levels and/or content do you wish to highlight?
45830 Activity Points
Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:11 PM
I work at a Title 1 school in a high poverty area, but I do have $200 to work with! I have not thought about a focus or theme. The activities would need to be for K-5 students. I am trying to get more people to take interest in science. It is often pushed aside (sad). We have many ELL and ESE students and they love the hands on activities. It boosts their confidence and they participate more in class. I already have the standard measurment supplies in my science lab. I have had a hard time finding activities. Some we have done already as part of our science olympics in the fall, but many seem too difficult or expensive.
Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:05 PM
I have an idea for you. You might want to have the family build a paper glidder boat. The base would be a styrofoam food tray top. Attach a straw for a mast. Have the families build a sail out of a piece of notebook paper that would push the glidder the greatest distance when attacheh to the straw mast. Use a standard box fan for the force. The materials are relatively inexpensive and the families can have opportunities to try out their 'boat' before a final test. These boats move well over a tiled floor.
Just an idea. Maybe it will lead you to others.
101430 Activity Points
Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:32 PM
Shelby, we are in a similar situation at my middle school. We are planning our first Science night, but will have a focus on STEM projects we have incorporated into our Science curriculum. As such, we are having a variety of activities students and parents can participate in. The advantage is, we have already done the labs in class already so have supplies on hand. While we are still in the brainstorming phase, several options are available. I am attaching a collection I began specifically addressing Family Science nights that had some great ideas.
My Design and Engineering class is going to share toothbrush robots – check out the forum http://learningcenter.nsta.org/discuss/default.aspx?tid=PcS!plus!gMzhJt0_E#20256 for ideas and examples. You can get the electric toothbrushes at the Dollar Tree and have everything you need outside of electrical tape, double sided sticky tape and rubber bands.
I would also check out Bill Kuhl’s website, http://www.scienceguy.org/Home.aspx for ideas listed in his “Articles” tab. The hammer down gliders are also really inexpensive to make and were well received by my middle school students. Bill is one of our NSTA members and has several ideas throughout the forum threads that may interest you. He also responds immediately to emails and loves helping out with ideas and modifications.
To find him, or any other member, go to the Search box located within the “Community Forums” , type in "Bill Kuhl", then search. That will take you to a page “These individuals match your search”, Bill Kuhl is your first choice. When you click on his name and photo, you will end up at his Learning Center Profile. In the “About Me” section you will find his link to his website. If you scroll down further, you will find “Recent Posts by Bill”. Here you will find the first few sentences of his post with the option to view the full post. This allows you the option of perusing for ideas without having to read entire forums. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will see, “View all posts by Bill”. When you click on this, you will see all of the posts Bill has ever made. This is useful because you get a chance to go further back in time for great ideas.
I look forward to hearing how your STEM family night went and the activities you included.
42970 Activity Points
Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:46 PM
Thank you so much for the wonderful suggestions. I love the boat idea and that would really work for us. Thank you for the resources that you offered. The toothbrush activity sounds very interesting. I really appreciate your time and suggestions. I can't wait to look through the information you sent. Thanks again!
Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:31 PM
Sandy - Thanks for posting your Family Science Collection. We are also organizing a Family Science night, and I am sure these articles will be helpful!
5475 Activity Points
Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:22 PM
NSTA is holding a STEM conference in Atlantic City in May and one of the featured activities is described at this url
Family STEM Night
Friday, May 18, 7:30–9:00 PM
302, Atlantic City Convention Center
All Forum registrants are invited to this exciting and fun-filled evening event! Join us as we model a "Family" STEM Night and learn how to organize one at your school.
"Families" will be comprised of four teachers who will be your "family" members. So, whether you already have a "ready-made" family of four; or, if you need to be "adopted" into a family, you can participate! If you already have a "ready-made" family of four colleagues, you may sign up together. If not, don't worry … we can provide adopted "family" members for you.
Families will be challenged with STEM activities and a special prize will be awarded to the winning family.
All participants will receive a "take-away" flash drive that includes additional activities and instructions; PowerPoints; and templates for tickets, flyers, and all the materials and resources you'll need to organize one in your community.
There is limited availability for "families." However, you are still invited to participate as an observer. In either case, you won't want to miss this evening of fun, excitement, and learning!
It is my thought that there may be items shared after the conference as they are after other NSTA conferences. Perhaps we will be able to access some of these family stem night activities once they are posted by the presenters. We'll keep our eyes peeled out after the conference is over.
Tue May 22, 2012 12:48 PM
I attended the STEM family night and put together a collection of the materials they handed out that night. We heard that in addition to the wonderful Science and Math Family night books, they will soon release a STEM Family night book. For now, the materials they handed out are fabulous and are sure to make it a lot easier to put on your own STEM Family night!
22755 Activity Points
Fri May 25, 2012 2:53 PM
Great resources. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.
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