STEAM Challenges using everyday household objects

When students are stuck at home, it’s good practice to extend their learning beyond the computer screen.  The following 10 challenges are fun, hands-on and “unplugged” activities that help to reinforce students’ knowledge and skills related to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths):

  1. Create a paper “rocket” that will fly without being touched. (Clue: you will need a straw, paper and tape.)  
  2. Grow a plant without soil. (Clue: you will need water, paper towels, a sponge, a clear plastic cup and quick-sprouting seeds such as grass or chia.)
  3. Move water from one cup to another without touching it. (Clue: you will need cups, water, paper towels and food colouring.)
  4. How do ducks and penguins stay dry in the water?  Change a feather so it stays dry in the water. (Clue: you will need paper “feathers”, crayons, oil, petroleum jelly, paintbrushes, and a spray bottle with water.)
  5. Build a bridge that is at least 30 cm long.  It should be able to support at least 10 pennies in the middle.  (Clue: you could use string, craft sticks, cardboard, tape, pennies.)
  6. Design several ramps to make a toy car travel slow, slower, and slowest. (Clue: you could use a toy car, cardboard ramps, string, play dough, sand paper, and rubbery shelf liner.) 
  7. Make a car that moves without being touched. (Clue: you will need balloons, straws, paper & cardboard, craft sticks, dowels or skewers and magnets.)
  8. Use straws to create a device or vehicle that floats.  (Clue: you will need straws, play dough, tape and a small tub of water.)
  9. Use only paper and tape to create a structure that will hold a heavy book.  It must be able to stand on its own. (Clue: you will need paper, tape and heavy books.)
  10. Make a paper clip “float” in the air without touching it. (Clue: you will need magnets, paperclips, string, tape, craft sticks and lego blocks.

You can find some more ideas for STEAM activities from my STEAM webpage, or have a go at one of the cardboard box STEAM projects.


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