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.


Will Fastiggi
Will Fastiggi

Originally from England, Will is an Upper Primary Coordinator now living in Brazil. He is passionate about making the most of technology to enrich the education of students.

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