Are you staying cool in the pool this summer? Take advantage of those long summer days at the pool by adding some fun STEM challenges! Read on to learn how to turn play into learning including 10 ideas for STEM at the pool.
Seize every STEMable Moment
Every moment, whether in a planned lesson or during play, can be a learning opportunity. I’m a planner and my tendency is to script everything so that I feel prepared. The trouble is that I’m the only one that knows my plan, and in many cases, the only one who may benefit from this structure. I have experienced that some of the greatest opportunities to learn come from tangents. Instead of directing conversations back to my plan, I follow the interests of my kids, and we often both learn something new.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, let’s investigate!” Lead by example to show how inquiry can lead to understanding. After all, everything in STEM starts with a question. Give kids the tools to discover the answer. Hopefully, these ideas for learning at the pool will inspire learning elsewhere during your summer days and beyond!
10 Ideas for STEM at the Pool
Parents typically sit back as kids splash around during pool time, but what about turning the fun into some STEM learning? There are endless possiblities of STEM challenges and connections to be made! Read on for some ideas to keep the learning going this summer.
Build a floatation device for a toy out of straws and tape.
Develop a rescue device to grab a toy that has floated more than arm's length away.
Use adhesion to connect leaves together to build the largest raft you can.
See how many sticks your leaf raft or flotation device can hold! How can you make it stronger?
Did you know that your heart pumps enough blood to fill up 4 Olympic size swimming pools every year? Calculate how many of your local sized pools that would be.
Get on a floatation device and try to safely balance up on your knees. Experiment to find your center of gravity. Can you change your center of gravity to become unbalanced?
Design an air propelled boat using a balloon, straws, and tape. Calculate how the diameter of the inflated balloon relates to the distance the boat travels.
Slice up a pool noodle and use the slices to construct a floating tower or castle. How might your design be used as a solution to overpopulated coastal towns?
Drop some leaves into the pool and pretend it is trash island. Come up with ways we can remove or reuse the trash collecting in our oceans.
Cut and fold paper to make origami water strider bugs that float on top of the water. Try it with different materials. What properties make some materials work better than others? What shapes work best? Research why!
We hope these ideas inspire some educational fun with your kids during the long days of summer! How do you keep your kids engaged with learning during the summer?
Looking for more STEM fun this summer? Check out our STEM Summer Calendar!