My nephew, Micah enjoys building things, conducting experiments with the hopes of becoming an inventor one day. After seeing similar kits at Gluesticks and Thrifty Decorating, I decided for Christmas to put together a STEM kit for Micah. Essentially the kit includes an empty composition notebook for him to keep track of his findings, a folder full of fun science, technology, engineering, and math activities, and then a miscellaneous pile of supplies he may need. The supplies I included were cornstarch, white vinegar, corks, film canister, corks, raisins, glue, Borax, radish seeds, owl pellets, black light magnifying glass, coffee filters, ivory soap, modeling clay, twine, rubber gloves, tweezers, goggles, dropper bottles, and an official lab coat (my mom's from medical school.)
To prepare the notebooks for gifting, I simply printed "Micah's Science Lab Notebook" on yellow card stock, used my corner rounder punch and then used rubber cement it attach it to the cover. On the inside cover of the composition notebook, I developed some basic tips on how to keep a lab notebook like the scientists do! You can download a copy of The Tips for Keeping a Lab Notebook for free! (It is a Google Doc.) I printed these on cardstock and used rubber cement to glue it to the inside. These tips are simplified and appropriate for late elementary and maybe middle school students, but not for high school students. Students with more science background should include more in their lab notebooks!
Then to prepare the pronged folder, I hole punched all the activities (more about those below), wrote a letter to my nephew, then fastened it all into the folder.
As for the contents of the STEM folder, I assembled activities from Kids Science Experiments.com and formatted them to fit into a 8 1/2 x 11, three-holed pronged notebook. The experiments I printed off were:
Surface Tension Experiments:
Run Away Pepper
Mixing and Separating Experiments
Three Layer Float
Making a Blubber Glue Ball (Gak)
Making a Lava Lamp
Engineering (from the book Constructions: Kids and Science by Joan Westley)
Building with Shapes
My own STEM experiences:
Owl Pellets (I had extra from our summer collection)
I hope this helps you as you consider putting a STEM kit together for someone in your life who loves to tinker! Enjoy!
This post was featured in the online magazine Bonbon Break in January 2013! If you are visiting from Bonbon Break, please leave me a comment! :)
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