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Summer Family Science Activities

Summer is in full swing, so it is the perfect time to turn to science, engineering, and technology activities with your kids. You can get them excited about science, help them retain what they learned during the school year, and do something fun together! There are lots of resources out there for great activities and lessons, but here are some of our favorites to get you started:

 

  • Egg Bungee Jump Design Challenge: Give your kid a fun design challenge! Ask them to design a bungee cord system to protect a raw egg and keep it from breaking. This project will teach them about gravity and other fun physics concepts!

 

  • Learn How to Code: Let it code, let it code! At Code.org, your kids (and you!) can learn the basics of computer science while programming characters from Frozen to make shapes on the ice or to help the Angry Birds get through a maze. They have lessons that are short as an hour or ones that are more extensive. They also offer activities for older or more experienced coders that combine computer programming with art, video games, animation, and more.

 

  • Float a Boat: Challenge your elementary school kids to construct a vessel using household materials to carry “cargo” in the form of pennies across a wading pool. Kids will learn about the engineering design process as well as buoyancy and propulsion.

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  • Paper Circuits: Looking for something a little more high-tech for your middle schooler? Try paper circuits! Using copper tape, a coin-cell battery, and an LED, kids can make all kinds of light-up paper designs as they learn about how circuits work.  From MAKEZine: “Paper circuits are a great way of adding light to your drawings, origami, or papercraft creations. Instead of using wires to connect a battery to LEDs, paper circuits use conductive metal tape!”

 

 

  • Balloon Car: In this activity from PBS’s Design Squad, kids are challenged to build a car that moves forward when air is released from a balloon. Have everyone in the family build one and race them to see whose design goes the farthest!  Once you have tried testing distance, try testing other factors such as whose car is the toughest and whose can carry the most weight.

 

 

To keep tinkering and find other ideas and summer activities, check out these great resources:

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