Easy STEM Projects for Elementary Students – The TPT Blog

STEM — are important cornerstones of modern-day society and careers. This makes learning about these subjects from an early age more important than ever! Using STEM projects as part of your lessons can be a fantastic way to build foundational STEM skills, encourage curiosity, and build critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The following activities can help spark your students’ passion for STEM and inspire them to become scientists, engineers, and innovators in the future.

9 Fun STEM Projects for Elementary Students

One of the best ways to learn about (and foster a love of) STEM is through hands-on learning that lets students experience the design and innovation process for themselves. Here are nine easy STEM projects that are perfect for doing just that with your elementary students.

1. Build a boat 

STEM Building for Little Learners ~ Boats by Cara’s Creative Playground
Grades: K-1

This STEM project is perfect for young learners who are either not familiar with or not ready for a traditional STEM project. Their challenge is to build a boat that floats for at least 3 seconds, using only 3 colors of blocks. 

2. Design a roller coaster that works

Roller Coaster STEM Challenge (End of the Year STEM Activity) – Summer by Brooke Brown – Teach Outside the Box
Grades: K-5

This low-prep STEM activity is perfect to engage your elementary engineers, particularly at the end of the school year! Using what they know about roller coaters, and what they’ve previously learned about force and motion, students are asked to design a new roller coaster for an amusement park that can successfully carry a marble from the top to the bottom without falling off.

3. Create a shelter against extreme weather conditions

Weather STEM Challenge | Spring STEM Activity by Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Grades: 2-8

If you’re looking to apply learning about weather, climate, natural disasters, and natural resources, this STEM project is the perfect classroom activity for just that. Students can work individually, with partners, or in small groups, using a list of criteria and constraints to create a shelter to defend against a number of different types of weather.

4. Devise a method to filter out water pollution

Water Pollution Water Filter STEM by Spivey Sparks
Grades: 3-5

This environmental project challenges students to create a water filter to use with gray water to conserve water resources. It’s a great activity to use when teaching about pollution and the ways to improve it.

5. Discover the science behind fidget spinners

Fidget Spinner STEM Challenge Activities and Science Experiment by Erintegration – Technology for Creative Teachers
Grades: 3-6

Unveil the science of fidget spinners with this engaging and low-prep STEM project, which gives students practice with using the scientific method, collecting data, graphing, and more — all while having fun!

6. Find a way to safely drop an egg

Egg Drop STEM Activity – End of Year STEM Challenge by Meredith Anderson – Momgineer STEM Activities
Grades: 3-8

This classic STEM challenge is an excellent way to explore force and motion, drag, and iterative design and testing. If you’ve thought about trying a STEM project with your students, but weren’t sure where to begin, this is a great challenge to start with.

7. Learn about solar energy

Build a Solar Oven | STEM & Science | Forms of Energy Project Thermal Light by the Science Penguin
Grades: 4-5

Students will use their knowledge of thermal conductors and insulators to construct a solar oven to cook s’mores. This exploration is a wonderful addition to your thermal energy unit and has everything you need for success.

8. Construct a city using math concepts

Area, Perimeter, and Volume Design a City Challenge by LaFountaine of Knowledge
Grades: 5-8

In this project-based learning activity for math, students use area, perimeter, and volume to design their own city. As they build their city, they must adhere to minimum size requirements for roads and green spaces. After they’re done, students must find the perimeter of the green spaces, find the total surface area of roads, and find the volume of each building to reinforce the concepts they’ve learned.

9. Land a space rover on the moon

STEM Space Moon Crater Design Challenge (Engineering Design Process) by Vivify STEM
Grades: 5-9

Can your team of astronauts work together to land a rover in the center of a crater on the moon? This engaging STEM challenge is a fun way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or afterschool program. Students use the engineering design process and explore the forces of motion to place a ball in a cup at the center of a 6-foot-diameter circle without entering the circle. It’s a great project for your space exploration unit or for learning about the moon.

3 Bonus STEM Activities for Elementary Students

By connecting STEM to other subjects or exploring real-world applications, educators can create a deeper connection for kids. These STEM activities will really get kids thinking about how these subjects play a big role in their lives.

1. Introduce the concept STEM to young learners

What is STEM? (An Introduction to STEM) by Happy Days in First Grade
Grades: PreK-3

Just starting out with STEM? This is the perfect resource to help you introduce your young learners to the concept and its importance. In addition to engaging informational signs for whole-group instruction, it also comes with a student booklet that can be reprinted and used throughout the year, and three nursery rhyme-themed design challenges.

2. Tie engineering challenges into reading comprehension

Reading Passages and STEM Challenges by Read Like a Rockstar
Grades: 1-2

Reading comprehension and STEM challenges are combined in this fun and engaging resource. Students will read a short story and answer two comprehension questions about the text. After that, they will complete a mini STEM project related to a problem that a character faced in the story.

3. Encourage students to think about real-world applications

STEM and Social Change Project Template by The Woke STEM Teacher
Not Grade Specific

This resource provides students with a six-step process for being more creative in their approach to solving real-world problems.

Looking for even more engaging and educational activities to spark young students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math? Check out more STEM projects for your elementary students on TPT.

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