Fight Summer Slide with STEAM Summer Learning

Fight Summer Slide with STEAM Summer Learning

Summer brings a well-deserved break for teachers to relax and reset before the next group of students enters their new classrooms. Oftentimes, the summer has an unfortunate side effect on student development. Months spent away from a classroom setting means that students are likely not reinforcing their learning from the previous year. If students cease to hone their math, science, reading, and writing skills over summer break, they may lose a large portion of the knowledge that they previously gained. This learning loss has been coined the “summer slide.”

On the bright side, educators are now more equipped than ever to combat the summer slide! In this article, we have compiled a list of ways educators and parents can prevent learning loss and encourage students to keep their STEAM education going as they enjoy their summer breaks.

Fun STEAM Summer Learning Ideas

1. Offer a STEAM Summer Program

A STEAM summer program offers students the chance to engage with STEAM topics on a deeper level through additional instruction. With a STEAM summer program, students can reinforce the concepts they learned during the school year in a creative and hands-on way.

If you’re looking for ways to create a successful summer program, check out the tips in our article, Successful Summer STEAM: A Guide to Designing a Top-Notch Summer Program. While you’re at it, be sure to grab our Creating a Highly Successful STEAM PBL Program Checklist so you can start your program with confidence!

2. Create a STEAM makerspace for students

The purpose of a makerspace is to offer students materials and tools to engage with STEAM concepts in a real-world setting. The materials can be as accessible as cardboard boxes, paper clips, plastic grocery bags, or a variety of random craft supplies. Build a makerspace for students and give them the opportunity to practice creative expression. You’ll be surprised what students come up with as they utilize it!

Our free Makerspace Lesson Library, TinkRpedia, has everything you need to get started with STEAM Project-based Learning, including projects made from recyclable materials Access TinkRpedia now!


3. Share STEAM Summer Learning resources with parents

Teachers play a big role in helping families form summer learning plans, but it’s ultimately the parents who keep students motivated to learn throughout the summer.

Email a round-up of summer activities and resources to parents. Chances are, many parents will be thankful to have a curated list (provided by their child’s teacher) on hand. Encourage and empower parents to take advantage of these activities with their child to keep summer learning alive!

Here are some ideas to consider as you create your round-up:

    • Online math games: Check out CoolMath4KidsMathPlayground, or these free games from
    • Guided art classes: There are tons of art tutorials and lessons available for free on YouTube. ArtForKidsHub offers tutorials on drawing and painting cartoons. Miss Teresea Art has a playlist that teaches about geometry in art, and how to use geometric principles to draw well. I Love Drawing teaches art history through easy-to-follow drawing tutorials.
    • Coding gamesMITMicrosoft, and Girls Who Code have free coding games for students grades 1-12 available on their websites.
    • Virtual museum tours: Most museums have an online component that allows you to explore and learn about certain exhibits online! Even historical sites often have interactive websites and videos that you can access for free.
    • Free learning guidesLinktivity offers activities spanning a variety of subjects.
    • STEAM Brain Builders: Parents can still weave the STEAM fundamentals into a few short moments of reflection during summer break with This or That Simple STEAM Brain Builders. These short activities will get kids in the STEAM headspace and motivate them to think like innovators! These prompts are a great, quick introduction to STEAM and will push students to deeper levels of analysis by touching upon certain elements of the STEAM model.

STEAM Program Summer Learning Checklist

4. Read STEAM Books

Reading is an accessible way to keep students’ brains active over the summer, and STEAM books can help them keep STEAM concepts fresh in their minds. Below are just a few books to consider sharing with parents.

    • From Seed to Plant Workbook by Gail Gibbons: This book is chock-full of activities, writing prompts, and interactive prompts to help your students learn about growing plants first-hand.
    • STEM-tastic Reads for Summer: Click the link to scroll through an entire list of books that teach STEM topics through roller coasters, Star Wars, robots, and more!
    • Summer-Slide STEAM Books: These books include tons of interactive lessons and experiments to help students connect STEAM concepts to the real world.
5. Start STEAM/STEM curriculum planning

Get ready to jump right into STEAM learning in the next school year! With thoughtful planning, you can ensure that your curriculum includes projects and lessons that are productive, educational, and engaging for your students. The summer break offers plenty of time to start identifying, mapping, and planning for your goals. Whether you are creating a STEAM program for the classroom or an afterschool program, a little planning will go a long way to make it successful!

To get started, check out our Creating a Highly Successful STEAM PBL Program Checklist. This resource outlines the steps you will need to take to ensure that your program is beneficial to your students.


Once you are familiar with all of the components you’ll need to start your STEAM program, start exploring projects! Trial STEAM projects over the summer so that you are ready to lead students through a project from start to finish.

Consider trying our LaunchPad Introductory Offer!  LaunchPad (Grades 3-8) is a budget-friendly way for you to try out our exceptional, hands-on STEAM projects with a small group of teachers or students. Try it out to see if it’s a good fit for your STEAM program!

STEAM Project TinkRworks Launchpad

In Conclusion

Summer learning is vital to help students avoid the summer slide. Any way to help students engage in learning during their break can help prevent the loss of knowledge gained in the previous school year. Working with parents to ensure that students keep their minds active over the break is important, since parents are the key motivators in their children’s learning during the summer. With these resources, both educators and parents can set their students up for a fun summer of STEAM learning!


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