Unique Spring STEAM Ideas for the K–8 Classroom

Unique Spring STEAM Ideas for the K–8 Classroom

Educators know that springtime is invigorating to students. With the promise of summer on the horizon, warmer weather to enjoy outside, and more daylight to take advantage of, students are often full of energy and excitement in the springtime. This is an excellent time to try new group projects in the classroom. As spring ushers in a new season of vitality, take some time to refresh your approach to STEAM. We have compiled seven unique spring STEAM activities for the K-8 classroom. Plus, download our free Interesting Women in STEM/STEAM Activity to use with students.

Making the most of the new season is beneficial to both teachers and students. Seasonal STEAM activities and projects offer younger students a chance to understand real world connections between the work they do in school and their lives outside of the classroom. It also creates opportunities to re-engage in learning when standardized testing or end-of-semester burnout occurs. Group STEAM projects help students connect with each other in the midst of this, too. Keep your STEAM curriculum fresh and relevant by creating activities based on fun calendar holidays and timely events (check out TeacherVision’s calendar for examples).

Spring STEAM Activities

7 Unique Ideas for Spring STEM Activities

#1 Women’s History Month STEAM Research Activity

March is Women’s History Month. Use this time to honor women’s contributions throughout history while teaching students about the impact of influential women in STEAM. Task students with researching at least three women who have made strides in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and/or Mathematics. Women to research could include:

  • Ada Lovelace
  • Emily Warren Roebling
  • Susan La Flesche
  • Lise Meitner
  • Lynda Newman
  • Sophie Germain
  • Rachel Carson
  • Katherine Johnson
  • Ruth Rogan Benerito
  • Edith Clarke
  • Evelyn Carmon Nicol
  • Denice Denton
  • Marie Skłodowska Curie
  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer
  • Mary Engle Pennington
  • Marie Van Brittan Brown
  • Mary G. Ross
  • Valerie Thomas
  • Ellen Ochoa
  • Virginia Holsinger
  • Tu Youyou
  • Hedy Lamarr
  • Grace Hopper
  • Jane Goodall
  • Nola Hylton

After researching at least three women in STEM/STEAM, students can use the Interesting Women in STEM/STEAM Activity to reflect on who inspired, surprised, and intrigued them most. This research activity and worksheet offer a more interesting way to study women in history than simply recording biographical information. This allows students to learn the accomplishments of these women over trivial information like their date or location of birth. To finish, have each student give a 90-second presentation sharing which woman in STEM/STEAM intrigued them most. This spring STEM activity is sure to be a historical hit!

Interesting Women in STEM/STEAM Activity

#2 Music in Our Schools Month

March is also Music in Our Schools month! Teaching music and STEAM together in cohesive projects can be incredibly beneficial to students. It allows them to think more creatively and to develop a stronger interest in STEAM learning. Learn more about the advantages of teaching STEAM through music-related projects in our article, here.

To teach students about coding through music, check out our TinkRsynth project! Perfect for grades 6-8, this project offers students a chance to collaborate with each other while exploring their creativity and expression. It teaches several key STEAM concepts in one fun STEM project.

#3 Celebrate Albert Einstein’s Birthday

Everyone knows March 14 is Pi Day, but did you know it’s also the birthday of Albert Einstein?

Famous for his numerous contributions to science, math, and physics, Einstein is a STEM innovator worth celebrating! He also published a theory of stimulated emission that formed the basis for laser technology. His formula, E=mc^2 helped the world understand the relationship between mass and energy. His Theory of Relativity revolutionized science in ways that eventually brought us technology like GPS.

Celebrate Einstein’s birthday in the STEAM classroom this spring by exploring various ways GPS is used today and the impact it has on our everyday lives. Here are some ways in which GPS plays a vital role in our world today:

  • Weather forecasting
  • Environmental conservation
  • Aviation
  • Tracking wildlife
  • Precision agriculture
  • Disease control
  • Personal navigation
  • Satellite operations
  • Power grids
  • Surveying Mapping

Don’t worry if March 14 has already passed. This spring STEM activity can be used in April to celebrate when Einstein revealed the Theory of Relativity on April 11, 1905!

#4 World Meteorological Day

We celebrate World Meteorological Day on March 23. Meteorology, or the study of the atmosphere, helps us forecast the weather. To explore this concept with your students, check out our Weather Station project for grades 3-5. Help students answer the essential question: How can we observe and collect weather data using technology? Teach key concepts related to weather and weather patterns, as well as technology and electricity!

#5 Building the Eiffel Tower

On March 31, 1889 the Eiffel Tower officially opened in Paris, France. Use the opening of one of the most well-known structures in the world to engage students in a fun spring STEM activity. Start by having students learn about the design and construction process of the Eiffel Tower. Show them pictures and videos of the structure as it stands today. Discuss the materials, shapes, and structures that the builders used to create the tower. Then, break students into groups to design and construct their own model of the Eiffel Tower using various building materials. This activity helps students practice working collaboratively while engaging with key STEAM concepts!

#6 Springtime Space Exploration

The months of March, April, and May are riddled with calendar events and milestones related to space exploration. Some notable dates include:

  • Hubble Photo Shows Millions of Galaxies (March 8, 1934)
  • Uranus Discovered (March 13, 1781)
  • First Space Walk (March 18, 1965)
  • First Man in Space (April 12, 1961)
  • First U.S. space station launched (May 14, 1973)
  • Astronaut Sally Ride’s Birthday (May 26, 1951)

Explore space-themed topics during your STEAM lessons by commemorating these events! You can create small groups and task students with researching an important space-related discovery.

For grades 4-6, consider our Planetary Pathways STEAM project! In this activity, students create an Orrery — a motorized rotating model of the Sun, Earth, and Moon — and learn about how their relationship affects life on Earth. Teach key STEAM concepts about technological devices as well as space and planets!

#7 Earth Day

Although we can appreciate a sustainable approach to STEAM any day, Earth Day gives us an extra reason to practice environmentally-friendly STEAM learning. Using recyclable materials to facilitate STEAM projects is a great way to promote sustainability to students. For example, challenge students to build a working parachute for an egg drop using only recycled or reused materials. This gives them an opportunity to practice creative problem solving while learning about physics.

Read our STEM and Sustainability in the Classroom article to discover more ways to promote an Earth-friendly approach to STEAM learning!

Bonus Spring STEM Activities Inspiration

Here are additional springtime calendar holidays and noteworthy events that can be used to inspire spectacular spring STEAM.

  • Teen Tech Week (March 3-9)
  • First Phone Call (March 10, 1876)
  • Agriculture Day (March 20)
  • World Water Day (March 22)
  • Jane Goodall’s Birthday (April 3, 1934)
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s Birthday (April 15, 1452)
  • National Music Week (May 5-12)
  • Mount St. Helens Erupted (May 18, 1980) )
  • International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22)
  • Wright Brothers Patented the Aircraft (May 23, 1906)
  • First Telegraph Message Transmitted (May 24, 1844)
  • Brooklyn Bridge Opened (May 24, 1883)
  • Golden Gate Bridge Opened (May 27, 1937)

In Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to refresh your class’ approach to STEM education, or you want to add it in for the first time, the springtime offers tons of opportunities to make STEM learning relevant and engaging for your students. Use these ideas as a starting point to jumpstart your creativity. If there are additional ways to tie a spring STEAM project into an event happening in or around your community, utilize those! Create lessons that keep your students interested in learning even as the semester nears its end.

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