The FIRST question we always get asked by new volunteers is, “What activity should I do?”
Seems like a logical question.
But, here’s how we respond….
“It doesn’t matter.”
STEM outreach has become synonymous with popsicle stick bridge building & spaghetti towers.
There are entire organizations now working on STEM activities, kits and toys for kids.
While these are great tools to integrate into the STEM outreach experience, our goal is to create a lasting STEM experience for kids.
NOT to simply deliver a STEM activity to a group of students.
We want to leave a lasting impression. Get them curious.
We want kids to learn about engineering in a way they NEVER have before (more on that here, here and here).
However….we also know that our volunteers like doing their homework. They want to create the BEST possible experience for those students, and often don’t know where to start.
Many of them are nervous! It’s probably been years since they stepped into a classroom. And, getting kids excited about engineering is not something they’ve had much practice with.
Once we’ve set them up with the building blocks and taught them effective outreach methods…..then we bring in the last piece of the puzzle: The activities.
Here are our go-to resources for finding
relevant, curriculum-aligned, STEM activities.
Other EIR program volunteers – yep. They LOVE to share! In fact, this past year they formalized the sharing process and have now created a Library of Lessons that EIRs can access – and even contribute to!
The EIR program guide – tried and tested activities that we KNOW will work in the classroom setting.
Outside of what’s available through our EIR program, there are other organizations that are creating fantastic STEM content…and they’re willing to share! Here are a few of our favorites:
- tryengineering.org (by IEEE)
- Kids Code Jeunesse
- Canada Learning Code
- Teach Engineering
- DiscoverE (University of Alberta) *Includes French resources*
- Future City Competition/Future City Experience
- Pinterest – try searching *STEM* *STEM at home* *STEM activities*
- Tomorrow’s Engineers
Practiced STEM outreach volunteers (we call them EIRs!) will be able to turn ANY activity into an experience that ALL students will remember.
How about you? Where do you go to find fun, creative, hands-on STEM activities?