STEM activities and summer fun from guest blogger, and author Lois Spangler
Does learning end when school closes in June? Reading The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story about the Six Simple Machines will engage children and help them understand that learning is fun and can happen anytime and anywhere – even in their own backyard!
The summer provides children with a large quantity of unstructured time to explore their interests and try new things. After reading The Fort on Fourth Street, try some of the following suggestions. Children will learn to read and follow directions, learn about the six simple machines, and these projects offer the added benefit of creating a finished product!
- Build a fort! Where will you build it? How will you build it? Which simple machines will you use to build your fort?
- Craft stores have many kits for constructing things. Design and build a bird feeder. Which simple machines are needed to build your bird feeder? Watch and record the names of the birds that visit the feeder.
- Research and build a birdhouse or a bat box. Which simple machines will you need to build a birdhouse or a bat box? Where will you place your box? Why?
- Design and build model airplanes. Which simple machines will you need to build and fly your model airplane? Fly your plane and record how far it flies on each flight.
- Design and construct a raised bed for vegetables. Have a vegetable growing contest with your family. Who can grow the longest zucchini? Which simple machines will you need to construct a raised bed and plant your vegetables?
Science is fun! Keep asking questions and creating new ideas!
Lois Spangler is an accomplished author and educator who has received many distinguished awards for her classroom work during her 32-year career. In addition to her personal achievements, she has worked with students to help them earn both state and national awards from numerous organizations including NASA, Toshiba and the NSTA. Although The Fort on Fourth Street is Lois’s debut picture book, she has written, edited and managed more than 30 books including 6 ancillary science books for Scott Foresman Science. As an author and education expert, she has served on various committees and boards, including as a judge for the NSTA’s ExploraVision National Science Competition and the NSF’s Selection Committee for the “PAEMST.” Visit her websitewww.edconnectionsllc.com for more information.