STREAM News and Updates

I will be posting here periodically different STREAM activities and challenges. These can be done at home with materials you probably already have. Have fun!

This is a great time of the year to explore weather. Below are hands-on activities to guide your child while they discover different types of weather conditions.

Make a Thunderstorm Front 


Materials: Clear plastic container (size of a shoe box), red food coloring, ice cubes made with water and blue food coloring.

Directions: Fill the plastic container two-thirds full of lukewarm water. Let the water sit for a minute to come to air temperature. Place a blue ice cube at one end of the container. Drop 3 drops of red food coloring into the water at the opposite end of the container. Watch what happens! Here’s the explanation: the blue cold water (representing a cold air mass) sinks while the red warm water (representing the warm, unstable air mass) rises. This is called convection and the warm air is forced to rise by the approaching cold front, and the thunderstorm forms.

Create Your Own Lightning


Materials: Aluminum pie tin, wool sock, Styrofoam block, pencil with eraser, thumbtack.

Directions: Push the thumbtack through the center of the pie tin from the bottom. Push the eraser end of the pencil onto the thumbtack. Place the tin to the side. Put the Styrofoam block on a table. Quickly rub the block with the wool sock for a couple of minutes. Pick up the aluminum pie pan, using the pencil as a handle, and place it on top of the Styrofoam block. Touch the aluminum pie pan with your finger—you should feel a shock! If you don’t feel anything, try rubbing the Styrofoam block again. Once you feel the shock, try turning the lights out before you touch the pan again. You should see a spark, like lightning!

What is happening? Static electricity. Lightning happens when the negative charges (electrons) in the bottom of the cloud (or in this experiment your finger) are attracted to the positive charges (protons) in the ground (or in this experiment the aluminum pie pan). The resulting spark is like a mini lightning bolt.

Predict Rain with Pine Cones


Materials: Pine cones, journal or paper.

Directions: Observe the pine cones and the weather daily. Note that when the weather is dry, the pine cones stay open. When it’s about to rain, the pine cones close! This is a great way to talk about weather prediction. Pine cones open and close based on the humidity to help seed dispersal. Have your child draw or record their observations.

Below is an activity that your child will have fun creating, while reinforcing math and reading skills. The materials listed to create their bug are just suggestions. Let their imaginations go wild when engineering their bug!

 Build a Bug Challenge 



Can you build an insect that meets the following criteria?

  • Is between 4 cm-10 cm long
  • Has 3 body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen
  • Has 6 jointed legs 4 cm long                                                                                                                                       
  • Has two antennae 3 cm long         


Modeling clay or play dough


Pipe cleaners


Tape measure


Insect information reading passage

Websites with cool information about bugs-



All insects have 6 legs and antenna, and a body divided in 3. But some kinds of insects have wings and some have shells. Some have more prominent proboscis (sucking mouths), some have more prominent mandibles (biting mouths), and some have just labium (sponging mouths).

Every insect has 3 main body parts — the head, the thorax and the abdomen.

The head of the insect is where the antenna, the compound eyes and the external mouth parts are. Mosquitoes will have proboscis, beetles generally have mandibles, and houseflies have labium, as an example.

The thorax is the middle part of the insect, and it’s where the legs (and wings, if there are any) attach. All true insects have 6 legs – 3 on each side of the body. Some insects may have just 2 wings, and some may have 4.

The abdomen is the end part of the insect, and usually the largest and most recognizable. This is where the insect’s internal organs are usually contained, such as their digestive system or reproductive organs. The abdomen is reactive, and it will expand as the insect feeds.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for making all things. Thank You that they all had a perfect purpose in Your perfect design. Amen.

If you liked this activity, check out these STREAM careers.

Entomologist-An entomologist is a scientist who studies insects. Entomologists have many important jobs, such as the study of the classification, life cycle, distribution, physiology, behavior, ecology and population dynamics of insects.

Artist/Sculptor- A sculptor is a highly creative fine artist who develops ideas for sculptures or statues, and makes them come to life in three-dimensional form by joining or molding materials together. Sculptors typically work with hard materials like stone, marble, glass, metal, wood or ice. They can also use clay, plaster, gold, wire, plastic, rubber, fabric or even paper.

Engineer- Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings.





You can substitute any color of cup if you don't have green for this activity. 

Kansas Green Rough Snake Challenge


Objective: Engineer the longest and most stable snake using plastic cups. 

Challenge: Using only green plastic cups, create the longest stable snake possible. Your snake’s body must be raised and cannot lay on the surface. You will have 10 minutes to create your snake.Use 3 cups standing up as the base if you are having difficulty using 2.


20 green plastic cups 

Snake-use snake image above

Green Rough Snake background info

Ruler/tape measure

Directions: Attach snake face to the base of one of your cups with a piece of tape.

Next,  engineer a snake to see how long you can make it without it collapsing.  Measure it when you are finished.

Take another ten minutes to redesign or improve your creation.

*Can you engineer a snake using your cups as long as an actual Green Rough Snake?


Common Name: Rough Green Snake

Scientific Name: Opheodrys aestivus

Family: Solid Toothed & Rear Fanged

Average Length: 116 cm

Reproduction: Eggs

Number of Offspring: 6

Venom: Non-venomous

Distribution: Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, South







STREAM Resources

Below are resources that will provide enrichment while we are online schooling. 

Please feel free to email me any time with questions or concerns. 

Math Prodigy- Prodigy offers 1,400+ math skills ranging from first- to third-level DOK. On the lower end, students practice fluency and knowledge of basic concepts and routine procedures. On the higher end, they interpret and understand what the question is asking.
Educators and parents use Prodigy to help elicit a deeper understanding of the underlying math principles to ensure students don’t just grasp new knowledge — but learn to apply it, too. https://www.prodigygame.comOpens in a new browser tab

Arcademics-Fun and free educational games for kids in K-8. Featuring multiplayer learning games, math games, language arts games, and much more! Opens in a new browser tab

Free Rice (personal favorite)- Free rice is free-to-play website and mobile application that allows players to donate rice to families in need by playing a multiple-choice quiz game. For every question the user answers correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Program. in a new browser tab

Mensa for Kids-Mensa and the Mensa Foundation offer a range of benefits for gifted students but is beneficial for all students. in a new browser tab

The Metropolitan Museum of Art/MetKids- is a digital feature made for, with, and by kids! Discover fun facts about works of art, hop in their time machine, watch behind-the-scenes videos, and get ideas for your own creative projects. Check out the #MetKids blogOpens in a new browser tab for news and to discover what you can learn from the Museum's young visitors from around the world. in a new browser tab

PBS Build Spinner-Engage Kids in Hands-on Engineering

Use DESIGN SQUAD GLOBAL hands-on activities and videos in classrooms and after school programs, in libraries and museums, at events and at home, along with their newest resource DESIGN SQUAD GLOBAL CLUBS that connect 10- to 13-year-olds in out-of-school programs around the world.

Breakout EDU-In the event that school is closed for an extended period of time as a result of recent events, this site put together a collection of digital games that students can play at home. Students can click on any game and start playing!

Epic!- Epic! is the Leading Digital Library for Kids 12 & Under. Instantly access 35,000 of the best books, learning videos, quizzes & more.


STEM Websites

Civil Air Patrol

Curiosity Machine



Engineering is Elementary


How to Smile


Learn by Layers 3D Printing

PBS Design Squad

Raspberry Pi


Young Scientist Lab

 STEM Mobile Apps

All Ages

Discovery VR

DIY Sun Science

Google Expeditions

Piiig Labs

Sky View

Toca Lab


 Monkey Math School Sunshine

Dino Teach Math Preschool

LEGO Juniors

Montessori STEM Box

Robot Factory

Endless Numbers


 Amazing Alex


Curios World

Grandpa in Space


Kinetic City

Math Evolve



Math Vs Zombies

Max and the Magic Marker

Move the Turtle

Motion Math

Mystery Math Town

Think & Learn Code-a-pillar

Weird but True

Middle School

Brain It On!


Coaster Physics

Code Warriors


Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers

King of Math

Monster Physics

NBA Hoops

Play & Learn Science

Rube Works

Scratch Jr

Sector 33

Science 360


Spacecraft 3D

Truss Me!



The attached link has some of the coolest chemistry books for kids, gadget and tech pieces, and even surprisingly engaging and fun books about math for kids, these are 50 of today’s top STEM books for children. in a new browser tab 

Below are links to sites that offer free books online.

Oxford Owl-

Storyline Online-

International Children’s Digital Library-

Open Library-

Mrs. P’s Magic Library-



Pictures of STREAM

More STREAM Activities

STEM Challenges to help our kids better understand and have autonomy in our current situation through critical thinking and problem solving:

How Well Do You Wash Your Hands?



Washable paint


Hand towel


Cover both of your hands in paint, as if you were using hand lotion. Make sure to cover the backs of your hands, in between your fingers, and around your fingernails.

Hold your hands out and let the paint dry for three or four minutes.

Rinse your hands briefly with just warm water. How much paint is left on your hands?

Rub your hands together briefly under running water. How much paint is left on your hands now?


Use some soap, and count to 5 while washing your hands. Now how much paint is left?

Continue to use soap and wash your hands for another 15 seconds. Examine your hands.

Think about:

Are certain parts of your hands cleaner than others? Where is there still paint left on your hands? What can you do to improve your hand washing?

If needed, continue washing your hands until all the paint is gone.

What Happened?

You probably found that rinsing, or even scrubbing, your hands with only water did a poor job of removing the paint. Soap helps break up the paint and other dirt on your hands, making it easier to remove, along with germs (bacteria and viruses). But even with soap, you must do a good job washing your hands to remove all the paint. This includes washing them for more than just a few seconds and getting into all the nooks and crannies where the paint (and germs) can hide.

Digging Deeper

In this experiment, you used paint so you could see whether you "missed a spot" when washing your hands. However, germs—the tiny bacteria and viruses that can cause diseases—are too small to see without a microscope. You cannot see the germs on your hands—so your hands might look clean, even though they are covered in germs! To prevent the spread of germs, including the bacteria that cause food poisoning and the viruses that lead to flu and colds, public health experts recommend these hand washing steps:

  • Wet hands
  • Apply soap
  • Scrub for at least 20 seconds (hum the Happy Birthday song twice)
  • Rinse with water
  • Dry with a clean towel or air dry

This helps prevent the spread of germs and keep everyone healthier!

For Further Exploration- You can do this experiment with fake 'germ' materials that glow under an ultraviolet light instead of regular paint.

Try washing your paint covered hands with a blindfold on. How well did you do when you could not see the paint? How might this compare to not being able to see germs?

Try the experiment with different types of soap.

Challenge #1: Handshake Alternative

The problem is: people can spread germs by touching other people. Our hands carry more germs than most other parts of the body.

One of the solutions is: people are asked not to shake hands when they meet each other.

A problem with this solution is: people still want to greet each other in a polite and friendly way.

Can you find a better solution? Design a way that people can shake hands without touching each other.

Challenge #2: Cough Catcher

The problem is: people can spread germs by coughing and sneezing.

One of the solutions is: people wear masks to catch droplets from their own coughs and sneezes and prevent breathing in droplets from other people’s coughs and sneezes.

A problem with this solution is: masks can become uncomfortable and make our ears and noses sore.

Can you find a better solution? Design a more comfortable way to stop droplets from coughs and sneezes reaching other people.

Challenge #3: Health Check

The problem is: A fever is one of the first signs that someone is getting sick, but it is hard to tell if someone has a fever just by looking at them.

One of the solutions is: people have their temperature taken when they enter a public building. If they don’t have a fever, they are given a sticker with the date on it, so others can see that they are okay.

A problem with this solution is: the stickers get caught up in people’s hair and/or fall off their clothes. They then fall on the ground and need to be removed.

Can you find a better solution? Design something to help us tell whether someone has a fever or is feeling unwell.

Challenge #4: No Sanitizer Left Behind

The problem is: germs on our hands can enter our mouths when we eat.

One of the solutions is: apply hand sanitizer to our hands before we eat every meal or snack.

A problem with this solution is: if people are eating out somewhere it is easy for them to forget to take their bottle of hand sanitizer with them and leave it on the table.

Can you find a better solution? Design a way to stop people leaving their hand sanitizer bottles behind.

Challenge #5: Design for A Friend

The problem is: children can easily catch viruses from other children

One of the solutions is: children stay home from school if there have been cases of the virus where they live.

A problem with this solution is: children feel sad and lonely when they must stay home.

Can you find a better solution? Design something for a friend who must stay home from school to let them know you are thinking of them.

Challenge #6: Hands Off!

The problem is: we can spread germs when we touch things with our hands.

One of the solutions is: people take extra care to keep their houses clean. They wipe things that have been touched with disinfectant.

A problem with this solution is: we can’t see germs so we can’t tell if something is clean just by looking.

Can you find a better solution? Design a hands-off way to do an everyday task. How might you turn off a light switch, open a door, draw a picture, or play a computer game without touching anything with your hands?

Challenge #7: Contactless Coins

The problem is: money can carry germs because so many different people touch it.

One of the solutions is: people use plastic cards or mobile phones to pay for things.

A problem with this solution is: not everyone has plastic cards or a mobile phone.

Can you find a better solution? Design a way to pay for something with coins where nobody must touch the money.

Challenge #8: Healthy Delivery

The problem is: people must stay in their homes and can’t go out to buy food.

One of the solutions is: people order food to be delivered to their house in a delivery truck.

A problem with this solution is: the delivery truck driver might spread or catch germs when they bring the food to the door.

Can you find a better solution? Design a way for food to be delivered into your house in a way that the driver can stay in the truck.

Challenge #9: Rubbish Remover

The problem is: rubbish and waste can spread germs.

One of the solutions is: people wear plastic gloves when picking up rubbish and waste.

A problem with this solution is: plastic gloves tear easily and are not good for our environment.

Can you find a better solution? Design a way to pick up and dispose of rubbish without touching it.






Making an edible animal cell cake!