Egg Drop Challenge:
Design a contraption that protects a falling egg (or water balloon) when it is dropped from a set height. Set a limited amount of resources. Resources could be anything recycled.
Possible contexts could be helmet design, parachutes, landing a rover on Mars.
STEM TASK: TANGRAMS
Middle Primary School
Key Concepts: Geometric Shapes in man made structures or nature.
Artists have been taking inspiration from their surroundings for centuries and using geometric shapes to represent it. Man made and natural structures also provide excellent examples of geometric shapes.
An urban landscape
STEM ACTIVITY: Designing a Wind Powered Car
Middle to Upper Primary
Book: Ollie and the Wind (Ronojoy Ghosh)
Key Concepts: Energy Transformation, Engineering Design process, Forces, Measurement.
In Victoria, we generate most of our electricity from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are considered a polluting, non-renewable form of energy. It is the job of future engineers to develop clean and sustainable means of producing energy for both electricity and to power our cars.
Energy is the ability to do work. Energy comes in many forms: chemical energy, electrical energy, heat energy, light energy, mechanical energy and nuclear energy. Wind energy is a form of renewable energy that comes from wind. Other types of renewable energies include slow but steady tidal power, geothermal power (only possible in some areas, tapping heat from deep in the Earth), and biofuels (fuels derived from plants and algae). These energy types
STEM TASK: CODING A PIRATE
“Computers are amazing, but they can’t think for themselves (yet!). They require people to give them instructions. Coding is a list of step-by-step instructions that get computers to do what you want them to do. Coding makes it possible for us to create computer software, games, apps and websites.” https://www.learningpotential.gov.au/what-is-coding
Materials: cardboard, lego pieces and sticky notes.
CODING A PIRATE
Will the Captain of the ship stop the pirate from stealing the jewels? Use basic coding to find out!
- Set out the obstacles as you like in any of the squares.
- Place your characters on the stars. They can face whatever direction you choose.
- Use the sticky notes to select the direction of moveme
STEM TASK: CAMOUFLAGING ART
What is an adaptation?
An adaptation is a physical or behavioral characteristic that an organism has developed over time to increase its chances of survival in a particular environment.
What is camouflage?
Camouflage is a method of making oneself hard to detect. An animal may be trying to conceal its appearance, sound, or scent. The term is used most often to describe an animal blending into its surroundings. Camouflage is an adaptation.
What are some different types of camouflage?
The most common type of camouflage is background matching. That means the animal is blending into its surroundings and is therefore more difficult to see.
Balloon Powered Car:
Design a car that is able to move the furthest using the power of just one balloon. Materials might include bricks such as Lego, or recycled materials, or a set amount of materials.
Preserve A Spider Web
Spiders are not just creepy and crawly, they are truly one of nature’s great artists. Spiders produce silk that they use to catch bugs, usually by spinning a beautiful web.
In this activity, be a spider scientist and capture and preserve a delicate spiderweb to study.Suitable for kids aged 10+ with parental supervision.
- Empty spiderweb
- Talcum powder
- Black construction paper
- Hair spray
What to do:
- Head outside, in the backyard, school ground or nature trail in search of an unoccupied spider web. To find out if the web is empty, tap it very lightly. You will see the spider move if it is occupied, and you will need to find another web to preserve. Look carefully in tall grass and bushes
The Mouldy Bread Experiment
- Students will develop and/or refine their skills in designing and conducting experiments.
- Students will understand the factors that promote and prevent the growth of mold on bread.
Equipment required (per student or pair of students):
- 2 slices of bread each cut into halves.
- 4 small ziplock bags
- 4 sticky labels and pen
- Access to water, a fridge and perhaps a toaster (optional)
Some moldy bread in a sealed bag for demonstration purposes.
Show the mouldy bread to the students to prompt a discussion. (You could give it a little backstory, e.g. &lsq
If you thought vinegar and bicarb were only good for making messy, oozy volcanoes, think again! Turn an empty cream container into an exciting, explosive rocket with this classic acid/base reaction.Suitable for ages 13 +, best used as a demonstration because of the speed and danger of the projectile
- ¼ cup of vinegar
- 600ml empty, clean cream container
- 1 tablespoon of bicarb powder
What to do:
- Add approximately ¼ cup of vinegar (acid) to a 600ml empty, clean cream container.
- Then, add one heaped tablespoon of bicarb (base).
- Quickly push the cream lid on, and point the container a
Create a human sized scale model of the solar system with your students.
- For students to develop an understanding of the positions of the planets in the solar system, both relative to each other, and also their position and distance from the sun.
- For students to gain a practical meaning of the words ‘rotation’ and ‘revolution’ and how those words apply in the context of the movement of planets.
A large open space, such as a park or football field
A long measuring tape (such as one used to mark out a sporting field).