It may be time to box up the microphone and the rocket, the robots and the VR headsets. But truth is, we could do a lot of interesting things related to science and technology during the long summer break.
So here’s what I am asking my students to do in July and August.
- Become a ‘Maker’ – Build something. A tree house? Make a parachute out of a plastic bag, or a scarf, and a large eraser. Drop it from a balcony (or that tree house!) and change the way it lands.
- Create a Rube Goldberg device. Use scrap material, some dominoes, a tennis ball, a discarded cardboard tube, and a flower-pot… Watch this amazing example for inspiration
- Practice Coding. Work on a project at Code.org, or Scratch.Mit.edu
- Create a paper airplane or rocket contest. As we learned at the recent STEAM Night, some of the rockets that flew the furthest cost nothing, and were made of paper!
- Conduct a potato battery experiment! Two potatoes, a few nails, copper wire, and a light bulb from a flashlight. Ask an adult to download the steps here.
- Build a robot. Wrap a shoe box in tin foil. Add wheels and axles using bottle caps and skewers. For accessories like an antenna, and a probe, cut a coat hanger, and bend it into shape.
- Take up photography! Last year I taught a class using point-and-shoot cameras, and (the horror) phones! Figure out how depth-of-field, and back-lighting could enhance your pictures. No (Instagram) filters required.
- Write a short story! Try your hand at science fiction. Write your friends into the plot, and see where the story takes you! Check out these YA sci-fi authors
- Produce a skit. Before there was this thing called the Internet, we kids down the street created our own ‘drama.’ Find a friend who could help you co-write a short play about pollution, or landing on Mars.
- Build a solar oven. Start with a pizza box. Watch this video for inspiration!