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Get STEM-Inspired Outside of the...

Get STEM-Inspired Outside of the Classroom with These Activities

by Rochelle C. Pangilinan
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Now that summer is closing in, you might be wondering how to continue building your knowledge once classes are over. The good news is, if you have a soft spot for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or “STEM”, there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy and learn at the same time that you are outside the classroom.

In fact, some of the inventions that had made the most impact in our lives were conceptualized not inside the classroom but by being outside with nature. For instance, the Wright Brothers spent a lot of time observing birds in flight to create their invention, which we now all know as the airplane. By watching birds closely and how they soar into the wind and change their wings to turn and maneuver, the Wright Brothers developed the concept of obtaining roll control by warping or changing the shape of a portion of a plane’s wing.

They noticed that birds soared into the wind and that the air flowing over the curved surface of their wings created lift. Birds change the shape of their wings to turn and maneuver. The Wrights believed that they could use this technique to obtain roll control by warping, or changing the shape, of a portion of the wing. Who knew that mere bird watching can lead to something great?

Here then are activities outside the classroom which can strengthen your STEM knowledge:

National Parks

The best way to immerse yourself in nature is through national parks. You will learn more about the inner working of the environment and ecosystems. Thankfully, Canada has loads and loads of national parks for you to do that and have fun at the same time by hiking, swimming, white water rafting, biking, and so on. Be reminded that if you do plan to head out to a national park, have an adult accompany you and take all the safety precautions such as packing sufficient amount of food and drinks and bringing a first aid kit.

Botanical Gardens

If hiking or biking is too strenuous for you (or your adult companion), then taking a leisure walk at botanical gardens is a good alternative while at the same time you get up close and personal with a wide variety of plants that are collected for scientific, conservation, display, or educational purposes . You have a long list to choose from of the most marvellous botanical gardens in Canada, including the Vandusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, BC; the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, AB; the Assiniboine Park Conservatory in Winnipeg, MB; Montreal Botanical Garden in Montreal, QC; Memorial University Botanical Garden inSt. Johns, NL; Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrews, NB; and the Toronto Botanical Garden in Toronto, ON.

Workshops in Communities

Of course, learning STEM outside the classroom doesn’t always have to involve nature. There’s a plethora of STEM-focused workshops funded by non-profit organizations that cater to kids who are passionate about STEM. For instance, the Hospital for Sick Children or simply SickKids conduct workshops for communities (by request) which include hands-on experiments plus a wide range of demonstrations. All the tools are provided for by these organizations, so you wouldn’t have to worry about bringing your own.

Museums and Science and Technology Centres

Canada’s certainly now lacking when it comes to museums and science and technology centres that can bolster your STEM know-how. The Science World at TELUS World of Science and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, both in Vancouver, BC in Vancouver, BC; the Montreal Science Centre in Montreal, QC; the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg, MB and the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, ON all provide insightful and delightful science-centred activities for kids of all ages.

STEM Kits

You can also increase your STEM knowledge right at home through STEM kits such as the LittleBits Inventor Kit perfect for kids age 8 and up. This kit allows for budding inventors to further study their potential but it comes with a high price tag. For more wallet-friendly options, there’s the Kiwi Crate for all ages that allow you to build a project based on the instructions provided. If you’re more for technology and coding, the Tech Will Save Us is the more ideal option and you’ll learn how to build a synth. If you’re more wired for electricity, the Basic Electricity kit is the one for you.

Now that you know there are plenty of ways to boost your STEM knowledge outside the classroom, are you ready to get inspired now? The world awaits for your great idea.

SOURCES

https://www.dawn.com/news/1297127

https://kidskingdom.ca/12-family-fun-activities-develop-stem-skills/

http://www.aassa.net/blog/?p=2339

https://www.todaysparent.com/family/activities/best-botanical-gardens/

https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/09/best-blended-stem-kits/

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