Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities play a major role in the Montessori learning method because STEM encourages more capable learners, promotes the importance of the sciences, and ultimately places your middle school student in a position where they are able to work in the field, increasing the growth and stability of our economy.
Montessori programs believe that STEM education creates critical thinkers, expands students’ science literacy, and encourages the next generation of innovators. You can help your middle school student by feeding their natural curiosity about the sciences by engaging in these fun, educational STEM activities with them.
Building a bridge of toothpicks is an engaging STEM activity that keeps your middle school students learning and having fun at the same time. This project challenges students to build as long and strong of a bridge as possible from glue and toothpicks, using what they know about physics, design, and engineering.
This project requires a bit of patience, some brainstorming, and teamwork, but is rewarding and fascinating from start to finish. Students can conduct research using previous STEM lessons or resources online and create a blueprint that displays their bridge design. From there, it is time to construct and test their toothpick bridges!
Backyard Weather Station
Building a backward weather station allows your students to act as if they are engineers, using their senses and observation skills to predict weather changes. This STEM activity requires middle school students to use the science, math, literacy, problem-solving, and engineering skills they have developed over time to create a weather station that can interpret weather patterns in their region.
After gaining a basic understanding of weather patterns, students act as engineers and build backyard weather stations of their own to gather data and make weather forecasts. Using accessible tools and materials like tape, a ruler, plastic cups, and card stock, students can build a weather vane, a barometer, a thermometer, or a rain gauge to begin assessing the changes in the weather in their area.
Access to clean drinking water is something we often forget the importance of. Teach your students how water filtration works and why it matters by challenging them to make a water filter of their own. Using recycled materials from home, middle school students can build an operational water filter, increasing their knowledge and skill set.
You will need a plastic soda or juice bottle, a vase or tall drinking glass, gravel or small stones, clean sand, activated charcoal, cotton balls, a small cloth or coffee filter, gardening dirt, water and scissors to get started on this educational and useful project.
Alka-Seltzer Lava Lamp
In this fun activity, students are tasked with finding out how to make their own Alka-Seltzer lava lamp, investigating how changing temperatures of the ingredients change the behavior of the colorful blobs in their lamps. Learn how to make the DIY lava lamp and what causes the reaction to occur here.
This activity uses materials that you may have around the house, like a clear bottle, food coloring, vegetable oil, scissors, and Alka-Seltzer, of course. Your middle schooler will enjoy mixing different substances and observing the reactions they cause and will come away with a new understanding of controlled experimentation.
The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff was the first school in Arizona to have its application for a charter approved by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. We offer an academic program that identifies and encourages each child’s individual social and emotional development. Reach out today to begin your journey with The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff.