STEM Pumpkin Activity (Super Simple!)
STEM Pumpkin Activity for Young Children:
Physics of Rolling Pumpkins down the slide (super simple introduction)
This S.T.E.M activity is great for introducing physics to young children. When you plan lessons for children, it is important to plan for their whole body. Think of S.T.E.M activities that children will fully be manipulating themselves. Activities that will make sense to them in their world, and something they can relate too. Rolling pumpkins down the slide does that. We picked three pumpkins, but this can easily be done with two. We used mini pumpkins that she painted at a birthday party, and a larger pumpkin she picked on a school field trip visit to the pumpkin patch. By picking pumpkins SHE picked out, already peaked interest and invested her in the activity. These were HER pumpkins, what will happen to them? Then, I asked her what we could roll them down on, to see which one would roll down the fastest. I set up her picking the slide, by phrasing specific questions. What is high? What can they roll down? Etc. By having your child pick all aspects of the activity or be active participants of the planning process, will keep them invested, interested, and engaged. Here is what you need:
1. Two or three different pumpkins (either varying in color, size or shape)
2. A slide of some type (either at a playground, or make-shifting one)
1. Pick out pumpkins and a slide
2. Set the pumpkins out in a row in front of your child
3. Have your child inspect the pumpkins (you can have a magnifying glass to spark further exploration)
4. Talk about the differences of the pumpkins by asking them questions to start the thinking: which one is bigger? which one do you think is heavier? Which one is the smallest? which one is the smoothest? Which on is bumpy? etc. Let them come up with some other descriptions.
5. Have them guess which one will roll does the slide the fastest and why?
6. Test their theory
7. once they have rolled the pumpkins down the slide analyze where they landed. Which one rolled the furthest and fastest?
8. Talk about why that one went the fastest (because it was the heaviest and gravity pulled it down)
Let me know what you think of this super simple S.T.E.M pumpkin activity; I would love to hear your thoughts!