It is important to introduce our elementary school kids (especially 3rd – 5th grade, and beyond!) to engineering concepts. It is very good for their critical thinking skills and helps them to view everything around them in a completely different way. We put together a ton of fun engineering activities like making a DIY catapult or roller coaster, fun engineering writing prompts and math worksheets! You also MUST checkout Snap Circuits. It is an amazing kit that let’s your child build and experiment with circuits using pieces that easily snap together. It’s a HUGE hit with my kids! Quickly, before we begin, don’t forget to join our Facebook Group and “like” our Facebook Page, so you won’t miss out on any of our educational fun!
📚 Six Types of Machines Reading & Writing Prompt
- Learn about the six types of simple machines by reading the great content at this website: http://www.mikids.com/Smachines.htm
- Take this quiz to make sure you understand and to test you reading comprehension: http://www.mikids.com/SimpleMachines/smquiz.htm
- Engineering Machines Writing Prompt: Pick your favorite type(s) of simple machine(s) and write about them! Why is it your favorite? What are some examples of places / objects that you have seen them used in before? What is an invention you could make using the machine(s) you pick?
- For our younger kids to work on reading skills, here is a fun phonemic awareness activity featuring “Engine, Engine, Number Nine.”
- Here is another great one for our mini-engineers! Draw what an engineer looks like and then write a couple of sentences about who an engineer is, with this printable worksheet. But first, watch this video to learn about what an engineer is!
👩🔬 DIY Simple Machines: Catapults & Roller Coasters
- We have loads of fun science activities for our junior engineers! Let’s build some “simple machine”-inspired projects using stuff you probably have around the house! Here are a couple of great ones to get you started.
- DIY Catapults with Popsicle Sticks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpLFC_SOpXs
- DIY Roller Coaster Using Straws: https://frugalfun4boys.com/engineering-project-kids-build-…/
- Bridges: An Engineering Design Unit … Or you can even build a bridge out of pasta, like in the following video!
- Checkout these fantastic, interactive engineering simulations! If you sign-up for a free account with the University of Colorado Boulder here: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/register?dest=%2F , you will be able to click on the “For Teachers” section of the following two activities to give your child further insight into how to learn best with these interactive simulations!
- Learn how to balance masses on a plank to discover how force vectors work and torque work: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/balancing-act
- Learn how to build basic circuits to light up a virtual lightbulb: https://phet.colorado.edu/…/sim…/circuit-construction-kit-dc
- Here is a list of fun engineering projects that have free, printable worksheets and materials. Many of them are perfect for our younger engineers-in-training!
- Balloon Car STEM Challenge: Engineering Design Process Worksheets
- Magnificent Marshmallow Marvels Workbook
- Save Fred, the Gummy Worm, Engineering Design Challenge Worksheet
- Build an Igloo Using Large Marshmallows: Stem Challenge
- Pipe Cleaner Tower STEM Activity
- Gingerbread Man Trap Engineering Project Worksheets
- Engineer Like an Ancient Greek (History & Engineering Activity)
- Help Polly, the Bird, Build a Nest to Hold 3 Eggs here
🧮 Math: Engineering Simulations for Kids
Here are some really cool engineering-inspired, interactive math simulations!
- Learn how to model fractions with Cuisenaire Rods: http://pbs.panda-prod.cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/…/rtt…/index.html
- Want more SUPER cool (interactive) math simulations? Check these out: https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/subjects/mathematics/
- For our younger kids, here is a great activity to practice math and engineering skills with blocks. Or you can do these fun worksheets to work on your area and perimeter math skills.
And the most fun part… share a photo or video of the simple machine that you built (or of any of the other fun activities) on Facebook! Make sure to include a link to this website or to our Facebook Group and Facebook Page, so that we can see it too! I’ve purposefully added a lot of options for parents who need to keep their kiddos occupied for more time and to allow you to cater to your children’s preferences.