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Halloween STEM Activities for a Spooky Science Weekend!

Posted by EiE Team on Thursday, October 28, 2021

This Halloween, make Spooky STEM Activities a part of your celebration to engage your learners with mini-lessons sure to be a treat! Check out these simple, spooky STEM activities to do at home with your learners and make Halloween a learning holiday!

Building Spider Webs (Engineering)
For this you’ll need:

  • Yarn or pipe cleaners to build your web.
  • A surface with edges to build your web on. Depending on space and available web materials, this could be anything from a cookie sheet or paper plate with a hole in the middle to the bannister of a set of stairs. 
  • Objects to stick to your web like cotton balls, twist ties or heavier things like sticks

Challenge your learner to engineer a web like a spider does — beginning with strong middle threads and spiraling outwards. Does your web hold together when you stick or tie something to a thread, like a bug getting caught? What if it touches multiple threads?

Candy Weathering (Earth Science)
For this you’ll need: 

  • Candy with a hard shell such as M&Ms, Skittles or gum balls
  • A plate or cookie sheet
  • Water

See the effect water has on the earth by simulating erosion near the sea. On your plate, build a line of candy “rocks,” and add a small amount of water to the plate. What does blowing on the water do? How about if you use your fingers to make “waves”? What happens to the shell of the candy? 

Cornstarch Slime (Chemistry, Physics)
For this you’ll need:

  • Cornstarch, at least a cup — plus a little extra for experimenting
  • Water, start with a half cup
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Mixing bowl 

Add your water (mixed with food coloring, if using) to the cornstarch and mix with your fingers to create a substance that’s not-quite-solid and not-quite-liquid. When pressure is applied, how does the slime feel? What about if you hold it in your hand? What happens if you add more cornstarch? More water?

Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers has created free videos demonstrating these activities! You can find their spider activity, candy weathering and cornstarch slime videos on YouTube Kids.

If you’re in the Boston area, check out our in-person events at the Museum of Science Boston for its Spooky Science Weekend! The festivities will include a DJ-hosted dance party and family-friendly costume contest, as well as Halloween-themed versions of the Museum's popular drop-in activities and live presentations, and design challenges for your learners to follow. Spooky Science Weekend is FREE for members or with Exhibit Halls admission.

Happy Halloween!

Written by EiE Team

Topics: Out-of-School time, Afterschool, Afterschool/Summer Camp, Early Engineering, Engineering is Elementary, Create a Generation of Problem Solvers, Engineering Activities, Museum of Science

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