An important supplement to classroom learning, informal education environments such as camps, libraries, and afterschool programs provide the opportunity for students to experience the fun of STEM fields without the constraints of the classroom. Many of our kits have been designed as open-ended learning experiences for students so that educational directors at informal learning centers can set up kits and challenges for the students to explore. This self-guided learning generates interest and reinforces STEM principles, even if the students feel as if they’re simply playing. The engaging, hands-on nature of our kits is perfect for informal learning and students relish rising to proposed challenges involving the kits. Whether launching rockets to investigate fin design and body weight or designing cars to roll down our meter-stick ramp, students can have a blast exploring, engineering, and learning. Check out a few of our featured kits below and how they can be used in an informal learning environment.
No matter which one of our projectile motion kits you choose, you’re bound to have a fun time sending things flying around. Encourage the students to make observations about flight patterns and the effects of different mass projectiles or challenge them to get their projectile to land at a particular point. Challenge them to measure the distance travelled using various means, and reinforce math and science principles throughout. However you use these, STEM fun is sure to take flight!
Washington, D.C. – A great kit for STEAM integration, challenge students to design and build an Earth Day Monument to add to the collection of Washington, D.C. monuments. Students must build to scale and investigate the requirements for monuments as well as the significance of Earth Day. Depending on their age, let them compare building costs versus design desires and construct a monument according to city planning, budgetary, and artistic requirements imposed upon them.
Perfect for all ages, set up challenges such as knocking over pieces or reaching certain destinations while limiting the pieces available for them to use. Run pipe simulations and help students understand engineering and physics principles in various open-ended challenges.
Become ecologists and paleontologists with this kit! Discover animal teeth specimens from diverse habitats and time periods and recognize similarities based on tooth shape and size. Determine diets and guess the species with these to-scale specimens. Integrate STEAM by having the students draw the teeth and label the identifying features. Practice measuring to classify the teeth by different attributes.
Watch students rise to the occasion as you set various challenges before them with this interactive kit. See if they can balance two weights with one or to balance a single weight on either side of an un-centered fulcrum. As they experiment and explore, they’ll be growing their understanding of simple machines, proportional reasoning, and levers.
A ratio commonly found in nature, let the students measure everyday office supplies as well as plants and animals to see what objects are in the golden ratio. Let them discover the places it occurs on their own bodies, such as the ratios formed on their knuckles, or from their chin to eyes, eyes to hairline. (In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities.)