Monday, June 10, 2019

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Preschool STEM: Box Ramps

Our next preschool STEM project in this spring's Preschool STEM series is making ramps with boxes!

Between the things we order online and some gifts the kids have received recently, it seemed like boxes were starting to pile up!

Our preschoolers love boxes.

Sometimes they color on them with markers.

Sometimes they glue random papers and fabric scraps to them.

Sometimes their older siblings use them to make massive sculptures, houses, castles, or boats.  In fact, one of my preschoolers' favorite things is sitting in a box (whether or not it's decorated), and letting their older brother or sister drive them around a room by pushing and pulling the box. Sometimes they even drive each other around!

Today, however, we were looking for a no-setup STEM project we could do with (a ridiculously large assortment of) boxes! These ramps were perfect!

All you need are boxes! The invitation to experiment was so simple...I just flipped a box at an angle on its side and let a toy car drive down the newly created ramp. Instantly, I had four kids gathered around me wanting to experiment with the new ramp!

We used other cars, other boxes, and even a few other tools. We discovered that if we wanted to race cars down the ramp, the best way to make them all start at the same time was to use a book to let all the cars (and blocks, LEGO, or other random objects) race down the ramp at the same time!

How is this activity STEM?  It requires your preschoolers to use science skills (like predicting, hypothesizing, experimenting, analyzing), it lets them experiment with science concepts (like friction, force, momentum, and inertia), it allows them to use technology/tools (like a box and book), it requires them to engineer/design the ramp (even simple inclined planes are machines!), and uses math concepts (like faster, slower, farther, closer, and more/less distance).

Do you love preschool STEM? Do you want to learn more about it? This June I am featuring a Preschool STEM series that includes a fantastic introduction to preschool STEM and nine STEM activities, projects, or challenges that are appropriate for preschoolers! This is the first one--I would LOVE to have you join in and share your own experiences as we move through the next two weeks! You can find the landing page with links to all the activities HERE!  You can also join my STEM Activities & Projects for Kids Facebook Group HERE for more STEM-inspired conversations!

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

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