You made it! Summer is around the corner. This time of year is always exciting but also challenging… Antsy kids, nice weather, lack of motivation (for students and teachers too!), wonky schedules, grading, cleaning, etc. These fun end-of-year STEM activities will keep your engagement high and stress low for smooth sailing into summertime!
5 ideas for fun end-of-year STEM activities
Here are five activities that will keep your middle school students engaged and help you feel prepared and ready to meet whatever challenges come your way before your much-deserved summer break!
1. Plan a STEM challenge
A high-quality, week-long STEM challenge is always a winner. Most of the teacher planning and preparation happens before the challenge. Once you introduce your class to the problem, students take over and work through the engineering design process. You can guide and facilitate while your students do all the heavy lifting.
Grab a ready-to-go, rigorous, middle school STEM challenge, and spend your planning time this week on your other important end-of-year tasks!
2. Have a movie day
Keep your students engaged and learning while watching a STEM-themed movie. Add in a movie guide and popcorn, and you’re sure to gain yourself some quiet time to finish end-of-year tasks like grading, conferences, emails, check-out lists, etc.
Check out these awesome STEM movie guides with before, during, and after activities to keep your students on task!
3. Assign a research project
Let your students learn more about a STEM topic that interests them and then have them present what they learned to the class. Similar to the STEM challenge, this will require some teacher planning and prep beforehand, but then you will be free to check in with students and provide assistance while they do the work.
Grab a research project to save your planning and prep time, while knowing your students will be engaged and inspired!
4. Introduce new technology
If you’ve finished up your required curriculum and have some extra time to fill, consider introducing your students to a piece of technology they haven’t used before. Computer programming, 3D printing, robots, laser cutting or vinyl printing… There are so many options! If you don’t have the equipment in your classroom, check with your school’s media specialist, a local high school teacher, or the community librarian. They may have resources you can borrow or help you find someone else who does!
Grab an introductory STEM unit plan, and enjoy your nights and weekends while knowing your students will be engaged and learning valuable skills through the end of the year!
5. Offer choices
One way to keep your students engaged while still covering class content is through a choice board or learning menu. Rather than assigning specific tasks to the class, you provide students with a list of activities and the number they must complete from the list. This is a great way to review key content or extend student learning on a specific topic.
Find a choice board here for an awesome engineering, robotics, or computer science lesson!
What fun activities do you have planned?
What do you have planned for your final STEM classes? Let me know in the comments below!