National STEM Day is on November 8th and celebrates science, technology, engineering, and math throughout the United States. It's a great day to celebrate because we know that an interest in STEM early on can lead to success later on in life. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations are projected to grow over two times faster than the total for all occupations in the next decade according to the U.S. Labor Department.
So today, we're going to share a few fun activities to make the most of your STEM day celebration! For example, did you know you can visit the largest cave in the world and even hear the river running as you tour it? Or that you can build awesome games with a free live Minecraft coding class? It's true!
Enjoy fun National STEM day 2021 activities
From visiting the zoo to flying a plane, find all sorts of cool ways to explore STEM.
1. Visit a virtual lab
Visit 3M: The Young Scientist Virtual Field Trip broadcasted from 3M's World of Innovation shows 3M Scientists doing experiments you can only see at 3M World Headquarters. From the batteries that power your smartphone to the non-reactive fluid that keeps supercomputers cool and operational, you will get an in-depth look at how 3M science improves your daily life!
Visit a space center: Join Boeing and Discovery Education on a mission to inspire the world through aerospace innovation with an exclusive virtual field trip to historic Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This behind-the-scenes tour will introduce students to just a few of the amazing Boeing employees who are preparing to write the next chapter of space history with the launch of the Starliner/CST-100 spacecraft and the deployment of the Space Launch System (SLS).
Visit a recycling center: Take a virtual field trip of a modern recycling center. A network of highly trained specialists and sophisticated, automated equipment doing the jobs of sorting, packing, and shipping recyclable materials. Or go on a virtual field trip of everything from landfill construction and planning to gas-to-energy and environmental compliance.
2. Take a trip to explore nature
Visit Hang Son Doong with National Geographic: This is a super realistic 360-degree tour - it even has sound! - of the world's largest cave, situated in Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam.
3. Tour a virtual science museum
Museum of Science: A collection of STEM resources designed to bring the Museum — to you!
National Museum of Computing: 3D and virtual curated tours let you explore the world's largest collection of working historic computers. Speak to experts on the codebreaking machines of WWII, those maintaining the world’s oldest working digital computer – and more!
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Go room by room through a virtual version of every exhibition in the museum.
4. Fly the X-59 on your laptop
Courtesy of NASA, use a laptop flight simulator of the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology or “QueSST” aircraft. The X-59 is an experimental supersonic aircraft that is being developed and could fly for the first time in 2021. Laptop simulations are available to the public for free and allow people to fly the X-59 from home. Get the instructions and simulations for free here.
5. Join a fun live computer science class
At Create & Learn, we take the whole-brain approach to STEM learning. This means kids not only enjoy hands-on experience with the latest technologies such as AI and Data Science, but also more importantly, we develop kids’ creativity and critical thinking skills. Our small class sizes, and proven project and inquiry-based instruction method ensure students have fun and learn!
Most students who join our computer science program begin with our online Scratch coding class. Scratch is one of the best ways to start coding because it’s a user-friendly language designed by MIT. It helps kids focus on learning the logic without worrying about messy typing — and this class is super fun because they’ll make a cool game. Learn more here, or here for advanced or older students.
National STEM Day FAQs
What is school STEM Day?
School STEM Day is a day to inspire students to develop an interest in and improve their skills in science, math, engineering, and technology.
Why is STEM Day November 8?
MGA Entertainment, the world's largest private toy company and creators of S.T.E.A.M. based franchise Project Mc2, established November 8 as "National S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. Day" in the official holiday calendar. The November 8th date is a play on words for the company's S.T.E.A.M.- based franchise featuring four smart girls who are part of a super-secret spy organization called NOV8, so it's a date to inspire innovation!
What does STEM stand for?
STEM stands for a grouping of four overlapping disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and math. The acronym is commonly used to summarize the education approach that unites the disciplines into one structured program. Check out the best online STEM classes for kids.
Try fun National STEM day activities!
We hope you now have great options you'll enjoy as you celebrate this special day. Up next, if your children are fascinated by space and want to explore the most exciting NASA missions and cutting-edge technology, join our series of free virtual NASA events.
Your children will learn from NASA's top experts, and discover everything from how NASA collects asteroid rock and brings it back to Earth, to how they explore evidence of past microbial life on Mars, to how they rescued a NASA spacecraft a million times farther away than the space station.