Welcome, intrepid scientists! It is important to foster a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around us, and today, we’ll be going through some awesome STEM activities for kids of all ages and interests. Let’s dive in!

Discover Free STEM Activities for Kids

These are some great free activities that, at the absolute minimum, will only require either a computer or some basic household materials to put together.

1. Make a Rube Goldberg machine

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist in the 20th century who became famous from drawing cartoons depicting complex machines built for simple tasks. Decades later, these machines, while very inefficient by design, are wonderful tools to teach students about causality, complex systems, and machinery. You can certainly find packs of tools online for creating your own machine, but you can also just use objects around your house. There are also so many great examples of Rube Goldberg machines, such as this one or this great music video from OK Go!

2. Learn about coding with Scratch

Given that we interact with computers and code nearly every single day (if not more), learning about how we interact with these amazing machines can be incredibly rewarding! Scratch is a coding language built for students of all ages, and it is great for students wanting to make their own animations, and games. Once they have a grasp on this coding language, it acts as a great way to transition to text-based coding languages, such as Python and Javascript!

3. Make circuits in Minecraft with Redstone

Minecraft is a fun game about building just about anything you can imagine with a bunch of different blocks! One of its more versatile tools is redstone, which acts as Minecraft’s electricity or circuitry, and its applications are just about limitless. Try one of our classes where we learn about the wonders of redstone!

4. DIY Solar Oven

Solar energy is all around us, so we might as well harness it to make some s’mores! By using some basic household items, you can make your own solar oven to make a bunch of snacks, like s’mores and nachos.

5. Learn about coding in Roblox Studio

Roblox is a popular app where you can play games (around 40 million of them!) made by other users. These games are created and coded through Roblox Studio, a great tool that can be utilized by any enjoyer of Roblox! You can take one of our free courses where we will cover how you can make your very first Roblox game.

6. Conduct an Egg Drop experiment

Science can sometimes be a little messy! With no more than a few eggs and a few household items, try to craft a barrier for an egg such that when you toss it from a high place, it won’t crack à la Humpty Dumpty. This is a great way for students to learn about trial-and-error, as well as gravity and the scientific method.

7. Cleaning Coins Experiment

If you find shiny coins to be satisfying, then this is perfect for you! In this experiment, you will submerge some pennies in a variety of liquids to see which ones the copper will react to and which ones it doesn’t. This is a great way for students to learn about the scientific method and test their own hypotheses!

8. Learn to code with Python

Python is one of the most popular coding languages in the world, with software developers using it to build such apps as Uber, Instagram, and Spotify! In our introductory Python class, we learn about what Python is, what we can use to run Python programs, and how we can use it to make a bunch of fun animations.

More STEM Activities for Kids: Elementary School Students

Here are a few STEM activities geared toward students in grades K-5.

9. Make a homemade lava lamp

This activity is perfect for grade schoolers! All you need are a few materials you can find in your house to make this cool concoction, and, while it may seem simple, it has some important scientific principles on full display, such as density and polarity.  

10. Make a Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscopes are great ways to show how light can reflect off of surfaces with some fun visuals to boot.

11. Learn about space in our NASA STEM Club

In this fun class, you can learn all about the science of space: what gravity is and how it affects us, how telescopes help us chart the stars and see brand new images, and even how we can explore different planets by using complex robots!

12. Make ice cream in a bag

It’s never too cold for ice cream! In this activity, you can learn about how materials can shift between different states of matter by witnessing your ice cream mixture go from a liquid to a solid by freezing it. By the end, you’ll have learned something, and you’ll have a tasty treat to prove it!

13. Quantum Physics for kids

Quantum Physics might sound a little scary, but it’s actually a whole lot of fun! In this class, you'll learn about one of the smallest building blocks of our reality: atoms! Students find out what they are, what they do, and how they respond to other atoms and molecules in this fun and engaging class.

STEM Activities for Tweens: Middle School Students

These projects are perfect for students in grades 5-9!

14. Toothpick Bridge

Toothpick bridges are a great introduction to civil engineering! Plan out what you want your bridge to look like, build it, and try to make sure that it is able to not only stay upright by itself, but also support additional weight. Try testing out how much it can lift by itself!

15. Learning to mod in Minecraft

Enjoy a fun introduction to the platform for coding on Minecraft in this live online free class. Students will start building their very first mod! And will complete two fun challenges in this class. In this free intro class, tweens will not code on Minecraft itself but will use an emulator instead, because it takes a lot of time to enable coding for Minecraft.

16. Fire Snake

This activity shows how fun chemistry can be! With a handful of ingredients and adult supervision, you can cause a chemical reaction between sugar, baking soda, and fire to create an end product of CO₂ and water in the form of a fiery snake.

17. Trail Planning

Use a topographical map to plot a course through the wilderness! Try to find an efficient path that follows a certain number of criteria, such as including a picnic spot, being accessible to parking, and including multiple different habitats for variety.

18. Air Particulates

As mammals, we need the oxygen in the air to survive, but there are a lot of other things we breathe in as well, such as pollen, dust, and even air pollutants. Learn about all the particulates we breathe without even knowing it with this fun activity.

STEM Activities for Teens: High School Students

These fun STEM projects are for older students in grades 9-12.

19. Make your own website using Javascript

Most of us interact with the internet in some way, shape, or form every single day! Learn how you can make your own mark on it by making your very own website. In this class, you’ll learn about how HTML and CSS are used to affect how a website looks. Eventually, you will move to Javascript, adding dynamic content to your website.

20. Extract DNA from a strawberry

In this activity, you’ll extract genetic material from strawberries through the use of dish detergent, salt, and water. It is a great way to supplement learning about genetics by actively interacting with the common thread between all known organic matter: DNA!

21. Create a school garden

Cultivate a green thumb through the cultivation of greenery! While this activity is certainly a little more hands-on, it’s a great school-wide project that teaches students about the science of how plants grow, what is needed to take care of different plants, and, in some cases, how agriculture is maintained to produce consumable goods, like fruits and vegetables.

22. Rainbow Fire

Have you ever wondered why different fireworks produce different colors? Then this might be just up your alley! In this activity, you’ll learn how different elements can give off different colors of light by flame testing different materials. Important note: you will definitely need adult supervision for this one!

23. Make video games using the Unity engine

Unity is a video game engine that is used to make some of the most popular games around, including Among Us, Fall Guys, and Beat Saber! In this class, you’ll learn how to make your own games from scratch, with additional features such as inventory, object scripting, and implementing a smooth user interface.

Enjoy some of the best STEM activities

We hope you have found some activities that spark your interest! If not, make sure to check out some fun and educational afterschool enrichment activities. Enjoy, and stay curious!

Written by Create & Learn instructor Jonah Zimmermann. Jonah has focused on creating and teaching computer science, coding, and STEM curricula for elementary and middle school students. In his free time, he enjoys video games and a good Dungeons and Dragons session with friends!