STEM Club

Welcome to the home of STEM Club! Here you will find information on how to coordinate a STEM Club as well as a variety of hands-on, inquiry based science activities to use in your middle school science classroom.

I love teaching science but like many homeschool parents, I found that I often didn’t follow through on plans to do labs because the planning and effort to set-up was so time consuming. I thereby began to invite other homeschool families to join us, knowing that holding myself accountable to others would assure I followed through. STEM Club evolved from this and is now a homeschool science coop that I began in the fall of 2013.

STEMClub

What is STEM Club?

STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. You may also see it as STEAM with an added discipline of the arts.

STEM or STEAM Club is essentially an opportunity for students interested in these disciplines to engage in hands-on, inquiry based activities in a group setting. This can be either as a TAG program, an after-school extracurricular club, or a homeschool co-op.

How Do I Implement a STEM Club in My Homeschool?

To get started in coordinating a STEM Club in your local homeschool community, reach out to other parents or students with an interest in science. Is there an adult willing to teach? Query to learn more about one another’s interests and skills.

Perhaps a nurse could teach a 6-week unit on human anatomy. An engineer could teach a unit on simple machines. A fly fishing enthusiast could teach a few lessons on aquatic invertebrates. Think outside the box and be creative.

For me, the choice was easy. I love teaching science but find that because it is sometimes so time consuming to set up labs and materials, it tends to slip through. I knew that if I invited other homeschool students to join us in our studies, I would be more enthusiastic myself.

Resources for STEM Club

Coordinating a STEM Club requires a variety of tools and resources – depending upon the science or math discipline you choose to focus upon.

Free Science Curriculum for Middle School I’ve compiled a list of free science curriculum for middle school – journals, textbooks, teachers manuals, and complete unit studies.

WonderMaps – from Bright Ideas Press These are wonderful software tools which allow you to customize maps. You never have to worry about copying a book page or finding your CD. These maps are web based so pull them up when you need them and they will always be current!

You’ll also want to have a variety of lesson plans and activities to choose from. Here are a few I have shared previously:

plant kingdom foldableBiology

Scientific Classification and Dichotomous Keys

The Plant Kingdom

Monocots vs Dicot Plants

Parts of a Tree

Cells: The Building Blocks of Life

invertebrate animal phylaZoology

Simple Invertebrates

Echinoderms and Molluscs

Arthropods

Bird Anatomy

Goldfish Lab

skinmodelsHuman Anatomy

Introduction to Human Body Systems

Nervous System

Muscular System

Integumentary System

Digestive System

Skeletal System

pond study printablesEcology

Aquatic Science: Spring Pond Studies

Stream Ecology

Forest Ecology

Cycles & Ecosystems – Learn how plants and animals interact with each other and with their environment through these important ecosystem cycles.

Let’s Get Dirty: Soil Horizons & Particle Size – Things to look for in soil are color, texture, structure, depth, and pH. Dig in with these hands-on activities.

What Lives in Our Soil? – Hands-on activity to investigate the life within our local soils

Let’s Get Dirty: Life in the Mud

typesofrocksGeology

Sands from Around the World

The Rock Cycle

Plate Tectonics

Geospheres and Our Earth System

RainbowCandiesChemistry

Rainbow Candies: A Candy Chromotography

Rock Candy Tutorial: What NOT to Do

Polymers Are Cool: 3 Recipes for Middle School

newspaper towersEngineering

Skyscrapers & Wind Velocity

Newspaper Towers & Skyscrapers

Forms of Energy & Simple Motors – Build a simple motor with just wire, a battery, and a magnet

Basics of Electricity – Includes PowerPoint presentation

Forms of Energy: Potential & Kinetic Energy – Wind Powered Cars and Swinging Mass lab activities

 

11 comments on “STEM Club

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  7. This is interesting! Have you ever considered evolving STEM club to STEAM club to include the arts as contexts that connect with STEM or integrate with STEM? If so, why the decision to exclude the arts and keep it STEM instead of STEAM? Just curious about people’s perspectives on STEM or STEAM. Thanks!

  8. I agree that the arts are equally important in a child’s education. My children have a strong interest in both – my son desires to be a concert pianist and my daughter is already earning income with her skills in a variety of art mediums.

    My university education and work experience is in science and thus it is my strength. Many homeschool families struggle with science education – mostly due to the time required to set up lab activities. I thereby coordinate a science club for local homeschoolers and share the activities in which we engage here in hopes of encouraging others.

    While I understand the desire to evolve STEM into STEAM, the focus of our activities has been on science, technology, engineering, and math. At the middle school and high school, we are also moving towards hands-on inquiry and process skill based learning.

  9. Eva, It’s so great to reconnect with you on your blog. This stuff is amazing! I miss seeing everyone. Hope we can get caught up soon. Pamela

    • Hi Pamela!! Wow .. it has been a few years. I’m sure Bug is keeping you on your toes more than ever now that she’s a preteen. It’s amazing how fast they grow. We miss seeing everyone too – BarCon was so fun!

  10. Pingback: The Evolution of STEM to STEAM: Book Review & Activity Resources

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