Looking to keep your kids or students engaged this season? Facilitate some educational and fun STEM activities for the fall. Not only will they help your learners become more aware of the seasons around them, but these experiences are a great way to inspire their minds with science, technology, engineering, math, and even art.
Read on to get some fun ideas for fall STEM activities suitable for all types of learners!
Spooky Halloween STEM Projects
Nothing kicks off fall and a love of science like Halloween. Here are some creepy, gooey, Halloween-inspired science projects for kids of all ages.
Autumn Equinox Harvest Moon Activity
Vivify STEM educators share a fascinating set of activities to teach kids about the Autumn Equinox. Moon phase cookie instructions, light reflection experiments, and astronomy sheets are included in their free STEM lesson to welcome the season.
Vampire Density Demonstration
Density experiments are easy and hands-on projects to teach kids about liquid weight and physics. Make your next density experiment spooky with fake blood and floating critters. Each layer of liquid will remain separate in a jar because some are heavier than others. Thanks for sharing, Science Sparks!
Kids love gooey slime. Make your own slime from scratch using cornstarch, water, and food coloring. Extra creepy: add in some fake eyeballs or toy spiders to create a witch’s cauldron! Shoutout to Best Ideas for Kids for the idea.
Use baking soda and vinegar to make your jack-o-lanterns erupt with foam. This fun experiment can be used once your carved pumpkins start to go bad, and kids love the small chemistry lesson. Thanks Play Learn Grow for helping kids impress their friends while pumpkin carving.
Brain Surgery in a Bag
Create a brain in a baggie, fill it with colorful liquid, and watch as sharp pencils poke through the bag without causing it to leak. Ideal for younger kids, you can make this project as tame or as hauntingly morbid as you want! Check out STEAMsational for more spooky ideas.
With a little tonic water, some vinegar, and a blacklight, you can get really creepy on Halloween by turning eggs into ghosts. Chemical reactions cause the egg’s shell to disintegrate, leaving an encased (but still raw) egg glowing with translucent light.
STEM Activities for Fall: K-4th Grade
Fall is three months long, so you’ll need more than just Halloween experiments to get your learning on. Here are more fall STEM activities for elementary students, whether at home or in the classroom.
Pumpkin STEM Experiments
There are lots of ways to experiment with those mini pumpkins everyone buys during the fall. For some easy and self-directed fall STEM activities for first grade, try these pumpkin science projects. Thank you Lessons for the Little Ones for the list!
Leafy Chromatography Science
For a chromatographic STEM activity, fall leaves can be used to encourage kids to observe what they see. This experiment from the popular STEM education company, Little Bins for Little Hands, walks you through some accessible, free projects for fall science.
Dancing Popcorn Experiment
Watch popcorn dance by setting up one of the easiest fall STEM activities ever. This is a great way to explain how chemical reactions affect solids, liquids, and gasses to younger elementary students.
Sprout Your Own Fall Corn
Show how earth science regenerates something from what seems like nothing. Did you know you can resprout Indian corn? Start this experiment at the beginning of fall and watch it grow through the season in your classroom, teaching students about observing life cycles and propagation.
Dry Ice Bubbles
Dry ice bubbles are as fun as regular bubbles, only better. Use this project as an interactive opportunity to walk students through the scientific method as you combine dry ice with bubbles. Create different challenges like trying to measure the farthest bubble, timing how long the cloud lasts after each bubble pops, and who can make the cloudiest bubble.
3D Printed Decorations With Sand and Glue
This is one of the popular fall STEM activities for 3rd grade: start a 3D printing project using only colorful sand and Elmer’s glue. Teach students the basics and then encourage them to create hypotheses on why some shapes work better than others. Why does the glue solidify? When does the glue stay soft? How long does it take for a 3D shape to harden? Get creative with it!
Build Your Own Lava Lamp
Introduce elementary kids to polarity and density with a DIY lava lamp. You only need some tall jars, vegetable oil, water, salt, and food coloring. Kids get to learn the different densities of liquids, think critically about how much coloring to put into their jars, and experiment with different methods that move the “lava” up and down. Thanks for the idea, Playdough to Plato!
Fall-Themed STEM Experiments: 5th-8th Grade
Sometimes, the experiments for kids can get a little too boring for 5th-8th graders. They need something more challenging. Here are some advanced fall STEM activities for middle school students.
Explosion in a Jar
Teach STEM and responsibility with this mini explosion in a jar. Middle school kids love this project because it involves the most surprising of the four elements: fire. When there are flames involved, it automatically feels like a real science experiment. Take caution when instructing this activity and grab your fire extinguisher. This activity was inspired by Musings of a Mom Scientist on Pinterest.
Pumpkin Brush Robots
This brush robot activity uses pumpkins for fall, but you can swap them out for any item— decorations, toys, or even rocks. The premise is simple: carve out the bottom of the pumpkin and assemble a battery-powered brush robot underneath to make it move across the floor. This is a great activity to get kids excited about robotics!
Let middle schoolers come up with elaborate candy catapults using fall-themed treats like candy corn, pumpkin candy, and leftover Halloween sweets. This activity lays out the basic steps to get started, but you can get creative and make these catapults big and impressive! It’s a fun physics and engineering lesson to get your kids excited about.
Electric Play Dough
Here’s another technology fall STEM activity: create your own electric play dough. First, kids learn chemistry and instruction by making play dough. Next, they learn science and technology through the conductivity of salt in the play dough. How many lights can the play dough give power to? Does one play dough recipe work better than another? Science Buddies has it all laid out to get started.
Science, geometry, and sweets come together for this fall STEM activity where kids build geodesic domes. You can use gumdrops, sour gummy corn, or marshmallows, plus some toothpicks. See who can come up with more elaborate geometric shapes to build!
Pumpkin Pressure Explosion
A favorite fall STEM activity for middle schoolers is exploding pumpkins. There’s the typical chemistry explosion using diet coke and mentos, or you can teach students how an explosion works with pressure by wrapping rubber bands around a pumpkin until it bursts. View this list of ideas for pumpkin explosions by Our Family Code!
Another flammable science project— fire snakes. Challenge students to try the original mixture of ingredients and record their findings. Then, test a different measurement of the baking soda and sugar mixture to see what happens. Do this activity outside and supervise your kids at all times.
Balloon Car Race
Teach engineering, aerodynamics, and physics with build-your-own balloon cars. Bonus challenge: make your students build their car out of recycled materials, like water bottles, lids, and screw caps. Make it fall-themed with decorative paper or pumpkin balloons.
LED Robot Pop-Up Greeting Cards
Help your students level up their holiday greeting cards this year by making robotic versions. These LED robot pop-up cards are a STEM challenge, plus require some creative thinking in design. Kids learn basic circuitry, assembly, and construction when creating a robot that lights up when the card opens. Make it fall-themed with festive stickers, gratitude lists, or turkey robots!
DIY Strobe Light
Need a late fall STEM activity to preoccupy your middle schoolers? Here’s a walkthrough for building a challenging DIY strobe light. It should take 30-minutes to an hour at least and result in a fun strobe light to play with! This project is advanced enough for middle school and high school students.
Drones for Fall STEM Activities
Drones are always a fun STEM activity since they can be adapted to any grade level and introduce students to all STEM concepts. If you want to take your kids’ STEM activities to the next level this season, grab our drone curriculum and take flight!
Whether you’re setting up some fun projects at your school or at home, Drone Legends has all the fundamentals you need to get started with drones. Reach out to the team and let’s talk about some drone-based STEM experiences for the fall.