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STEM at Home

It's never too early to teach kids concepts like cause and effect, energy and gravity. Scientific inquiry is developed through building, reconfiguring and adapting. See it all in action with these do-it-yourself projects.

Marble Run

Materials: marbles, toilet paper/paper towel tubes, tape

Directions: Build a marble run with stuff you can find around the house. Put your mini-engineer to work with a pile of paper towel and toilet paper tubes. Attach tubes to the wall horizontally and diagonally with strips of masking or Washi tape (or any kind that's flexible and easy to remove), and experiment with creating different configurations while testing the effects on a marble's travels. Discover which routes are faster or slower, and hypothesize why.

Straw Roller Coaster

Materials: straws, ping-pong balls, hot glue, scissors, flat surface (cardboard box, plastic bin lid, etc.)

Directions: Cut and shape straws to create a roller coaster track for the ping-pong ball to roll on. Play around with the tracks and test out your route with the ping-pong ball.

Float Your Boat

Materials: tin foil, bag of pennies, container filled with water

Directions: Engineers must design boats made of steel and other dense materials that float. How is it possible for a material that is so dense to float? This is a challenge that engineers must figure out. There are two main forces to think about when trying to get an object to float: gravity and buoyancy. Gravity is the force pushing down on something, and buoyancy is the force of the water pushing up on the object. Use your tin foil to create a boat that can carry pennies. Think about what shape your boat should be and how deep it should be. Add as many pennies as it can hold!

Marshmallow Catapult

Materials: popsicle sticks, rubber bands, marshmallows (or you can use pompoms, pencil top erasers, etc.), plastic spoon (optional), bottle cap, sticky dots/glue

Directions: Using the materials provided, craft a catapult to fling your firing object of choice. If you have multiple firing objects, predict which one will go the furthest.

Additional Links:

STEM Online

  • Mystery Science: A starter set of free science lessons for K-5 that can be used or shared remotely.

  • Breakout EDU: Who doesn’t love a good escape room? These virtual games cover everything from Newton’s laws, the solar system and chemistry in an immersive virtual world that requires problem-solving and quick thinking.

  • Coding: Being stuck at home is the best time to learn some coding! is an always free resource that includes games and full courses to teach coding skills for students of all ages. Other great options are Scratch, Scratch, Jr., Minecraft Education and Tynker (now offering all closed schools with free access).

  • Class Hook: A great resource for finding engaging video clips from popular media to enhance your virtual lessons! Plus they are offering free subscriptions.

  • PBS: PBS Learning has a free library of engineering design videos, interactives and lessons for grades K-8.

  • BrainPop: Free access now available for at home learning! Curious learners can stay on track and learn online.

  • Nepris: An online community that virtually connects students with career professionals to bring real-world relevance and exposure to student learning. All live, virtual Industry Chats are now open to every educator and student through April 30, at no charge.

  • Rozzy: A curriculum that connects STEM careers to standards is now offering free memberships to all teachers! Check out this list for the best lessons to use in a virtual classroom.

  • Epic!: Now offering free 30 day subscriptions for this massive digital library for kids under 12.

  • STEM Apps: Have a tablet? Check out this list of top STEM apps by grade level.

STEM Movies

STEM Books

The Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Statler College is also a learning resource! If you're a parent with an interested student or a student yourself, reach out to Statler College and schedule your visit to WVU. More information can be found on the Visit Statler College page.

If you're an educator who would like an outreach specialist from Statler College to visit your school, connect with us and we can bring engineering students and hands-on demonstrations/projects to educate your students. More information can be found on the Statler College Visits You page.