K-12 STEM Activities

Classroom Activities

Making science fun is a challenge that many teachers face, especially to students who have not been exposed to research, engineering and STEM careers.  We understand that teachers may be the only influence a student may have to receive encouragement regarding STEM education. As such, NETL wants to be your partner in making science fun for students. One of the ways in which we do this is my providing in-school demonstrations, experiments and activities. We make sure that our activities align with national standards so you can have peace of mind in knowing your students are receiving information key to their developing interest in science.

All of our current activities are listed below, and indicate the appropriate grade level and education standard they meet. You can use these activities on your own in the classroom, or you can submit a request for NETL representatives to visit your school to conduct activities hand-in-hand with your students. To request NETL staff to visit your school to conduct hands-on activities, please fill out the K-12 Education Activity Request Form and indicate the activities you would like NETL to demonstrate in your classroom.

 

Activity Grade Appropriateness & Education Standard Met Activity Sheet
Bird Feeders Grades K-4 Standard C
Birds have different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction.
Bird Feeders
Coal Flowers Grades 5-8 Standard F
Coal is a natural resource. This can be used when talking about the chemical reaction that takes place when bluing, salt, ammonia and water are combined and poured onto the coal.
Coal Flowers
Cookie Mining Grades K-4 Standard D
Properties of earth materials from mining.
Cookie Mining
Energy Monitors Grades K-4 Standard B
Difference brands and models of the same electronic device can use different amounts of energy. This can be used when speaking about electronics used on a daily basis.

Grades 5-8 Standard B
Devices plugged in without being turned on can sometimes still pull an electric current. This can be used when speaking about energy consumption.
Energy Monitors
Hovercrafts Grades 5-8 Standard E
Large scale hovercrafts are used for traveling over land, snow and water. This can be used when speaking about science and technology.
Hovercrafts
Ice Cream Grades K-4 Standard B
Water will normally freeze at 32°F. A 10% salt solution freezes at 20°F, and a 20% solution freezes at 2°F. This can be used when speaking about heat melting ice.
Ice Cream
Lava Lamps Grades K-4 Standard E
Oil is less dense than water and so it rises to the top of an oil and water mixture. This can be used if speaking about why the liquids separate inside a lava lamp.

Grades 5-8 Standard E
Specific acids and bases combined will cause a reaction creating carbon dioxide gas. This can be used if speaking about acid and base reactions occurring that will cause a bubbling effect to take place.
Lava Lamps
Make it Rain Grades K-4 Standard C
There are various types of pollution for example air, water, and land pollution. Pollution is the release of contaminants into the environment. This can be used if speaking about how pollution can affect the rain and clouds.
Make It Rain
Marshmallow Towers Grades K-4 Standard E
Marshmallow Tower incorporates engineering design, team problem solving and fine motor skills.

Grades 5-8 Standard E
Building marshmallow towers can teach students how to create complex structures that can withstand certain amounts of weight by building sturdy bases.
Marshmallow Towers
Puff Mobiles Grades 5-8 Standard E
When you blow, you create moving air or wind. When wind pushes against object, it can move the object. This can be used when speaking about designing your own mobile.
Puff Mobiles
Rocks and Minerals Grades 5-8 Standard
Minerals are naturally occurring substances formed by geological processes. Rocks are naturally occurring solids made up of minerals. This can be used when speaking about the Earth’s structure.
Rocks and Minerals
Side Walk Chalk Grades K-4 Standard B
Exploring basic concepts about the structure and properties of matter. Discuss notable physical and chemical changes that take place each time a new ingredient is added.
Side Walk Chalk
Slime Grades K-4 Standard B
Exploring basic concepts about the structure and properties of matter. Discuss notable physical and chemical changes that take place each time a new ingredient is added.
Slime
Smelly Balloons Grades K-4 Standard A
Inquiry involves generating questions and examining the balloons. Inquiry includes an analysis and presentation of findings of the scents from the balloons.
Smelly Balloons
Sticky Water Grades 5-8 Standard B
Gravity, adhesion, and cohesion are all forces. This can be used when speaking about motions and forces in physical science.
Sticky Water
Straw Rockets Grades K-4 Standard E
Evaluate Completed Technological Design of straw rockets.

Grades 5-8 Standard E
Adding more weight to a straw rocket can determine the length it flies when blown into. This can be used when speaking about engineering rockets.
Straw Rockets
Sustainability Grades 5-8 Standard C
Renewable vs. Non-Renewable, Renewable vs. Sustainable, Carrying Capacity can all be used when talking about populations, resources and environments.
Sustainability
UV Beads Grades K-4 Standard F
The weather can determine the amount of ultra-violet rays coming from the sun. You can use this when speaking about changes in environments.

Grades 5-8 Standard F
Ultra violet radiation can be harmful to your skin and eyes. This can be used when speaking about the risks caused by sunlight.
UV Beads
Volcanos Grades K-4 Standard B
Earth’s surface is dramatically reshaping itself in an endless, slow motion ballet called plate tectonics propelled by intense heat simmering beneath the crust. This can be used when speaking about feeding volcanic eruptions.

Grades 5-8 Standard B
Geothermal energy is plentiful, but geothermal power is not. Temperatures increase below the earth’s surface. The internal heat of the Earth is an immense store of energy. This can be used if speaking about volcanic eruption releasing energy.
Volcanoes
Windmills Grades K-4 Standard B
Wind power involves turning energy from the wind into other forms of useful energy. This can be used if speaking about wind turbines.
Windmills

2014 School Visits

  • Clairton STEM Summer Camp, STEM Activities, Experiments and Information
  • Dormont Elementary, Hands-on Classroom Science Experiments
  • Elizabeth Forward Central Elementary Science Rodeo, Hands-on Classroom Science Experiments
  • Green Oak Elementary Science Lab Day, Hands-on Classroom Science Experiments
  • McKeesport Elementary, 6th Grade Hands-on Classroom Science Experiments
  • McKeesport Elementary Science Lab Day, Hands-on Classroom Science Experiments
  • South Park Elementary, 2nd Grade Hands-on Classroom Science Experiments
  • South Park Middle, 5th Grade Hands-on Classroom Science Experiments

A Thank You from the Schools