Seasonal STEM is a great way to introduce your students to the engineering process in a fun way. St. Patrick’s day leprechaun mischief and rainbow science activities are some of the absolute best to capture the interest of your kiddos and engage them in hands-on STEM experiences. Whether you’re doing STEM at home or school, check out a few of my favorites below that work for nearly every grade level, and with minimal expense and effort to implement!
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day means rainbow fun galore! Set the stage and build background knowledge by exploring colors, light, and color mixing. These color paddles and color mixing lenses by Learning Resources are perfect for rainbow play and exploration. Let your students experiment with shining light through individual colors and also play with color mixing by overlapping primary color paddles to make secondary colors.
After that warm-up, transition from color mixing to into rainbow fun with one of my favorite, simple activities for this time of year. The best milk color changing experiment I have found is from Spangler Science (here). Watch the video and follow the detailed, yet simple instructions to have your littles mixing colors like St. Patrick’s Day experts! My students loved this activity so much, as did their parents during our family STEM night.
Leprechaun Tracks Green Goo:
In my classroom and at home with my own son, we always talk about how leprechauns leave tracks and a trail wherever they go. Sometimes I use a footprint stamp and washable green ink to stamp out his path and the kids LOVE it! Kick this up a notch by then having your children/students create Leprechaun GOO! We all know slime/goo is all the rage, and so if you can’t been them…join them. Watch this step-by-step instructional video from Steve Spangler Science (what I used in my classroom) to see how to create your own green goo that the kiddos will love.
TEACHER TESTED TIPS:
- Purchase dollar store plastic tablecloths to cover your experiment surfaces.
- Have students wear oversized shirts or smocks while making the goo.
- Provide plastic food service gloves to protect hands from goop and food coloring.
- Use foil baking/roasting pans to prevent messy splatters during mixing.
Lucky Charms Screen-Free Coding:
Check out this amazing, yet simple St. Patrick’s Day screen-free coding activity from early childhood STEM guru, Brooke Brown, of Teach Oustide the Box. For just $2.00, this simple St. Patrick’s Day themed introduction to block-style coding is perfect for Kindergarten through third graders as they learn the basics of “unplugged” programming without computers. After completing activities such as these on paper, they can apply similar block coding strategies to coding websites and apps for kids such as code.org and Kodable, and eventually to more advanced languages of coding. To allow students to be most successful, please MODEL and clearly discuss directions for this activity before they complete it with partners. Grab some Lucky Charms and get ready to go for the (leprechaun) gold!
Use the Reversable Graph It Mat by Learning Resources and sorting manipulatives, clipart, or paper cutouts to create your own super-sized version of this screen-free coding activity. You might want to use this as a warm-up and then transition to the activity above from Teach Outside the Box.
Leprechaun Trap STEM Challenge:
Perhaps the most common spring holiday STEM Challenge is to have your students/children create a leprechaun trap using the engineering design process. This is a great activity to leave open-ended to allow for maximum maker-creativity and end products. If you would like some amazing inspiration, check out the plethora of ideas on this post to get you started. From trap design to clever bait, you’ll have plenty to choose from to get you started. The best part? Almost everything you need can be found around the house.
If you want to supercharge your leprechaun trap construction, try weaving this gears set by Learning Resources into your engineering design plan and process. They will add a level of complexity and fun to your con-TRAP-tions!
Luck-o-the-Irish to you as you enjoy exploring these awesome seasonal hands-on STEM activities with your own little leprechauns!