Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gifting a STEM Kit for a hands on experience

Assemble a STEM Kit for a budding scientist! from STEMmom.org

My nephew, Micah enjoys building things, conducting experiments with the hopes of becoming an inventor one day. After seeing similar kits at Gluesticks and Thrifty Decorating, I decided for Christmas to put together a STEM kit for Micah. Essentially the kit includes an empty composition notebook for him to keep track of his findings, a folder full of fun science, technology, engineering, and math activities, and then a miscellaneous pile of supplies he may need. The supplies I included were cornstarch, white vinegar, corks, film canister, corks, raisins, glue, Borax, radish seeds, owl pellets, black light magnifying glass, coffee filters, ivory soap, modeling clay, twine, rubber gloves, tweezers, goggles, dropper bottles, and an official lab coat (my mom's from medical school.)

Give the gift of science: Composition notebook & Folder full of activities: STEMmom.org

Paper insert to tape to inside a composition notebook: STEMmom.org

To prepare the notebooks for gifting, I simply printed "Micah's Science Lab Notebook" on yellow card stock, used my corner rounder punch and then used rubber cement it attach it to the cover. On the inside cover of the composition notebook, I developed some basic tips on how to keep a lab notebook like the scientists do! You can download a copy of The Tips for Keeping a Lab Notebook for free!   (It is a Google Doc.) I printed these on cardstock and used rubber cement to glue it to the inside. These tips are simplified and appropriate for late elementary and maybe middle school students, but not for high school students. Students with more science background should include more in their lab notebooks! 

Free Printable: Tips for keeping a lab Notebook, made to be glued to the inside cover of a composition notebook; STEM Mom.org

Then to prepare the pronged folder, I hole punched all the activities (more about those below), wrote a letter to my nephew, then fastened it all into the folder.   

STEM notebook for a gift idea! STEMmom.org

As for the contents of the STEM folder, I assembled activities from Kids Science Experiments.com and formatted them to fit into a 8 1/2 x 11, three-holed pronged notebook. The experiments I printed off were:

Surface Tension Experiments:
Run Away Pepper
Swimming Fish
Speedboat Matchsticks
Swirled Milk

Reaction Experiments:
Shiny Coins
Bobbing Raisins
Rocket Cola

Misc. Experiments
Wriggle Worm
Lemon Diver

Mixing and Separating Experiments
Three Layer Float
Making a Blubber Glue Ball (Gak)
Making a Lava Lamp

Engineering (from the book Constructions: Kids and Science by Joan Westley)
Building with Shapes
Building Walls

My own STEM experiences: 
Micah was really surprised with his STEM kit. As soon as he found the lab coat, we all were quoting from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs! "

Boy Receiving STEM Activity Kit | STEM Mom

I hope this helps you as you consider putting a STEM kit together for someone in your life who loves to tinker! Enjoy!

This post was featured in the online magazine Bonbon Break in January 2013! If you are visiting from Bonbon Break, please leave me a comment! :)

Bonbon Break

I've linked up here:

 Inspiration Laboratories     Science Sunday 


  1. This is such a great idea to continue kids' interest in science. Great post!

  2. This such a wonderful idea! I am going to make one for each of my 3 children - 4. 10 and 11. And one of their friends that I used to teach at a small private school before homescholing. He loves all things science. Thanks again for posting This

    1. I'm so glad that you like the STEM kit idea. Remember, the best ideas are almost ALWAYS stolen, I got the idea from others, tweaked it and then shared it with you! Another great idea would be to have older kids put together a kit for younger ones. Assembling the kit requires a lot of thought, and older ones would benefit from the construction of a kit!

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  4. I think this is my favorite post linked up so far this week! I know my boys would love to get a present like this, and it makes science so appealing!
    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

    1. I consider that quite a complement coming from you Ticia! Thanks so much! My nephew went nuts when he got it. He's much less enthusastic about keeping a science notebook, but the first page he opened in the activity folder was how to make GAK! He couldn't wait!

  5. Love the idea of a STEM kit and adding a science notebook. I'm featuring your post this week at the Sunday Showcase. Thanks for linking up!

    1. Oh.....really? Thanks so much! Can't wait to see it!


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