STEM for Elementary School: STEM Activities and Resources

STEM Activities STEM Programs for Elementary School

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.


STEM for Elementary is one part of a series of compiled 319 STEM sites on STEM activities and resources that are broken down into the categories shown below.

STEM Activities and Resources for Kids: 319 STEM Sites

STEM Activities and Learning Websites ♦Games and Apps ♦Camps and After School Programs ♦Contests ♦Grants and Awards ♦Career Resources ♦Initiatives


Elementary STEM Classes

STEM Activities and Learning Websites


Ask Dr. Universe

  • Content: STEM Q & As

Dr. Universe, the cute kitten, from Washington State University will answer your STEM questions.

Code.org

  • Content: online computer science courses, videos , games for kids 6-17

Since launching in 2013 with a #1 YouTube video of the a day, Code.org has expanded to build a full organization supporting a worldwide movement to provide easy access to computer science education for everyone.  They design courses, train teachers, partner with large school districts, and help change government policies.

Engineering, Go for It! (eGFI)

  • Content: careers advice, engineering fields info, links to the eGFI magazine

EPA Students

  • Content: environmental news, contests, games, quizzes, videos, environment-based homework resources, lesson plans and project ideas

This website is run by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Exploratorium

  • Content: Interactive STEM & art activities, videos, apps, links, blogs and more

A cool STEM & art website from the San Francisco-based Exploratorium.

Extreme Science

  • Content: info on world records in natural science, including earth science and the plant and animal kingdom, wild and weird facts about nature, and resources for science projects

A very interesting website about extreme science.

Funology

  • Content: science experiments, arts & crafts, kids’ recipes, tricks, games, jokes, and trivia

The Greens

  • Content: ecology games and activities

Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics

  • Content: math activities for kids in preschool through grade 5

The site is curated by the U.S. Department of Education.

How Stuff Works

  • Content: hundreds upon thousands of articles, videos, audio podcasts and apps about the wonders of science and almost everything else on the planet

After starting in 1998 at a college professor’s kitchen table, this hugely popular STEM site has nearly 40 million visitors each month.

Kids Do Ecology

  • Content: ecology studies, resources, activities, puzzles, games, classroom projects and more.

Kids.gov

  • Content: education resources, games and videos on arts, health, history, math, money, reading & writing, science, social studies and more

It is the official kids’ portal for the U.S. government.

The Kids’ Science Challenge (KSC)

  • Content: science activities, games, videos, scavenger hunts and a free nationwide science competition for students in grades three to six.

Museum of Science + Industry Chicago Online Science

  • Content: STEM apps and games, activities , videos, and podcasts

Explore science from Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, one of the largest science museums in the world.

NASA Education for Students

  • Content: Career information, image galleries, NASA Television, features and articles about aerospace

NASA Kids’ Club and NASA Space Place

  • Content: space science activities, crafts, images, videos and games

NASA Kids’ Club and NASA Space Place are space science education sites from NASA.

NASA Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA)

  • Content: free STEM program for kids K-12

SEMAA was developed to increase the participation of historically underserved K-12 youth in STEM fields. School activities and summer sessions are at 14 locations in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

National Geographic Kids

  • Content: games, photos, stories, videos on animals and science

NOVA

  • Content: STEM videos, science and an education blog

The website of PBS’s NOVA,  the most-watched prime time science series show on American television from PBS, produces an extensive list of science resources and original content.

PBS Kids – Cyberchase

  • Content: STEM games, videos and activities

PBS Kids – Design Squad Nation

  • Content: STEM design and build activities, games, videos

PBS Kids – The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

  • Content: Pre-K STEM games, activities, crafts and videos

PBS Kids – Lifeboat to Mars

  • Content: free online game on space science, ecology and biology

PBS Kids – Zoom

  • Content: science activities, experiments and games by kids for kids

TechRocket

  • Content: programming, graphic design, and game design courses for kids and teens
  • Pricing: first 7 courses are free then $19-29 per month

Tynker

  • Content: fun programming courses for kids 7-17

With Tynker, Kids learn to code,  built games and apps, draw math art, interface with hardware and more.

Weather Wiz Kids

  • Content: meteorology facts, games, flashcards and photos

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STEM Games and Apps


Angry Birds Space

Kids play over 300 interstellar levels across 10 planets including our own Solar System. The addictive, fun game with challenging physics puzzles will sneakily teach players physics along the way.

Bee-Bot

  • Recommended age: 4- 7
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Pricing: Free

The simple, accessible app has 12 top-down timed levels set in progressively difficult mazes.

Cargo-Bot

  • Recommended age: 5+ to adults
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Pricing: Free

Over one million people have enjoyed Cargo-Bot. It is one of the coolest coding games for kids. Players use coding concepts like loops and procedures and do a ton of debugging.

DimensionU Games

  • Recommended age: 8-14
  • Platforms: Web, iOS (TowerStorm, Meltdown)
  • Pricing:  free (iOS) – $29.99 for 12 months

Comprised of four engaging, multiplayer games with access to curriculum in both Math and Literacy.  The content aligns with the Common Core, state standards and classroom instruction.

Every Body Has a Brain!

  • Recommended age: 4-6
  • Platforms: PC, Mac
  • Pricing: $19.95

Using an interactive musical brain game, kids meet brain characters, play games, sing songs, and play interactive stories.

Gamestar Mechanic

  • Recommended age: 7-14
  • Platforms: Web
  • Pricing: $19.95 for three-quest series

It is a game and community designed to teach kids the principles of game design and systems thinking in a highly engaging environment. With skills built from game-based “Quests”, kids can build their own video games.

Geo Walk: 3D World Factbook

  • Recommended age:  6+
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Pricing: $2.99

Has around 500 objects with up-to-date descriptions. Learn about interesting historical places, great people, unusual animals and plants from all around the world. No internet connection required.

Geometry Quest

With this cute geometry quiz app, you’ll travel the world by solving geometry challenges along the way. You’ll receive passport stamps for perfect quests. Covers Common Core standards 3MD, 3G, 4MD, 5G, 6G, 7G and 8G.

Hopscotch

  • Recommended age: ages 10+
  • Platforms:  ipad
  • Pricing: Free

Hopscotch is a drag-and-drop programming app for kids to write their own programs. Kids need to be independent readers to follow the instructions and commands and “write” their code. The characters and colors are fun and vibrant, and the app empowers kids to create open-ended options.

Kinetic City

  • Recommended age: 5+
  • Platforms: Web
  • Pricing: free

An amazing collection of science experiments, games, activities and challenges.

Kodable

  • Recommended age: 5-8
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Pricing: Free ($7 for the Pro version)

Kodable’s 105 maze-like levels help teach young kids programming concepts like conditions, loops, functions, and debugging. The free version includes the first 45 levels.

Lightbot and Lightbot Jr.

  • Recommended age: 4-8 (Lightbot Jr.), 9+ (Lightbot)
  • Platforms: Web, iOS, Android
  • Pricing: Free (browser), $3 (iOS/Android)

Lightbot is a programming puzzle game which teaches concepts like planning, testing, debugging, procedures, and loops.

Math Blaster

  • Recommended age: 7+
  • Platforms: Web, iOS,  Android
  • Pricing: free

Players will join the Blaster Academy and go through various training missions so they can learn how to protect the universe from bad guys. These training missions, while sci-fi based, are all math games that involve performing equations to win.

MathBoard

  • Recommended age: 7+
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Pricing: $4.99

This math app walks kids through the math journey of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It is customizable for different levels.

Minecraft

The extremely popular 3-D block-building game that pushes your imagination to the limits and fosters creativity.

Motion Math: Pizza!

  • Recommended age: 9+
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Pricing: $4.99

The STEM app teaches kids about basic economics. While playing, kids learn a valuable lesson that a successful business requires important math and reasoning skills to properly budget money and keep customers satisfied.

Move the Turtle: Programming for Kids

  • Recommended age: 9-11
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Pricing: $3.99

Kids can learn the basic concepts of computer programming (coding) through the adaptive game play.

Mystery Math Town

  • Recommended age: 9-11
  • Platforms: iPad
  • Pricing: $2.99

With a dark mood, but not scary, the entertaining game lets kids practice math while saving fireflies.

National Geographic Games

  • Recommended age: 5+
  • Platforms: Web, PC, Mac, iOS, Amazon Kindle Fire
  • Pricing: both free and for purchase

National Geographic games site is packed with games, apps, puzzles and quizzes.

Numbers League

  • Recommended age: 7+
  • Platforms: iPad
  • Pricing: $3.99

With a choice of five different game levels which fall on a spectrum from the most basic of arithmetic to negative numbers and multiplication, kids practice their basic math facts while helping superheroes fight evil villains.

Robozzle

Robozzle is a social puzzle game which teaches programming. Using only a few simple commands, teach the robot to recurse a tree, follow a linked list, or count in binary. The levels range from those suitable for younger children right up to puzzles that will make seasoned coders scratch their heads.

Seasons and Weather!

  • Recommended age 3-6
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Pricing: free

Three fun science games for young kids to identify various weather situations in different seasons, and learn weather appropriate clothing and activities.

Sid’s Science Fair

  • Recommended age: 3-6
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Pricing: $2.99

This PBS Kids app engages players in experiential learning with core science and math concepts from classification and identifying patterns to charting and sequencing.

ScratchJr

  • Recommended age: 5-7
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Pricing: Free

Young kids can program their interactive stories and games with this app from MIT. Based on the popular Scratch visual programming platform, ScratchJr borrows the snap-together programming block and real-time building model and allows kids to construct their own understanding of basic programming concepts. Giving so many options, kids need some guidance to get started but they will soon be hooked.

SpaceChem

SpaceChem tasks players with building machines to fight monsters, using programming concepts like in-order execution, loops, branching, and subroutines.

Team Umizoomi Math: Zoom into Numbers

  • Recommended age: 3-6
  • Platforms: iOS, iPad (HD)
  • Pricing: $3.99 – $6.99(HD)

The cheerful animated characters from Nick Jr.’s TV program offers lots of math games and activities for young kids.

Tynker

  • Recommended age: 7+
  • Platforms: iOS, Android
  • Pricing: Free – $5.99

Kids can solve puzzles to learn concepts. Using the new step-by-step coding tutorials, kids can easily build their own games, and control robots and drones. There are 50+ free starter templates.

Umigo

  • Recommended age: 6+
  • Platforms: Web
  • Pricing: free

Umigo is a cool math and engineering game site that’s geared toward younger kids.

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STEM Camps and After School Programs


Audubon Camps

  • Grades: 1-8 (day camps); teens – adults (residential camps)
  • Curriculum: Ornithology
  • Programs: summer day camp, summer residential camp
  • Locations: 30 Audubon Centers across the country

Kids have fun exploring the natural world. The Wild Birds Unlimited scholarship funds have helped almost 2,000 youth attend this camp since 2007.

Black Girls Code

  • Grades: 2-12
  • Curriculum: Computer programming, Robotics
  • Programs: workshop, after school program
  • Locations: nationwide

Through community outreach programs, Black Girls Code introduces underprivileged girls to computer programming and LEGO Robotics. They offer a limited number of financial-need based scholarships.

Camp Invention

  • Grades: 1-6
  • Curriculum: Robotics, Science, Engineering, Computer Programming, Invention
  • Programs: summer camp, after school program
  • Locations: nationwide

Created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame.  Camp Invention is a national summer STEM camp focusing on creativity, innovation, real-world problem solving and the spirit of invention.

Camp KAOS

  • Grades: 2 – adult
  • Curriculum: Space science and Astronomy
  • Programs: summer day camp, summer residential camp
  • Locations: Hutchinson, Kansas

kids discover the thrill of space at the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, where they train kids just like astronauts in their camps since 1985. Scholarships are available.

CoderDojo

  • Grades: 2-12
  • Subjects: App Development,  Website design, Game design, Robotics
  • Programs: social club
  • Locations: worldwide

CoderDojo is a fun and social club where young people can go to explore technology together and get advice and support from skilled mentors.

Com-Star Learning

  • Grades: 1-12
  • Curriculum: Programming, Website design, Game design, Robotics, Mapping, Digital arts, Digital music, and more
  • Programs: summer camp, after school program
  • Locations: District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia

Cornell’s Adult University Youth Programs

  • Grades: Preschool-10
  • Curriculum: STEM, Outdoor Adventures, Sailing, Literature
  • Programs: summer residential camp, summer day camp
  • Locations: Ithaca, NY

Designed and led by Cornell faculty, the nationally acclaimed programs are for kids ages 3-15. Even the youngest campers can be in residence with a registered resident adult.

Destination Science Camp

  • Grades: K-6
  • Curriculum: Science, Robotics, 3D animation, Digital music design, Technology, Engineering, Space science
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: California, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington, Florida

Digital Media Academy

  • Grades: 1-12
  • Curriculum: Game design, iPhone programming, Film making, 3D animation, Robotics, Photography & art, Music production, Sports, Courses for girls
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: 10 states and over 20 campuses in the US, Canada

Digital Media Academy is a digital art and technology training company.

Duke University: Talent Identification Program (TIP)

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Curriculum: STEM, Art, Robotics, and more
  • Programs:  residential summer camp, online
  • Locations: Durham NC, nationwide and worldwide locations

TIP includes Summer Studies, eStudies and Field Studies. It is claimed as a global leader in identifying academically gifted students and providing them with opportunities to support their development.

Education Unlimited®

  • Grades: 4-12 (residential camp); 1-6 (day camp)
  • Curriculum: Public speaking, College admissions and SAT prep, Science, Acting, Creative writing, Computer, Video production
  • Programs: summer residential camp, summer day camp (CA)
  • Locations: 11 locations in California and on the East Coast, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Caltech, UC San Diego, Brown University, Yale University, Georgetown University, MIT and Tufts University.

Emagination

  • Grades: 3-12
  • Curriculum: 3D animation, Website design, Programming and app design, Game design, Minecraft, Robotics, Engineering
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Bridgeport, Connecticut

Emagination was founded in Connecticut in 1982. Each summer children travel to their campus locations from all across America and several foreign countries.

Engineering For Kids

  • Grades: K-9
  • Curriculum: Aerospace, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Environmental,  Hardware, Industrial, Marine, Mechanical, Software and Robotics engineering
  • Programs: summer camp, after school program, workshop
  • Locations: worldwide

i2 Camp

  • Grades: 5-8
  • Curriculum: Programming & app development, Digital game design, Engineering design, Electronics, Kinetic sculpture, Robotics, Rocketry, Space science, Physics, Biology, Chemical engineering, Oceanography, 3D printing
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York

With camp-wide STEM activities, they introduce campers to scientists, astronauts, bioethicists, and entrepreneurs.

iD Tech

  • Grades: 1-12
  • Curriculum: Programming & app development, Game design, Website design, Robotics, Film & video, 3D modeling & printing
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: 150+ locations nationwide

They currently offer programs at over 100 university, college, high school, and elementary school locations throughout the United States, with the most distinguished campuses including Stanford, UCLA, Princeton, and MIT.

Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS)

  • Grades: 1 -12
  • Curriculum: Logic puzzles, Computer programming, Virtual robotics, Electronics
  • Programs: summer camp, after-school program, weekend program
  • Locations: South Florida, North Carolina, St. Louis, Connecticut

Kids-N-Technology

  • Grades: K-12
  • Curriculum: Computer programming,  Game design, Robotics, Hardware engineering
  • Programs: summer camp, after-school program, weekend program, club, Girls Pursuing Science (GPS)
  • Locations: North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi

Lavner Camps

  • Grades: 1-9
  • Curriculum: Technology, Sports, Arts and more.
  • Programs: summer camps
  • Locations: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland

National Computer Camps

  • Grades: 1-12
  • Curriculum: Video game design, Computer languages, Web page design, 3D printing, Digital video production, Software applications, QR programming, Android App programming, Minecraft and Modding, Network+ certification, A+ hardware certification, PSAT and SAT math preparation
  • Programs: summer camp (residential, all day and morning only)
  • Locations: Connecticut, Atlanta, Cleveland

Science Explorers

  • Grades: Prek -6
  • Curriculum: Space science, Chemistry, Marine science, Physics
  • Programs: summer camp. after school program
  • Locations: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware

Robotics Education & Competition Foundation

  • Grades: 1 -12
  • Curriculum: Robotics
  • Programs: competitions, workshops, camps, conferences
  • Locations: nationwide

Find your local event at robot events.

Rochester Institute of Technology RIT K-12 Academy

  • Grades: 1-12
  • Curriculum: STEM, Robotics, Visual arts, Sports and more
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: Rochester, NY

Various summer camps target different age/gender groups, including Kids on Campus, CBET Bioscience Camps, Everyday Engineering Summer Camp (girls only), RoboCamp, Lil Kids on Campus, Smash Experience for Girls, etc.

Summer@Rensselaer

  • Grades: 1-12
  • Curriculum: STEM, Sports and more
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: Troy, NY

SUNYIT SummerITeens

  • Grades: 4-12
  • Curriculum: Bioengineering, Alternative Energy, Robotics, STEAM,  Nanotechnology, and more
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: Utica, NY

Tynker

  • Grades: 3-8
  • Curriculum: Computer science, Game design, Programming
  • Programs: summer camps
  • Locations: California, Texas

Youth Digital Summer Camps

  • Grades: 3 -11
  • Curriculum: Java programming, 3D animation, 3D game design, App design, 3D printing, Fashion design
  • Programs: summer camp
  • Locations: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia


For local programs, please refer to our guide for State-based STEM Camps and After School Programs.

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STEM Contests


Botball®

  • Grades: K-6 (junior challenge); 7-12(Botball)
  • Subjects: Computer programming, Robotics

You can find their current event near you. Scholarships are available for qualified teams.

Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge

  • Grades: 5-8
  • Subjects: Science, Innovation

Students are invited to create a 1-2 minute video describing a new, innovative solution that could solve an everyday problem. Ten finalists will be chosen based upon their passion for science, spirit of innovation and ingenuity, and communication skills. The highest scoring finalist earns the title America’s Top Young Scientist and wins $25,000 and a once-in-a-lifetime international trip.

FIRST

  • Grades: K-3 (Junior FIRST® LEGO® League), 4-8 (FIRST® LEGO® League), 7-12 (FIRST® Tech Challenge), 9-12 (FIRST® Robotics Competition)
  • Subjects: LEGO® bricks,  Robotics

FIRST offers robotics programs worldwide.  Find the events/programs/teams in your area.

NSBE KidZone Elementary Science Olympiad

  • Grades: 3-5
  • Subjects: Science

Teams of up to five 3rd-5th graders will compete in 18 different events at the NSBE ( National Society of Black Engineers) National Convention. Grades K-2 will compete in a non-competitive league.

Perennial Math Tournaments

  • Grades: 3-8
  • Subjects: Math

Robotics Education & Competition Foundation

  • Grades: 1 -12
  • Subjects: Robotics

Science Olympiad

  • Grades: K -12
  • Subjects: Genetics, Earth science, Chemistry, Anatomy, Physics, Geology, Mechanical engineering and Technology

Currently, there are nearly 7,000 secondary schools from 50 states participating  annual Science Olympiad National Tournament, with an additional 10,000 or more elementary schools holding Science Olympiad tournaments or hands-on events. Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation.

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision

Grades: K-12 Subjects: Science, Technology

ExploraVision is one of the world’s largest K-12 science competitions. More than 350,000 students from across the United States and Canada have participated since its inception in 1992. 2-4 students work in a group to pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles.