STEM Activities for Summer Camp: 10 Must-Try Activities!

Warmer weather is coming, which means summer is just around the corner. As the school season is winding down and you’re planning exciting adventures for your kids, don’t let them miss out on enriching STEM activities.

At AstroCamp, we love taking learning outside and immersing kids in STEM projects that engage their young minds. Learn more about how you can incorporate these top 10 STEM activities for summer camp at home!

What is STEM?

You may be wondering, “What even is STEM?” Great question! STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The goal of STEM is to introduce kids to hands-on, problem-solving activities that challenge and push their limits. Each of our 10 STEM activities for summer camp is not only buckets of fun but also inspires kids between 8-17 years old.

10 STEM Activities for Summer Camp to Try Today!

1. Bottle Rockets

Ready to get a bit wild? Say hello to bottle rockets! A perfect blend of chemistry, engineering, physics, and explosions, this STEM activity for summer camp teaches kids how to build a launch pad to hold a rocket as well as a rocket made out of an empty rinsed soda bottle, baking soda, vinegar, and more. Once all the materials are ready to go, kids can put their skills to the test by launching the rocket. How far will yours go?

2. Tower of Hanoi Puzzle

A mathematical game and puzzle, Tower of Hanoi is an ideal STEM summer camp activity that develops kids’ logical and reasoning skills. Consisting of three rods and several disks, the puzzle’s goal is to shift the entire stack of disks from one rod to another. There are specific rules, which is a great learning opportunity for kids, showing them that following rules leads to success.

3. Geocache for Buried Treasures

Does anyone want to find buried treasure? Aye, aye! The world’s largest treasure hunt, geocaching is a one-of-a-kind summer camp STEM activity. Kids can put on their thinking caps and leverage their navigational skills to find geocache locations nearby. Once a geocache is identified, kids can investigate the treasure left in the boxes, from buttons to snacks. It’s always a fabulous mystery to discover what’s inside.

4. Grow Crystals from Scratch

Gather your ingredients and get ready to watch crystals grow right before your eyes! With the assistance of an adult, follow the recommended instructions and prepare to watch crystals of all sizes grow and develop. During this STEM activity, kids will learn patience and thoughtfulness, and witness the extraordinary power of science at work.

5. Make Your Own Slime

Put your sensory skills to the test! Making your own slime is the perfect messy outdoor science experiment. Kids will not only have loads of fun playing with the slime, but this summer camp STEM activity teaches them about chemistry and how simple ingredients can create a gooey texture that is flexible and buildable.

6. Test the Egg Drop

Can you drop an egg without breaking it? Find out by trying out the egg drop challenge. Perfect for building creativity, problem-solving skills, and a passion for experimentation, kids can work together to create a contraption that protects the egg from breaking while falling. Kids should always be encouraged to discover new ways to build their contraptions.

7. Build a Boat

If you don’t have a boat, then build it! A great project to do with kids is to build a boat with recycled materials. At camp, at a lake, or at home, find tools that could substitute as a hull, mast, and sail. You could create boats made out of plastic, tin foil, string, or cardboard. The options are endless.

8. Create and Test a Compass

Every good explorer needs a trusty compass. Step up to the ultimate challenge by creating your very own compass. Learn how magnetic forces control the movement of the needle by putting together a compass out of items around the house. Find a sewing needle, cork, water, and pliers, and you’ll be ready to start building and using the compass in the great outdoors.

9. Experiment with Solar Power

It’s amazing how much solar heat is all around us. Learn more about this natural heat source by exploring its capabilities. By using cans and a few other tools, kids can assemble their unit and place it directly into the sun.

Using a handheld digital temperature gauge at the entrance and at the exit of the unit over some time, they can easily see the temperature variations. How cool is that STEM summer camp activity?

10. Run a Firework Experiment (Kid-Safe)

Nothing says summer like fireworks. Teach your kids a safe fireworks science experiment with the help of baking soda and vinegar! A mix of math and chemistry, it’s a great way to learn more about elements, chemical reactions, and how things work.

Experience the Ultimate STEM Activities for Summer Camp with AstroCamp!

We would love to see your family this Summer 2024. It’s gearing up to be an incredible summer full of STEM summer camp activities. Check out our upcoming summer camps to discover more about our two-week and one-week sessions, and one of our most popular sessions called Geek Week starting in July!

We hope to see you at AstroCamp!