STEM Day for Kindergarten Parents

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Parents should be included as partners in their child’s STEM learning, since it has been proven that family involvement in the kindergarten environment has many benefits for children. Parents can prepare their children to become the creators and inventors of tomorrow with STEM. By taking traditional learning concepts and twisting them to favor hands-on experiences and real-world applications at home, parents can foster the development of their children’s innovative minds.

Fortunately, STEM is all around us; we just need to be aware of it. With every block game comes small construction works, collecting objects and organizing them, or observing nature and interacting with your environment through play. The role of educators and parents is to encourage scientific thinking in children by fostering the right time and material environment.

Often, the lack of encouragement of STEM at home occurs because parents do not feel competent to work with children and answer “scientific children’s questions.” The problem also lies in ideas on how to create a small laboratory in a simple way, using things they have at home. By building bridges, planning meals, buying food and cooking, experimenting with coding, and exploring nature, visiting museums.

The activities were:

Before we start explaining the experiment, we would like to mention (and I emphasized this to parents and teach children) that every experiment is learning through play; it does not always have to succeed the first time. On the contrary, it is even good that it fails because then we think and give birth to some new solutions and ideas.

Activity: Secret message – you need water and baking soda mixed together. Alcohol and turmeric are another liquid. First, a message is written on the paper with a stick for the ear with a mixture of baking soda and water. When it dried, the children and parents passed another liquid and discovered the secret message. Preschoolers can read what is written on their own, or they can guess together what will appear.

Circuit – is a part of physics, and we used ready-made circuit didactic material. Children love this activity very much because certain lights light up and spin, which makes them happy when they see a concrete result.

JUMPING pepper – required materials are salt, pepper, plate, balloon, and wool or felt material. Put mixed pepper and salt in the plate. Rub the balloon on the material and bring the balloon closer to the plate. A reaction occurs that the pepper sticks to the balloon and the salt remains alone on the plate.

Bee bot is a technology activity with which children start coding. Children learn the terms left, right, forward, and backward. Parents found it very interesting how such a small robot has so many possibilities. In the kindergarten, we don’t have a shopping board, but we worked on a hammer or on transparent film, so below we put the photos we need depending on which project we are in.

PH strips are chemical experiments that a couple of parents brought back to their student days. pH strips were bought at the pharmacy, while we put various liquids from the environment, which the children use. It was Coca-Cola, plain water, mineral water, vinegar, ketchup, coffee, detergent. I made a worksheet in Canva, and they had to record what answer they got. What is the liquid of which pH? This was news for most parents, so some tested their body’s pH as well.

3d pen. – as the technology is not yet so widespread for everyone, so many parents did not even dare to touch it. They thought they would burn themselves with it.

LEGO BRICKS – we all know how much children love lego bricks. Their name also has a special meaning in Danish “to play well.” Legos themselves cover several areas of STEM. These are engineering, technology, and mathematics. Through mathematics, we can practice symmetry, assembling and disassembling, assembling a pattern – as one of the pre-mathematical skills. So we can call Lego bricks a tool for using new shapes and forms.

SNOTES – Snote is a fun, unique, and creative way to deliver a secret message. Snotes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. To make it more fun, we made it look like a scratcher. They had to first scratch the protective layer, like on lottery tickets, to be able to get to the task itself. Even with that scratcher, the interest was greater, especially since the parents had never even seen the snot until then.

A robot that follows instructions – another digital activity. The path tracking robot follows every thick black line you draw! They made their own paths from where the robot would go.

Colored milk – Milk is poured into a deep plate, enough to cover the bottom a little. Add several different edible colors drop by drop, After that drop up to two drops of hand washing detergent on the baby stick and with it you can draw by color on the milk that will spread on the plate. The secret of paint cracking is in the dishwashing detergent, which, due to its bipolar characteristics, weakens the chemical bonds that hold the milk fat molecules together. Therefore, the fat molecules curl and twist in all directions when the detergent is mixed in.

GEO PLATE – is a plate with wooden nails arranged in a round grid around which rubber bands can be stretched. It enables visualization and is an excellent aid in researching mathematical concepts (volume, area, properties of geometric figures…). Intended for children from the age of five for independent work or for work in a group.

VOLCANO – Put baking soda in a bottle, add a few drops of food coloring if desired, add a little vinegar and watch the volcano form. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is an alkali and vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid. When they react together they form carbonic acid which is very unstable, it instantly splits into water and carbon dioxide which creates foam as it tries to escape.

ELEPHANT PASTE – Place an empty bottle in a deep tray. Mix water and dry yeast in a separate cup (mix for 30 seconds). First pour hydrogen into the empty bottle, then a few drops of cake coloring and finally a little detergent. Gently mix them all together, swirling the bottle until the mixture is combined. Add the previously mixed yeast and water.

The yeast acted as a catalyst (helper) for the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide – H202) into oxygen and water. Oxygen is trapped in the soapy water, and the result is incredible foam that comes out of the bottle opening. Because he did it very quickly, he created a lot of bubbles. Did you threaten that the bottle got a little warm? Your experiment also created a reaction called an Exothermic reaction. This means that it not only creates foam but also heat. The foam obtained by the experiment is only water, soapy water, and oxygen, you can easily remove it with a sponge and rinse the bottle under running water.

Katarina Šeravić Lovrak is a master of early and preschool education, an educator consultant at kindergarten for 19 years. She has been a Scientix Ambassador since 2023 and is the co-author of the manual Physics for Kindergartens (Magnetism and Current) and Biology for Kindergartens.

Tags: kindergarten, STEM

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