Assembling an Airplane, a simple STEM Activity
An Airplane Kit – an Easy STEM Activity Your Kids Will Love
What little boy doesn’t like making and flying airplanes?! Now you can do it the old fashioned way and just make paper airplanes, but another option is to buy an airplane kit so your child can assemble the airplane himself. My son Andre` purchased a Rubber powered airplane. He and I worked on assembling it together.
A Good Way to Practice Following Directions
Assembling a project is a great time for your child to practice following directions, or if your child can’t read well enough to read a set of detailed instructions, it’s a good opportunity for them to get practice following directions that you give to them. Most higher level math problems will require the child to learn a series of steps to complete the problem, so teaching your child to solve a series of steps early on can be very beneficial.
Simple Ways to Incorporate STEM into the activity
During the assembly process, Andre` and I had the opportunity to talk about words such as horizontal and vertical (as there were horizontal and vertical wings). After the airplane was assembled, Andre` had a fun time playing with it. He flew it in the living room, from the top of the stairs, and over the balcony. It’s amazing how much fun your kids can have playing and using their imagination with their toys instead of just watching tv or playing games on a tablet.
Training a Little Engineer is a Process
Becoming an engineer is a process. Just like we don’t expect a young baby to walk, we should not expect our young children to be able to instantly solve complex problems. As the parent, we are training our children to be problem solvers. As they mature more and more, we will present them with more and more complex problems. They will learn how to solve harder and harder problems if they are given a strong foundation and given room to grow. We can think of the process as a marathon and not a sprint.
Quick Wins Help to Build Confidence
While we certainly do not want arrogant children, we do want to help to build confidence in our budding engineers. architects, mathematicians, and scientists. We want them to learn the process of cause and effect. We want them to learn that hard work can produce a win. Though we do not want to raise microwave children, it is important that during beginning learning stages that we balance confidence building with challenges. As the child gets older, we will present them with harder and harder challenges.
Keep Building Upon Simple Activities
Now that you have assembled an airplane together, a great next step perhaps later in the week, is to visit your local library and check out some books on airplanes. Give your child the opportunity to explore more on the topic by learning interesting facts. This will help to expose your child to different areas about the topic, help to broaden his vocabulary, and give him a chance to practice his reading or listening skills. You can take a simple activity and turn it into a unit study on a topic. Learning more about the topic can help your child better understand problems that may need solving concerning the topic. After learning more about the topic this can be a good time to encourage your child to try to improve his toy by perhaps redesigning it. The skies are the limit!
So if you’re looking for STEM activities to start doing with your kids, look for simple things you can do with your child such as assembling an airplane!
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