Home STEM/STEAM Deck the Halls with Holiday-Themed STEM Activities

Deck the Halls with Holiday-Themed STEM Activities

by Diana Benner
Deck the Halls with Holiday-Themed STEM

The holiday season is a wonderful time to incorporate some festive cheer into your classroom while still promoting learning and critical thinking. One fantastic way to achieve this is by including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities in your lesson plans. These hands-on and engaging activities not only spark curiosity but also encourage problem-solving skills among your students. Let’s’ explore a variety of holiday-themed STEM activities that you can incorporate into your classroom.

Build a Gingerbread House STEM Challenge

Turn the classic gingerbread house decorating activity into an engineering STEM challenge. Provide your students with various materials such as graham crackers, icing, and candies, and challenge them to construct a stable gingerbread house using engineering principles. Encourage them to think about structural stability, balance, and design. This activity encourages teamwork and creative problem-solving.

Santa’s Chimney STEM Challenge

A structure built with gumdrops and toothpicks for a holiday-themed STEM activity.
Screenshot by Emily Horn: Little Bins for Little Hands, Santa’s Chimney STEM Challenge

The Santa’s Chimney STEM challenge is a fun and engaging activity where students are tasked with designing and building a chimney for Santa. For this challenge, you’ll need toothpicks, gumdrops, and a small house to build the chimney next to. Building structures is a wonderful opportunity for STEM learning. When they are making the chimney, ask your students to explain their building process. Have them examine their creation and tell you why their design did or did not work. They can use their observations to build an improved chimney. Make it a challenge by limiting the number of toothpicks and gumdrops they can use. This challenge incorporates elements of engineering, physics, and problem-solving.

Holiday Light Circuit Cards

Examples of student cards make with art supplies and light circuits.
Screenshot by Emily Horn: MyEdTechWorld, Paper Circuit Christmas Cards

Explore electrical circuits and engineering principles by creating holiday light circuit cards. Students can design their own holiday light circuits using batteries, wire, LEDs, copper tape, and craft supplies. They can experiment with different patterns and color combinations, effectively blending science and art. Makerspaces.com provides some free templates you can download. For more inspiration, check out these Holiday Cards and a paper circuit menorah. This STEM activity introduces basic electrical concepts while fostering creativity.

Holiday Coding Activities

Introduce coding through holiday coding activities. For example, in addition to tracking Santa on the Google Santa Tracker, students can complete holiday coding activities. On Code.org, they can learn to code with Anna and Elsa while creating snowflakes, exploring patterns, and more. They can also learn the binary alphabet while creating a holiday ornament. These coding activities will help students build logical thinking and computational skills while embracing the holiday spirit.

Racing Rudolph Balloon Game

STEAMPoweredFamily Rudolf Ballon Races holiday-themed STEM activity.
Screenshot by Emily Horn: STEAMPoweredFamily, Rudolf Balloon Races

This game is a fun experiment where students can learn about Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion. This activity is simple enough. All you need is some string, straws, tape, balloons, clothespins, and some decorations (construction paper, poms, googly eyes, and glue). It’s a great way to teach students about physics and aerodynamics while getting into the holiday spirit.

By incorporating these holiday-themed STEM activities into your classroom, you can make learning fun and engaging for your students during the holiday season. These hands-on projects promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity while fostering a love for STEM. So, this holiday season, let your students explore, create, and learn through these exciting STEM activities. You can find even more holly jolly STEM activities here. Happy holidays and happy STEM-ing!

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