Holiday Break STEM Learning Activities

By Amanda Boyarshinov

STEM
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Get your kids involved in some holiday break STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) with these fun circuit building learning activities!

Simple Circuit Holiday Tree

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Shine a little light into your holiday break with this STEM activity. Engineer your very own holiday tree with a LED light and battery. Complete the simple circuit and light the star at the top.

Electrons flow in loops from the battery, through the foil and LED light, and then back into the battery.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 LEC circuit sticker
  • 1 coin cell battery*
  • Conductive foil tape
  • Pencil
  • Cardstock
  • Crayons or markers (optional)

Directions

  1. Draw a triangular tree shape onto the cardstock. This will be the track for your foil tape. Mark a space for where your LED light will go. Mark another space where the battery will go. We like to trace around the battery to show a circle shape.
  2. Fold the corner of the page with the circle battery notation, so that it overlaps the tree drawing by 1 inch.
  3. Remove the foil tape backing and place onto the tree shape in one continuous piece. Leave the space for the light and continue placing the foil tape.
  4. Stick the LED sticker in the space, slightly overlapping the foil on either side. The + side of the sticker connects with the + side of the battery.
  5. Put the battery in place and fold over. The light should turn on!
  6. Decorate the tree with crayons or markers.

*Batteries are not toys. Remind students of safety rules and store out of reach of children.

 

Parallel Circuit Holiday Star

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Need an extra challenge? Try to make a parallel circuit and become the star this holiday break! In this STEM activity we will be creating more than one loop for the electrons to flow at the same time with only one energy source.

Materials Needed:

  • 5 LEC circuit stickers
  • 1 coin cell battery*
  • Conductive foil tape
  • Pencil
  • Cardstock
  • Crayons or markers (optional)

Directions

  1. Draw a star shape onto the cardstock. This will be the track for your foil tape. Sketch a smaller star in the inside. Mark 5 spaces for where your LED lights will go. Mark another space where the battery will go. We like to trace around the battery to show a circle shape.
  2. Fold the corner of the page with the circle battery notation, so that it overlaps both tracks in the star drawing. See image for guidance.
  3. Remove the foil tape backing and place onto the star shaped in one continuous piece. Do not let the two paths connect. Leave the space in-between the stars for the lights.
  4. Stick the LED stickers in the space between the paths, slightly overlapping the foil on either side. The + side of the sticker connects with the + side of the battery.
  5. Put the battery in place and fold over. All of the lights should turn on at the same time.

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