STEM Earth Day Activities

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

On April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. There are few better ways to celebrate this holiday with your students than by doing a STEM activity that will help them appreciate the earth. These activities were designed with elementary students in mind.

Earth Day STEM Activities

On April 22, countries around the world celebrate Earth Day to thank the earth for what it does for people everywhere, and to bring attention to the necessity of protecting the earth. Common Earth Day activities include recycling, learning about conservation, brining awareness to endangered animals, and talking about preventing pollution. As your elementary students build their understanding of what environmentalism is, and as they create a perception of what it means to be a responsible citizen, you will want to include these activities in your curriculum. There are opportunities for both group and individual work in these activities.

Flower Bombs

A popular item at stores today, flower bombs are incredibly easy to make. Begin by brainstorming with students about the various positive effects of planting flowers and plants (they clean the air, prevent erosion, etc.). Next, create the flower bombs.

Begin by using the following recipe to mix together the ingredients for the flower bombs:

  • 5 cups dirt
  • 3 cups potter's clay powder
  • 1 cup seeds

Students can either do this in small groups, or you can make a larger batch for the entire class to use.

Next, mix together the ingredients with enough water so that it sticks together. You want to create something that has a consistency similar to cookie dough.

After making the recipe, students will roll the mixture into balls that are about two inches in diameter. They should place these on a lined cookie sheet to dry out. (line the cookie sheet with parchment paper)

At the end of the day, take a few of the balls outside for students to plant. To plant the flowers, simply throw (or place) the ball on the ground where you want flowers to grow. Allow students to take the rest of the flower bombs home to plant.

  • Materials Needed: Potter's clay powder, dirt, flower seeds, water, bowl, parchment paper, cookie tray

Lessons in Environmental Stewardship

In this activity, students will learn about their own carbon footprint and brainstorm ways of reducing their impact on the environment.

Begin by talking about what a carbon footprint is as a class. Then, break students into groups of about five. In these groups, students will be creating a T-chart on chart paper. The left side of the chart should be labeled ''Our Carbon Footprint'' and the right side should be labeled ''Reducing Impact.'' The members of each group will list the things that make up their carbon footprint (driving to school, creating trash at lunch, etc.) on the left. Then, on the right, they will list one way that they can reduce this footprint (riding bike to school, recycling food containers, using a reusable water bottle, etc.).

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