If you are looking for activities to include in your school’s STEM Night, or if you are just looking to add some STEM activities into your PE program, view the ideas below from PE teacher Jennie Graves. There are 4 activities she used for Family STEM Night at MSA West this year. The students loved the Rocket Launchers the best. The parents’ favorite was Air Flow.
Have a short discussion with students about mass and force. Then inform the students that the launch board is a piece of equipment designed for a forceful step with one foot on the short end. This propels an object into the air from the other end of the board. Explain to the students they have a mission to complete. Their mission is to launch their item into the air and catch the item without moving their feet!
How Does Exercise Affect Your Heart Rate
The student takes the stethoscope and listens to his or her heart rate. I usually tell the students your heart rate can be found over the heart, wrist, neck (carotid artery) or sometimes on top of the head. I usually let the student experiment with the stethoscope and try to find their pulse in different spots. Once they listen, have them choose an exercise card (I usually have about 10 different cards with different cardio exercises on them). Once the student completes the exercise, have them listen to his or her heart rate again. Then let the student compare and contrast the two heart rates (The two most common answers are louder and faster).
Leaning Tower of Cups
Each person has 6 cups and 6 ping pong balls. Take 1 cup and 1 ball and bounce the ping pong ball on the ground and catch it with the cup. If they successfully complete this task, put another cup on top of the ping pong ball. Now bounce and catch the second ping pong ball with the stack of cups (The base will be unstable because the cup is on top of the ball. Make sure they don’t cheat by holding multiple cups). Their hand should be very close the the bottom of the bottom cup. The student continues to add a ball and a cup each time they successfully catch the ball with the cup. If they miss the ball, the student needs to start over.
Modification: Have a partner bounce to the student.
- 1 Poly spot donut shapes per 2 students (or floor tape)
- 2 Frisbees (can use paper plates)
- 10 Ping pong balls per 2 students
The objective is to get as many ping pong balls as you can on the polyspot in 3 minutes (I say one song). Start all students from the same side of the area of play. Place the poly spot 20-25 feet away from the students. Students will have the frisbees and ping pong ball opposite of the poly spot. Students fan the ping pong on to the poly spot, without touching the ping pong. The ping pong must stop on the poly spot. If the ping pong is touched, the students must start all over. If successful, start another ping pong and try to get it to the poly spot like the first.
Learn more about this activity including modifications in our blog Air Flow Lesson – Cooperative Activity for Grades 1-5
About Jennie Graves:
I am a Physical Education teacher in Plaquemine, Louisiana who loves crafting, my students, my family, and riding on the back of my husband’s Harley Davidson. I currently live in Addis, Louisiana with my husband Chris and our three kids: Abby, Wyatt and Kameron. This is my 15th year as an Elementary P.E. teacher. I got my Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from LSU. Go Tigers!