by Rebecca Wilkins

May 17, 2016

We love STEAM because there are just as many activities to do outdoors as there are indoors. Go outside and try these 9 activities this summer!

Build a backyard weather station

Gather tools like a rain gauge, a thermometer, a weather vane, and a barometer to collect data about the weather. If you keep good records, you’ll notice changes over time and you might even be able to start to make short-term weather predictions!

Cook in a solar oven

Use some common household items and a grown-up’s help to build your own solar oven to cook S’mores!

Analyze rocks and minerals with a scratch test

Collect some rocks outside and categorize your new collection with a scratch test. Using a nail (be careful!) scratch each rock. Some rocks will get scratches on them because they are softer than the nail. Rocks that are harder than the nail won’t get any scratches. After you sort your rocks, you can find out more about Mohs hardness scale and test more rocks!

Make a boat

If you’ve been doing some summer reading like we have, you might be inspired to go out and make your own paper boat. Find out how!

Find symmetry in nature

Go on a walk and take photos or draw pictures of found items in nature. Find a draw the lines of symmetry on each object.

Engineer an egg drop

This is a great outdoor activity because you’ll need climb someplace high to drop your egg and it makes for easy clean-up if you happen to fail on the first try. If you’re unfamiliar with the egg drop experiment, read about it here.

Learn about life cycles

Opportunities to learn about life cycles are easy to find in the spring and summer. Observe a bird’s nest or a butterfly cocoon and talk about the different stages of life from egg to a grown creature. You can even grown a garden to explore and observe the life cycle of a seed.

Try orienteering

Hone your map-reading skills with orienteering. Find an event near you this summer.

Make a sundial

Go outside on a sunny day just before noon and make this paper plate sundial.

Share your ideas for outdoor STEAM in the comments! 

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About the author 

Rebecca Wilkins

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