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WMSI STEM Corner

This page is all about at home fun activities for all ages! Scroll down to see some of our favorite easy projects!

Do it Yourself Catalog

Have a question? feel free to contact us here


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Stop Motion Animation

Videography • Art • Story Creation

About: Not all movies need a big budget! With the use of only a few simple items and students' creative minds, we can delve into the world of videography and create some incredible stop motion animation movies utilizing free apps on cell phones and tablets. Let legos dance, make drawings on a whiteboard move, or have cardboard cutout figures fly through the air! Students will work as a team and become the directors of their very own one-of-a-kind stop motion animation blockbuster!

What You'll Need:

  • An app for animation. Try Stop Motion Studio (Free version, IOS)

  • A background. Try large pieces of paper, or a whiteboard!

  • Something to animate! Try LEGO pieces or clay.

How You Can Make It: 

Tips from a Maker:

  • Try to make small movements between every picture. This will lead to a very smooth video

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Wiggle Bots

 Motion • Wiring • Robotics

About: kids will delve into the creative process by designing robots that move on their own using only a single motor. They'll have an array of everyday materials to choose from, along with an assortment of gears, in order to create their unique "wiggle bot". The design may or may not work the first time, but that's where engineering comes into play! Students will troubleshoot each other's designs and seek out creative solutions, ensuring all bots are wiggling and drawing by the end!  

What You'll Need:

How You Can Make It: 

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Skittle Study

Messy • Diffusion • Patterns

About: Want to explore how things react in water? Play with some super useful candy? Check out this cool skittles activity!

What You'll Need:

  • Plates

  • Water

  • Skittles

How You Can Make It:

  • Place skittles around the plate. Choose a fun color pattern and arrangement shape. Pour water over the skittles and observe what happens! Can you explain it?

Tips From a Maker:

  • What happens if you shake it?

  • Use another liquid instead of water; does that change anything?

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Scratch Intro: Dance Party!

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Coding • Loops • Motion

About: 


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Scratch Beginner: Cast a spell!

Coding • Inputs & Outputs • Loops

About: Machines make decisions for all of us day in and day out, and it takes an engineer's mind to meticulously design these machines to make our lives that much more convenient. Delving even further into the innovative world of lego robotics, students will use color sensors, touch sensors, and even motion sensors to program even more autonomy into their robot designs. If my robot detects the color yellow, perhaps it should output an image of the sun? 


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Scratch Intermediate: code a maze!

Computer Programming • Game Design • Storytelling

About: 


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Paper Airplanes

Aerodynamics • Flying Objects • Outdoor Activities

About: Most kids know how to make a basic paper airplane and fly it, but there are an infinite number of ways to fold a piece of paper, so why stop there? For those wanting to get a little more creative with their airplane design, we have included a list of 50 new plane ideas that you’ve probably never heard of. Aspiring young pilots will be able to get hours of fun out of this activity.

What You'll Need: 

  • A bunch of sheets of paper (standard printer paper works best)

  • A pair of scissors

  • A roll of tape

  • Some paper clips (optional)

  • An open space like a backyard

How You Can Make It:

Tips From a Maker:

  • What happens when you add a paper clip to the front of the plane? Somewhere else? What if you add multiple paper clips in different places?

  • What happens when you throw the plane differently, like with an upward or downward angle?

  • What happens when you bend the wings slightly, and have the left one higher then the right? The other way around?


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Paper Helicopters

Aerodynamics • Flying Objects • Quick and Easy

About: Although paper airplanes have always been the most popular in the “homemade flight” category, people often forget that we have many other ways to get airborne. For example, you can take a helicopter! These paper flyers (or fallers, rather) are among the easiest to create, and you don’t have to be an aeronautical engineer to get them to work properly, so even younger children can join in the fun.

What You'll Need:

  • A bunch of sheets of paper (standard printer paper works best)

  • A pair of scissors

  • A paper clip or some tape

        How You Can Make It:

Tips From a Maker:

  • What happens if you add more paper clips to the helicopter?

  • Try changing the dimensions of the helicopter. Make it shorter, longer, wider, thinner, bigger, smaller, etc. Does this change the way the helicopter works? If yes, how does it change?

  • If you want to drop your helicopter from even higher, try taping a paper cup to the end of a broom. Cut out a notch from the side of the cup for the helicopter to fall through and have fun with it! (Note: this contraption is best used outside).


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Spinning Tops

Motion • Angular Momentum • Art

About: Another simple way to get objects to move around is by spinning them. This activity can be done using materials that you probably already have at home, and is open for a lot of creativity. The technique used to spin a top may be difficult for younger children, but once you get good it is instantly mesmerizing.

What You’ll Need:

 

  • A pencil or wooden skewer

  • Some cardboard

  • A ruler

  • A pair of scissors

  • A roll of masking tape

  • Some metal washers (optional)

  • Some markers (optional)

How You Can Make It:

  • First, draw a circle on a piece of cardboard (use a cup to trace if it helps)

  • Next, cut this circle out and color it in however you want.

  • Use the ruler to help you find the center of the circle, then mark it.

  • Use the pencil or wooden skewer the poke through the center of the circle. The circle should rest about ¼ of the way up the wood. (If the cardboard slips, try wrapping a bunch of masking tape around that section of the pencil or skewer and then poke it back in).

  • Put the top on a flat surface and spin it to see what happens!

Tips from a maker:

  • Try changing as many variables as possible:

  • What happens when you change the size of the circle?

  • What happens when you change how far up it is on the skewer?

  • What happens when you change where you poke the skewer in?

  • What happens when you change the shape entirely? Try a triangle or an oval or something you come up with on your own!

  • See if you can draw a design that looks cool when it spins. A basic spiral is always a good place to start.

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