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STEAM activities

If you don't care to create a project for the fair, there are still plenty of fun STEAM activities you can do!  Here are several projects you can do at home. If you need assistance with supplies for any of the projects below, please contact Supritha at Please note, while we encourage you to work on any STEAM activity that suits your fancy, we can only provide supplies for the activities described on this page. 

Build and Test a Structure
Build a Catapult
Paint with Nature
Crater and Meteorites
Paint a Symmetrical Butterfly
Build and Test a Structure

Build and Test a Structure



  • Marshmallows or playdough or tape

  • Pasta (any style), sticks or straws

  • Paint and paint brush (if you want to color)

  • Paper (if you want walls)

  • Fan (if you want)

  • Books (if you want)



  1. Review types of 2D and 3D shapes here: 

  2. Consider what type of structure you want to build (house, sky scraper, bridge) and what design what supports styles you will use

  3. Using engineering and art build a structure using your pasta, paper and marshmallow/playdough/tape.  The playdough/marshmallow/tape bind the pasta together.  

  4. Add walls with paper (f you want)  

  5. Paint the structure when you are done or paint the pasta ahead of time.  

  6. You can test the wind resistance of your structure by placing a fan next to it and see what happens.  

  7. You can test load by placing various weight toys or books on top of your structure.

 Questions to consider:

  • Is a wide or tall structure more stable? 

  • Is your structuring rotating and falling?  What happens when you add angle supports?

  • What happens when you use more than one piece of pasta together. 

  • Does it collapse?  Can you redesign it until it doesn't collapse?

  • Does it fall over?  Can you redesign it until it doesn't fall over?  

  • Does the fan speed affect what happens to the structure?

  • Does the weight of the toy or book affect what happens to the structure?

  • Do you notice a difference in how the marshmallow, playdough or tape work?  Is one better or did you use them for different purposes?


Build a Catapult


More instructions here:



  • craft sticks (aka popsicle sticks, ice lolly sticks, ice cream sticks, Paddle Pop sticks…)

  • rubber bands

  • plastic spoons or bottle caps

  • Measuring tape


  1. Secure a stack of 5 craft sticks together, with a rubber band at each end.

  2. Take another two craft sticks and secure these at one end with another rubber band.

  3. Wedge the 5 craft stick stack between these two craft sticks.

  4. Secure the whole lot with another rubber band. You do this by looping the rubber band over one side of the stack, twisting it, and then looping over the other side of the stack, and repeating until tight enough. You should end up with a “x” on top.

  5. 5.    Lastly, attach something for your projectile to sit in. (This is the step where we tried three different designs.)

Questions to consider:
Which catapult shoots the furthest?
Which catapult shoots the highest?
Does it matter how far you pull back the catapult?
Does the type of object you shoot change how far it goes? 

Paint with Nature

Paint With Nature



  • Nature item (sticks, rocks, leaves, bark etc).

  • Paper

  • Paint

  • Paint brush



  1. Consider your items and how you want to lay them out on the paper.  

  2. Spread paint over one side of the natural item. 

  3. Place the painted side on the paper to make a print.  

Questions to consider:

  • Which type of natural item makes a better print?

  • What colors meld well together?

  • What happens when you put wet paint on wet paint?

  • What happens when you let the paint dry and do another print?  

Crater and Meteorites

Crater and Meteorites


  • Pan

  • Sand, dirt, or flour (earth surface)

  • Rock or balls of various sizes and/or weights (meteorites)

  • Ruler


  1. Think about what your variables are (drop distance, size/weight of rock/ball, type of material).  Try to only vary one for each experiment.

  2. Place the sand/dirt/bark to the lip of the pan.  

  3. Drop the rocks from various heights and measure the depth and width of the imprint.  (try drier material or bigger rocks if your rock just sinks and doesn’t explode)

  4. Video the drop in slow motion if you have a video phone. 


More background information is here:


Questions to consider:

  • What happens when you drop the rock?  

  • What changes as you drop from different heights?

  • What changes when you drop different size rocks

  • What do you notice when you watch the slow motion video?

  • If you tried different material (soil vs flour) what was the difference?  

Paint a Symmetrical Butterfly

Symmetrical Butterfly


  • Paper

  • Scissors

  • Paint (various colors)

  • Spoon



  1. Cut your paper into a symmetrical butterfly shape. 

  2. Pour small amounts of tempera paint into cups and add a spoon to each cup. ...

  3. Use the spoon to add drops of paint to one side of your butterfly paper.

  4. Fold the other half of the paper over the paint drops to create a paint sandwich. Press, smush, and rub with your hands.

  5. Open the Butterfly Painting. Finally, open the paper to reveal your symmetrical butterfly painting! 

  6. Repeat! Repeat this mesmerizing art activity as many times as you like! Add details to your butterflies after the paint dries.


Questions to consider:

  • What colors meld well together?  

  • How did the colors blend together?

  • Does the outcome change by how hard you push?

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