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November 8th is National STEM Day

November is a busy month! November 8th is National STEM Day – let’s make it a blast!

Celebrate National STEM Day with a sequence of activities you can implement in your afterschool program today!!! Say goodbye to googling or searching on Pinterest. Use the following activities in sequence to support youth in building an engineering mindset straight from NASA’s Engineering Playlist.  

Lesson 1: Build an Airplane (Engineering Design Process Activity) – Build an airplane that has ailerons, elevators and a rudder.

Lesson 2: Build a Satellite (Engineering Design Process Activity) – This lesson provides students with an understanding of satellites, their use and structure, and power systems. In this potentially multi-day activity, students will use the engineering design process to design, build, test and improve a model satellite.

Animation showing the OCO-2 Earth satellite unfurling in Earth orbit.

Lesson 3: Women@NASA: Role Models (Role Models and Mentors Connection) Watch a video of one of the women who are engineers and work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. After watching a video, have the youth write a paragraph about the engineer, one wondering what they have about the engineer, and one question they would ask the engineer.

Tracy Drain

Lesson 4: Make a Soda Can Engine (Engineering Design Process) – Students will investigate the action-reaction principle (Newton’s third law of motion) by creating a water-propelled engine. By observing the device in action and changing certain variables, students will explore the properties of engines and the dynamics behind directionality and thrust. 

Lesson 5: Women@NASA: Careers (Role Models and Mentor Connection) – Many people dream of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.  Hear about the fascinating careers at NASA.  After watching the short video, youth write a paragraph about the career they might want in STEM.

Looking for EVEN: Engineering is Elementary’s NASA Partnership free units – A suite of free NASA-funded STEM resources for students in grades 3-8. All resources are research-based and classroom-tested. They are designed to support students’ understanding of space, while helping them see themselves as capable problem solvers.

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