How To Learn STEM Online? The Best Activities in 2022
Online learning is the new trend — even as schools open up again, many still incorporate elements of online learning in their lessons.
Online learning is flexible, interactive and effective, that’s why teachers like using online tools and platforms to teach! But with a subject like STEM that requires a lot of hands-on activities, is it possible to learn it online?
With the myriad of online resources on the web, the answer to that is an absolute yes! We’ve put together a list of the best online STEM activities for you to try!
What is STEM?
On paper, STEM is defined as a subject that combines Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In practice, these four areas work closely together to empower the innovations we see in modern society. For example, newly invented machines need unique software to operate, which is backed up by mathematics and scientific principles.
In recent years, Art and Reading have been added to create STREAM — design thinking plays an important role in creating innovations, and reading enhances comprehension skills of individuals!
At the end of the day, STEM is all about connecting different subjects. Unlike traditional learning, the purpose of STEM Education is to equip students with problem-solving and critical thinking skills to become adaptable individuals!
Online STEM activities are interactive, flexible and fun! Beyond that, it equips kids with valuable skills that empower them to succeed.
1. Play and learn
Kids learn what they enjoy best, and who doesn’t enjoy playing? Online STEM minigames such as virtual experiments or simulations are educational and attention-grabbing, which is great for distracted kids nowadays!
Problem-solving is the centre of STEM learning activities! Online STEM simulations can immerse kids in imaginative scenarios, encouraging them to come up with creative solutions to solve different problems!
3. Critical thinking
With online STEM activities, kids become the teacher and the student! They are not spoon-fed knowledge, but have to actively seek things to learn and solve problems by clicking around! This helps them gain a deeper understanding of materials and encourages them to think logically and critically.
4. Project-based collaboration
STEM is all about collaboration and teamwork. With Zoom and Google Meets, it’s easier than ever for kids to collaborate virtually to collaborate on projects! As they discuss and work with their peers, kids develop valuable communication skills that will prepare them for the future.
After learning the benefits of learning STEM, here are some great ways that you can learn STEM online!
1. Online readings
Gone are the days you have to go to the library when you want to read something new! Nowadays, there are plenty of online magazines and sites which kids can learn STEM from. Moreover, don’t worry about getting outdated information since many of these sites are updated regularly!
2. Online video lessons
Each child has a unique learning style — some learn better with visuals, an some learn better by listening. With animations, live infographics and demonstrations, online video lessons work well to accommodate their learning needs!
3. Science projects/experiments
Online learning does not mean hands-off learning! There are countless resources for hands-on STEM experiments that can be done at home! Other than that, kids can express their curiosity and conduct science projects that take them from making their own hypotheses to coming up with conclusions through experiments
Who doesn’t like online games? Kids learn best in immersive environments — interactive online games and simulations challenge kids to think critically and solve problems.
5. Virtual field trips
Online field trips aren’t just for lockdowns! With online field trips, you can visit faraway places without stepping out of your door, such as the NASA space station! Nowadays, museums and zoos are making their online tours more interactive, rest assured that you’ll enjoy an immersive experience!
Best Online STEM Activities
With so many options out there, we’ve compiled a list of the best online STEM activities that suits each kid the most.
1. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is an amazing free online learning platform that teaches coding, natural sciences and more! They offer a personalised progress dashboard that lets teachers, parents and students alike monitor their learning, encouraging them to progress and improve!
Suitable grade: Pre-K to Secondary 6
Learning format: Video lessons, practice exercises, animated videos, online reading
NASA has a huge range of educational activities for kids on its website. Not only do they have a wide range of topics (from space travel to nutritional science, you name it!), they also have many experiment project ideas and minigames to learn hands-on with!
Suitable grade: Primary 1 to Secondary 6
Learning format: Projects and experiments, interactive games
STEM is taught best with hands-on experiments! Big Bang STEAM turns each lesson into an adventure, combining lively animation with cool science knowledge! Learn science with interactive games, quizzes and experiments with cute chipmunk scientists!
Explore Big Bang STEAM’s wide range of topics, sorted by age level and subjects, including:
⚡️ Electricity and Magnetism,
🔎 Forensic Science,
🦖 Dinosaur World,
🤚 Five Senses, and
😱 500+ more interactive science video adventures and hands-on experiments!
National Geographic Kids is all about show and tell! Learn all about natural sciences with videos of animals in their natural habitat and many fun minigames! The site also teaches other fun sciences, such as viruses, climate change and even rockets!
Suitable grade: Primary 1 to Primary 6
Learning format: Online reading, interactive games, video lessons, animated videos
From the world’s largest museum, the Smithsonian Science Education Center has a huge range of online STEM resources for kids everywhere to access! From designing lighthouses to where food comes from, it teaches science in a fun way with interactive games, video lessons and readings
Suitable age: Primary 1 to Secondary 6
Learning format: Online reading, interactive games, projects and experiments, video lessons, animated videos