Everyone feels like blowing off steam sometimes.
No time like the present. November 8 is National STEM/STEAM day, the day designated to celebrate all things related to science, technology, engineering, art and math. The idea is to interest kids in exploring these disciplines because of growing demand for those skills. Government studies indicate the number of STEM jobs in America from 2001 to 2010 tripled the rate of growth in non-STEM jobs. https://nationaltoday.com/stem-steam-day/
Back to blowing off steam: One sure way is to make a paper mache volcano that erupts. The ingredients for this one, suitable for kindergarten through second grade, are common to most households:
- paper cup
- acrylic paint
- liquid dishwashing detergent
- red food coloring
- baking soda
- white distilled vinegar
Plan on two days to complete; one to make the volcano and a second to make it erupt.
Detailed instructions are available at https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/paper-mache-volcano-1253091
Education has its own rewards, but this scientific experiment that demonstrates how sugar crystals are formed, also results in sweet sticks of rock candy. Start with granulated sugar and water. Food coloring and flavoring are optional. Supplies include glass jars, wood skewers and clothes pins. Patience is required. Plan to put the crystals somewhere they won’t be disturbed for up to a week.
This Spruce Eats video provides step-by-step instructions.
By the way, blowing off steam has two meanings. The original dates back to the 1800s when it referred to easing the pressure in a steam engine. These days it refers to relieving pent up feelings by loud talk or vigorous activity.
Here are some recent PB’s that celebrate STEM and STEAM topics and people:
Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time journalism who spends much of her time writing for children and experimenting in the kitchen, often with mixed results.