Watch, Learn, DO: DIY STEM Summer Camp

Watch, Learn, DO: DIY STEM Summer Camp

“STEM Education Is the Key to the U.S.’s Economic Future” is what you read about all the time. U.S. News and World Report says:

We need to encourage more students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math.

And what about girls and STEM? President Barack Obama has something to say about that (as a father of two girls, he carries some weight!):

“One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent…not being encouraged the way they need to.”

— President Barack Obama, February 2013

But, as a parent, how do you do that? I think two things are critical:

  • You have to get kids interested in STEM before they “opt out” because they think they are “bad at it.”
  • Finding ways to connect STEM to their innate interests hooks them in.

The DOING is what is important, and the message that FAILURE is the work of being a scientist. Thomas Edison said it best, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

There are also leadership opportunities in STEM. Being a scientist means taking charge. Deciding how to run the experiment, and how to proceed when faced with failure. Getting team members on board and allocating the work if working in a group also is real-life leadership training that translates into a marketable skill.

4-H lGrow True Leaders program

To promote leadership in STEM, 4-H launched their Grow True Leaders Campaign, which aims to address America’s need for well-equipped youth that are prepared to step into leadership roles. 4-H believes that every child has the potential to be a true leader, but need to be taught the life skills and given opportunities to be such.

As part of this campaign, 4-H is recruiting parents and others that play a role in raising children to create a movement that recognizes youth leaders in communities across the country. This will be done via “Shout Outs” with the hashtag #TrueLeaders and by joining 4-H’s ThunderClap.

As summer nears, get your kids hooked on STEM with a DIY Summer Camp to WATCH, LEARN, and DO! Each of these STEM projects involve: watching a short video, learning about the topic, and then doing a STEM activity. I hope your kids find a project here that hooks them on STEM!

Fun STEM Project: Make an Easy Pop-Up Card

Make a Pop Up Card

One Cut STEM Shape Fun

One Cut STEM Shape Fun

Clean Energy: Make a Homopolar Motor

Clean Energy: Make a Homopolar Motor

DIY Electro Dough Kit

DIY Electro Dough Kit STEM Project for kids

Making a 3D Hologram Projector

Making a 3D hologram projector

Create a Protective Device for an Egg

Create a protective device for an egg

The Science of Ramune Soda (Japanese Soda Bottles) for Kids

The Science of Ramune Soda bottles

Easy Science Experiment: Why Do Ice Cubes Crack in Drinks?

Science experiment for kids, why do ice cubes crack in drinks?

Not in the mood to DO? Just want to let your kids WATCH and LEARN to see what hooks them?

Really Cool Science and Art Videos for Your Kids

Arctic Egg Science: Birds, Experiment and Video

Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

Amazing Time Lapse Nature Videos for Kids

Feather versus Bowling Ball: Which Falls Faster?

Flu Season Science for Kids

Seahorse Fathers DO Get Pregnant!

Will Jellyfish Take Over the Oceans?

T Rex: Not the Fiercest!

Water Supply System: A Science Unit for Home

Physics of Roller Coasters for Kids

The Kid Should Really See These Videos!

Amazing Videos to Share With Your Kids

My Son’s Favorite Fun and Educational Videos

The Kid Should Really See This Videos

Flu Season Science for Kids

Galileo’s Leaning Tower of Pisa Experiment (then and now)

Best Fun and Educational Videos for Kids (with matching book)

More Fun and Educational Videos for Kids

Physics of Circuits and Electricity for Kids


5th Grade Rube Goldberg Machine

Phases of the Moon Study Guide for 4th Grade

Rocks and Minerals Study Guide for 4th Grade

Science of Weather Study Guide for 5th Grade

Watch, Learn, DO: DIY STEM Summer Camp

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 4-H. The opinions and text are all mine.

More ideas for STEM and STEAM fun from great bloggers collected on my Pinterest boards:

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. So many fun STEM activities for kids here!
    MaryAnne recently posted…Star Wars Fun for FamiliesMy Profile

  2. Fun! I really like STEM activities! 🙂
    Erik – TKRB recently posted…Review! To Stay Alive by Skila BrownMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Erik,
      I’m so interested to see what path you will pursue as you grow up. You are the same age as my middle daughter. I can see you as a successful author but you also have that scientific side. It will be fun to see how you meld all of your wonderful talents! By the way, my neighbor’s daughter (who is very good at science but also a serious poet) ended up going to Yale. She liked the strong writing department combined with a great science department. She had accepted admission to Harvard, but had a change of heart during the summer, and switched over to Yale. Her mom tells me that she’s very happy there. There’s something about Yale’s writing program that is unique.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…My Mother’s Day Card in Chinese Makes Me So Happy!My Profile

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