One STEM to STEAM idea is the focus on space. After the success of Tim Peake’s Mission to the International Space Station, there are many activities you can link to space.
One activity you could introduce is the egg-stronaut challenge. In groups, students should design a space capsule to safely land an egg-stronaut (raw or boiled egg) on the surface of the moon.
Students should be given a set amount of materials they can use (plastic straws, egg boxes, cardboard, bubble wrap, string, plastic bags etc.) and give set rules such as the space capsule should look aesthetically pleasing, be a maximum length, land the right way up and of course, safely transport an egg-stronaut when dropped from a certain height.
In their groups, students should draw their design of the space capsule using an app such as ‘Drawing Desk’ and choose what materials they want to use. Once the design is completed, students should create their space capsule using the materials provided.
Groups should then examine the other student’s space capsules created and predict whether the space capsules will protect the egg-stronaut or not and explain by writing it down on the iPad using the app ‘Book Creator’ including photographs of each space capsule next to their prediction. They can then share their ideas to the rest of the class.
Once predictions are made, the space capsules can be taken outside and dropped one at a time and the students should see whether their predictions are correct. Students could tick (if right) or cross (if wrong) next to their predictions they made.
Depending on the age of the students, you can adapt accordingly e.g. more material options, space capsule fit on landing pad etc. Furthermore, if completing several space related STEAM activities, students could create a guide to becoming an astronaut, taking photographs, and writing reports about their activities on the ‘Book Creator’ app.
The egg-stronaut challenge allows students to develop STEAM skills (Science e.g. predictions; Technology e.g. use of iPads; Engineering e.g. building the structure; Art e.g. design and aesthetics of space capsule; Mathematics e.g. size of space capsule) as well as team building and problem-solving skills.