Low Cost or No Cost STEM Activities


Below are several Low Cost or No Cost STEM Activities. These activites can be the first step in a unit or and end in themselves. They can be expanded and modified to fit a variety of ages, skills and interests. The sky  Space is the limit on what your students can learn and fun you can have. 


Paper Airplane Launcher - Both an engineering and aerospace activity this is durable launcher that can be used in paper airplane contests as well. It can be used to teach measuring length, angles, angle of attack and ratios. 



Build Your Own Space Craft Build your own Orion spacecraft, well at least a desktop sized model. This full-color slot and tab model can be cut in many matrials and level of detail. A fun way to introduce engineering, lauch into space exploration and even mission planning. 



Popsicle Stick Flashlight. - It is a fast, safe, inexpensive andflashlight easy attention getting project that can spark an interest in electricity, switches, circits, LED vs. bulbs, construction, electical blueprints, electical engineering and power sources such as batteries, fruit, hand power and more. 







Tetrahedrial Kite - This is a great indoor activity that fill a day and culminate in a fun activity outdoors. While thestudents are having fun they  won't Tetra kiterealize they are learning about shapes, math, vocabulary, planning, engineering, area, angle of attack, and more (unless you tell them). 






STEM Maker Supply List - A list of everything you need to make the above activities. Great for teachers, AEOs and AEMs, librarians, scout leaders and leaders of all types. 




Here the cadets can see how difficult it is to perform common tasks using “astronaut equipment.” For this you need some very heavy gloves (or ski gloves). Have the cadets try to tie a bow in a short piece of thread, or put together some tinkertoys, or… (use your imagination!). You can time how long the cadets take to do these tasks with versus without the “space gloves” on. You can also show that the rigid spacesuits can be made more maneuverable with the addition of “joints”: take a long balloon (but not too thin), and have the cadets try to bend it – it’s quite difficult. Now wrap a rubber band around the balloon to make it thinner in one spot: the balloon will now bend quite easily at that spot. (Contributed by MA Wing)

"Gimme a cup of coffee"

This experiment teaches how fluids of different temperatures interact. (It also teaches the cadets how to play with their food! J) For this you'll need a clear mug filled with hot coffee (the hotter, the better), some cream or half-and-half, and an ice cube. Have the cadets gather around the mug closely, and s-l-o-w-l-y add the cream down the side of the mug so as not to upset the thermal balance. The cadets will observe the light-colored cream, being cold, will remain at the bottom, while the dark-colored hot coffee will be on top. Now drop an ice cube in. This upsets the thermal balance, and you'll be able to see streams of cream pushing up toward the surface, and swirling around. Typical comments from cadets: "Cool!!" (Contributed by MA Wing)

10 things to see in the night sky in 2024 (and how to see them)

These activites are free and make a good family activity, extra credit activity, homework assignment, overnight field trip activity and one can even be done during the day.  

Story by Jamie Carter or go to 10 things to see in the night sky in 2024 (and how to see them) (msn.com)

With a celestial schedule of events that astronomy enthusiasts won’t want to miss, the sky in 2024 promises to be spectacular. From a total solar eclipse to bright comets and breathtaking planetary alignments, here are 10 astronomical events to mark in your calendar – most visible without using the best telescopes!

1. Quadrantid meteor shower

The first of three meteor showers that will take place in dark, moonless skies during the forthcoming year, the Quadrantids, will peak on the night of January 3/4, 2024. As many as 60 ‘shooting stars’ per hour will be best seen using just your naked eyes, and they can appear anywhere in the night sky. All you need are clear skies and one of the best winter coats – binoculars and telescopes will make the ‘shooting stars’ harder to see.

2. A bright comet

There’s nothing more likely to catch the imagination than a comet visible at night. Two comets could brighten for us Earthlings in the next 12 months, with Comet Pons-Brooks likely to be visible in March/April 2024 and Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS brightening in October 2024. It is hoped that both will be visible to the naked eye, but whatever happens, a small telescope will get you a great view. Here’s how to choose your first telescope. 

((Image credit: Getty Images))© Provided by T3

3. Total eclipse of the sun

Although it’s not technically a night sky sight, an eclipse of the sun is high on the list of all space fans. On 8 April 2024, the moon will completely block the sun as seen only from a 115-mile-wide path of totality that will stretch across North America from Mexico to Canada via the U.S.

Over 32 million people will witness a brief totality when day turns to night, making it possible to glimpse – with naked eyes – the sun’s spectacular and spiky outer atmosphere, the corona. Any pair of the best binoculars will afford great views of totality, though you’ll need something like the Lunt SUNocular 8x32 solar bincoulars for safely viewing the partial phases.

4. Crescent moon and planets

Look west after sunset on 10 April 2024, and you’ll see a slender 7%-lit crescent moon. That’s a beautiful sight with naked eyes, binoculars or a telescope, but tonight, there’s a bonus with Jupiter shining to the lower left. If you have a telescope, this is an ideal opportunity to observe Jupiter and also find the greenish planet Uranus, which will be just above it. Here are the best telescopes for beginners and how to choose and use binoculars for stargazing and astronomy. 

5. Eta Aquariid meteor shower

The second major meteor shower of the year will see around 60 ‘shooting stars’ appear during the peak overnight on May 5/6, 2024. Caused by dust and debris left in the solar system by Halley’s comet, the Eta Aquariids can be seen anywhere in the night sky only with the naked eye.

6. Perseid meteor shower

The most famous and the best meteor shower will occur in ideal sky conditions overnight on August 12/13, 2024. As many as 100 shooting stars will be seen during the peak hours and can appear anywhere in the night sky. Hope for clear skies and use only your naked eyes. 

7. Mars and Jupiter shine together

There will also be a few close conjunctions of planets in the next 12 months, the highlight being a close pass of Mars and Jupiter on 15 August 2024. The best way to see this event will be through binoculars or, better still, a small telescope. In 2024, dim Uranus will be passed closely, first by Jupiter (20 April 2024) and then by Mars (15 July 2024).

Aerospace Education Staff

Cooper Karen2
DCS Aerospace Education
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 Cooper Bryan2
Asst. DCS Aerospace Education
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Aerospace Education – External
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