STEM Challenge–Flying Letters
Preschoolers and kinders make great scientists because they ask a TON of questions. STEM activities are a great way to feed on their natural curiosity. If you are looking for a simple STEM activity for even your youngest scientist, try this!
First, you need die cut letters. I found these at Dollar Tree. You can use any die cut letters that you have, or you can make some with your Silhouette Cameo or even the oldschool die cut machine. Construction paper or cardstock will be more sturdy and easier to fly for little hands.
Then, get creative. Let students fold the letters into “airplanes” and fly them. Simple!
Here are some of the folds that we tried:
As they are working, encourage scientific thinking and questioning.Your kiddos will probably have lots of question and observations. Go with them. Test them. This is what scientists do, after all.
Questions to Explore
- Are there different ways to fold it so that it flies better?
- Are there different ways to throw it?
- If you are outside, does the wind affect the results? (The answer is yes, which turned out to be a source of frustration!)
For your higher level students, or students who are just really into the activity, you can always extend the learning. Here are some ideas:
Measurement: Test and measure which letter flies the furthest. Or you could measure which stays in the air the longest. Can you modify it so that it defies gravity?
Symmetry: They will probably notice that the letters than can be folded in half seem to fly a little better. This is a great way to introduce symmetry! Do symmetrical letters fly better? Are animals that fly symmetrical?
You will be amazed at what your little ones will come up with! Don’t be afraid to follow their lead!