Winter STEM Activities

The drop in temperatures and change in seasons create the perfect opportunities to teach youth about the world around them. To help spark youths' interest in STEM and support their curiosity, we've compile a few easy and inexpensive STEM experiments to try out during the winter months.

  • Why Doesn't the Ocean Freeze?: In this activity from the New England Aquarium, youth explore how salt water freezes in comparison to fresh water. Use this activity to consider how fresh water animals survive cold winters in comparison to animals living in the ocean.
  • How Animals Stay Warm: This quick activity, also from the New England Aquarium, allows youth to explore how blubber protects animals from the cold by making a "blubber mitt" using shortening, sandwich bags, and tape.
  • Use Clues to Solve an Ice Mystery: In this activity from Science Friday, youth use evidence from informational text and media resources, as well as their own observations to match six different types of ice to the places where each would most likely be found.
  • Modeling the Season: In this activity from The Exploratorium, youth create models of the earth and then model a "day" on earth, as well as the seasons.

Selecting relevant STEM activities that help learners understand what's happening around them will spark their interest, wonder, and excitement for science in a way that's meaningful and useful to them. To ensure a quality learning experience, remember that activities should be relatable, serve all youth, and meet the needs of your program. Check out our post, How Do I Know if it's a Good STEM Activity for tips on evaluating and selecting quality winter STEM activities.

Looking for more winter STEM activities?

Check out our other posts for more ideas:

Quality Learning Is More Than Good Activities

Creating a quality learning experience goes far beyond selecting the right activity. While quality activities are the building blocks to quality learning experiences, it's essential to engage with youth in a way that fosters learning and understanding while conducting the experiment. When facilitating any STEM activity, make sure to engage with youth by asking purposeful questions, encourage learners to explore their curiosity by giving them control, and support youth in reflecting and processing experiences.

*The activities offered here have been compiled from outside sources. Check the links for more information.