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Hot Wheels™ Speedometry

Check out Speedometry, a fun, interactive way to learn about science, math and engineering! Developed and created by University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education and Mattel Children’s Foundation, Speedometry uses Hot Wheels toys to create meaningful lessons on velocity, gravity and kinetic energy. The lessons engage students in the science and math material and lead them to explore a particular problem and explain their findings, deepening their knowledge through elaboration and evaluation.

On the Speedometry website, families can download an activities packet, and educators can request a free classroom kit and lesson plan.

Posted in STEM Hands On, DeSTEMber


Mimic Manufacturing

Grab a friend to create a device that mimics the hearing of animals with large ears! Your goal is to construct a device that helps your friend hear better when sounds are far away or very soft.

Click here for a deSTEMber activity!

Posted in STEM Hands On, DeSTEMber


DeSTEMber Materials List

Activities for the week of December 15th-21st 2014

Here are the materials for the third week of deSTEMber:

12.15 - Mimic Manufacturing
12.16 - Shrinky Cells
12.17 - Air Mail Challenge
12.18 - Weather Flowers
12.19 - Magnetic Slime
12.20 - Prehistoric Puppets
12.21 - Tic Tac Flashlight


12.15 - Mimic Manufacturing
(2) 3 oz. dixie cups
(2) 6 oz. styrofoam cups
(2) 12 oz. styrofoam cups
(2) 24 oz. styrofoam cups
Plastic headbands (one per hearing device)
Heavy plastic tape or duct tape


12.16 - Shrinky Cells
Permanent markers - variety of colors (bright, contrasting colors work best)
Shrink film (example here)
Regular kitchen oven or toaster oven (for shrinking designs)
Baking sheet
Needle nose pliers
Hole punch (handheld)
Keychain and/or other jewelry findings to make cells wearable (example here)
Plant/animal cell diagram of your choice (to serve as a guide). Here are a few free diagrams you can print:
Plant cell (simple):
Animal cell (simple):
Plant and animal cell (Clip art and lesson links): OR
A shrink cell kit is also available for order here:

12.17 - Air Mail Challenge
Duct tape
Potato chips
Bubble wrap
Cotton balls
Packing peanuts
Plastic cups
Foam cups
Paper cups
Tub of water


12.18 - Weather Flowers
Safety goggles
Shallow aluminum foil pan
Water in a spray bottle
Coffee filters (one per flower)
10% (m/v) cobalt (II) chloride solution. This can be found at:
Pipe cleaners (one per flower)
Hair dryer


12.19 - Magnetic Slime
1 teaspoon borax laundry booster -
8 oz. bottle of white school glue
2 tablespoons iron filings. This can be found at:  OR 
Large, disposable mixing bowl
Plastic cup
1 Neodymium (rare Earth) magnet (a regular magnet is not strong enough). This can be found at:

12.20 - Prehistoric Puppets
Dinosaur head templates. These can be printed out at: 
Cardstock or colored construction paper for body
Brass fasteners
Markers or crayons (optional)

12.21 - Tic Tac Flashlight
(1) Empty Tic Tac container
(3) AA -OR- (3) AAA batteries (both types are 1.5v)
(1) 5mm LED light - example here: 25.000 mcd - 3.8 volt and 20 mA
(1) Switch - example here: tact switchor slide switch
(1) 27 ohm serial resistor - example here: resistor
Aluminum foil (about 6 sq. inches per flashlight)
Clear (scotch) tape or electrical tape (1 roll will cover at least 20 projects)
Needle nose pliers and/or hemostats
Drill with 3/16" diameter bit (ask for help from an adult when using this tool)
Hot glue gun and glue sticks (only a dab is needed per project)
Note: a multimeter is helpful to troubleshoot circuit problems, but it is not required

Posted in STEM Hands On, DeSTEMber


Hour of Code

Make your own video game!

One of our partners, AgentSheets, Inc. is teaming up with the Scalable Game Design Project team from the University of Colorado at Boulder to invite you to participate in a fun, Hour of Code activity! In as little as one hour, code, play, and share your games while being guided by an interactive instructional video.  

In this one hour activity, you can create a 3D “Frogger” game, even without any prior 3D programming experience. 

Go to AgentCubes and CSEdWeek to learn more about the activity, and get the link to get started.

Posted in STEM Hands On, DeSTEMber

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