STEM ideas for Year 1 & 2

Children learn through play and discovery. Providing curious and interesting activities gives students opportunities to share their understanding and build on previous knowledge and skills through communication and collaboration. The future for our students will have technology embedded in every aspect of living! STEM education will assist in preparing students for that future.

This post shares ideas which can be used with Year 1 & 2 students integrated across the curriculum.

Activity 1

Following instructions provides students the opportunity to see how sequencing is important and an introduction to algorithms. Students create a puppet by following step-by-step instructions to draw, cut out, decorate a character, assemble using brass fasteners (split pins). String on the back to make arms and legs move.

Activity 2

Sequence alphabet cards then identify pictures which start with the letter and program the Bee Bot to travel to each one. Another way is to use dice with letters on, roll and program Bee Bot to get to the letter (number/money/colour).

Activity 3

Creating an algorithm for the Bee-Bot to move around the neighbourhood, making sure you:

  • Start at the House
  • Pause at the Post Office to put mail in the post box
  • Pause at the Supermarket to pick up bread and milk
  • Avoid leaving the road
  • Finish at the Swimming Pool

 

Activity 4

Look at the sequence using LittleBits to make a light. Battery for power, power cord, power input board, button, light. Create something for the light ie a torch or bed-light

Draw and label when finished.

 

 

 

Activity 5

Looking at patterns and pathways, the most direct path by programming Bee Bot to get from start to finish going over every colour shape. Could add timing activity too….who can get there ion the fastest time!

Activity 6

Using Bee Bot to navigate pictures/physical materials to the correct object eg bricks to house, plastic to lego brick, metal to bike….

Activity 7

Estimating where Bee Bot will finish up after using coding cards to write a program then use Bee Bot with pen to draw the program on paper.

Activity 8

Writing an algorithm for making a sandwich. Using bread, knife, jam on a plate and ask student to write the order to make a jam sandwich. This is fun and can be quite specific in the instructions give! One child pointed out to start with a caution about using knives!

 

 

Activity 8

Healthy eating is covered in the curriculum and after discussing choices of food for lunch snacks etc students can collect data and create a Healthy Eating Gylph.

 

 

Activity 9

Growing vegetables needs equipment, using card and tape students create tools to use in the garden! Students were so creative with wheelbarrows, spades, wellington boots, shears etc

Activity 10

Using AI to identify drawings. Spend time drawing line drawings to represent simple things like pig, sun, bee …guess drawings, discuss how they were recognised. (talk about previous knowledge)  Use the website Quick Draw Girls draw an image given by the computer and see if the computer can guess it. Discuss how does the computer does it…..through gathering data…heaps of data! By them playing, the data is being collected to improve outcomes.

Activity 11

Computer vision is when computers can recognise objects and name them. Using Aipoly App to see how many objects the iPad app can identify correctly….if not, why not?

Complete a table and compare results.

 

Activity 12

Learning about Computers is heaps of fun! Taking a laptop apart and identifying elements. Use ‘Hello Ruby’ to cut out CPU, GPU, memory ROM & RAM create paper computer. Play memory game with cards of parts of the computer.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!

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