10 Awesome STEM Projects to Keep Your Kids Busy This Summer – MUO – MakeUseOf

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With kids being exposed to computers and electronic devices at a young age, the world of  DIY and electronics is expanding to include projects suited for them. These do not require any spending since they can be hacked using basic items found at home.

DIY projects for kids help stimulate their young minds in ways that watching entertainment videos can’t. Below are 10 cool STEM projects your kids will enjoy tackling this weekend.

1. Build a Website

A website is arguably one of the most important online resources that anyone can have. That goes for your kids too. You can easily guide them to create their own digital real estate property with a few intuitive tools. With hundreds of drag and drop website creation tools to choose from, guiding your kids is essential.

Some of the most popular platforms that you use are WIX and Square Space. Most importantly, your kids won’t have to switch to a different platform once they decide to upgrade their websites to something more professional. Both WIX and Square Space support professional grade websites and content management options.

2. Create New Automations

Automation using smart devices is without a doubt one of the most intuitive projects kids can try at home. Abode smart devices may also be used just like smartphones or hubs for automation.

Once the setup is complete, the kids need to download and open the abode app. The service comes with lots of handy tools they can use to stretch their imagination. The projects can be shared and improved on social media through the abode account.

3. Make a Movie

Years ago, making videos of any kind was out of reach for the average person because you needed a camcorder, which was quite expensive. Technology has become more accessible and affordable today. All kinds of smartphones and tablets have a camera sensor that’s accompanied by the technology needed for recording MP4 videos.

Once your kids film a few clips that they can put together in the form of a movie, it's time to tie everything together. Regardless of whether the videos were recorded on an iPhone or Android smartphone, there are a bunch of useful apps that can be used for editing and exporting the movie such as iMovie, HitFilm Express, and VideoPad.

4. Develop Graphic Design Skills

If your kids like playing around with crayons and shapes, you can give them something better to explore their interests, a graphics software. For this, there are several excellent choices they can pick from such as Canva or Photoshop.

These platforms are easy to use with a gentle learning curve. The kids will be creating high quality graphics in no time as long as they keep practicing the basics. Once they've mastered a few copy-paste examples, it's time to let them create their own unique graphics.

5. Arduino Bracket

If you've followed the DIY community for some time, you appreciate the power of microcontrollers such as RSP or Arduino. What if there was a way to quickly get the microcontrollers ready for use in new projects?

Well, that’s what this hack does. You can teach your kids to create an Arduino bracket that makes it easy to free the microcontroller and jump from one project to another without worrying about the clutter that comes with wired connections.

6. Build a Lightbox for Photography

If you’re curious how professional product videos are shot in sparkling clean rooms, this hack is for you. Moreover, it is simple enough that kids can try it on their toys at home.

With a card box, wax paper, and a white sheet, they’ll have nearly everything they need for a miniature lightbox. Once the setup is done, they can take videos and shoot sharp photos of their favorite items on a smartphone or tablet.

7. DIY ECG

A home-made ECG machine can help boost your kid’s interest in medicine and imaging technology. This starts with showing them how easy and useful such projects can be for people experiencing irregular heartbeats.

The project uses an op-amp for the display or signal. It’s connected to other peripherals like resistors, a power source, and a PC's microphone. The final product not only allows kids to practice recording the body's vital signs but gives them the confidence to consider medical careers in the future.

8. Program and Set up an LCD Display on Arduino

Many electronic DIY projects that use microcontrollers do not provide a comprehensive way for the user to receive feedback from the processor. This drawback can make the projects less interesting for kids. With this hack, your kids will hook up an Arduino to an LCD screen capable of scrolling text, blinking content, and positioning characters.

Once the kids have completed the project, they can try different modifications to see what is displayed on the screen. They may also attempt scrolling the text using an USB mouse attached to the microcontroller.

9. Arduino Nano Multimeter

With many of the devices that the typical person uses relying on electricity to function, it’s never too early to introduce your kids to the topic of electric properties. What better way than to use a device that measures electric properties such as Arduino?

The multimeter is a low energy device and doesn't need a strong current to function. A simple rechargeable LiPo battery will do the job just fine. With the multimeter, they'll be able to detect voltage, resistance, capacitance, inductance, and current on the same device. How cool is that?

10. Arduino Traffic Lights

An Arduino traffic lights setup is a great way to add some activity in a rather boring Lego’s city. The project can be done quite easily with an Arduino board, LEDs, and some resistors. It’s essential that the resistors are color-coded red, red, and brown. Different traffic light color signals signify a particular action that road users should take.

The project will teach your kids about the importance of following traffic rules. They may even develop some interest in driving on actual highways and start looking forward to having their own driving licenses.

Teach Your Kids Early

The projects described above are easy enough for most school kids. Your supervision may be needed to help them overcome a few obstacles. Nonetheless, the hacks are cheap but help build a strong foundation in STEM. With kids, it’s never too early to learn something new.



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About The Author

Robert Minkoff
(21 Articles Published)

Robert has a knack for the written word and an unquenchable thirst for learning that he applies wholeheartedly to every project he tackles. His eight years of freelance writing experience spans a range of web content, tech product reviews, blog posts, and SEO. He finds technological advancements and DIY projects quite fascinating. Robert is currently a writer at MakeUseOf where he enjoys sharing worthwhile DIY ideas. Watching movies is his thing so he is always up-to-date with netflix series.

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