12 Hands-On Science Activities for Middle Schoolers: Inspiring a Love for STEM

Finding hands-on science activities for middle schoolers can sometimes be a challenge. This grade level is at an awkward, in-between phase where some labs can be a bit too advanced, but they’re too “old” to enjoy the activities younger kids would find engaging.

But never fear! We’ve perused countless activities and experiments surrounding the most common STEM topics, and we’re here to share them with you. And we’ve made sure that each activity is both fun and STEM-focused – the perfect balance for middle school that will make your students fall in love with science!

Don’t miss the download at the end of this post. It’s a fun, hands-on project to teach your students all about fossils complete with a corresponding lab video!

 

12-Hands-On-Scienc-Activities Middle Schoolers

 

Why STEM?

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. What brings them together, and why is it important for your middle school students to have a grasp of all four of these concepts?

First, each of these concepts utilizes the others in some way. You can’t successfully complete chemistry without a knowledge of math! Likewise, astronomy wouldn’t be as advanced as it is today without the world of engineering. Technology brings everything together to help us learn more than we ever thought possible. The world is huge and incredible, and there is still SO much to be discovered.

STEM learning also encourages creativity (a great opportunity to bring art class into the picture!). Middle school is a time full of development and growth, so why not expand the imagination and encourage that growth even further?

Finally, STEM encourages the application of learning concepts in real-life scenarios. STEM activities are more than just drawing a picture of an earthquake or a skyscraper. STEM takes it a step further and encourages your middle school students to think critically and actually make a model that resembles the real thing. And in doing so, they’ll inevitably use technology, engineering, math, and science! Bam!

12 Hands-On Science Activities for Middle Schoolers

Many of these activities can also be tailored for younger and older children as well. Get the whole family involved, and have fun!

DIY Solar Oven S’mores

As solar-powered technology becomes more popular, this activity will help your students to better understand how we can use the heat of the sun to create energy that cooks food. Note that this activity works best on a very hot and sunny day!

STEM Smores Homeschool Science Middle School

Bottle Rocket Challenge

If you tell your kids “We’re making bottle rockets today,” there’s a good chance they’ll start jumping up and down and then run to get all the supplies needed. Kids love explosions! This NASA-inspired astronomy activity creates an epic chemistry reaction. Just make sure that you’re supervising, because, well, explosions.

For more astronomy activities, check out 11 Amazing Astronomy Activities for Kids.

What Liquid Is Best for Growing Seeds?

When planting seeds, most of us just use tap water straight from the sink or hose. This biology activity, however, explores how various liquids impact the growth of seeds. It can also be done indoors if you live in an area where it’s currently cold.

Best water for plants STEM Homeschool

 

Edible Candy Bacteria

Normally, we like to stay far away from most bacteria, but this candy bacteria can be eaten, and it won’t make you sick! This STEM biology activity encourages your middle schoolers to explore various common bacteria in a way that is perfectly safe.

Edible DNA Model

Candy and science … is there truly anything better? The building blocks of life (DNA) are so complex, we can’t see them with the naked eye. This biology activity brings DNA to life through toothpicks, licorice, and gumdrops. Fun and so delicious!

Edible DNA project Homeschool STEM

Earthquake Simulation

Earthquakes are a key concept when teaching earth science, but this activity also explores engineering. Build an earthquake model from toothpicks and marshmallows, and then use a pan of Jello to see just how sturdy your student’s structure is! This can also lead to an excellent discussion about modern-day buildings and how engineers and architects are developing structures to withstand powerful earthquakes.

DIY Bath Bomb

We know that we already said there’s nothing better than candy and science, but what about bath time and science? Students will have the opportunity to learn basic chemistry concepts to create a bath bomb that fizzes when added to water!

How to Make a Volcano

No matter what age, we can almost guarantee that every homeschooled student is going to jump at the opportunity to make a model volcano. Rocks, lava, explosions … heck yes! Using playdough (purchase some or make your own), create a volcano model with layers and colors that resemble the real thing!

The Dirty Water Project

This activity is great for the whole family or larger student groups like a co-op setting. We often take clean water for granted, but this hands-on science activity gives your student(s) the chance to make their own water filters and test out how to filter various pollutants. It will give them a glimpse into the importance of water treatment systems, which engineers and scientists work hard to perfect to keep our water clean and safe to drink.

Inspiring a Love of Stem Dirty Water Project

Egg Drop Challenge

We generally discourage kids from dropping eggs on the ground, but this STEM activity encourages it! While middle school students probably aren’t taking a physics class just yet, they can still start to understand basic physics concepts. Plus, this activity also integrates a bit of engineering!

Gamemaker

This website is a great place to start for students who are especially interested in video games. It combines all four STEM concepts to create an online software that lets your student create their own video game. We definitely recommend that you help/supervise your middle school student for this coding activity since it’s on a live website.

Make Your Own Fossils

While real fossils take years and years to form, this activity lets you make a model fossil in only 24 hours! Your student can first hunt for small natural items outside (sticks, shells, leaves, etc.) and then use modeling clay to better understand the process of fossil creation.

Want More Science Activities for Middle Schoolers?

At Journey Homeschool Academy, we have two amazing science courses for middle school! Earth Science Explored and Experience Astronomy dive into the wonders of our earth and the expanses beyond what our eyes can even see. In a critical middle school transition period, these courses encourage independence while still involving you as the teacher and parent.

Our videos, coursework, and many hands-on STEM activities will begin to prepare your middle schooler for the independence of high school. At the same time, it will foster the growth of their imaginations as they are learning about the world around them.

Inspiring a love for STEM-based learning can begin at any age, but middle school is a great place to get started!

12 Hands On Scienc Activities for Middle schoolers STEM

Get your kids excited about science with engaging, faith-based curriculum.

Take lesson planning off your plate! Journey Homeschool Academy’s multi-sensory approach makes science interesting with flexible, engaging lessons without sacrificing a rigorous academic education.

FLASH SALE: 10% off Physical Science Explored—this weekend only!

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