Hands-on STEM Activities for K-12

The CMSN Ecosystem launched a series of live virtual STEM design challenges to offer families a variety of hands-on activities to engage in together while at home during COVID-19.  Each week offered a new opportunity to come together and learn, design, build and share with each other.

We offer the instructions and supply lists (with common household items) for these fun activities here for anyone to use, anywhere, any time! Recordings of these sessions are available for CMSN Ecosystem members only and can be requested here.

Launch It!

Anyone can become a rocket scientist or aeronautical engineer!  Join the EcoTarium as we help you and your family use engineering, math and physics to design, build and test a rocket prototype using paper, tape and a drinking straw.

Newspaper Towers!

Calling all engineers! Are you ready for a challenge? Join the Boys & Girls Club in participating in a design challenge! Using only newspaper and tape you will have to construct your very own building that can withstand the strength of the wind. Can you rise to the challenge?

Calling all Boat Builders!

Join Head Start teachers as they encourage families to think like engineers while building boats and solving problems. Families will have the opportunity to plan, build, and test out their own unique boats using recycled materials. Once their boats are built, they will be challenged to think more about buoyancy as they experiment with how to keep their boats floating when they add “passengers”. This will be a fun experience filled with great learning opportunities.

Cardboard Creations: Phone Stand

Design and craft your own phone stand to use during movie-making or animation projects, or for comfortably watching STEM videos! We’ll use recycled cardboard to create a simple stand, and explore the importance of measurement and precision in the engineering process.

OIL SPILLS:  A Slippery Situation

Join WPI Engineering Ambassadors and learn how oil, which is essential to many luxuries we enjoy, can also create damage to our environment when it spills.  You will create your own “oil spill” and conduct an experiment to see how it affects wildlife, then become an engineer and clean up your oil spill!


Engineers apply their knowledge to replace limbs by using technology and materials to provide people with independence, mobility and experiences.  Today we will design a prosthetic leg for your favorite stuffed animal!