The school year is coming to an end and we want to celebrate it with some epic end of year STEM activities that kids will remember for years to come. So what makes our list of the most epic STEM activities to celebrate the end of the school year? Read on to explore all of our best ideas for the last day of school activities.
End of School Year Activities
It’s the end of the year. Everyone can literally smell summer, feel the heat of our warming days, and taste all those waiting Popsicles, but school isn’t out quite yet. We need to keep those minds engaged and focused for just a little bit longer before we release them for summer vacation. But what can we do when energy levels are high and focus levels low? I have the perfect solution, some epic STEM challenges!
Kids can take all those lessons and skills they have been studying all year long, and apply them in a practical and insanely fun way.
Most of our top picks for end of year STEM projects are pretty big and epic. They are best suited for the outdoors, but some of them can be adapted for indoor use too. Think of this like the end of year track and field meet, but for the brain!
It’s about celebrating all their hard work, and rewarding their curiosity and passions.
No matter the grade level, we have fun ideas for elementary to high school!
So what does one do for end of year STEM Activities? Here are our top suggestions!
Every kid I know LOVES this STEM challenge. All they need is a soda pop bottle, paper and art supplies to decorate the bottle, and supplies to build a base. For a classroom challenge at the end of the year, why not use up some old pencils and classroom supplies to engineer those bases? Encourage kids to get creative with things you have on hand if you don’t have any funds left over to buy supplies. You can even engineer your own stoppers, like we did one time, or corks can be purchased in large quantities cheaply. Then add in some baking soda and vinegar to see those rockets take flight!
I recommend only doing this activity outdoors and make sure to flush the area with water after you are done, as vinegar is acidic and can damage grass or other surfaces if left.
That’s right, we all know how much of a hit bubbles are with kids. Just image how exciting it will be to have enormous, epic, giant bubbles that are bigger than your students! For the end of the year, have a massive “potion making” or “chem lab” session with kids making their bubble juice the day before. It is best if the bubble juice sits for 24 hours before using it. Then, put those STEM skills to use learning how to make a giant bubble wand! Just imagine the memories from your end of the year celebration!
Get all the details on How to Make Giant Bubbles!
Oobleck… Go BIG!
For this you might need to contact your local restaurant supply shop because you are going to need a LOT of cornstarch! Now, you can definitely just make buckets of oobleck and let kids explore this fascinating non-Newtonian fluid (make sure you challenge them to create a hypothesis as to why it behaves like a liquid and a solid!), but you can do so much more! Why not challenge kids to build an Oobleck tower? It will require teamwork and some creative thinking to keep that Oobleck growing taller and taller without turning to liquid.
Or, this is something I have ALWAYS wanted to do… why not make a pool of Oobleck and let kids try running on “water”. This is sure to be something they will NEVER forget!
Oobleck is messy no matter how you plan to use it. So I recommend going outdoors, but you could do this indoors as well as long as you are OK with the clean up.
Build a Nerf Battlefield
Does your school have a construction technologies program? Why not put those skills to use and with old pallets and tires create an amazing outdoor games field in the backyard? It will challenge the students with design, logical thinking, math, engineering and more.
If Nerf guns won’t work for your class size, what about water guns or water balloon battles? All of these would be an amazing way to party and celebrate the end of school year in style!
This is best outdoors obviously if you are doing water guns or water balloons. We also prefer outdoors for Nerf wars, but Nerf wars can definitely be done in a gym if needed too.
Egg Drop Challenge
This is a classic challenge for kids! We did our egg drop challenge using Oobleck, but traditionally this is an engineering and physics challenge for kids.
The goal is to engineer and build a contraption that will allow students’ egg to be safely dropped from the top of a playground or while standing on a chair/ladder without breaking.
For this activity provide a variety of supplies including paper, fabric, string, tape, glue, craft sticks and maybe even some left over classroom supplies. Then let the kids go crazy and build whatever their imaginations can create.
This can be done indoors or outdoors. I prefer outdoors due to my allergies.
Make It Move Challenge
Our smaller indoor Make It Move challenge is a wonderful way to challenge kids to understand engineering and physics as they figure out how to move their car from one end of the track to the other without touching it! Kids can explore and use their imaginations as they develop their creations and challenge each other.
But this is the end of the year! So why not take this STEM activity big? Consider having the kids work in teams to create larger vehicles that race down a larger ramp (slides on the playground can work for this too!). Provide them with boxes (kleenx boxes would be a great consistent base for sizing), cardboard, paper, wood doweling, bolts and more. Have they been learning wood working in shop? Put those skills to use! Get creative with this challenge, it can be so much fun to see what they create.
This can be done anywhere.
You can also stage some epic races with Balloon Cars made from recycled materials.
Crossbow Craft Stick Challenge
This year we had a blast designing and building crossbows. This could be turned into a fun challenge for the classroom. Have kids construct their cross bow then challenge them to shoot Q-Tips, remember, safety first! Create challenges to see who can be the most accurate or who can shoot the farthest. You can also create a game with targets (floating balloons would be fun) and see who can rack up the most points!
This can be done anywhere.
And since it is the end of the year, why not power up your builds and make catapult cannons!
Build a Water Clock and Count Down the End of School
Kids love a good countdown! So why not take our Water Clock STEM Activity and increase the size to an epic water clock to countdown the end of the school year. Kids will love building this massive clock (use buckets or large water bottles), then watching the water pour out as the final minutes of their school year tick away.
Confetti Cannon Engineering
Confetti cannons are an exciting way to end the year! Kids can make simple individual ones, or challenge your class to work as a group and build a massive one! Shred up all those worksheets to make your confetti (this can be incredibly therapeutic for kids too after a stressful year!). At the end of your celebration have everyone set off their confetti cannons at once for an epic end to the school year no one will forget!
Alternatively, you can make seed bombs and launchers and fill the school yard with wildflowers.
Recycled Paper Seed Paper and Seed Bombs
Want an eco-friendly, recycled paper project to use all of those craft paper scraps at the end of the year? Make recycled seed paper and seed bombs that are a colourful keepsake of the year of learning, then blossom into beautiful wildflowers!
Fireworks – But Smaller
Along with the confetti cannon, another great celebration item is fireworks. In this activity we create a mini fireworks display using a simple chemical reaction. The snap, crackle, pop of the reaction is fantastic!
End Of Year Growth Mindset Interview
Take a few minutes to encourage students to reflect, journal and embrace their achievements and goals from the past year. This free resource is a wonderful way to preserve memories from their school year and help them build the right mindset for the upcoming year with guided reflections.
End of Year Celebration
It’s the end of the year and what better way to celebrate than to have your kids come together and tackle some of these exciting STEM activities? You all made it through another year and that deserves one epic and fun celebration!
Need some amazing sweet treats to add to the celebration? Make a delicious batch of rainbow fudge with our kid friendly recipe, or check out all of our delicious Candy Science activities for tons of inspiration!
Want more ideas? Check out our Summer Bucket List of STEM Activities.