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Outdoor STEM Projects for Middle School Students

by Mary Adalbert | Jul 26, 2016 | 2 min read

Geometry, life science, and algebra, oh my! During middle school, our homeschoolers go beyond exposure and begin diving in and experimenting with some of the fundamental science and math concepts they will learn in school. From area to anatomy, these years are critical in deepening your student’s understanding and love of STEM concepts. And, just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to stop exploring and engaging your students with science and math projects! In fact, doing outdoor STEM projects for middle school students can be a great way to build upon what you’ve already covered and peak their interest for the coming year, all while having fun and spending time together. Learn more about our online middle school programs.

5 Fun STEM Projects for Middle School Students

  • Astronomy- Does the moon rotate? Use this activity to spend time studying the night sky, specifically the moon, to discover how the moon moves and understand the moon phases. Then, get creative and make 3-d models of the moon in different phases using household or outdoor materials.
  • Chemistry- When explosions and rockets collide, it’s fun and learning for everyone! Discover more about propulsion and chemical reactions by creating an Alka-Seltzer rocket. Turn this into a math activity by charting distances based on what materials you used for your rocket.
  • Earth Science- Tsunamis have a disastrous impact on all the landforms they hit each year. But, what creates a tsunami and can we use preventative ways to keep people around the world safe? Click here to learn all about tsunamis, including how they form and how to simulate them outside using a large water tank or plastic container and stopwatch. Then, experiment with different surfaces at the bottom of your tank to discover how ocean matter changes the trajectory and strength of tsunamis. Make this a math activity by charting the size and speed of the waves.
  • Natural Wonders- Visiting a national or state park this summer? Take advantage of the amazing opportunities that nature provides with these STEM projects from the National Park Service. From habitats and flower reproduction to sand density, your middle schooler will geek out with the hands-on, outdoor science projects!
  • Biology- Catching frogs by a creek is something each child should do during the summer. Why not turn this quintessential summertime fun into a unit study on frog anatomy, life cycle, and habitats. This STEM activity and lesson from allows you to tailor your discoveries and activities to each grade level, challenging middle schoolers to use the scientific method to build critical thinking skills.

During the summer months, you’ve got the perfect classroom, the outdoors, to involve your students in scientific and math discoveries without the pressure of a grade book. It’s more important than ever to focus on STEM projects and learning with our students, so why not start now?
Which STEM activity are you going to try? Tell us how it worked in a comment below!

Mary Adalbert
Hello! I’m Mary Adalbert, Marketing Project Manager for Bridgeway Academy. As a result of being homeschooled during my middle school and high school years, I am passionate about families finding a perfect fit for each of their children. After high school, I went on to study music and business at college where I found a love for helping kids use their creativity in music. I still enjoy teaching music to students and integrate their learning style as we work through lessons at their own pace. In my free time I love playing sports with my husband, spending time with our family, and playing music. And most of all, I love seeing how God works through each and every situation.
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