Collaborative Classroom Blog

Sizzling Science for the Summer

By Megan Green | Categories: AfterSchool KidzScience, Professional Development


What does science look like in summer?

  • Sunlight and beach sand
  • Rockets zooming into the sky
  • Terrifically messy oobleck
  • Parachutes drifting down from the clouds
  • Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles

Science stirs the innate curiosity in children. All kids are curious and want to find out what makes things work. Sometimes children put quarters into the CD player of your new car or try to heat up pancakes on the register of your floor—both true stories, I might add. I remember the first time my daughter discovered the automatically opening door at Rite Aide. We might as well have been in Disneyland! My point is, kids love science and science is great for kids.

I have asked people all over the country what they remember about science as a kid and I’ve yet to hear anyone reference a textbook. What does leap to mind? Cornstarch and vinegar, dissection, field trips, experiments—hands-on, interactive, engaging activities that let young people act like real scientists. It is unbelievable the details adults remember. The sad thing is, they don’t have a lot of examples to share. Let’s make memories for the young people in our care!

So . . . What Are You Doing This Summer?

How about science? You might be thinking, “I don’t know, Megan…it’s hard to gather all of the materials. Science was never my best subject.†Don’t worry! Scientists collaborate all the time—and with outstanding results. In fact, we partnered with the Lawrence Hall of Science to make these kits great, so let us help you out.

Each AfterSchool KidzScience kit has four sessions that build on each other, letting kids dig deep into scientific concepts. All of the materials are there for you to lead 20 kids through each an enriching activity. You’ll also find a playlist of 5-minute videos on our YouTube channel to help you learn how to use each kit. When you’re done, order a refill kit so it is ready for the next person to use or for you to use again. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked for a repeat performance!

Ideas for Getting Started

There are so many ways you could use the kits:

  • Science Club Who doesn’t want to be a part of a club? Let the kids drive what you are going to do and what they want to learn about and experience.
  • Family Night Plan an event with the kids where their families will come and experience some science led by the kids.
  • Buddy Up Have older kids lead the younger kids in science!
  • Field Trip The next best thing to a summer road trip. Choose a kit that lends itself to a local field trip. Might I suggest Crime Lab science and a police station?

All of the kits would be fun to use this summer, but some of my favorites are:

Beach Science This is a great way to learn about how the Earth’s surface changes over time! Let your kids put their hands in sand, look at sand from all over the world, and figure out why sands from different places vary. Download a session guide here to try it out, or watch a how-to video here.

Falling and Flying Raise your hand if you don’t want to learn about air resistance by figuring out how to make a binder clip fall more slowly, making parachutes, shooting off rockets, and so much other fun stuff. Watch a how-to video here.

Oobleck One of the best things about science is rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty. What better way to learn about the properties than to design, build, and test space ships to land on a mysterious material…is it a liquid or a solid? I’ll leave it to you to explore. Watch a how-to video here.

Forensic Science Summer is a great time to go hunting for clues. Using science, kids solve a crime. When you are done, how about a field trip to a police department? Watch how-to videos here and here.

Bubbles Nothing says summer like bubbles in the air. Imagine learning about surface tension by playing with bubbles. Watch a how-to video here.

Sunlight Science We all hope for sun in the summer! Why not study it? Kids learn about the invisible and visible parts of sunlight by doing investigations right outside their door. Watch a how-to video here.

There are 15 kits to choose from and I recommend them all. I don’t recommend putting quarters in a CD player or pancakes on a heating vent. So…what are you doing this summer?

Learn More about AfterSchool KidzScience