Category Archives: Mini Challenges

It’s Not too Early to Start Thinking about Your CAREER

When you think of STEM careers, do you think of high-tech, coding positions that involve nothing more than sitting behind a screen all day? The reality is there are many widely diverse options for a variety of interests.

The STEM job market not only offers countless opportunities but also allows your  creativity to flourish. As a bonus, the jobs in STEM and STEM-related careers are projected to grow faster than all other occupations over the next decade.

So, what are some of the top STEM careers to consider if you are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math? The writers at SPHERO have compiled a STEM careers list for kids interested in STEM broken down by each discipline. Let’s dive in!

Top STEM Careers

Science 

  • Dentist – Looking for a STEM career that shines brightly? Between 2018 and 2028 The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7.6% employment growth for dentists which makes this career path not only promising but a sure reason to smile.
  • Physician Assistant –  In this STEM career path physician assistants work under a doctor to care for their patients. With 37,000 projected jobs by 2028, this profession paves the perfect STEM path within the medical field.
  • Orthodontist – Perfecting your teeth has never been more desirable. In this science-based STEM career, orthodontists work to create million-dollar smiles. With a median salary of $208,000, this career is much more than just awkward teenage braces.
  • Biomedical engineering – Want to mix your kid’s love of science and engineering? If this is the case, biomedical engineering is the perfect STEM career. In combining these two disciplines you will create crazy cool software, devices, and computer systems that aid in the medical field.
  • Chemical engineering – Take your love of chemistry to the next level with a career in chemical engineering. This STEM profession has a wide variety of opportunities from working alongside a chemist to creating more sustainable energy solutions. This career can be formulated to mix to any chemist’s strengths!
  • Atmospheric scientist (Storm Tracker) – Looking for a striking STEM career? Atmospheric scientists might just be your perfect STEM storm. In this career, you will study the scientific aspects of the Earth’s climate and weather patterns. From weather stations to laboratories, this job just like our storm systems is always on the move.
  • Volcanologist – Yes, this is a real job, and is sure to make a boom! A volcanologist might not have been your first thought into STEM, but how cool would it be to research volcanoes all day? Added plus, most volcanologists travel to locations to study their volcano samples, it doesn’t get much more explosive and exciting than that.

Technology

  • Software developer – If computers and technology are your kid’s cup of tea, maybe it’s time to consider a career as a software developer. This STEM career path puts your coding and debugging skills to the test as you work to design and perfect various applications. Innovation and creativity are key here, but love for STEM is a bonus.
  • Data management – Now, let’s talk data! Data is so important. It’s so important that other careers, like a software developer, wouldn’t function without it. A career in data management involves problem solving, logic, and being able to oversee a database. Similar to PB&J, a passion for technology and data are the perfect pair.
  • Robotics Engineer – We may be a little biased, but working with robots might be one of the coolest STEM career paths. As a robotics engineer, you will ideate, design, test, and build bots that serve a wide variety of purposes. Who knows, with hard work and a love for STEM your kid could  be the next great Sphero robotics engineer!
  • Cybersecurity analyst – The cybersecurity industry is constantly changing and always creating new online obstacles. A cybersecurity analyst makes sure that there are no online threats that could potentially breach any business. This STEM job is in high demand and could be an ideal career path. 

Engineering 

  • Aerospace engineer- In this STEM career, the sky’s the limit! Literally. From Earth to Mars aerospace engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites. If you are searching for a STEM career that is out of this world, this might just be the career path to follow.
  • Industrial engineer – This type of engineer is responsible for designing and changing how other processes are done to increase safety and productivity. It is one of the fastest-growing types of engineering and is STEMtacular!
  • Gaming engineer – Level up with a career as a gaming engineer. This career can take your passion for gaming to new heights. Now, think of your kid’s favorite video game. Odds are a gaming engineer who created and developed it. If gaming and STEM are your child’s passion, this job may be a great fit.
  • Music recording engineer – Hit a high note in your STEM career as a music recording engineer. These engineers set up and operate recording equipment and are also responsible for modifying and producing music.

Math 

  • Statistician – Numbers are the focus of this STEM career path. As a statistician, you will interpret data and draw conclusions. This could be the perfect STEM job solution if you’re great at crunching numbers.
  • Mathematician – A mathematician is never “average” (math pun). This STEM career is an amazing choice for all math lovers. In this profession, you have the opportunity to extend your math knowledge into many different fields. This job works parallel with STEM and angles toward a bright future.

The list of careers and interesting, fun jobs in STEM goes on and on. These are just a handful, and we know all the future creators and makers have so much to offer when moving into the professional world.

Make a list of your top 5 careers from this list  

 

Source: https://sphero.com/blogs/news/stem-careers?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=17+Unique+STEM+Career+Ideas+for+Kids&utm_campaign=17+STEM+Career+Ideas+for+Kids+%2B+BTS

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by creating an “I Have A Dream” mobile

“I Have a Dream” is a public speech that was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States.

To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , this post is challenging you to dream as well.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • drawing paper
  • hole punch
  • string
  • hanger
  • tape
  • You will need 5 clouds, either drawn by you or you can print one from this link.

Directions:

  • On each cloud, draw a dream you have for your family, school, community, country, or world.
  • Write a caption under each drawing.
  • On the back of each cloud, write one thing you can do to make your dream a reality.
  • Hole punch the top of your cloud.
  • Tie a string to each cloud.
  • Hang each cloud from your hanger.
  • Cut out and attach with tape two larger clouds to cover each side of the hanger and write I Have A Dream on the front.

Challenge: Figure out a way to make your mobile move!

Either bring your creation to school to show your EY Coordinator, or take a picture of your creation and email to your EY Coordinator.

 

Facts about snow, then make your own snowflake!

FACTS ABOUT SNOW!

Did you know that snowflakes come in all sizes?

The average snowflake ranges from a size slightly smaller than a penny to the width of a human hair. But according to some unverified sources they can grow much larger. Witnesses of a snowstorm in Fort Keogh, Montana in 1887 claimed to see milk-pan sized crystals fall from the sky. If true that would make them the largest snowflakes ever spotted, at around 15 inches wide.

Did you know that snow falls at 1 to 6 feet per second?

At least in the case of snowflakes with broad structures, which act as parachutes. Snow that falls in the form of pellets travels to Earth at a much faster rate.

Did you know that a little water can add up to a lot of snow?

The air doesn’t need to be super moist to produce impressive amounts of snow. Unlike plain rainfall, a bank of fluffy snow contains lots of air that adds to its bulk. That’s why what would have been an inch of rain in the summer equals about 10 inches of snow in the colder months.

Did you know that the snowiest city on Earth is in Japan?

Aomori City in northern Japan receives more snowfall than any major city on the planet. Each year citizens are pummeled with 312 inches, or about 26 feet, of snow on average.

Finally, did you know that snowflakes aren’t always unique?

Snow crystals usually form unique patterns, but there’s at least one instance of identical snowflakes in the record books. In 1988, two snowflakes collected from a Wisconsin storm were confirmed to be twins at an atmospheric research center in Colorado.

Now that you’ve learned all kinds of facts about snow, let’s use the “A” in “STEAM” to make some snowflakes! Watch the video tutorial below and then try to make your own!

Make a Water Glass Xylophone

Musical glasses are a fun way to combine art, math, music and science.

Gather the materials you need:

8 identical water glasses

water

a set of measuring cups

food coloring (optional)

1 plastic spoon

1 sheet of paper

Tape

pen/pencil

As you create this experiment. Take pictures of all of your steps.

Steps:

  1. Use a measuring cup to fill each of the glasses with the correct amount of water. Use the image below as a guide.
  2. For fun, you can add a drop of food coloring to your glasses or two drops to make green, orange, or purple.

3.  Label your glasses.  Use the image below as a guide.

4. With a plastic spoon, gently tap each glass and listen for the sound it makes.

5. Notice which glass makes a lower sound and a higher sound.

6. Try playing these simple songs or create your own.

7. What else can you do with musical water glasses? Respond to this post with your ideas.

 

The SCIENCE behind the music

The science of sound is all about vibrations. When you hit the bottle with the spoon, the glass vibrates, and it’s these vibrations that ultimately make the sound. You discovered that tapping an empty bottle produced a higher-pitched sound than tapping a bottle full of water did. Adding water to the bottle dampens the vibrations created by striking the glass with a spoon. The less water in the bottle, the faster the glass vibrates and the higher the pitch. The more water you add to the bottle, the slower the glass vibrates, creating a lower pitch.

 

 

Activity adapted from Musical Water Glasses at https://www.connectionsacademy.com/resources/instructographics/music-water-glasses and https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/pop-bottle-sounds/

 

 

#71: 2020 Olympic Medals

80,000 tons of mobile phones and small electronic devices around Japan, which will be used in the crafting of every gold, silver and bronze Olympic and Paralympic medal awarded to athletes at the 2020 Olympic Games.
How can you spend your Math Minutes?

Image Source: https://www.pdclipart.org/

Create slime-tasic-fun! 

Making slime is a fun way to study science. Print out the Science Guide and the My Slime Recipe Book to use while you are learning about slime science.

 Science Guide

My SLIMEBOOK

 

The SLIMEBOOK  is 2 page document. Print double sided and cut it in half and staple or glue it together to make a 6 page booklet with 3 slime recipes and a short explanation regarding polymer

Ideas for this lesson are adapted from lessons written by Science Mom. You can find more of her lessons at YouTube.

Coding Challenges

The Hour of Code is celebrated the week of Dec 3-9th.

Look over these fun project ideas and write some lines of code to celebrate the Hour of Code any day of  the year. As you are looking at the resources, make sure to check out the coding badges that you can earn.

Scratch Jr

This app is in Self Service. With this app, you can create a game that reviews any of the ideas you have done in science.  When you are done, share your game with your class.

Watch these instructions for how to make some pages in scratch.

Are you working on badges? Link to scratch badge information.

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Cargo Bot

This app is in self service and is a fun way to learn the basics of
coding and it will help you strengthen your problem solving as well.
Here is a tutorial from YouTube that shows you how to play.

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Hour of Code Challenges

These challenges are found online. Go to code.org to sign up with Goggle to get started.

Are you working on badges? Link to Hour of Code badge information.

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Bitsbox

(app development)

This coding resource is accessed online. To get started, kids login at bitsbox.com with his/her Google account. There is a star in the top right hand corner to tap to get started.

Here is a link to a few free coding projects provided by Bitsbox.

Are you working on badges? Link to Bitsbox badge information.

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Swift Playground

This app is in Self Service.

You will sign on using your Google information.

Start with learn to Code 1.

Are you working on badges? Link to Swift Playground badge information.

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Tynker

This app is in Self Service.

Your teacher needs to have an account and he/she will give you a code to sign in.

  • Go to https://www.tynker.com
  • Log in to Tynker with your Google information
  • Enter the class code when prompted
  • Contact the EY coordinator in your building if you need help.

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National STEM/STEAM Day

NATIONAL S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. DAY is celebrated on November 8, but you can create STEM and ART all year long!

Check out a few of these STEM/STEAM related experiments that you can do to celebrate the national day dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Secret Agent Ink

Magic Tie-Dyed Milk

Striped Holiday Tower

Slime Monster

 

1. Choose the one that is most interesting to you

2. Collect the materials you need. Contact the EY coordinator in your building via email if you need help with this step.

3. Take pictures from your experiment

4. Create a one paragraph summary about your project

5. Submit your work to your teacher the EY coordinator in your building.

**********ALERT************

Completing one of these experiments, taking a few pictures, and a writing a summary of your project will allow for you to earn the DYI Superstar Badge. Check it out on the digital badge page

 

Post adapted from https://projectmc2.mgae.com/#/experiments

 

#65 What’s a smartphones made of?

Everyone seems to have one and my 7th grader is sure he’s the only middle schooler without one!  What is it?  A smartphone!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

 

image taken from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Smartphone_icon.svg

#63: KenKen

Can you KenKen®?

https://www.kenkenpuzzle.com/

Watch this tutorial and/or this tutorial to see how to play.  If you’d rather read the instructions, look below.  When you’re finished, print out the puzzles and try to KenKen®!  Turn in your completed puzzles to your teacher or EY Coordinator.

  • The goal of KenKen® is to fill the whole grid with numbers, making sure no number is repeated in any row or column.
  • If it’s a 3×3 puzzle, you only use the numbers 1-3.  If it’s a 4×4 puzzle, you only use the numbers 1-4.
  • The “cages” are outlined in dark black.  The top left corner of each cage has a “target number” and a math operation (+ – x /).  The numbers you put in the cage have to make the target number.
  • Sometimes a cage is one square in which case, it’s a freebie.

Click here for a 4×4 Puzzle

Click here for a 6×6 Puzzle