STEM Connections are all around us.
From starting our day – the way breakfast foods fuel our bodies to the mapping of our school bus route and of course the way our heart, lungs, and muscles work together during physical activity to the neuroscience proving that movement increases focus and problem-solving skills.
PowerUp the STEM connections with these fun movement-based games that integrate math, statistics, charting, biomes, and habitats!
PowerUp Fitness offers evidence based-physical activity programs for before & afterschool, PE, summer camps and more! PowerUp programs are designed to provide children with the opportunity to become more active, physically and mentally. Use our bundle finder to find the best PowerUp bundle for your organization.
Guess The Steps
Prep: Participants will measure the distance between point A and point B with different types of steps, jumps, and exercises. Before the activity, establish the measurable space, point A and point B, within the activity space. For example, sideline to sideline in a gym or from a bathroom door to a water fountain in a hallway.
To play: Ask participants to estimate the number of heel-to-toe steps it will take to get from point A to point B. Remind participants it’s their own unique unit of measure, our feet are all different sizes! Once estimates are made, students start at point A and begin stepping one foot in front of the other (heel to toe, heel to toe) counting each step until they reach point B.
After measurements are completed:
Ask if they overestimated or underestimated.
Calculate Residual (Number of Actual Steps minus Number of Estimated Steps)
Visually plot their Residuals on the number line (How far off they were from 0)
Take it a Step Further
(See what we did there, ha!) Create a class chart - have students plot their estimate vs actual measurements. As a group, look for trendlines and standard error of the estimate.
Try other exercises like long jumps vs bunny hops, lunges, frog jumps, etc. Calculate the class average for each type of measurement (heel-to-toe steps, long jumps, bunny hops, frog jumps). Create a bar graph with one bar for each type of jump.
Small Space Option
Instead of measuring distances, calculate rate. For example, have students estimate the number of jumping jacks they can do in a certain amount of time, i.e, 30 seconds. Number line, over/underestimating, estimated vs actual STEM connections can all still be applied.
Science Explorers (for ages 3-8)
Prep: Participants will use movement to act out animals, weather patterns, and characteristics of specific habitats or biomes. Seven major biomes include: Tropical Rainforest, Temperate Forest, Desert, Tundra, Taiga (Boreal Forest), Grassland, Savanna or for younger participants, common habitats: Jungle, Desert, Mountains, Ocean. Children are running through the 'jungle' or other setting and pretend to be animals or carryout actions related to that habitat.
To play: The instructor calls out appropriate commands, and the children carry out actions: jump over logs, duck under branches, swim past a shark, dive into the deep, high knees through quicksand, run from the tiger, tip toe past the snake, talk to the monkeys (ooh, ooh, aah, aah), swing through the jungle like Tarzan, climb a tree, etc.
Did you enjoy these activities? For 100’s of activities, games, and exercises aligned with academics shop our PowerUp programs!
Download the printable pdf version of PowerUp's PowerUp with STEM below.
PowerUp Fitness is an Advocate Member of the National Afterschool Association and a proud partner of Active Schools.