EDUCATE Fun Summer STEM At-Home Activities


It is summertime and the kids are home. Yay! But how do you keep them busy and prevent summer learning loss? EDUCATE has sleuthed out fun, weekly, at-home STEM activities to keep your children’s minds active and encourage them to keep curious throughout the summer months.

EDUCATE WebEDUCATE is one of the centers of the iBIO Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. EDUCATE delivers industry-led science and math programs for teachers and students. EDUCATE’s hands-on, inquiry-based STEM programs have impacted over 900 teachers and 70,000 Illinois students since 2003. To learn more about our programing, visit or follow us on Twitter @ibioeducate.

Have you ever tried to cut an ice cube in half? Think it’s not possible? Think again as this week we use some fishing line to slice right through an ice cube, making a perfect cut! Don’t believe me? Try it yourself by following these instructions from Steve Spangler Science. (Bonus activities! This link also takes you to four more bonus experiments using nothing more than materials in your kitchen to explore a wide range of properties of ice and water. Check it out!)


You don’t need to spend a lot of money on science supplies. Heck, with these, all you need to do is turn on the water faucet!

ED1Okay, ice is water, right?  How do ice skaters glide across the ice so smoothly and quickly?  It’s all about the science.  Get out a dinner plate and put a large glass on it, upside down.  Put an ice cube on the glass.

Cut about 6 inches of fishing line and tie a small weight on each end.  The weights do not have to be heavy, but they do have to exert a small pull on the line.  I used pumpkin earrings. No, I am not Luna Lovegood, but wouldn’t it be cool if I were?  Then again, you’re not really sure, are you?  “Oh, it’s all good fun.”

Lay the line on top of the ice cube with the weights dangling down on opposite sides.  Wait about five minutes; it won’t take long before the fishing line is slicing through the ice cube.  What’s happening here?

It’s the force of the two weights that is causing the fishing line to slice right through the ice cube.  The fishing line is being pulled through the ice and melting the ice along the way, just as ice skates pull through the ice, melting it on their path.  This allows the skater to go fast, and it makes the journey smooth.  Skaters are actually gliding on melted ice, and their moving skates are what is making the ice melt!

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