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Groovy and Simple Water Experiments for STEMists

Do your STEMists realize that water isn’t just for drinking, bathing, or swimming in? Water has a multitude of uses and your STEMists can have fun learning about water with these educational experiments designed with fun in mind!

Groovy and Simple Water Experiments for STEMists

Make a Rain Gauge

Afternoon rain showers are common during the summer months in many regions.  Your STEMists can have fun learning about rain accumulation by making their own rain gauge to measure how much rain has fallen during one rain shower or over a period of time.

Supplies you will need:

  • 1 plastic 2 liter water bottle
  • 1 pair of scissors or razor (parents or teachers should do this part)
  • A few stones, pebbles or sand
  • 1 Permanent Marker
  • A ruler
  • Tape

First, uncap your water bottle then cut the top off where the wall of the bottle is straight.  Place sand/stones in the bottom to cover the ‘legs’ of the bottle.  Next, turn the top bottle piece upside down and place it into the bottle which will act as a funnel; it’s best to tape the funnel to the outside lip of the bottle. Then, tape a ruler on the side of the bottle for measuring – the zero measurement should meet the sand/stone level. Pour water into the bottle and fill to the zero measurement level. Your STEMists’ rain gauge is now ready to collect and measure rain water.

Ask your STEMists to provide your family a daily weather or storm report. And, for more fun, STEMists can line the funnel with a coffee filter and use a microscope to observe what the rain water leaves behind!

Give a Hoot. Don’t Pollute!

STEMists learn the challenge of cleaning polluted water in this experiment. First, pour 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a bucket of clean water. The oil acts as a toxic oil spill.  Next, ask your STEMists to dump some household trash into the bucket.  Used food wrappers, old chip bags, food scraps, banana peel, newspaper, old coffee grounds, etc. will provide you with a good pollution base.  Leave your water stand still for at least an hour.  Once you are satisfied with your polluted water, ask your STEMists to use tongs to remove the trash from the water.   A strainer also is a good tool for scooping out trash.  Your STEMists will learn a significant lesson when they realize that not all the pollution could be removed from the water.  You can discuss how land and water animals are affected by the pollutants in lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans.

These STEMist activities are sure to keep curious young minds busy.  Check out our water-themed “Keep On Turning” box for tons of groovy STEM Fun!

3 STEM Activities To Light Up Your Summer Nights

Dark and eerie nights can be turned into cool summertime memories for your STEMists with glow-in-the-dark activities.  To add an educational spark and light up their summer nights, check out these 3 glow-in-the-dark activities that you and your STEMists can create at home:


Blazing Bubbles

Bubbles are fun for everyone, especially when they glow in the dark!

Materials you will need:

  • Bubble solution (store-bought, or make your own solution by mixing ½ cup dishwashing liquid, with 4 ½ cups of water and two tablespoons of glycerin).
  • Washable glow paint (can be found at any craft store)

To make your glow-in-the-dark bubbles, mix the bubble solution with the glow solution.  Start with a 50/50 mix; you may have to adjust this measure depending on the strength of your solutions to obtain the glow you desire.  Also note the glow-in-the-dark solution requires exposure to bright light before your bubbles will glow.  Groovy Lab in a Box recommends planning as an outdoor activity for easy clean-up.  STEMists will have fun chasing and dancing amongst the luminescent bubbles under a dark summer star-studded night sky.

Fun with Duct Tape

STEMists can experience triboluminescence, which is light triggered by mechanical energy or a mechanical action, such as friction with duct tape. This luminating experiment is perfect for a summertime sleepover. Press two pieces of duct tape, sticky sides together, and then turn out the lights. Wait until your eyes have adjusted to the darkness of the room before you quickly pull apart the two pieces of tape.  What will your STEMists witness?  They should see a streak of blue when the tapes separate.  Transparent Scotch™ tape works as well.  Results may vary with different brands and types of tape used.

At-home Cosmic Bowling

STEMists compete to see who can knock down the most pins in this nighttime cosmic-colored activity.  You can make the bowling pins yourself with water bottles and glow-sticks.

Materials you will need:

  • 10 glow sticks
  • 10 water bottles
  • 1 small-sized basketball

Your STEMists might have as much fun creating the game as they do playing it!  First, peel the labels from the water bottles and then remove enough water to leave approximately one inch of space from the top.  Next, open the glow-stick packaging and crack your glow-sticks (follow packaging instructions for cracking).  Then, add one glowing stick (the thicker the diameter, the better) to each water bottle and recap.  Set-up your glow-in-the-dark bowling game in a clear indoor hallway, or on a patio, driveway or clear patch of low-cut grass.  Cosmic bowling also works well at a nighttime beach or pool party. Don’t forget the pencil and paper to keep score (although, the true winner of this game is you for providing a unique night-to-remember idea for your STEMists)!

If you are looking for more ways to keep your STEMists entertained this summer, check out Groovy Lab in a Box There is no better way to educate your STEMist than to keep their minds working to create, design and solve, through the engineering design process and STEM-related activities.

5 STEM-Related Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July


Fourth of July is one of the best holidays for STEMists to get engaged in celebration preparation and super groovy activities.  From yummy recipes and STEM-related activities, to watching the night sky light up with fireworks, the STEMist in you and your children is bound to show up for America’s big celebration!  Here are 5 ideas to get you started:

Layered Patriotic Drinks

It’s all about the density of sugar in this celebratory drink.  The trick to the layering is to remember that the more sugar content, the heavier the liquid. First, pour Hawaiian Punch, Fruit Juicy Red flavor to fill your glass ¼ full.  Then, carefully add ice cubes to just below the rim.  Now add a white beverage to your drink, pouring slowly over one of the ice cubes, or tip the glass and pour along the inside wall of the glass—SoBe Piña Colada flavor works well for this task.  Gatorades’ G2 Blueberry-Pomegranate flavor is the perfect topper to complete your patriotic-layered drink.  Add a red, white, and blue straw or favor, and your guests will be thrilled to sip this festive beverage.

Pop-Rock Sprinkle-frosted Cupcakes

Everyone loves a cupcake.  Add an explosion of taste and texture to any cupcake with this Pop-Rock sprinkle frosting. Homemade or store-bought, frost your cupcakes, and add colorful red, white and blue sprinkles, then top it off with a dash of red or blue Pop-Rock candies. Your cakes are sure to add zing to your celebration!  While making these delicious cupcakes, explain to your STEMists the science behind their favorite candy.  Pop-Rocks is hard candy that has been gasified with carbon dioxide under super-atmospheric pressure.  When these gasified sugar granules come in contact with moisture, in someone’s mouth or in a drink, the candy dissolves, and the gas retained inside the carbon dioxide bubbles is released, causing the characteristic crackling and fizzing sounds.

Rocket Launch

Most STEMists are anxious to launch their own fireworks during Fourth of July celebrations.  Groovy Lab in a Box recommends a safer way to launch objects into the sky—launching rockets!  Decorate and launch your own rocket by using the Parents’ Choice® award-winning Lunar Launch Groovy Lab in a Box. Your STEMists can add red, white and blue streamers, or glitter to their rocket to commemorate the Fourth of July.  Or, inflate a white balloon, and use a red and blue Sharpie to decorate it. Then, tie the balloon to your rocket with double thread, fishing line, or light-weight string, and launch it high in the sky. Note the difference in speed with the added weight of a balloon.

Patriotic Getaway

Capture the patriotic pride that comes from being American with a visit to our Nation’s Capitol during the Fourth of July holiday.  This is one of the best times to visit Washington D.C. , and your STEMists will learn all about the great leaders in history who helped shape our country.  Don’t miss the Independence Day Parade along Constitution Avenue and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Plus, listen to a Capitol Fourth Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.  End your visit with a viewing of the fabulous fireworks display at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, illuminating the sky behind the Washington Monument!

Whether you host your own small gathering or hit the road for a patriotic family weekend getaway, Groovy Lab in a Box hopes you have a chance to celebrate Independence Day in a big STEMist way!

Our Lab Notebooks Are Groovy!

Groovy Lab in a Box lab notebook

Every month, STEMists receive a Lab Notebook in their subscription box. Many lab notebooks are just a set of directions, but not ours.

Our Lab Notebooks are truly groovy!

Sure, our Lab Notebook has directions. STEMists will follow the Lab Notebook’s step-by-step directions for the investigations. However, for that month’s Engineering Design Challenge, the Lab Notebook does not have any directions. Not a one! Instead, children have to apply what they learned from that month’s investigations and use this knowledge to create their engineering design challenge project.

What’s in our Lab Notebook?

Groovy Lab in a Box Lab Notebook

That’s the groovy part of our Lab Notebooks. Just like an artist pours everything in her sketchbook, the Lab Notebook is where children will pour everything they are learning from that month’s STEM-related activities and engineering design challenge. The Lab Notebook is the place where STEMists will take notes, draw pictures, redesign their engineering projects and apply their critical thinking skills. It contains every aspect of their learning experience – something they can refer to again and again for enrichment and fun.

Lab notebooks are meant to be groovy, and we wouldn’t have ours be any other way!

Ready to check out our Lab Notebook? Start your subscription today, or check out our Single Box Order options.

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