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Warm up with hands-on science and engineering! Match winter's cold weather, snow, and ice with these free lessons and activities for engaging hands-on STEM.

Polar bear, Christmas candle carousel, and winter-themed crystals to represent winter science activities and lessons

STEM Activities to Bring Winter Themes to Science Class

  1. 1. Make Foamy Snow

    In the Foaming Fake Snow activity, students use baking soda and water to make fake snow they can then use to make snow people or other small sculptures. Like real snow, the fake snow won't last. What happens when they pour vinegar over a "snow" creation? Be sure and snap photos of the sculptures before they melt!


  2. 2. Detect Static Electricity with a Homemade Electroscope

    The zap of static electricity is especially common in the winter. In the Measure Static Electricity With An Electroscope! activity, students find out why by making and using a simple electroscope—a device that detects electric charges—to explore static electricity.


  3. 3. Make a Candle Carousel

    In the Take a Candle Carousel for a Spin project, students make their own candle carousel with an aluminum pie pan and then experiment to see how the number of candles relates to how fast the carousel spins.

    A candle carousel made from aluminum pie pans and candles

  4. 4. How Animals Stay Warm

    How do animals like polar bears and penguins in Antarctica stay warm in the winter? In the How Do Arctic Animals Stay Warm? activity, students learn about thermal insulation and the different layers of an animal's "winter coat."

    Polar bear on ice


  5. 5. Make a Ski Lift

    In the Hit the Slopes: Build Your Own Ski Lift engineering design project, students construct their own mini ski lift and explore the physics behind how a pulley works.


  6. 6. Grow Crystals in Fun Shapes

    In the How to Grow the Best Crystals activity, students grow crystals using Borax and water and investigate the role temperature plays in the process. For a creative wintry spin, kids can grow their crystals in winter-themed shapes.

    Homemade crystals in winter shapes like a wreath, snowflake, and candy cane

  7. 7. Make a Custom Night Light

    The sun sets early during winter months. In the Make a Night-Light electronics activity, students set up the circuit and then design and build a custom night-light.

    A homemade nightlight with a ladybug design

  8. 8. Make a Homemade Thermometer

    In the Make a Thermometer to Study the Temperature lesson, students make a simple thermometer they can use to observe differences in temperature at different times of the day. These thermometers can be used as part of a larger classroom weather station, too, for a comprehensive weather unit. An activity version is also available for informal or home use.


  9. 9. Homemade Marshmallows

    Hot cocoa is a classic treat after being outdoors on a really cold day. In the Make Your Own Marshmallows activity, students make their own marshmallows and experiment to see how changes to the recipe alter the size and texture of the marshmallows. For a different spin on marshmallow science, see the Puffing Up Marshmallows activity.

    A large homemade marshmallow ready to be cut into pieces

  10. 10. Colorful Patterns in Melting Ice

    In the Colorful Patterns in Melting Ice activity, students observe how the patterns created in melting ice differ when salt or salt water is added. With a bit of food coloring, this simple science activity can be mesmerizing to watch.


  11. 11. Slippery Slopes

    What does the slope of a snow-covered mountain have to do with an avalanche? In the Slippery Slopes and the Angle of Repose activity, students model small avalanches and explore how the angle of repose varies for different materials.


  12. 12. An Ice Cube "Magic" Trick

    In the Use Chemistry to Lift Ice Cubes activity, students learn about freezing point depression and see how a bit of salt can make it possible to lift ice cubes with just a piece of yarn.


  13. 13. Stay Warm with Thermal Insulation

    In the Stay warm with thermal insulation activity, students experiment to see how thermal insulation works in our jackets and clothes to help keep us warm.

    Jar with a knitted wrap around it for thermal insulation activity

  14. 14. An Ice Cube "Magic" Trick

    In the Use Chemistry to Lift Ice Cubes activity, students learn about freezing point depression and see how a bit of salt can make it possible to lift ice cubes with just a piece of yarn.


  15. 15. Maple Candy

    When it comes to winter treats, maple is a popular flavor. In the Maple Syrup Candy activity, students make their own maple flavored candy from real maple syrup. What does the temperature of the maple syrup have to do with the kind of candy you make?

    Two stacks of maple candy

  16. 16. The Winter Season

    If you teach about seasons during winter months, these lessons help younger students get a hands-on understanding of the characteristics and changes that go along with the seasons: Birthday Season Weather Report and What Season Is This?. Also, in the The Reasons for the Seasons project, students use graph paper and a flashlight to investigate the role the tilt of the Earth plays in creating the seasons.

    Tree showing how it looks in all four seasons

Thematic Collections

Collections like this help educators find themed activities in a specific subject area or discover activities and lessons that meet a curriculum need. We hope these collections make it convenient for teachers to browse related lessons and activities. For other collections, see the Teaching Science Units and Thematic Collections lists. We encourage you to browse the complete STEM Activities for Kids and Lesson Plans areas, too. Filters are available to help you narrow your search.



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