Hands-on STEM Activity Sources

Having a hands-on piece as part of a Teen Science Café can extend the learning, and adds a fun and social element.  A hands-on activities really gets the STEM professional interacting with the teens, providing further opportunity for conversation about how the science works and what makes it what makes it exciting and relevant. Consider using or altering ideas from these websites so the activity matches your Café’s topic.

Do you have additional links to sites that showcase multiple great hands-on activity ideas? We’ll add them to this list! Contact info@TeenScienceCafe.org 

Sites containing STEM activities:

  • The National Science Foundation‘s website is aimed at classroom teachers, their students, and students’ families. Most of these resources come from the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) www.nsdl.org NSDL is the National Science Foundation’s online library of resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.
  • howtosmile.org is an amazing resource bank of hands-on ideas and STEM activities. Check it out today!
  • Conservation Education Materials – Compiled by the Assc. of Zoos and Aquariums, these resources focus on topics of conservation concern and are designed to provide ideas and inspiration for conservation-themed cafés.
  • SCOPE is an organization in St Louis that works to help communities build STEM learning opportunities. They have some fun activities that may seem like they are appropriate for kids, but with the right cafe topic, they could be quite enriching for teens.
  • teachengineering.org is a source of hands on activities on Engineering.
  • RAFT – Resource Area For Teaching
  • Pintrest!
  • Science NetLinks: “In the Summer Science Fun collection, you’ll find, among other resources, five hands-on experiments that can be led by novice adults, utilize common household items, and are adaptable for time, space, and number of participants. The Afterschool section of our website also includes a number of hands-on activities, including Dances with Bees, Geyser Riser, and Balancing Points.”
  • STEM Works
  • Online STEM activities and reference sources posted by California State PTA (.pdf)



Sites on individual or topic-specific hands-on STEM activity ideas: