Get involved with STEAM projects this summer. There are lots of kid-friendly STEAM projects kids can do at a variety of ages. The Weber County Library has many books with ideas, and here is an example of one ready for any age:
THE MAGIC BUTTERFLY
All objects have a center of gravity, which is the point where the object’s weight is even on all sides. Babies learn how to control their center of gravity when they’re learning to sit or walk. If you’re already an expert at both of those challenges, try doing a handstand! This paper butterfly’s center of gravity is naturally in the middle of the butterfly. By adding the washers to the tips of the butterfly’s wings, you move the paper butterfly’s center of gravity closer to its nose. You can even shift your own center of gravity by picking up something heavy or wearing a heavy backpack.
• Two washers or pennies
• Card stock or thin cardboard such as a cereal box
• Markers or crayons to decorate
Cut out the butterfly from the magazine (or the link at the bottom of this page). Fold a sheet of card stock in half and trace the half butterfly on the paper with the body lined up with the folded portion of the paper. Cut out the butterfly and decorate it as you please. Flip it over and glue the washers or pennies to the bottom. Place it on your finger and watch it balance.
You can trick your family by cutting out several butterflies but only adding the weights to yours. Let them try to get their butterfly to balance on their finger like yours does. Just try to keep them from seeing the backside of the butterfly.
MORE STEAM PROJECTS
This idea came from Jane Bull’s book, Crafty Science, which you can check out from the Weber County Library System. If you have a library card, you can sign into your account online, request it, and pick it up at the circulation desk from your nearest branch. There are more than 20 STEAM projects like this you can do at home over the summer in this book, but there are plenty of other books like it if this one is already checked out.