21 First Day of School STEM Activities


It’s that time again! There is always lots of planning and thought that goes into back to school. Teachers, parents and children alike all wonder about what the first day back will be like for everyone. Add some fun and hands-on learning to this special day, and weeks leading up to it, with this collection of 15 First Day of School STEM Activities.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education introduces children to a world of exciting possibilities. Through hands-on activities, experiments, and interactive learning, children develop problem-solving skills that help them navigate real-world challenges with confidence.

STEM sparks their curiosity, encouraging them to ask questions and explore the wonders of the natural world. By engaging in fun projects, kids learn to think critically and work collaboratively.

The First Day of School STEM activities below include ideas for each STEM subject area and use materials associated with back to school. So dive into this creative collection and make going back to school this year the best one ever!

As you prepare for back to school, get even more ideas with this collection of 35 Best First Day of School Ideas. Once you’re settled in to school and are looking for more STEM activities, check out this collection of Fun Fall STEM Activities for Kids.

First day of school STEM activities shows a collage of STEM images for a Pinterest pin.

First Day of School STEM Activities – Science

Science experiments are a great way to get kids excited about science and school! They tend to be hands-on and a way for children to learn a lot about the materials and world around them. Below are a few science experiments that incorporate the back to school theme.

What kid wouldn’t love some crayon slime to celebrate back to school? This is so easy to make and it’s a great way to get kids involved as they make the slime and excited for back to school. Slime is a great sensory activity and science experiment!

Apples tend be everywhere on the first day of school. On the teachers desk and as decoration throughout the classroom. Create an apple shaped puck made from baking soda and get kids excited about science on the first day with this fizzing apple science experiment.

Kid love using dry eraser markers. Have them print some letters, or draw a few pictures, to explore this fun classroom supply. Then add some water and learn how to make letters float with this floating dry erase marker experiment!

Bending Pencil Experiment

Grab those pencils off the desks for a quick and easy science experiment. All you need is a clear cup of water and a pencil. This is a great classroom activity to try when you have a few minutes to fill.

If you’re looking for a first day of school STEM activity that will be the highlight of the day, this magic dough experiment is one I do every year! For young children it’s a mix of magic and science!

Use a real apple to create a volcano! Kids will love this explosive experiment!

First Day of School STEM Activities – Engineering

This part of STEM is my favorite! Giving children a STEM challenge is always a hit with kids. They get to build, create and use their imagination. Like most STEM activities there are several possible solutions which give children a chance to explore the materials in their own way. Use simple supplies for these challenges below!

For more STEM challenge ideas for any time of year, visit 45+ STEM challenge ideas for kids.

A fantastic STEM activity to use an icebreaker for back to school class time, this paper chain challenge only needs a sheet of paper!

As the leaves change and everyone gets ready for back to school, a DIY escape room can be a great way for kids to get back to problem solving and thinking critically. Making back to school supplies the final treasure is a fun way to give materials to kids.

Pencils come in handy for more than just writing! Use them for STEM too and engineer a catapult! Use a bunch of your new #2 pencils, a favorite back to school supply, to build a catapult for a quick and effective STEM activity to explore engineering, physics, and math!

A brand new box of markers, crayons, erasers and even rulers. Use these fresh new supplies for a STEM challenge of your choice. Give children, or groups of kids a school supply, or two, and challenge them to create a structure.

first day of school STEM activities shows markers, erasers and pencils.

Apple STEM Challenges

Grab a bunch of apples and challenge children to find a way to stack them.

Explore balance and gravity with two clever science experiments that use apples and forks or pencils. They will show kids that science can be almost like magic!

Use your apples from the last activity to challenge children to create an apple tower.

Keep your toothpicks and apple pieces for another STEM challenge by challenging children to create an apple boat that floats and can hold a weight.

Technology Activities

Children are around technology all the time and it will continue to be a large part of their futures. Try a few technology STEM activities, or related ideas with these projects below for back to school.

Kids can create a virtual tour of their new classroom to foster pride and connections between home and school.

Create amazing things for school fundraisers or STEM project pieces. The possibilities are endless with a 3D printer! Visit 3DClassroom.ca for a 3D calendar idea. Try printing in your school colors and use the pieces for many years.

Although this idea isn’t specifically using technology, it’s too cute not to share. Children, or parents, create a pop up laptop to mark the start of the school year.

Back to School STEM Activities – Math

The first day back to school will likely include some math. Make it fun and classroom themed with these math focused activities below.

Use school supplies for your theme at the beginning of the year with these printable pencil math sheets. Try laminating the pages and using dry erase markers for an easy, fun center for kids.

Create some simple 3d structures with these fun Back to School themed 3d coloring pages. Be sure to grab the school supply freebie!

Kids will love seeing pencils twisted to create familiar numbers. There are countless activities you can do with these printable number matching cards.

Introduce STEM to your students, or your own kids, with a STEM escape room. This DIY game includes a little bit of everything that makes up STEM. Math questions, engineering a hook to remove a key from a jar and much more!

Bonus STEM Idea

Try a STEM scavenger hunt! Kids explore some basic concepts of STEM around the classroom and school.

stem scavenger hunt shows a color and black and white printable scavenger hunt sheet.

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