At the middle school level, kids aren’t just focusing on demonstrations anymore. Middle school science needs application for the real world and should also include multiple STEM disciplines.
These fall STEM activities for middle school can all provide that base and also are fun!
Many of these middle school STEM projects can be aligned with NGS standards, which is perfect for middle school science teachers or after-school STEM clubs.
Pick a few favorites and get to saving the world!
NGSS Alignment for Fall Middle School STEM
The NGSS catagories are broad and can be illustrated and included in a variety of ways.
At the middle school level, there is a lot of focus on engineering and design with every STEM activity, as well as a potential for a real-world or problem-solving connection.
Not every STEM activity that you do in the classroom is *required* to have a NGSS component, but it’s always a bonus when they do, because there are only so many hours in the day!
These middle school fall STEM activities align with some of these NGSS units:
- MS.Engineering Design
- MS.Weather and Climate
- MS.Structure and Properties of Matter
- MS.Chemical Reactions
- MS.Forces and Interactions
Find more NGSS experiments for middle school here!
What Should a Middle School STEM Challenge Include?
Middle school STEM challenges need to include multiple elements of the STEM topics (ideally all five).
It’s pretty easy to do at the middle school level. Just let the kids use their existing knowledge to complete the STEM challenges.
If you need help with how to do that, some of the experiments on this list include detailed worksheets and guides to make setting up easier in the classroom environment.
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How to Do Middle School STEM Activities in a Group Setting
The key to making any project work at the middle school level is organization. Make sure you have all the supplies set up in advance before starting any project.
It also helps to explain the rules and the concept before handing out any supplies to avoid misuse of supplies.
This year, kids will be required to use their own supplies, so stick to middle school STEM challenges that can be done individaully or through a single demonstration that you conduct for the class and they record their data findings.
10+ Fall STEM Challenges for Middle School
Try these middle school-approved fall STEM challenges.
Explore Chromatography with Leaves
Chromatography is an interesting part of chemistry because it is used to help scientists determine what something is. In science, you can’t just “know” that something is. You can assume, or you can prove it!
Make a Pumpkin Volcano
In the pumpkin volcano experiment middle schoolers can learn about chemical reactions and states of matter.
Explore how a chemical reaction could be used for positive reasons in the world and how they can be misused.
Explore Density with a Pumpkin
Density is an interesting scientific concept that middle schoolers can realyl dig into. To understand density fully, you must understand the math behind the concept.
Get the pumpkin density experiment directions.
Make Your Own Crystals
There is a lot that middle schoolers can learn making crystals. By a crystal’s hardness and shape, you can learn how to catagorize the mineral, and also find out more about how it is bonded on a molecular level.
Try the salt crystal feather experiment!
Explore Molecular Bonds with Slime
Even midde schoolers love making slime every now and then. Learn how to make fall slime but really dive into the science of slime formation. What are some ways that slime is used in the eal world?
Pumpkin Brush Bot
Practice circuits and electrical engineering by making a pumpkin brush bot. Get the directions here.
Candy Corn Catapult
Make a candy corn catapult and learn about the math behind catapults. How does changing angles and force change how the candies move? Get the directions here.
Can you turn a pumpkin into a battery? Get the directions here.
Apple Engineering Activities
These apple engineering challenges are perfect for middle schoolers. Get the directions here.
Harvest Moon Exploration
Learn all about the moon during the fall season at the middle school level. Several moon-themed projects that are fun for middle school students. Get the directions.