We’re big fans of STEM activities and love trying STEM projects for elementary, STEM activities for kindergarten and everything in between. But when kids go back to school and the air starts to cool, it’s fall STEM activities that we’re interested in trying. This year, I created some fun fall STEM challenges that you can print out and use to make your STEM learning fall-themed!
These fall STEM projects will delight kids of all ages, but are particularly designed for kids in elementary school.
Each easy STEM challenge for fall can be adapted to suit the learning needs and interest level of kids between the ages of 5 and 12.
When we put our fall STEM challenge cards into a jar and selected one at random to try, we pulled out the fall lava lamp card!
Low Prep Fall STEM Challenges for Elementary
These printable fall STEM challenge cards are completely free, and so easy to use! Just download the file, print out the cards onto cardstock paper, laminate the cards if you wish, and put them in a jar!
When you’re ready to try a new challenge, pull out a card and use it as inspiration for your fall STEM learning.
What Supplies to Buy for Your STEM Lab
You’ll find a list of essential supplies for your fall STEM projects below. This post contains affiliate links.
When you purchase through one of my links, I may earn a small commission on the sale.
If you love science and STEM but don’t like hunting for supplies, we love the Mel Science kits. They have options for elementary and middle school, and each kit comes with all the supplies needed for each experiment!
Bassion 210 Pcs Assorted Mixed Fall Colored Artificial Maple Leaves for Weddings, Events and DecoratingThe Mason Jar Scientist: 30 Jarring STEAM-Based ProjectsMagnifying Glass 3X Handheld Reading Magnifier – 100MM Large Magnifying Lens with Non-slip Soft Handle for Book Newspaper Reading, Insect and Hobby Observation, Classroom ScienceBe Amazing Toys Big Bag Of Science +70 Activities12 Ball Mason Jar with Lid – Regular Mouth – 16 oz by Jarden
After your download your cards, print them onto cardstock paper (laminate them for greater durability) cut them apart, and store in a jar!
When you’re ready to try a new STEM challenge, pull out a card and complete the challenge!
Lava Lamp Science Explanation
Alka-Seltzer contains baking soda and citric acid.
When the tablet hits the water, a chemical reaction between the acid in the citric acid and the base in the baking soda causes carbon dioxide gas to form.
When this happens, the gas makes small bubbles in the water that rise to the surface of the jar because gas is lighter than water and oil.
But as the gas rises, it takes a small amount of the colored water with it, creating a lava-like effect as the bubbles travel through the oil layer, which slows their movement.
You can learn quite a bit with a lava lamp science project!
How to Make a Fall-Themed Lava Lamp
For our fall STEM project we pulled out the lava lamp card.
For this project, we used vegetable oil, water, orange food coloring, a mason jar, and Alka-Seltzer tablets.
Fill the jar about 1/4 of the way with water and dye it orange.
Fill the jar the rest of the way with vegetable oil.
Drop in an Alka-Seltzer tab and watch the science happen!