Can you believe it’s already pumpkin season?
That’s right, October is in full swing and that means Halloween STEM and other fun fall themes like pumpkins and more!
Try these NGSS-aligned hands-on October STEM activities with your classroom or kiddos at home this year!
We love to find new back to school STEM activities, but sometimes, it’s nicer to have activities you can print out and use without having to spend hours searching, like in our October STEAM activity set.
For October I’ve collected some of my kids’ favorite gross science experiments that have a fun STEM twist.
Also, not everything is Halloween in this list, for that, you’ll want to check out our list of Halloween science experiments!
These STEM activities for kids have themes including pumpkins, Halloween, spooky science, life cycles, and more!
STEM Activities for October that Make Science Spooky and Fun
Even though these are mostly aimed at an elementary age group (1st through fifth grade), my middle schooler (8th grade!) still loves doing these STEAM activities.
So if you teach middle school, don’t be afraid to try these with your class, just adapting the science to be a bit more in depth!
If you need help getting started with STEM at home, make sure you download our guide to getting started with STEM at home.
Get the October STEAM Challenge Cards!
These free STEAM challenges have fun October themes that elementary kids will love using to harness STEM thinking skills while having fun with spooky Halloween and October themes.
And best of all, most of these October STEM projects have a NGSS alignment, which means you can use them in the classroom!
You can also use these cards at home for homeschooling or just to give your kids some extra science fun when school is out or on the weekends!
October STEM Activities that Kids Will Love!
This collection of October STEAM activities are some of our favorites!
Some projects are easy to set up, most have an NGSS alignment, which teachers love, and the hands-on concepts are super fun for kids!
There’s a link to the instructions for some of these activities below, and you can download the October STEM challenges prompt cards, or the full challenge set which comes with printable instructions!
Make salt crystal bats
Who doesn’t love bats at Halloween?
This salt crystal version is a super fun science project that teaches kids about ionic bonds and crystal formation.
Explore chemical reactions inside a pumpkin
Who doesn’t love learning about what’s inside a pumpkin?
This fun twist brings a bit of chemical reaction science to the experience and is a fun way to introduce the concept of chemical reactions to kids.
Build structures with toothpicks and Halloween candy
Engineering and the engineering process are important concepts in NGSS lessons. Bring NGSS engineering concepts to life when you use candy and toothpicks to create structures!
You can adapt this activity to suit almost any age group in elementary school, and even middle school!
Make a Jello brain
If you’ve never tried this low-prep science experiment with your class before, this is the year to try it!
Use Jello to create a jiggling brain and learn about states of matter and how things can change when heated or cooled.
You can also follow these instructions for a Jello brain if you don’t have a mold!
Turn a Jack-o-lantern into a geoboard
Did you know that a pumpkin can make a fun geoboard? Follow along with these directions to find out how to transform a pumpkin into a math tool.
Explore fractions with Halloween candy
This is a fun math activity that gives kids a reason to have candy!
Explore frations with Halloween candy, either by breaking apart big pieces of candy or by separating pieces of candy into groups!
Learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin
All pumpkins follow the same pattern as other living things, including birth, growth, reproduction, and death. Learn about the commonalities in life cycles by tracking the life cycle of a pumpkin.
Find out how long it takes a Jack-o-lantern to rot
Once a pumpkin is cut, bacteria and mold grow much faster. Rather than throw away your Jack-o-lantern after Halloween, put it in a garden and see how long it takes to rot and what happens as it decomposes.
For complete directions and worksheets for these activities, download the October STEAM pack here!
More Halloween Activities for Elementary