The high-quality interactive STEM Days on the Go learning experiences are standards-based, model effective teaching practices, and deepen students' understanding of STEAM topics.
STEM Days on the Go Fast Facts
- Provides enriching STEAM experiences to elementary students in SC
- Makes STEAM opportunities available to all students in SC
- Supports teachers in delivering content aligned with the SC science and mathematics curriculum standards and the Next Generation Science Standards
- Delivers inquiry-based learning opportunities for students to explore the fields of STEAM
- Inspires student interest in STEAM and builds student confidence in STEAM fields
STEM Days on the Go STEAM Lessons
“The inspirational things that we see and touch as children are a big part of who we become as adults. Those early experiences, especially the tangible ones, plant the seeds of what is possible in our young minds.”- Bob Brown, GSSM Board of Trustees Chair
Traveling to classrooms across the state of South Carolina, the STEM Days on the Go team provides standards-based, hands-on lessons developed by GSSM curriculum specialists. During their visit, students in grades 3 through 5 will explore and participate in a variety of inquiry-driven activities and projects related to STEAM topics, including engineering, chemistry, color, and electronics. Each lesson lasts approximately one hour and all necessary materials are provided by GSSM. Schools are asked to provide at least one adult chaperone who will remain in the classroom with the instructional team for the duration of the lesson.
Due to high demand and limited staffing, requests from schools located over 2 hours from Hartsville and/or requests for multiple days will be evaluated on a case by case basis and honored when possible. We recommend requests, especially for those requiring extended travel, be submitted as far in advance as possible. Submitting a visit request form is not a guarantee that your request will be honored as submitted, but we will strive to accommodate your school’s needs.
- Discovering Circuits (Gr 3)
Students work in pairs to build several simple circuits and explore electricity using Snap Circuits kits.
- Build-A-Fossil (Gr 3)
Students will use 3-D printing pens to investigate how fossils are formed and how they can be used to study extinct organisms.
- Electric Circuit Greeting Cards (Gr 3-5)
Students explore how electricity moves through a circuit, using different materials to create a card with an LED and functional switch.
- Light & Color (Gr 4)
Students explore the colored components of white light and how colored light differs from pigmented paints.
- Weather in a Jar (Gr 4)
Students will investigate how clouds and precipitation form through hands-on experiments. Please note: this lesson requires access to an in-room water source and drain.
- Caesar Cipher Cryptography (Gr 4-5)
Students explore the idea of encryption and privacy in the age of technology by learning how to make and break codes.
- Biomedical Engineering - Protect that Pill! (Gr 5)
Students reinforce their knowledge of the digestive system and explore the concept of simulation by developing and testing a pill coating that can withstand the churning actions and acidic environment found in the stomach.
- Ecosystem Modeling (Gr 5)
Students investigate ecosystem dynamics by using a game of tag to model the flow of energy between organisms and the impact of limiting factors. An alternative "ecosystem weaving" lesson can be used in the event of inclement weather or to meet accessibility needs.
- Introduction to Friction (Gr 5)
Students will investigate how friction affects objects while learning to measure distances and calculate averages.
- Rockets in Motion (Gr 5)
Students build paper rockets around film canisters "engines" and use chemistry to understand Newton's third law of motion.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a fee to participate in this program?
No, STEM Days on the Go STEAM lessons are offered free to SC schools.
- What grade levels does STEM Days on the Go serve?
STEAM lesson visits offered through STEM Days on the Go are available for students in grades 3 through 5. Not every lesson is suitable for every grade level due to differences in curriculum standards and understanding. However, some lessons may be adaptable for multiple grade levels. Current lessons and the recommended grade levels are listed above. If you have further questions, please contact Mrs. Barbara Urban.
- When is the STEM Days on the Go team available?
The STEM Days on the Go team is available to provide in-person STEAM lesson visits throughout the school year on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Monday and Friday visits may be available to meet the unique scheduling needs of your school. To see whether your preferred date is available, please submit a request form. Please note that STEM Days on the Go STEAM visits will be scheduled to start no earlier than 9:00 am and are meant for delivery during normal school hours.
- How long are the lessons?
Most of our STEAM lessons last for one hour. It may be possible to shorten some lessons to accommodate your school’s scheduling needs, but we do require a minimum of 45 minutes to work with your students.
- Does my school need to provide teachers or chaperones for a STEM Days on the Go STEAM lesson?
Yes. While GSSM instructional staff will lead the lesson, we do request that students be accompanied by at least one familiar adult during their STEAM experience. Interested teachers, administrators, or parent volunteers are all welcome to join the fun!
- How do I schedule a STEM Days on the Go STEAM lesson for my school?
Complete this form to request a visit from our STEM Days on the Go team to deliver a STEAM lesson at you school. A program coordinator will be in touch to confirm your school’s needs after your request is submitted.
The STEM Days on the Go Explore series is our virtual elementary program. Using Interactive Video Vignettes (IVVs), students in grades 3 through 5 will be able to complete high-quality, curiosity-driven science investigations and receive immediate feedback. While each lesson has a materials list, these asynchronous virtual lessons can be used with or without hands-on materials.
In STEM Days on the Go Explore lessons, students test their understanding of the world through a hands-on, minds-on approach to STEAM learning. Students may find themselves designing their own experiment, exploring the engineering process in a choose-your-own-adventure format, or creating models of natural phenomena.
These lessons are adaptable to each school’s instructional needs and can be used virtually, in person, or in a hybrid setting. The lessons provide in-module support for asynchronous investigations and plenty of opportunities for instructors to customize the module pathways for classroom enrichment. Each lesson was recorded with a GSSM Outreach Center instructor leading the investigation and some may feature young student helpers.
Each Explore lesson includes an interactive video lesson hosted on the GSSM website, a teacher lesson guide, and any appropriate student handouts, including a printable science journal. Materials for the accompanying activity are not provided, but a supply list is included with each teacher guide and students can follow along with the videos whether or not they have their own set of materials.
If you have received a lesson and need additional support, please contact us.
- Rockets (Gr 5)
With the guidance of a GSSM instructor and their Explore kits, students will build their own alka seltzer rockets and investigate the chemical reaction that launches them into the air. Students will develop an understanding of the core principles of experimental design, learn to use a timer to collect data, and even create and interpret a simple bar graph. This lesson may serve as an introduction to Newton’s third law of motion for fifth graders. Multiple exit points allow teachers to adapt the lesson to best meet the needs of their students and learning environments. This lesson is designed to meet SC standards for 5th grade students.
- Separating Mixtures (Gr 5)
With the guidance of a GSSM instructor and their Explore kits, students will separate a complex mixture of sand, beads, and assorted balls using different tools and techniques. Students will develop an understanding of the engineering process, efficiency, and the physical properties of matter, including density. This lesson challenges students to think creatively as they test and refine their plans to separate the mixture into its components. Finally, students will communicate and reflect on their results with the use of a flow chart. Explore: Separating Mixtures may serve as an introduction to different physical properties of matter or as an engineering challenge. This lesson is designed to meet SC standards for 5th grade students.
- Temperature and Weather (Gr 4)
With the guidance of a GSSM instructor and the materials in their Explore kits, students will investigate temperature. Through the course of the investigation, students will learn to read a thermometer, reinforce their understanding of the water cycle, and learn about how humidity and air pressure are related to air temperature. Students completing the hands-on component will create a model of the water cycle, measure dew point, and learn how to start their own weather journal. Multiple exit points allow teachers to adapt the lesson to best support their students and learning environments. This lesson is designed to meet SC content standards for 4th grade students. In addition, the lesson reinforces 3rd grade content standards related to the states of matter.
- Habitats (Gr 3)
With the guidance of a GSSM instructor and the materials in their Explore kits, students will investigate the four essential needs of all organisms and test the choices of terrestrial isopods to determine their ideal habitat conditions. Through the course of the investigation, students will analyze data from recorded animal choice studies and design an experiment to test their own experimental questions related to the habitats of wild birds. In this lesson students will be constructing a bird feeder using a popsicle stick, vegetable shortening and different mediums of bird food. This lesson is easily adapted for classroom use or distance learning. Multiple exit points allow teachers to adapt the lesson to best suit their students and learning environments. This lesson is designed to meet SC content standards for 3rd grade students.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a fee to receive the Explore lessons?
No, the Explore series of pre-recorded lessons are freely available to anyone who makes a request through the online form. An optional supply kit is included in the teacher guide, but materials are unnecessary to complete the lessons.
- How do I get the Explore material kits?
GSSM does not provide kit materials at this time. However, all Explore lessons can be completed without the materials by following along with the videos. If you wish to provide your students with the materials, a list of supplies is included in each teacher guide.
- Are the lessons safe?
Yes, all lessons are designed to be safely completed by the appropriate age group. Any safety considerations are noted in the videos and teacher guide.
- Will this link work through my school's firewalls?
All Explore IVVs are hosted on the GSSM website, not through third parties such as YouTube. If you and your students can see this website on your school’s devices and network, then you should be able to access the videos. We highly recommend testing this out before assigning an Explore lesson to your students. Please contact us if you have any trouble accessing the IVVs.
- Can students complete Explore lessons without adult guidance?
Yes! Explore lessons are designed with students in mind—no adults required. The IVVs guide students through each lesson and give feedback based on student responses. However, some extension tips and activities to keep the learning going encourage adult guidance.
- Can I assign Explore lessons to virtual students or students doing eLearning?
Yes! Explore lessons are designed with students in mind—no adults required—while encouraging content mastery and critical thinking. At the end of each IVV, students will see a certificate showing their completed work and any answers they submitted throughout the lesson. They will have the option to save or print the image to submit proof of their work via email or a virtual learning platform.
- What if I have questions about the lesson content or material substitutions?
Please contact Ms. Jordan Bailey for additional help and support you may need after receiving an Explore link.
- Does signing up for an Explore lesson enroll me in a newsletter?
No, you will only receive two emails. The first is an email with a link and supporting documentation for the lessons you request through our online form. We will the send you a link to a feedback survey that we ask you complete after using the lesson with your students. Your feedback is essential to our understanding of how students and educators are using the material so that we can continue to provide high-quality learning opportunities for in SC.
You may elect to join our mailing list separately if you would like to learn more about other GSSM Outreach programs and events.