Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins® - Spring and Summer STEM Activities

Grade Levels
PreK - 5th
Resource Type
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57 pages
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Also includes a STEAM version and Editable labels and task card templates!

Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins® and STEAM Bins are natural engineering centers that are ideal for outdoor classrooms, outdoor learning centers, or occasional outdoor excursions. They are also a creative and developmentally appropriate form of natural engineering for elementary students.

Listed materials for each Outdoor Discovery STEM Bin are found in nature or at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby. Many flooring stores or rock and stone stores will also donate material scraps for your children to build with. Children can gather items from nature on their own at home or on the school grounds, and you may choose which materials that you feel are best for your outdoor learning environment. Additional STEM materials and photos can be added to the EDITABLE STEM Bin Covers in the separate file.

To assemble your Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins, You will need waterproof plastic containers to hold the materials and task cards. Sandwich storage boxes work great. My pictured containers are from the food storage section at Dollar Tree and were 3 for $1.00. Laminate the STEM Bin covers and adhere to the front of the containers using Velcro dots or Scotch tape.

Although free-choice, creative engineering is highly encouraged with Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins, task cards with real world structures are also provided to inspire students. Task cards should be laminated and attached to metal rings in several sets so that students can create multiple structures using one material. This allows them more flexibility because certain materials lend themselves more easily to certain types of structures. This also allows them to persevere, explore, and test with one material for a more extended period of time.

The management of your Outdoor Discovery STEM Bins is completely up to you, as they can be used during multiple times of your day. Students can take bins outside during brain breaks or a scheduled outdoor discovery time. “Challenge Yourself” cards are provided to take structures to the next level, allowing students to improve and enhance their structures. Teacher Questions and Prompts are also provided.

Includes the following:

Page 3: What Are My Students Learning?

Page 4: How to Use

Page 5: Teacher Questions and Prompts

Page 6: Parent Letter

Pages 7-8: Nature Hunt

Pages 9-12: STEM Bin Covers with Labels & Photos

Pages 13-14: Basic Engineering Skills posters

Pages 15-17: STEM Bin Task Cards

Pages 18-19: Character and Prop Cards

Page 20: “Challenge Yourself” extensions

Page 21: My Outdoor Creations (Foldable Booklet)

Page 22: My Outdoor Creations (Pictures/iPad Template for Pic Collage app)

Pages 23-26: Writing Prompts and templates

Page 27: Credits

***Separate File: EDITABLE Outdoor Discovery STEM Bin Cover to add your own photos and materials and EDITABLE task cards***

***Separate File: STEAM Version of all materials

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By purchasing and/or downloading this electronic file, you agree to the terms of use as stated below. For personal use/single classroom use only. No part of this document may be distributed, posted on the internet, copied, sold, or edited without direct permission from the author. Violations are subject to the penalties of the Digital Millennium Act. To purchase additional sharing licenses, please visit my store. All contents of this document are under copyright protection including all text, graphics, contents, and fonts. All graphics and fonts are also protected by copyright from their original author/artist.

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Total Pages
57 pages
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