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Insect Week: STEM explorations for children

Insect Week: explore STEM with children

Insect Week is here! The event encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects and provides rich opportunities for STEM exploration. Here are some insect ideas and provocations to try with your children, plus some fun insect facts. (You can also join our Facebook group “Early STEM Educators Network” to exchange ideas and questions with other educators about Insect Week and STEM learning.)

🐝 Bees dance to tell other bees where to find flowers with nectar.

Turn on some music and invite children to move their bodies like bees and imagine they are searching for nectar. Try changing the song and invite the children to explore different movements, beats, and rhythms.

🦗 Grasshoppers hear sounds through tiny ears on their bellies. 

Take the children outdoors and ask them to describe the different sounds they hear. Then, have them block their ears with their hands and compare the difference. 

🌕 Most moth species are nocturnal and fly at night.

Support the children to share ideas and knowledge about what kinds of insects they might find and where and how to look for them. For example, do some insects only come out where it’s dark like moths?

Extend this provocation by exploring: What insects can the children find in the yard, nature strip, or nearby park? Show the children this short video showing how many insects Sarah can find in 3 minutes.

🪳 Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes to save energy. 

Invite the children to try holding their breath for a few seconds and share how they feel. Do they feel tired or need to take more breaths now? Or do they feel more energetic? 

🦋 Butterflies use their feet to taste plants that they can lay eggs on.

Encourage the children to discuss what type of plant a butterfly needs to find to lay its eggs on. Does it have to have big leaves? Does the colour of the plant matter?

You can learn more about Insect Week and check out their 0-5 learning resources here.

Develop your STEM skills with our pedagogy-based STEM PD:

Facebook Group: Little Scientists Early STEM Educators Network
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