Fun experiments for fall during a pandemic

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The temperatures are beginning to cool. Leaves are turning bright shades of red, orange and yellow. And front porches are filling up with pumpkins, mums and bundles of hay. It must be fall.

Of course, this is no ordinary fall. The COVID-19 pandemic has led us all to be a little more cautious about which activities we choose to participate in. Maybe you will skip trick-or-treating this year. Perhaps you will go to your favorite apple-picking farm when it’s less busy. Or maybe you’ve decided to miss out on high school football games.

Add to this the fact that some kids are limited to what activities they can do at school and at home, and fall doesn’t seem as fun as it has in years past. That’s why Jump Simulation earlier this year used the pandemic as an opportunity to try something new — a way to keep young minds engaged while giving them something entertaining to do.

Jump STEAM at Home

Jump STEAM at Home is an effort to boost interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and math concepts while still keeping families protected from COVID-19. Just as it sounds, young people from anywhere in the world can participate in a variety of STEAM activities from the safety of their homes.

Using a computer or mobile device, your children can choose from a variety of real-time or on-demand video courses and experiments. New classes are continually developed and led by education specialists who come from different health care professions. In addition, your kids can download and print a number of resources that will keep them busy for the next few weekends.

Let’s get to the experiments!

The importance of drinking water

Teen girl in white shirt with orange backpack drinking from a bottle of water in front of a fieldEvery organ system in your body depends on water! In fact, your body is made up of about 60% water. Water plays many important roles in your body like helping to regulate your body temperature and providing cellular support. In this experiment, your kids will learn why doctors say you should drink water every day.

STEAM at Home Hot Dog Activity | OSF HealthCare [PDF]

STEAM at Home Hot Dog Activity | OSF HealthCare [Video]

Make your own milk plastic molds

Making industrial plastics to produce food containers and toys typically requires the use of natural gas, crude oil, plants and other materials. However, there is a non-toxic way to make your own plastic at home using nothing more than milk and vinegar. In this activity, you will use those items as well as a highlighter and fun fall molds to make decorations, toys or gifts!

STEAM at Home Plastics Activity | OSF HealthCare [PDF]

STEAM at Home Plastics Activity | OSF HealthCare [Video]

If your family enjoyed these experiments, you can find more on our website.

About Author: Denise Molina-Weiger

Denise Molina-Weiger is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since March 2015. She initially came to OSF to write about the work taking place at the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, one of the world’s largest simulation and innovation centers and went on to become the Media Relations Coordinator for OSF Innovation which was developed to help the hospital system lead the way in transforming care.

Before joining the OSF HealthCare team, Denise was a reporter for Peoria Public Radio for ten years, writing on everything from politics, housing and transportation issues to hospital care in the region. She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting from Western Illinois University in 2003 and received her master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2004.

Denise lives in West Peoria with her husband, son and two crazy dogs. In her spare time, she likes to snuggle on the couch with her family and watch cooking shows on Netflix. She loves taking road trips with her family and then complaining about it when they are over.

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Categories: Innovation, Kids & Family