We are so excited to bring you a math activity that’s perfect for kids of all ages! We know a lot of parents are looking for fun, meaningful content for their kiddos that has a little bit of something for everyone. This STEM Storytime is based off our signature Wonder Hour event, and is full of exploration, opportunities for extension and creativity. As we hear Katherine Johnson say many times, “you can count on me!”
Step One : Interactive Read Aloud
Watch, learn and enjoy this amazing book by Helaine Becker. It’s the true story of Katherine Johnson - whose story you might recognize from the movie Hidden Figures. Katherine was on the team of mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Space Race. Listen to the story to learn more!
Step Two : Get Creative - build your telescope!
It’s time to get creative! Katherine’s job at NASA allowed her to combine her love of math with the excitement and wonder of outer space. Let’s build a telescope to help us count like Katherine.
> Paper cup
> Toilet Paper Roll
> Whatever you’d like to use for decorations
1. Carefully cut the bottom out of your paper cup. This is a great job for a grownup!
2. Slide your toilet paper roll into the bottom of the cup and tape it until it’s secure. We tape both inside the cup and outside just to be sure.
3. Decorate! Use construction paper, crayons, markers, stickers - whatever you have around to make your telescope yours!
Step Three : Let's Get Counting!
We have so many great ideas for ways you can support your kiddos through this counting challenge. Take a peek at some ideas to spark critical thinking, but remember - there is no right or wrong way to do it! Follow your child’s lead and see where it takes you!
Want to download these ideas and recording sheets - click here!
For older kids (early elementary and beyond), we recommend layering in an estimation challenge before sending them off to count. Making a smart guess about the number of items gives you great insight into their number sense and the sentence frames below are a great way to keep the conversation flowing about math!
Step Four : Wrap Up + Celebrate
It’s important to take a moment to debrief all STEM activities, even if you’re at home. Take a few minutes to let your kiddos share what they made, tell more about their counting and estimation and share their favorite part of the story. Call a friend or family member to tell them all about what you did - having an audience to share your learning with is important! And see if you can make a connection back to the text - in what ways do you work hard like Katherine Johnson? And most importantly, give your kids (and yourself!) a big high-five for taking the time to put STEM in Action!