Climbing Water Experiment Using Our STEM Challenges Learning Cards

Are you looking for some fresh, new STEM ideas for your homeschool or classroom? Well look no further, because today I am going to share our latest discovery, the STEM Challenges Learning Card Bundle from Carson Dellosa Education.

Let me tell you, this set is wonderful! I'm always looking for new and interesting ways to spice up our science and math lessons. What I absolutely love about these STEM Challenge Cards is that they are so practical, and typically require items that you may already have on hand in order to complete the activities (with a few exceptions here and there). I normally don't mind having to purchase a few extra things for our projects–that just comes with the territory. Having said that, it does make life a whole lot easier when I can just grab supplies that we already have at home. This gives us the chance to do a fun STEM challenge on a whim! 

There are two different sets in the STEM Challenges Learning Card Bundle. Each one contains thirty different activity cards to help engage children and get them excited about math, science, engineering, and technology. The first box of cards is a traditional STEM set that's divided into three different categories, Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space. The second box in this bundle is actually a seasonal set of STEM challenges. These activities are divided by the four seasons, autumn, winter, and a grouping of spring and summer together. 

The cards are grab and go, so you don't have to be a math or science wiz to help children with the activities. Everything is set up in a straightforward manner. The front portion explains the type of STEM challenge that the student (or students) will be doing, along with the materials that will be needed in order to complete it. The other side of the card offers up hints and explanations on the experiment, as well as questions and additional prompts to help children further explore what they're working on.


The materials list includes actual images of each item that will be needed. This is a nice little feature that allows younger children to help with the set-up. There are even handy tabs to help differentiate each of the categories. I love that we can go right to a specific category depending on what we want to work on. 

The recommended grade levels for this collection are second through fifth grade. With that being said, I've personally found that some of the activities can easily be done by younger grades with a little extra parental (or teacher) guidance. There are many different types of experiments, some that would be more suitable for the higher grades in the recommended range, while others are perfect for the lower grades and under.

Did I forget to mention the amazing quality of this collection? Each card is printed on glossy heavyweight cardstock. They're not only durable, but the glossy finish offers a nice layer of extra protection for some of the messier activities. 

STEM Challenges Learning Cards


Seasonal STEM Challenges Learning Cards

"Climbing Water" STEM Challenge

Here's a peek at one activity that we did not too long ago. This STEM challenge is called "Climbing Water," and the goal was to move water from one cup to the next without touching or pouring it. The only gear that we needed for this particular activity were several cups (we used glasses and you'll see why in a minute), paper towels, food coloring, and water. This activity helped demonstrate capillary motion and how water can sometimes travel through a narrow path (depending on the surface) without the involvement of gravity.

Here's an excerpt from the What's Going On? portion on the card, which explains the whole idea behind this particular experiment:

Paper towels are made of cellulose fibers. They have tiny spaces between them. Water molecules want to stay together, so they go up through the spaces like they are straws.

Although we've gone over color theory in the past, this was a great opportunity to also do a little review on what happens when we mix two colors together (so this experiment involved both science and a little bit of art). That is one of the main reasons why we decided to go with glasses, so we could see what was happening inside each one.

Since this involves liquid and food coloring, which can stain, I recommend protecting your surfaces using a towel or waterproof pad. I really like using multipurpose kitchen pads, or you could also use good old puppy training pads, which work just the same.

The entire process took about a half a day to complete. We started later in the afternoon and just let everything sit overnight. At first, I thought that perhaps we had missed a step, since there weren't any immediate results. Of course, after a few hours had passed, we were amazed to see how the water was slowly moving up through the paper towels from both the left and right glasses, and finally back down into the middle glass.

Here is the finished project (above)...pretty neat, huh?? Our blue glass on the left and red glass on the right had produced a nice little purple concoction in the middle glass.

What else can I say? This STEM Challenges Learning Card Bundle is fantastic and one of my new favorite products from Carson Dellosa! The challenges are practical and can really help take the guesswork out of planning. I can pair them up with lessons that we're already working on, or we can do an individual project just to give my son a little extra hands-on learning fun while exploring important STEM concepts along the way!