Five Thanksgiving STEM Activities

5 thanksgiving stem activities - dancing corn, secret spy map, sugar glass, calibrate oven, cranberry engineering

Five Thanksgiving STEM Activities

  1. Make sugar glass and calibrate your oven
  2. Learn the magic tablecloth trick
  3. Create dancing corn
  4. Engineer cranberry ships
  5. Create a secret spice route

Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite times of the year, likely because it’s just about the only time you can sneak an entire pumpkin pie to yourself with no one else noticing.

Yes, I have done that, and it was glorious. Thanksgiving is also a nice little break from the first few months of school, a time to relax and have a little fun.

Our mission is always to do fun science as we learn real science, and we have dreamt up five Thanksgiving STEM activities that you and your kids will enjoy.

1. Make sugar glass and calibrate your oven.

eating sugar cookies after calibrating over science activity

If you want your turkey timing to be just right you will want to know if your oven runs hot, cold, or just right. Thankfully, you can do this while making something delicious and learning about science. Looking for other delicious science ideas? Try our edible optics or constellation cookies!

2. Learn to use a magic tablecloth (youtube link)

There is a steep learning curve to this activity, which means it could keep your kids entertained for a long time while you get to dressing that turkey – or it could mean you pull your hair out in frustration…you’ll need a hemless tablecloth and plates you don’t really care about!

3. Create Dancing Corn

This is such a fun project that is easy to setup and has a minimal mess. All you need are popcorn kernels, baking soda, and vinegar. If you have food coloring on hand it is an added treat to let little hands color their water as well.

see dancing corn STEM - video of girl watching cup of corn with carbon dioxide lifting kernels
cranberry engineering project

4. Engineer Cranberry Ships

All you need for this activity is imagination, cranberries, and toothpicks (foil if you want to make your ships float). You can also use it as a doorway to history, reading about the ships Columbus took on his journey. This is a fun take on our buoyancy projects!

5. Create a secret spice route map or write a secret message

Tie in some history and map making with your science in this fun STEM activity. This project uses your leftover cranberries, baking soda, and water and investigates the same chemistry we saw in our purple cabbage pH experiments!

Thanksgiving science projects

Which Thanksgiving STEM activity did you love the best? We would love to hear how they went for you!

Need more ideas? Check out our 2015 Thanksgiving science activities list or our more recent 2018 list!