Sugar Aunts: Recycled Materials STEM Lever and Fulcrum

Recycled Materials STEM Lever and Fulcrum

I love reusing recyclables in crafts and activities.  One thing my kids might love even more is science and STEM activities.  We decided to use some materials we had in the recycle bin to make a lever and fulcrum.  This is a perfect STEM activity to do with the kids over the summer to promote learning, creativity, and problem solving.  The Summer Slide is a real thing and simple, easy projects like this one are fun ways to build skills as a family.  Our Lever and Fulcrum STEM activity led to cheers with all four of the kids.

And when the kids are cheering for science, engineering, and math, it is perfectly OK for Mom to do an inner cheer, too.

Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!


Recycled Materials Lever and Fulcrum STEM Activity


There are so many items found in your recycle bin that can be used in STEM activities.  Today, we pulled out a few materials to build a lever and fulcrum.  We used a recycled chopstick, a toilet paper tube, and two coffee pods.  

Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

To make the lever and fulcrum:  Poke a hole in each of the coffee pods.  We used a sharp skewer to do this.  you will want the holes to be at the same height on each pod.  Insert one end of the chop stick into each pod.  Finally, fold the toilet paper tube into a triangular shape. The cardboard tube will be the fulcrum and the chop stick can rest evenly on the tube and act as a lever. 
Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

Now for the fun part:  It was time to play and learn with our STEM activity!
  • We added crafting pom poms to each cup and counted how many were needed to keep the lever even.  
  • We talked about the distance between the ends of the chop stick and how the fulcrum needed to be in the center in order for the lever to be even.  
  • We tried moving the fulcrum and measured the distance between the ends of the chop stick and the fulcrum.  
  • When the fulcrum was off center, we counted how many craft pom poms were needed to make the lever even again. 
I was kind of amazed at how much all four of my kids were totally absorbed by this STEM activity.  It was enough to make me smile (and cheer some more, on the inside!) for their love of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

STEM Summer Camp


Recently, I was invited to join a few other bloggers in a Twitter party to talk about Camp Invention, the only nationally recognized summer program focused on creativity, innovation, and real-world problem solving and infused with the spirit of invention.  Camp Invention is a week long adventure that is sure to turn ordinary summer days into extraordinary memories.  I know my kids would love this type of summer camp program and so I was excited to spread the word to other families. 

Camp Invention’s is a day camp for kids in grades 1-6 and includes a curriculum with a variety of fun and dynamic hands-on activities concentrated on the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  It's programs were developed by some of the nation’s most brilliant and experienced educators, including Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and members of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Each year, Camp Invention updates it's programming to provide returning camp attendees with unique learning experiences.  This year's curriculum is called Epic™  and features hands‐on modules like:
  • CrickoBot™, where Campers construct  and personalize a DIY solar‐powered cricket with a unique habitat
  • Epic Park ™,  where Campers work in teams to design an eco‐adventure park
  • I Can Invent:Maker Studio™, where Campers brainstorm product ideas and build original prototypes using real tools and components 
  • found in everyday devices
  • The Lab: Where Pigs Fly™, where children can discover the 
  • science of slime,  demolition, electronic sound, giant squid and coding.
What kid wouldn't love to explore all of that STEM fun??

Local educators facilitate and teach at Camp Invention.  With almost 1,400 camps across the nation, over 94,000 students have attended Camp Invention day camps. Find a camp near you.

Does this sound like a camp that your kids would cheer for too?  

Register your child for Camp Invention today. The 
first 20 people to forward their registration 
confirmation email, along with the name 
of my blog, to communications@invent.org 
will get a $25 refund.

Full disclosure:  This post is brought to you by Camp Invention and The  Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

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