Every year I try to come up with a couple activities to do during Shark Week at the end of July. There was a shark hockey game, a paper plate shark mask, and a shark made from a pool noodle! This year I have a shark Nerf target and some STEM shark activities for kids.
STEM Shark Activities for Kids
Fish have a gas-filled swim bladder that keeps them afloat in the water. Sharks stay afloat or stay buoyant due to an oily liver and some fat. The oil in a shark’s liver is lighter than water. It gives a shark some buoyancy. The oil is still heavier than water and if the shark doesn’t keep moving it will sink. will sink.
Making the Sharks
Before you can start the shark activities for kids, you will need to cut two sharks out of a plastic blue file folder. You will need to find a shark online or in a book. Then we traced it onto the front of the file folder. Finally, we cut shark traced onto the folder out while holding the back of the folder to the front of the folder. That allowed us to cut out two sharks at the same time.
Now that you have the sharks ready you will need to gather a few more materials.
You will need:
- Two Strong Ziplock Plastic Bags
- Vegetable Oil
- Large Plastic Tub or Box
Filling the Bags and the Tub
You will need to fill the tub almost up to the top with water. Don’t feel it all the way the top! When you children place their hands in the tub, they will displace some of the water! It may then spill out of the tub!
One of the plastic bags will need to be filled about 2/3 of the way with water. The other bag needs to be filled 2/3 of the way with vegetable.
Then you will need to place a shark into each of the bags. If you want to place duct tape over the top of the bag to keep the liquids in you totally can.
Activity One – Adding the Bags Vertically
Have your children place each of the bags into the water vertically. Watch what happens to the bags. The bag with the oil will probably flip on its side. The bag with the water in it will probably sink down a little.
Activity Two – Adding the Bag Horizontally
Have your children place each of the bags into the water horizontally. They may find that both of the bags float at first. The bag with the water in it may sink a little after a short time.
Activity Three – Pushing Down the Bags
Children will place both of the bags in the plastic tub or box horizontally. Then they will place on hand on each bag and try to push it down.