Stay@Home and STEM with ExploreHope

Week1: Design Squad Engineering Blog

Hope Summer Science Camps wants to make sure your SPRING is full of science, too! Got some unexpected extra time on your hands? Never fear, ExploreHope is here! Each week we’ll share a new site for fun and engaging science projects you can do at home.

This week: PBS Kids Design Squad!

Check out dozens of building ideas, interactive design posts by and for kids, and crazy games that will keep your days full of STEM activities for every age group. Two of our favorite activities are highlighted below!

Challenge 1: Floating Money

Can you make a boat that can carry 25 – or more – pennies? How about a raft, or a canoe? Your challenge: use lightweight objects like straws, cardboard, or plastic wrap to carry heavy cargo like pennies and nickels. In this Hope Summer Science Camp counselor favorite, explore the concepts of buoyancy and displacement – and hope you don’t get too wet!

  • Don’t forget to: spend some time exploring your materials before you begin.
  • Make sure you: draw a picture, and explain it to someone, before you start to build.
  • And you’ve absolutely got to: Redesign and aim to improve after your first test!


Challenge 2: Ready, Maestro!

Orchestra rehearsal might be cancelled for now, but there’s no reason your life can’t be filled with music! With just four rubber bands and a cardboard box, explore how guitars, banjos, ukeleles, and other stringed instruments create and amplify sound. Learn about how sound energy travels in waves, and get a hands-on understanding of the relationship between frequency, vibration, and pitch.

STEAM Connections: Can you adjust the rubber bands to play a simple song like Jingle Bells or Mary Had a Little Lamb?

I’m With The Band: Experiment with making other instruments like drums or rattles to accompany your stringed instrument. 

Singer/Songwriter: Write and perform your own song – then FaceTime your friends for an impromptu concert!


Love building and design? Sign up for these great Hope Summer Science Camps perfect for budding engineers! Visit our website to learn more.

  • Hammer Time and Tykes Lego: Grades K-2
  • Science of Art: Grades 3-5
  • Inventing in 3-D: Grades 6-12
  • Experimental Design: Grades 10-12

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