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Go for the Gold with these free, fun Olympic STEAM activities

Seven family-friendly ways to make memories during Tokyo 2020

1. Gyroscope floor dancing


Do your best Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee impersonation with gyroscope floor dancing! All you’ll need is a smart phone, the Arduino Science Journal app, and an armband (makeshift is fine!) Bring your best fun (and safe!) routine and see how smooth you can keep your movements to bring home the gold!


Gyroscope dancing


2. Sail away, sail away, sail away


Can you build the perfect device to help your sailing team cross the finish line? Sailing made its first debut at the Paris games in 1900 and is a fun way to think about how you can harness the power of the wind. Instead of delivering a cupcake in our classic wind-powered design challenge, set up a start and finish line and build a boat for your favorite team. Can you trim seconds off your time by tweaking your design?


A real win-wind activity


3. A sport for everyone!


Do you get chills when your favorite soccer or basketball team scores during a nail-biter? Do gymnasts or surfers make you swell with pride? What if we level the playing field and make sports more inclusive? Put a heartfelt spin on our Design for All: Project Playground activity by thinking about ways you could make your favorite sport more accessible. (You could take some cues from the Paralympics or how these Olympic moms fought for equity!) Bonus points if you tweak equipment fields or courses and make a prototype of your design.


Win a medal in empathy


4. For the thrill of it


Love the fast moves of cycling BMX? Design your own course using our Physics of Roller Coasters activity as your guide. How steep can you build bumps while keeping your Olympian safe? Compete with a friend to see how bumpy you can make your track and still cross the finish line.


Build a thrilling BMX course


5. Rings of creativity


Let your mind play tricks on you with this simple art activity. Draw an image on both sides of a circle and spin it to make an animation. Can you make Warriors star and Olympian Draymond Green dribble a basketball? Can your archer hit their target? Can you light the Olympic torch?


Get artsy with Thaumatropes


6. Make memories


Channel your love for the Olympics into a video family time capsule. Think of a few questions about the games. Who’s your favorite Olympian? What sport do you most like to watch together? Who in your family is most likely to attend the Olympics or become an Olympian themselves? Can you explain the physics behind how your fave swimmer or runner is so fast? Any predictions for the next games?


Set a reminder in your calendar to watch it together in 4 or more years at the start of the Olympic games and make it part of your tradition.


Make a winning family time capsule


7. An Olympic-sized closing ceremony!


Why just watch the ceremony when you can make it your own? Can you set up a chain reaction with a big, fun finale? Get creative with materials around the house — blocks, DVD cases, books, reusable plastic bowls. Everything’s fair game, but make sure to plot out a fun finale. Could something turn on the TV? Could you do a big ball or confetti drop? This is a great activity to build and play together! Bonus Challenge: Team up with friends in other places like we did here.


Throwback to the ball drop when you helped us do an across-the-nation chain reaction with other science centers and museums!

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