The Student Success Blog

Three High School STEM Experiments to Try Right Now

Posted by Caitlin G. 8/28/2017
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If you’re looking for high school STEM experiments you can try at home, you’re in the right place! We’ve rounded up three of the best hands-on activities from around the web so that you can quickly and easily start making science, technology, engineering, and math innovations right at home.

As a reminder, if you’re experimenting at home make sure to follow all instructions and take proper safety precautions, including wearing appropriate safety equipment, keeping a clean workspace, and involving a partner or adult if necessary. All experiments are conducted at your own risk.  

Make a Telegraph Set

The Energizer Science Center website has a number of electrical experiments appropriate for middle or high school students, but one of the most interesting is How to Make a Telegraph Set. You may know that the telegraph was a major step forward for communication speed, and allowed people to send simple messages across long distances almost instantly using electrical impulses.

After creating this fun experiment, you can test take your knowledge even further by:

  1. Sending messages to longer and longer distances and practicing with a friend
  2. Studying up on current telecommunication innovations
  3. Considering the infrastructure investment that would need to be made for the telegraph, and how the infrastructure may have changed in light of upgraded technology

Code a Video Game

Video games are made through computer code like HTML, CSS, Java, and Canvas. CodeAcademy has a free tool complete with help guides that show you how to build a 2D game right in your web browser.

If you need an example, KhanAcademy has the source code for the video game Snake written on its website in a format you can edit directly.  HINT: Make sure to save your game on KhanAcademy in order to see any changes you’ve made to the source code live. Try recreating the Snake code in the CodeAcademy browser. Then, if you’re feeling extra creative, try making up your own video game!

Build a Compass

This high school engineering experiment is a favorite because of its practical applications. Knowing how to build a compass is perfect for those who enjoy hiking or other outdoor activities. Plus, it requires very few supplies, many of which are readily available around the house. The Home Science Tools website provides a great tutorial of how to build a compass.  Once you’ve built a working model, test it to make sure it finds true North.

Being able to build a compass with minimal supplies could help you to find your way when lost, so it’s an extremely useful tool. Bring your new compass with you while camping and practice other experiments, such as lighting a campfire without matches, or constructing a shelter.


Have you tried any of the above experiments? Write into the comments section to let us know how they went! At Milken, one of our key competencies is empowering students to build their own solutions to real life problems using engineering, math, science, and technology concepts. You can read about some of the experiments our students are working on now on our Milken Science Research blog.


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The Student Success Blog

by Milken Community Schools

Welcome to Milken's Student Success Blog! We use this space to share information that we think will be helpful to all students at each stage of their middle and high school journey. 

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