10 STEAM-cation Ideas in the Great Lakes Bay Region


10 STEAM-cation Ideas in the Great Lakes Bay Region

Fill your family’s holiday season with rich experiences that will engage and delight every age! The Great Lakes Bay Region offers places to discover, play, and get messy together. These 10 STEAM-cation ideas encourage families to explore the beauty of our region, to expand their knowledge through virtual tours of a local museum, join virtual or in-person events that instill a fascination with STEAM, and to get messy while using ideas offered by STEM-rich institutions.

1.  Discover a new NATURE TRAIL with a nature scavenger hunt created by the Chippewa Nature Center.

The Chippewa Nature Center has several printable SCAVENGER HUNT on their website.

 

BAY COUNTY

Bay City State Park (Bay City) has a thousand feet of sandy beach and over 2,000 acres of wetland woods, wet meadows, cattail marshlands and oak savannah prairies. Hike the path to discover the bird life, wetland wildlife and plants.  LEARN MORE

ISABELLA COUNTY

Deerfield Nature Park (Mt. Pleasant) – 8 miles of hiking trails.  LEARN MORE

Meridian Park (Mt. Pleasant) – Hiking trails.   LEARN MORE

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (near Mt. Pleasant) – The following preserves have hiking trails.

  1. Audubon Woods Preserve (40 acres)
  2. Bundy Hill Preserve (100 acres)
  3. Hiawatha Hills Preserve (5 acres)
  4. Kabana Preserve (100 acres) (Hall’s Lake Natural Area)
  5. Neely Preserve (22 acres) (Hall’s Lake Natural Area)
  6. Schaftenaar Preserve (33 acres) (Hall’s Lake Natural Area)
  7. Stearns Preserve (14 acres)
  8. Sylvan Solace Preserve (78 acres)

HIKING TRAILS LINK

MIDLAND COUNTY

Chippewa Nature Center (Midland) – The 19-miles of hiking trails are open every day from dawn-to-dark.  LEARN MORE

**The Chippewa Nature Center is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

Midland City Forest (Midland) – There are two sets of trail systems within City Forest; mountain biking trails and hiking/cross country ski trails.  Total miles of hiking trails in City Forest: 7.92 miles.  LEARN MORE

Pine Haven Recreational Area (Sanford) – Located just outside the Village is 325 acres of diverse terrain, with 10km of marked trails. Pine Haven welcomes hikers, mountain bikers, and cross county skiers to challenge themselves.  LEARN MORE

SAGINAW COUNTY

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (Saginaw) – Green Point Environmental Learning Center, located in Saginaw, offers over 2.5 miles of trails.  LEARN MORE

Imerman Memorial Park (Saginaw) – Over one mile of hiking trails take you around the park. LEARN MORE

Price Nature Center (Saginaw) – This park offers nearly three miles of hiking trails through its 186 acres.  LEARN MORE

Ringwood Forest (St. Charles) – Ringwood Forest is the most ruggedly beautiful of all of our parks. The 160 acres include some of Michigan’s oldest forest plantations. This parks three miles of trails.  LEARN MORE

Beechwood Nature Trails (Freeland) – The trail itself is 0.4 miles long from start to finish with plenty to see and explore along the way. Walking trails through a naturally forested area and tree species posted throughout walk.  LEARN MORE

 


2. Take an ARTSY ADVENTURE outdoors

MARSHALL M. FREDERICK MUSEUM

Tour Marshall M. Frederick Museum’s outdoor sculptures at the Saginaw Valley State University.

Marshall M. Frederick’s “works have spiritual intensity, lighthearted humor, and a warm and gentle humanist spirit, like that found in Fredericks himself, attributed to his Scandinavian heritage.”

SCULPTURE GARDEN WALKING TOUR MAP LINK

**The Marshall M. Frederick Museum is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

DOW GARDENS/ WHITING FOREST

Dow Gardens and Whiting Forest is the perfect escape from the norm.  The paved paths lead visitors through natural and landscaped beauty that provides a feeling of serenity!  Be sure to make an APPOINTMENT before visiting.

SELF GUIDED TOUR LINK 

BAY COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY: CENTER AVENUE – BAY CITY

The Bay County Historical Society has partnered with Map-N-Tour to create a tour of Bay City’s historic Center Avenue, which include not only information about each structure, but vintage photographs, biographies and much more.

“The Center Avenue Historic District is a nationally registered district with almost 1000 properties, many of them the late 1800’s mansions of lumber barons and shipping industrialists. These well-preserved homes,  churches and other structures reflect the rich history of our community and exhibit some of the finest architecture in Michigan.”

Download the free “Map-N-Tour” app on Google Play.

CENTER AVENUE HISTORIC DISTRICT VIRTUAL TOUR

**The Historical Museum of Bay County is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

 


3. Cozy up with hot chocolate and snacks for a VIRTUAL TOUR

Goodridges’ Art Souvenir of Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.A. a photographic snapshot of the city in 1902. (Photo from Castle Museum website)

CASTLE MUSEUM – SAGINAW COUNTY HISTORY

Tour the rich history of Saginaw County with a variety of digital exhibits.  Discover this diverse community heritage through the use of photographs and historic documents.

DIGITAL EXHIBIT

**The Castle Museum is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

MARSHAL M. FREDRICK’S MUSEUM

Tour the galleries at the Marshal M. Fredrick’s Museum. Choose from the two tours, one geared towards children and the other adults.  Learn about individual sculptures by observation, labels containing information, and videos.

VIRTUAL TOUR

MIDLAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Seeing HERstory Exhibit:

Suffrage – In June 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. This movement is a great example of the struggle toward progress that Americans have faced for more than two centuries as we strive to make sure that every adult has a voice in the local, state, and national matters that affect their lives.

Redefining Representation – Internationally recognized photographers Elizabeth Herman and Celeste Sloman captured photographs of the 131 women now serving in the House and Senate for this striking collection showcasing each congresswoman with pride for their culture and personal story.

Women in Midland

VIRTUAL EXHIBIT LINKS

**The Midland Center for the Arts is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

 


4. ZOOM in to fun with a KID-FRIENDLY ONLINE EVENT

BAY COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

FREE: Senses Zoom Scavenger Hunt (Ages 5-12) at Bay County Library System
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 @ 2:00pm – 2:30pm

Use your 5 senses to find items requested by Miss Dani. Our librarians will keep score and you will earn prizes to be picked up at your branch after the program. We request an adult supervise all children participating in the program in case they require assistance with the technology.

RSVP LINK

FREE: Craft for Kids: New Year’s Celebration Craft (Ages 5-12) at Bay County Library System
Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 at 4:00pm – 4:30pm

All supplies will be provided to registered children. Please indicate which branch you prefer to pick up your supplies from when you register. Supplies will be ready to be picked up 2 weeks before the program and may be picked up inside the library or via our curbside pickup service. Please contact the branch you would like to pick supplies up from to arrange curbside pickup.

RSVP LINK

**The Bay County Library System is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

MIDLAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Family Discovery Day: New Years Eve Celebration (All ages) at Midland Center for the Arts
Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 11am – 12pm

Join the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art VIRTUALLY for Family Discovery Days throughout the year for engaging, family-friendly activities, presentations, and more! Ring in the New Year with us! Watch science demonstrations, create firework art, and design your own unique countdown ball! At noon, we will celebrate with our annual balloon drop. Sales will close on Sunday, December 27 at 12 PM. (see details below.)

Celebration kits, which include materials needed to participate in hands-on activities during the workshop, are included with your registration price!

Price:
Kit Cost (Public) – $7
Kit Cost (Members) – $5

RSVP LINK

**The Midland Center for the Arts is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM.  LEARN MORE & REGISTER

 


5. IN-PERSON events with a NATURE PROFESSIONAL

CHIPPEWA NATURE CENTER

FREE: Full Moon Stroll (ages 9+ with adult) at Chippewa Nature Center, Midland
Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 at 5:00pm – 6:00pm

This month’s Long Nights moon recognizes the shorter days and longer nights that occur near the winter solstice. Bundle up to look and listen for nocturnal wildlife moving under the moon light. Wear dark clothing and bring a flashlight.

EVENT LINK

FREE: First Day Hike (all ages) at the Chippewa Nature Center, Midland
Friday, January 1st, 2021 at 9am-4pm

Join us in the tradition of a First Day Hike, where you can enjoy a self-guided hike around the Wetlands Trail. Wildlife and the landscape are constantly changing as time passes, see how the Wetlands Area has become what you experience today on the easy 1.7-mile hike.

EVENT LINK

FREE: Snowshoe Sampler (all ages with adult) at the Chippewa Nature Center, Midland
Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 at 10am-12pm

It’s time to play outside! Drop by any time to give CNC’s snowshoes a try, do a winter scavenger hunt or warm up by a campfire. Meet at the Homestead Cabin and come enjoy a winter afternoon in the snow.

EVENT LINK

FREE: Kids Nature Art – Winter (all ages with adult) at the Chippewa Nature Center, Midland
Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 at 2-3:30pm

Drop in with CNC staff at The Woods Nature Play area for a blast of winter art. Stations with different projects will be set up throughout the play area to allow your artist to experience art through winter and winter through art. This self-paced experience will allow your child to create many project or work hard on one masterpiece, whatever suits them best.

Program will be held outdoors and will be cancelled if it is raining. Pre-registration required to keep group sizes small – please only register one person per household/family group.

RSVP LINK

**The Chippewa Nature Center is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

 


6. Use tools at home to CREATE beautiful art

Sculpture images from the Marshall M. Frederick Museum website.

MARSHALL M. FREDRICK MUSEUM

Create art with clay, wire, and soap by following the activities listed on the Marshall M. Fredrick Museum’s CREATE page. It includes:

  • Coloring Pages
  • Drawing to Wire Sculpture
  • Draw and Share
  • Paper Mache’
  • Sculpt and Share
  • Soap Carving

CREATE LINK

**The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

SAGINAW ART MUSEUM

Color the Collection with the Saginaw Art Museum – The Saginaw Art Museum partnered with this Saginaw Career Complex graphic arts class to design coloring sheets based on our permanent collection. Students used Adobe Illustrator to create these coloring sheet as part of an assignment to learn how to better use the program

COLORING SHEETS LINK

 


7. PLAY inside and outside at home

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

MID-MICHIGAN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Transform your living room, backyard, or bedroom into your very own mini-MMCM with these ideas for at-home, Play & Learn fun.

  • Explore STEM
    Delve into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and enjoy hands-on STEM challenges your kids will love!
  • Explore Arts & Crafts
    Who doesn’t love arts and crafts? Creating art allows your children to interact with the world around them and teaches them new communication skills. Check out these fun crafts that are mostly made using items you can find around your house!
  • Explore Story time
    Here you can find all the best stories your kids love in easy to follow videos! Follow along with us as we bring you our favorites like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Rainbow Fish.

PLAY AT HOME LINK

**The Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

CHIPPEWA NATURE CENTER

Print off a scavenger hunt and discover in the backyard or neighborhood.  The Chippewa Nature Center has a range of scavenger hunts geared for all ages.

SCAVENGER HUNT LINK

**The Chippewa Nature Center is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

 


8. TRAVEL through space to another world

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

DELTA COLLEGE PLANETARIUM

Browse through Delta College Planetarium’s Facebook newsfeed for videos, links and information about our universe, that you and your child can explore.

FACEBOOK LINK

**The Delta College Planetarium is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

 


9.  Get messy and EXPERIMENT

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

MID-MICHIGAN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Subscribe to the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum’s YouTube page and check out the videos.  Staff at the museum have create videos of water experiments

YOUTUBE LINK

**The Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE IN STEM EDUCATION

The Center for Excellence in STEM Education’s YouTube page is filled with quick videos on art projects, science concepts, and experiments.

YOUTUBE LINK

Also, check out the MAKE AT YOUR OWN PACE page for projects that can be made in 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or may take all day.

MAKE AT YOUR OWN PACE LINK

**The Center for Excellence in STEM Education is a participant in the STEM Passport.  Visit and attend (virtual or in-person) events and receive a $25 gift card courtesy of MiSTEM. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

 


10. AND Action! Storytime

Image by press 👍 and ⭐ from Pixabay

THE TEMPLE THEATRE

Cuddle up and grab a computer to watch one act plays, musical performances, and a series created for kids called AND Action! StoryTime.

YOUTUBE LINK

 


STEM Pipeline’s STEM Passport

The Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR) is home to a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) destinations and programs. Below list some that you can explore. Visit or attend events (in-person or virtual) at five (5) or more of these destinations and you’ll receive a $25 gift card on behalf of the GLBR STEM Initiative & MiSTEM Network.

LEARN MORE