3, 2, 1...are you ready for a new year? New lesson plans? Some computer science fun? Get ready with the 2021 STEM Holiday Calendar you've been searching for!
It's no secret that 2020 has been pretty tough. As a result, we saw massive changes all over the globe, and one of the places these changes were most apparent was in school. That said, 2020 is coming to an end, and we can look forward to 2021. As you do so, it's totally normal to feel uncertain about what's to come for you and your students. While this year is sure to have its ups and downs, we encourage you to seek out moments of hope and fun in your teaching, and what better way to add a bit of positivity than celebrating a holiday?
Now, you likely already have a calendar with the major holidays, right? But you might not know that there are tons of barely-known holidays happening almost every day that you can use to add a spark to your classroom curriculum! In this article, we provide a FREE 2021 STEM Holiday Calendar available as a digital download that features notable achievements in STEM.
Why is the 2021 Holiday Calendar only STEM related?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Appreciating and understanding these concepts is important, because the world as we know it wouldn't function without them! From kitchen appliances to roads and bridges to the weather to our cell phones, STEM is everywhere. By exposing young students to examples of STEM and giving them the opportunities to explore related concepts in school, they will be more likely to continue seeking a deeper understanding of STEM in the future - perhaps as a field of study or as their career!
If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors, and workers can understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, and to meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce, building students' skills, content knowledge, and fluency in STEM fields is essential.
We invite you to use this calendar to spark conversations and interest in some lesser-known STEM topics throughout the year. For example, think about all the awesome projects you could do on National Paper Airplane Day! However you use it, we hope the calendar helps you get creative, inspires your students, and brings some innovation and joy to the rest of the 2021 school year.
Your 2021 STEM Holiday Calendar
January 29th: National Puzzle Day
This is the perfect day to do a little brain exercise! Scientists have discovered that when we work on a jigsaw puzzle, we utilize both sides of the brain. Consequently, a puzzle can help improve memory, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills. In other words, let's get puzzling! (Source: National Today)
February 11th: International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Today, just 30% of researchers worldwide and 35% of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields of study are women. According to the UN, "Science reflects the people who make it, and science needs women and girls!" On this day, we recognize the scientific contributions women have made throughout history. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science. (Source: UN Women)
February 21st - 27th: National Engineering Week
There are many types of engineering that students (and teachers!) may not know about. Chemical, mechanical, industrial, and electrical engineering, as examples. This week is dedicated to increasing understanding of engineering and technology careers. So, try participating in an engineering challenge or project to celebrate! (Source: National Society of Professional Engineers)
March 10th: First Telephone Call
Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, made the first phone call on March 10, 1876. The call was to his assistant, Thomas Watson, and he said, "Mr. Watson--come here--I want to see you." What would you have said?" (Source: Americaslibrary.gov)
March 14th: Pi Day
Each year on March 14th, people around the world celebrate Pi Day. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in math to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Which, in other words, (or more accurately, numbers), is about 3.14. Therefore, 3/14 is an annual opportunity to appreciate math and eat pie (of course). (Source: Piday.org)
April is Mathematics Awareness Month!
Math Awareness Week was first celebrated in 1986 and the event was expanded to a full month in 1999. Above all, the goal of this month is to highlight the value, usefulness, and beauty of mathematics. (Source: Mathematical Association of America)
April 4th - 10th: National Robotics Week
National Robotics Week (a.k.a. RoboWeek) is aimed at increasing public awareness of the strength and importance of the U.S. robotics industry. In addition, we take this week to think about the tremendous impact that robotics will have on the future. Ultimately, the mission is to inspire students in STEM-related fields and share robotics' excitement with participants of all ages. (Source: Nationalroboticsweek.org)
April 21st: World Creativity and Innovation Day
The United Nations has designated April 21st as World Creativity and Innovation Day. Overall, the goal is to raise awareness of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development. So, try out creative projects, invent a new tool, or design a solution to a problem in celebration! (Source: United Nations)
April 22nd: Earth Day
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world to show support for the environment. This day was first celebrated in 1970, and now 193 countries celebrate it each year. Above all, Earth Day's mission is to drive transformative change for people and planet. What will you do to protect the earth? (Source: Earthday.org)
April 30th: Arbor Day
Have you ever planted a tree? Today's your day! On Arbor Day, we take the opportunity to positively impact trees and their global health. Together, we can green up our communities, replant forests across the country, save the rainforest and make a change for good. (Source: Arborday.org)
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month...
Each May, the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition encourages Americans to #MoveinMay in celebration of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. So, celebrate by going for a walk or hike, play a sport, or do a dance - the choice is yours! (Source: Health.gov)
...and National Inventors Month!
This annual celebration was created to promote inventors' positive image and the real contributions they give to this world. With this in mind, take some time in May to look up the inventors behind some of your favorite things. For instance, do you know the incredible invention story of Flaming Hot Cheetos?? (Source: Invent.org)
May 7th: Space Day
The First Friday in May is dedicated to the extraordinary achievements, benefits, and opportunities to explore space! Space Day aims to promote math, science, technology, and engineering education for young people. As a result, students are more likely to pursue future knowledge or a career in space-related jobs. (Source: Nationaldaycalendar.com)
May 26th: National Paper Airplane Day
Did you know that crafting paper planes is said to have originated out of ancient China? However, the art is said to have been perfected out of Japan. Now, paper airplanes delight children and adults alike around the globe. On this day, we celebrate by constructing paper planes and participating in games or contests. (Source: National Today)
June 5th: World Environment Day
World Environment Day, hosted by a different country each year, is said to be the most renowned day for environmental action. First started in 1974, this day is a way to engage the worldwide community and focus our efforts on a pressing environmental issue. The theme in 2020 was Biodiversity. What do you think the theme will be in 2021? (Source: United Nations)
June 8th: World Oceans Day
The goal of World Oceans Day is "to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, wealth, and the promise of the ocean." (Source: United Nations)
June 23rd: International Women in Engineering Day
International Women in Engineering Day is a campaign that raises international awareness of women in engineering. Most importantly, the day focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. (Source: Inwed.org)
June 30th: Asteroid Day
Asteroid Day is an annual UN-sanctioned global awareness campaign with the mission to inspire, engage, and educate the public about asteroids. In other words, we take this day to celebrate learn about asteroids and the incredible impact they have on our solar system. Also, how to stay safe in case an asteroid is headed our way! (Source: Asteroidday.org)
July 20th: Moon Landing
On July 20, 1969, astronaut crew members Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the moon. While doing so, they cemented an incredible first for all human history. (Source: Nasa)
August 19th: National Aviation Day
August 19th is the birthday of Orville Wright, one of the legendary Wright Brothers who invented the airplane in 1903. As a result, we are encouraged on this day to celebrate the history of aviation, remember how far we’ve come as a nation, and support the future of flight! (Source: National Aviation Museum)
August 24th: Pluto Isn't a Planet Day
Our understanding of the solar system was forever changed on August 24, 2006, when researchers voted to reclassify Pluto from a planet to a dwarf planet. While it may have felt like Pluto got a demotion, we can take the day to celebrate one of the greatest strengths of science — the ability to change definitions in light of new evidence. (Source: Space.com)
Septmeber 11th: Atari Release Date
Released in 1977, the Atari console marked the beginning of a new era in home gaming systems. Since, we recognize Atari as the console that pioneered and popularized many of the features used in the gaming consoles we use today. (Source: Funstock Retro)
September 12th: National Video Games Day
Fittingly, the day after Atari release date, we celebrate all video games! On this day, we celebrate the history of video games and the incredible technological advancements in the gaming world. However, not all games offer the same educational value, many components that may increase a player's problem-solving and teamwork skills. All this to say, screen time doesn't have to be a bad thing. (Source: National Today)
September 28th: Ask a "Stupid" Question Day
Ask A "Stupid" Question Day was created by teachers who wanted to make children feel encouraged to ask more questions in the classroom. On this day, we make it a point to speak up and ask a question, no matter how scary or how "stupid" they fear the question may be. By doing so, we can create a more friendly, positive, and encouraging classroom environment. (Source: Daysoftheyear.com)
October 1st: Manufacturing Day
Held annually on the first Friday in October, this day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers. That is to say, thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation open their doors to students, parents, teachers, and community leaders. Therefore, students learn first hand about manufacturing and the career opportunities they can work towards. (Source: The Manufacturing Institute)
October 4th: Sputnik Launch
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the earth's first artificial satellite, Sputnik I. In turn, they marked a major scientific advancement for humankind. (Souce: U.S. Department of State)
October 10th: National Metric Day
The 10th day in the 10th month of the year is set aside to celebrate the metric system. This day allows Americans to focus on the importance and convenience of the measurement system based on 10s. Meanwhile, most of us are still stuck on the Imperial System, but let's see if we can teach our students the benefits of metric too! (Source: National Council of Teacher of Mathematics)
November 8th: National STEM and STEAM Day
Today we celebrate all things STEM AND STEAM! In case you didn't know, STEAM is the same as STEM, but with the addition of the Arts. In short, it is important to encourage students to become well versed in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This is especially true with innovators releasing new technologies every day. Above all, we can use fun STEM and STEAM activities to engage students and encourage future explorations. (Source: Discovery.com)
November 23rd: Fibonacci Day
Fibonacci Day is an annual holiday that honors one of the most influential mathematicians of the Middle Ages - Leonardo Bonacci. Bonacci is known for popularizing the Fibonacci Sequence, a pattern of numbers where the sum of the two previous numbers in the sequence. For example, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5...and so forth. Do you notice that 11/23 are the first four numbers of the sequence? Therefore, we celebrate on this day! So, go out and start looking for patterns and evidence of the sequence in the world around you! It might be easier than you think.
December 5th: Computer Science Education Week
Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science. In addition, this is a chance to advocate for equity in computer science education. Finally, we take this week to celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field of coding and computer science. (Source: csedweek.org)
Here at Kodable, CSEdWeek is our favorite week of the entire year! We absolutely love participating in the Hour of Code, because it gives kids the chance to try coding for one hour. This is something many of them have never done before. In response, we hope to make a positive impact with our fun coding games and free teacher resources!
By teaching students about STEM, teachers have the power to inspire the next generation of innovators, inventors, and creative problem solvers.
Download your calendar and Join Us for a Year of STEM!