I’m probably telling on myself a bit here but growing up, hands-on learning activities in school were infrequent. If anything, I did hands-on experiments at home because of the influence of shows like Mr. Wizard’s World (my favorite was poking a pin through a piece of tape on a balloon and being amazed that it didn’t pop). Any hands-on learning experiences were limited to science classes and were mostly dissecting animal parts and insects. If you were to ask me why we did them, I’d be hard-pressed to give you an answer beyond “we were learning about the body.” So, there’s the rub — just because an activity is hands-on doesn’t necessarily mean it’s meaningful or will boost understanding. How can incorporating hands-on activities create an effective STEM learning experience?