Skip to content

By SMG Academy Team on

Hauntingly good STEM activities for Halloween

To get into the Halloween spirit, the Science Museum Group Academy team have added some spooky twists to resources that you can try at home.

Our learning resource website holds over 140 learning resources related to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). These resources can be used in a variety of settings – at home, at school, and out and about! They have been developed and designed to be adaptable.

This list of spooky STEM resources have been chosen by the Science Museum Group Academy and Resource team, who work closely with teachers, community groups and others involved in STEM engagement and communication.

The team loves this spooky time of year and couldn’t resist not sharing these with you so you can make your own STEM-O-ween activities.

Leech Jar

The leech jar is one of our 3D objects. These jars were used to store leeches, which were used in a medical procedure called bloodletting.

I really enjoy the 3D objects because it lets you get a closer look at our objects from multiple angles (letting you see things like the holes in the jar that are there so air can come in for the leeches to breathe) and includes some questions to think and talk about with others.

For this at home Halloween activity use the theme of creepy crawlies! Creepy crawlies are common Halloween theme, so the leech jar ties in nicely and these blood sucking creatures can lead into a greater discussion of what real life vampire-like animals exist!

Jess, Academy programme leader

A blue and white vase with two handles with the word leeches written across the front


No Pressure is one on my favourite activities to facilitate with visitors. It looks at the topics of forces and motion, as related to what happens to astronauts in space.

Space is a subject that tends to inspire curiosity in all age groups, so this activity is great for initiating investigations and getting some lively science conversations going within groups.

For a Halloween activity to try at home , instead of astronauts in a spaceship, maybe think about spooky ghosts in a haunted house! Draw scary faces on your marshmallows, then watch them spookily grow and shrink!



Oozing Ooblek is a fantastic multi-sensory resource that sparks curiosity and conversation for all ages and only requires two simple ingredients!

Combining water and cornflour together creates a really unusual substance, something that can behave both like a solid and a liquid depending on how you are manipulating it.

This is called a non-Newtonian fluid. The science behind this fluid is quite complex and can be explored with older ages. Equally, the sensory aspect of it is so fun it is a great thing to make with little ones.

This is one of my favourite resources because when you come across it for the first time, it seems almost a bit other worldly for a material to behave in that way.

But the funny thing about it is that non-Newtonian fluids exist in our everyday, in our kitchens and are extremely easy and cheap to make!

You can make Ooblek into something fit for a Halloween activity by adding green food colouring to it and calling it slime! And, with the right equipment you can also use Ooblek to create Ooblek Monsters for that extra spooky theme!


Make an animation

Make an Animation involves making a device called a phenakistoscope, which displays a continuously looping animation consisting of images drawn onto a spinning disc.

This is my favorite resource because it is so versatile. You can draw a ball, a pattern or a figure jumping. To make it a Halloween activity to try at home,  you can draw a sequence of a pumpkin face being carved out, or a spooky ghost appearing. There’s so much fun to be had and the possibilities are endless.


Total darkness

If you’re looking for a spooky game to play at home coming up to Halloween, Total Darkness is perfect and one of my favourite digital learning resources.
When a town is plunged into darkness, you have to use your science skills to solve the mystery and get the lights back on again! You navigate the town by torchlight, meeting interesting characters, asking questions and picking up clues!


As well as solving the spooky mystery, you also find out what science skills styles you have used in the process.

Sophie, digital producer – learning

Cipher wheel

For a Halloween activity give your secret messages a spooky twist. Try out Chiper Wheel and instead of using numbers, encrypt your messages with spooky pictures. From broomsticks to pumpkins, ghosts to spider webs this is a great resource to get creative with, develop your brilliant math’s and computing skills, and more importantly ensure that you share your secrets securely with only your intended recipient.

Kate, academy programme leader

Egg-drop trick

Look no further than the egg-drop trick for a hauntingly good activity STEM Halloween activity.  Add some spooky vampire teeth, googly eyes and perhaps even a little cape and the egg-drop becomes the vampire-drop trick. Other variations could include Frankenstein, pumpkins, zombies or werewolves. A perfect activity to try at home!

Andy, acdemy programme leader

Barbers- surgeons chair

I find the 3D objects to be a very useful resource, as it gives students a chance to analyse these objects up close and come up with questions and answers about the objects that we at the museum may have never even thought of. This object has a pretty scary past, that might be perfect for secondary school students to dive into with connections to health and history. Until about 150 years ago people didn’t just go to a barber to get a shave or haircut, they often went there for surgery! From pulling teeth to leg amputations, barbers carried out a variety of operations and with no effective anesthetics. Definitely give this spooky object a try for a Halloween activity at home or in the classroom.

Alice, academy and resources devleoper (early years)

Graphite circuits

You can get your spooky creative skills flowing with Graphite circuits. We rely on electric circuits every day, in our homes, schools and places of work, in our portable gadgets and kitchens. In this Halloween activity, a circuit drawn by a pencil conducts electricity to light an LED. These circuits can be in the shape of almost anything so let your spooky imagination flow, could you create a ghost circuit with glowing LED eyes or witches’ broom? This activity can be easily modified for any age group or event.

jon, learning resources devleoper

Liquid Lava Layers

Liquid Lava Layers is a great STEM activity which involves creating your own lava lamp by using water, oil , vitamin tablet and a little bit of food colouring! This Halloween why not turn these lava lamps into potions or witches’ cauldrons by adding some spooky eyes, pumpkins or even spiders and see whether they float or sink! As well as this use some Halloween themed food colours such as orange, green or even purple!

Rachel, Academy and resource devloper


So, these are our favourite spooky resources for you to try at home this Halloween. How would you make any of our resources spooky? Let us know your ideas in the comments below.

what to read next

If you have enjoyed this blog post here are others on a similar theme you will also enjoy.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *