The creativity that exists across Boys & Girls Clubs is absolutely incredible. Club staff know that staying up to date with current cultural phenomenons, and even being able to turn them into educational opportunities? Priceless. That’s why when I saw Toni Cox of Boys & Girls Club of Tipton County post about this program idea I said “WE HAVE TO SHARE THIS!” Read on for more on this super fun STEM idea with FREE downloads from Toni!
If youth at your organization haven’t brought up Among Us, then brace yourself. It’s coming. If you don’t know what Among Us is, the basic idea is that it’s an online video game where you are an astronaut on a ship with others trying to maintain the ship. Meanwhile there are 1-3 players who look like crewmate astronauts who are actually imposters, or suspects, who instead try to kill crewmates and wreak havoc on the ship. Meanwhile, there are times where everyone comes together to discuss the goings-on and decide who the imposters might be and vote them out.
At my organization, even our kindergarten youth are seemingly obsessed with Among Us. They call each other “sus” and make up games that they say are Among Us. If you’ve not experienced the game yourself, I highly recommend you try it. Honestly, as a full-fledged adult, it actually is enjoyable. Although being the Imposter makes me nervous and I tend to get caught quickly.
This past fall, I helped run an in-person Among Us at my church for middle and high school students. It was okay, but I wanted to improve on it to host at my Boys & Girls Club, and last week I had the opportunity to brainstorm. I also wanted to make it a high yield activity, more than “just a game.” Thus, the idea of Among Us STEAM was born!
Any youth who saw me over the last week working on the Among Us STEAM project grew very excited and drilled me with questions about what it was for. I was pleased that they were just excited entering the room and after playing. They all gave thumbs up and wanted to keep playing. The game is designed to incorporate different areas of STEM and can be played in one large room. Most stations require few and simple materials, or organizations can choose which of the tasks they include. The Guide includes directions for play, a staff procedure for each station (includes supplies needed, set-up suggestions, the STEM principles involved, etc.,) poster for each station, youth directions for each station, any printouts needed for stations, imposter and crewmate cards, and extra posters for decoration.
For some stations, various directions and printouts are available for different age youth. We personally tested this with a “trial” number of Kinder through 5th graders (split in their age groups,) though I think it could work through 7th grade. For example, at the O2 station (which uses chemistry) the directions pictured were for younger youth and they did a good job with the visual cues. The older members pictured read more detailed directions and so reading by choice is also incorporated.
We played 2 or 3 rounds with each group. I think I could do once more in about a month with the same tasks, and then I would switch them up. Perhaps I will do an “expansion task pack.” I do include my organization email on the Guide if you have any questions. I’d love feedback or pictures of how it works at other organizations!