'Tis the season for more holiday fun (with substance) with STEM challenges!
A brief description of each challenge is available below, and more information is available by clicking on each challenge title. Starting November 24, 2016, I will be creating weekly, individual blog posts that will include a video walk-through for each challenge described below. As the posts go live, the challenge titles below will become linked to those new posts.
- Candy Cane Calamity
- Reindeer Relay
- Sleigh & Slope or Sled & Slope (Dec. 8)
- Snowman Stretch (Dec. 15)
- Frozen Fortress (Dec. 22)
Materials for all challenges were procured at the Dollar Tree except a large box of craft sticks (Michael’s) and two bags of marshmallows (Target).
|Criteria & Constraints List from |
I recommend one challenge per day or week leading up to Christmas, or even all challenges in one day-long 5-event pentathlon! STEM challenges are always most beneficial when done in multiple iterations, but they can be treated as one-off activities as well.
Note: The prepared challenge lessons, which include teacher notes/guide, modifications to increase the difficulty for older students, data recording & analysis handouts, NGSS Standards, extension ideas and more, are available as a resource bundle and individually in my TpT store (individual challenges are linked to their titles below).
Christmas Challenge: Reindeer Relay
Premise: Each student will design and build reindeer antlers. Students are then grouped for a reindeer relay in which they use their antlers to transport and hand off Christmas decorations. If you prefer a winter (non-Christmas) version, substitute "reindeer food" for decorations.
To save time, have students build just one antler. During the relay race, they will share with their teammates so each person "running" will have two antlers to hold on their head.
Winter Challenge: Frozen Fortress
Premise: In partners or groups, students will design and build a "snowball" fortress wall with two main criteria: greatest area (or height or length for younger students) and ability yo withstand a "snowball" attack.
Christmas Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
Premise: Individually or in partners, students design and build a way to safely "mail" two candy canes in one paper bag package without breakage.
Note: If you prefer, cookies can be substituted for candy canes.
Christmas Challenge: Sleigh & Slope
Premise: In partners or groups, students will build a sleigh and slope (ramp) designed to transport the sleigh the greatest possible distance. To save time or modify for younger students, you can provide the slope and ask only that they build a sleigh.
Winter Challenge: Snowman StretchKathie from Tried & True Teaching Tools gave this challenge a try in her class and blogged about it here!
Premise: Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build the tallest free-standing snowman possible.
Option 2: Students design and build a snowman of greatest volume possible.
For more details, or to purchase the activity set with modifications, handouts, and more, click here.
|Christmas-Winter 5-in-1 STEM Challenge Bundle|