October 19, 2016

Thanksgiving STEM Challenge: Mini Mayflower

Thanksgiving STEM Challenge: Build a mini Mayflower for capacity and/or strength and sail to the New World. Includes modifications grades 2 - 8.

Thanksgiving approaches, and with it, the first long-ish holiday of the year. Sometimes you can feel yourself dragging your battered legs to that finish line! Trying to keep kids engaged as they too approach a much-needed rest can be a huge challenge. This is why I love STEM challenges so much. They're naturally enjoyable activities that are chock full of academic rigor (when done properly/with intent).

Over the coming weeks, I will be describing five (5) Thanksgiving challenges that follow the needs encountered by travelers setting up a new settlement: 

- Mini Mayflower (Get to where you're going)
- Protect-a-Pilgrim (Build a shelter)
- Pumpkin Picker (Gather available food)
- Corn Cultivator (Set up sustainable food source)
- Turkey Transporter (Once all major needs are met, there's time for fun!)

This week, we're heading over to the New World with Mini Mayflower!


Students design a boat built for capacity and/or speed. Capacity can be measured in any uniform object: pennies, base ten blocks, candy pumpkins (warning: food can get messy if/when the ships sink), etc.

Where Can I Find Out More?

The video walk-through of Mini Mayflower is embedded below. In it, you'll find information about materials, modifying difficulty level, extensions and some tips & tricks to guide you, so you can better guide your students through the challenge. Check it out:

Where are the Others?

Patience, grasshopper! Good things come to those who wait. This is the first of five Thanksgiving challenges. Starting Oct. 20, I'll be posting one Thanksgiving STEM challenge video every Thursday to my YouTube channel and here on my blog.

Until then, you'll find the Thanksgiving bundle briefly described in this post

All challenges are available individually and in discounted bundles in my TpT store, as well.

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