Testing is over and as we inch closer to the end of the school year, summer is on the brain! It can be so difficult to keep kids engaged in ANYTHING, let alone meaningful and rigorous lessons/activities! You don’t want to waste instructional time, but you’re a little burned out from fighting the good fight all year long! We have all been there. Every. Single. Year.
Solution: End the school year joyfully AND academically with summer STEM Challenges! They’re collaborative, hands-on, brain-busting work (disguised as fun)!
Watch this brief video above for an overview of the challenges, and to see what comes with the resource.
As you scroll through this post, you’ll find a brief overview and photos of each challenge; more details can be found by clicking on the challenge titles. Each challenge has a video walk-through and comes in printable and paperless resources.
Video Walk-Throughs Include:
* An overview of how to conduct the challenge
* Basic criteria & constraints
* Ways to make the challenge easier or harder for your students
* How to extend with cross-curricular lessons/activities
* Demonstrations & examples
* Materials tips & more!
for all challenges are modifiable and most, if not all, can be picked up from a Target or Dollar Tree.
I recommend one challenge per day or week leading up to summer break, or even all challenges in one day-long 5-event pentathlon! A reminder: STEM challenges are always most beneficial when done in multiple iterations, but they can be treated as one-off activities as well.
Summer STEM Challenge 1: Pick & Pack
Summer STEM Challenge 2: Amphibious Phone
Basic Premise: Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build a summer-proof* case for a smart phone.(No actual smart phones will be harmed in this activity; they’ll create weighted test phones!)
= waterproof & retrievable when dropped in a body of water
Special notes: This one is very challenging! Waterproofing is tough! It’s not for the faint of heart! Remember: productive failure is an important goal of STEM challenges. The first iteration may not go well, but give it a second shot and let your students amaze you! Ideas to make the challenge easier will be included in the video walk through.