As the leaves turn and the air gets crisper, it’s the perfect time to introduce an engaging STEM fall activity into your classroom. And what better way to do that than with the Pumpkin Picker STEM activity? This pumpkin STEM activity hands-on challenge is not only perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving but also a fantastic opportunity to spark your students’ creativity and problem-solving skills.
This pumpkin STEM activity challenge works any time, but was originally created as part 3 of the Thanksgiving STEM series. We start the series with students designing and building a boat for water transportation in the Mini Mayflower/Mini Mishoon STEM activity and then shelters for the Wampanoag and Pilgrims in the Protect the People STEM challenge. The next step in the Thanksgiving STEM series is to gather available food in the area. That’s where Pumpkin Picker comes in!
Here’s a quick reminder of the order we’re following in the Thanksgiving STEM series:
– Mini Mayflower / Mini Mishoon STEM Activity (Get to where you’re going)
– Protect the People STEM Activity (Build a shelter)
– Pumpkin Picker STEM Activity (Gather available food)
– Corn Cultivator STEM Activity (Set up sustainable food source)
– Turkey Transporter STEM Activity (Once all major needs are met, there’s time for fun!)
Pumpkin STEM Fall Activity – Pumpkin Picker STEM Premise
Pumpkin Picker is an exciting STEM challenge that tasks students with a unique mission: to design and construct a device capable of efficiently harvesting a bountiful field of pumpkins. Efficiency is the name of the game here, and students will be competing to see who can clear the pumpkin patch with the fewest moves or in the shortest amount of time, driving them to think critically, strategize, and optimize their pumpkin-picking contraptions. Whether your students prefer to tackle the challenge individually or work in partners and small groups, they’ll be vying to claim the title of the most efficient pumpkin picker.
The list of materials you’ll need is short and super flexible, making this STEM challenge easy to incorporate with very little need for additional prep.
- Candy pumpkins or candy corn
- Pipe cleaners
- Popsicle/craft sticks
- Plastic spoons
- Bowl or holding container for harvested pumpkins
- Copies of the pumpkin patch guide handout or green construction paper
- Copies of data recording & analyzing handouts
And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are optional materials you can incorporate, such as straws, clothespins, string, rulers or measuring tapes, tape, cable ties, and rubber bands.
Fall Pumpkin STEM Activity Video Walk-Through
The video walk-through of Pumpkin Picker is embedded below. In it, you’ll find the inside scoop on how to make the most of this fantastic fall-themed STEM adventure with information about materials, modifying difficulty level, measuring results, extensions and some tips & tricks to guide you. After you watch it, you’ll be better able to guide your students through the challenge.
The Pumpkin Picker STEM activity is a fantastic way to embrace the fall season while teaching your students important STEM skills. This hands-on, creative challenge will have your students excited and engaged, all while learning valuable problem-solving skills. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of pumpkins, STEM, and fun with the Pumpkin Picker STEM activity!
Where Can I Find This & Other STEM Fall Activities?
You can find this Fall and Thanksgiving Pumpkin STEM activity alone (top left) or in a bundle of 5 Thanksgiving STEM activities (top right). You may also like the Fall STEM Activities Bundle & the Halloween STEM Activities Bundle.
You can also find the Pumpkin Picker STEM activity on Etsy!
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