For ages, I’ve been meaning to create a Winter STEM Challenge bundle to bridge the gap between the Christmas season and Valentine’s Day, but the inspiration took awhile to get to the right set of five challenges. I pride myself on original, high-quality challenges, so I wasn’t going to rush it. At long, last, it’s finally here!
In the late winter series, you’ll find a STEM Challenge for:
Winter STEM Challenges Video Preview
Below, you’ll find a very brief overview for each challenge. Click through on the titles to go to the blog post for that challenge where you’ll find all the details you need, including walk-through videos and more!
Black History or Women’s History Month: Functional Furniture Winter STEM Challenge
Working against a criteria/constraints list in groups, students will design and build multi-functional furniture, or furnish an entire apartment.
This challenge was created as a way to celebrate Black History Month and/or Women’s History Month in science class. The premise is inspired by Sarah E. Goode’s 1885 invention of the folding cabinet bed. She was one of the first African-American women to obtain a patent for her invention!
In groups, students will create groundhog shadows, searching for the perfect combinations of light source angles, distances, and even groundhog accessories to meet the specified shadow criteria & constraints. Shadows will be traced and and turned into street art/graffiti. (Includes modifications, grades 2-8.)
Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners, students will design a snow scoop to designed for maximum capacity and/or maximum efficiency. Success can be evaluated in one or both of the following ways:
– Largest possible scoop capacity
– Time to clear a 1-inch path in the snow (or to clear the entire yard of snow)
In partners/small groups, students will design the “iciest” tree possible.
• Using a criteria/constraints list, students will build a tree with branches. They will also create triangular icicles to attach tothe branches. Point values are assigned to each triangle based on various criteria (dependent on age group). Students attempt to create the iciest tree possible in the class’s Frosted Forest.
• This challenge can be run simply (focusing on shape creation & manipulation, measurement, and addition), or you can add complexity (focusing on triangle classification by sides and angles, layering icicles, assigning point value based on area, etc.). Two editable criteria/constraints lists are provided to highlight either end of the spectrum.
If it’s out of season, feel free to call it “Triangle Tree” instead! No need to wait until the winter, just do a little re-branding!
Working against a criteria/constraints list in groups, students will build waiters’ trays designed to hold “snowy” 3D solids in an indoor relay race.
Print & Paperless STEM Challenge Resources:
Looking for More Winter or Something for Christmas?