STEM challenges! If you already love doing STEM challenges with your students, I know you will enjoy these. If you have thought about doing STEM challenges but weren't sure where to start, this is a great way to dive in! This resource has 10 STEM challenges you can do with readily available materials. These are wonderful for team-building and can be used with a wide grade range.
This is the second set of 10 STEM Challenges You Can Do Today, but these challenges are all self contained so you do not have to do the previous STEM challenges to try these. The .zip file contains a PDF file with all of the pages you need, as well as two AVI movie files showing a synthesized 4-bar linkage for the 10th challenge. Photographs of finished challenge samples are included for each STEM challenge!
The challenges cover a wide range of engineering disciplines:materials engineering (bubble challenge), industrial engineering (fidget fix), acoustical engineering (musical instrument), mechanical engineering (elevator, windshield wipers), code creator (software engineering), aeronautical engineering (windmill)
Contents 10 STEM challenges, each with a description, photographs of examples, a display page stating the challenge, as well as 5 "Talk Like an Engineer" word cards with relevant vocabulary.
→ Design a Zip Line → Design a Windmill → Fidget Fix → Code Creator (create simple code with conditional statement IF ELSE, no computer necessary!) → Design a Musical Instrument → Bubble Maker → Elevator Challenge → Design a Hammock → Printing Press → Windshield Wipers (synthesize a 4-bar linkage)
Also included: → Graphic organizer (1 page) and engineering report (2 pages). Choose either to document each challenge, or use the provided interactive pages (2) in your science notebooks.
Please note: While these challenges are designed to be completed with readily available classroom and household materials, your students will have an easier time completing the challenges if you have the following materials available: foam paper sheets (for the printing press challenge), metal fasteners (for the windshield wiper challenge), and thin cardboard (such as from cereal and other food boxes), and string (for the zip line and elevator challenges). You will also need to either have bubble solution or make your own with water, dish detergent, and either corn syrup or glycerin.
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As a former engineer and current homeschooling parent, I love creating fun and practical-life math units as well as hands-on math and science experiments! You can read about some of the experiments and activities we've done on my momgineer blog, or like my Facebook page for updates. I have two very curious home learners that keep me on my toes constantly creating new activities and games, as this is how they best learn. I primarily create these materials for them for our homeschool classroom, but I have also created units for other homeschooling families.