10 Low Prep STEM Activities and Challenges

Rated 4.89 out of 5, based on 394 reviews
394 Ratings
Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th, Homeschool
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Meredith Anderson - Momgineer

What educators are saying

I have only used one challenge so far, but they are all great ideas and I look forward to using them all!
This is a great resource. Wonderful instructions on how to complete each STEM activity. Thank you so much!

Products in this Bundle (10)

    showing 1-5 of 10 products


    Gear Train Bonus Challenge
    Also included in
    1. The best variety of low prep STEM you'll find! These 20 STEM and STEAM activities can be completed with readily available materials and minimal prep (these are not quite no prep but they are close!). "It has helped me start the STEAM lab at our school with very little effort on my part. The lessons
      Price $35.00Original Price $70.00Save $35.00
    2. This bundle includes resources to keep your students actively engaged in STEM all year long. The bonus file includes an overview for using the resources as well as some extra options for planning, recording, and tracking.There are over 90 STEM challenges included in this bundle.1) Start with the ST
      Price $165.00Original Price $256.00Save $91.00
    3. Elementary STEM teachers, this bundle has hundreds of activities (300+!) for your STEM classes! With a mix of quick STEM challenges, STEM center activities, and more in depth engineering design challenges, you will always have something new to do!This bundle includes everything in both the K-2 and 3
      Price $259.00Original Price $415.00Save $156.00
    4. Custom bundle for Jamie S.
      Price $99.00Original Price $182.50Save $83.50


    STEM activity challenges that are easy to implement with simple materials. If you have thought about trying a STEM challenge but weren't sure where to start, this is a great way to dive in. If you already love doing STEM challenges with your students, you will enjoy these easy-to-set up and highly engaging activities.

    This resource has 10 STEM challenges you can do with readily available materials plus a bonus challenge as well. These are wonderful for team-building and can be used with a wide grade range. These can be used in the classroom, in a makerspace, in an afterschool club, homeschool, or distance learning environment.


    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 (including links to Quizlet Study Sets).

    • Design a Bridge
    • Design a Paper Airplane
    • Design a Shelter
    • Tallest Tower
    • Challenging Maze
    • Pompom Launcher
    • Float a Boat
    • Fast & Slow Sled (can be seen in action on this blog post)
    • What a Drag (Parachute)
    • Cantilever Challenge
    • BONUS: All Aboard the Gear Train

    Also Included

    • Graphic organizers (includes digital organizer)
    • Engineering reports
    • Rubric. Choose either to document each challenge, or use the provided interactive pages (2) in your science notebooks.

    You can get more of an idea what these challenges are like in this blog post, which highlights three of the challenges above (though it doesn't contain all the support materials that are included in the paid file, it is a sample of the challenges above).

    Looking for even more STEM challenges? Visit this page for set 2 of 10 STEM Challenges You Can Do Today!


    Will I need to spend a lot of money on supplies?

    You don't need a lot of expensive materials to get started! You probably have most of the supplies in your classroom already, or in your recycle bin. I have developed most of my STEM challenges to be easily modified based on the materials you have on hand. For most of the challenges, you will need basic office or craft supplies and household recyclables such as:

    • tape
    • paper, index cards, or card stock
    • recyclables like plastic cups, paper towel rolls, and cereal boxes
    • craft sticks or straws
    • plastic bags
    • aluminum foil
    • wagon wheel pasta (for the bonus challenge)

    ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

    Save money with a BUNDLE

    Get this resource and set 2 (10 additional challenges) here:

    STEM Bundle

    ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑

    If you are looking for a more rigorous approach to the engineering design process, please view my engineering design challenge resources (linked below).

    Want to go paperless?

    I have created a STEM Journal for use with ANY STEM Challenge where you can record the engineering design process without wasting paper.

    *************************** Related Resources *************************

    Engineering Design Process Posters

    Engineering Disciplines Posters

    Engineering Posters BUNDLE

    STEM Activities - 10 STEM Challenges

    STEM Activities - 10 STEM Challenges (Set 2)

    STEM Activities BUNDLE (20 challenges)

    STEM Challenges Classroom Pack (STEAM)

    »»»»»»»»»»ALL STEM Tales ««««««««««

    Engineering Design Challenges (initial purchase)

    STEM Engineering Design Challenge #1 - Design a Transport Device

    STEM Engineering Design Challenge #2 - Design a Power Transmission Tower

    STEM Engineering Design Challenge #3 - Design a Periscope

    STEM Engineering Design Challenge #4 - Design a Cargo Ship

    Engineering Design Challenge ADD ON PACKS (subsequent purchase)

    STEM Engineering Design Challenge #1 - Design a Transport Device ADD ON PACK

    STEM Engineering Design Challenge #2 - Design a Transmission Tower ADD ON PACK

    STEM Engineering Design Challenge #3 - Design a Periscope ADD ON PACK

    STEM Engineering Design Challenge #4 - Design a Cargo Ship ADD ON PACK


    Disclaimer: I have done my best to keep these as safe as possible. However, please make sure that you do your own due diligence when performing any STEM challenge. Adult supervision is necessary. Please use care, caution, and your best judgement when performing any STEM challenge, engineering challenge, or science experiment. The seller disclaims all liability for any damage or injury which might arise from the use of any of these projects.

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    to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
    Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
    Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
    Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
    Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.


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