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Need a back to school icebreaker that gets students moving, communicating, and building? Want to introduce STEM to you classroom? Here are 12 of our favorite basic STEM challenges that are low-cost and low-prep for any classroom!
Working as a team, they will learn lessons in communication, innovation, hidden assumptions, and creativity that are central to the engineering process. Use as a warm-up, icebreaker, team building activity, or basic STEM and engineering design challenge! Also included are more in-depth critical thinking activities that are a great introduction to science and engineering concepts.
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1. 3 Newspaper STEM Challenges: These three newspaper challenges are meant to be completed in a sequence of increasingly more difficult activities. First, the students build a tower, then they create a tower that can hold weight, and finally they are given a more creative challenge of designing and building a chair to hold a student. Handouts are provided to guide students through the engineering design process.
2. 5 Tower STEM Challenges: Towers are a great STEM activity to promote collaboration, teamwork, communication, and problem solving. This challenge lays a critical foundation for more intensive STEM challenges.
3. 4 STEM Critical Thinking Activities: Students will explore the world around them asking questions with a scientific or engineering mindset.
About STEM Challenges: Click here to learn more about the 3 Stage of STEM. STEM challenges are an engaging way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or afterschool program! These hands-on activities allow students to work in teams, apply the engineering design process, and connect science topics to real-world applications. The teacher will provide the structure to the project, but students will take an active role in designing and building their own balloon rocket device.
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