Back-to-School STEM challenges are a great way to build community, establish procedures, and get to know how your kids tick! Plus, they’re a great intro to forces and interactions and Newton’s three laws of motion, which are part of 3rd, 5th grade and middle school NGSS standards! (3PS2-1, 5PS2-1, MS-PS2-1, and MS-PS2-2)
Of course, these challenges are also great for fall when learning about apples and Johnny Appleseed!
The basic premise:
Students work in partners or groups against criteria & constraints lists to design and build solutions to design challenges using symbols of the season: apples and school supplies!
Modification suggestions are included to make these challenges engaging and productive for students in grades 2 - 8.
This bundle saves you 33% off the cost of buying each challenge separately. ☺
There are five STEM design challenges included in this bundle:
BTS: Apples Afar
BTS: Apples Aloft
BTS: Apple Annihilator
BTS: Apple Ally
BTS: Apples A-head
NOTE: You can save even more by purchasing this bundle as part of the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE!!!
Multiple iterations are recommended to get the most student benefit, but these can also be treated as one-off activities.
Benefits of STEM Design Challenges:
- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- High levels of student engagement
- The potential to hit upon all NGSS ETS standards depending on the depth and number of iterations you choose to implement in your classroom (modifications included)
- Highly flexible and differentiated for materials, timing, grade levels, and rigor.
Each design iteration should be planned for approximately 60 – 90 min. Again, I recommend working on STEM Design Challenges in multiple iterations to get the full value.
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified. Materials lists can be found in the product descriptions for each individual challenge linked above.
• STEM Challenge Tips
- Suggestions on timing and whether or not to treat these challenges as competitions
- What to say (and what not to say) during STEM Challenges
- 5-event Data Tracker handout
Plus, each challenge comes with:
• NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
• Teacher Tips
- Materials and timing
- Links to short video description of each challenge coming soon! (Afar & Aloft scheduled to post July 28, Annihilator: Aug. 4, Ally: Aug. 11, and A-head: Aug. 18)
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list
• Student Handouts
- Criteria and Constraints list (editable version provided)
- Results and Design/Data Analysis
- Discussion Questions
• Extension templates
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
- And other challenge-specific extras (see each product description page for details)
The downloadable preview shows the bonus pages included with the bundle. To see what is included with each challenge, click on the challenge link above and download the preview from that product page. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!
You might also like these products:
Seasonal STEM Design Challenge 5-in-1 Bundles (grades 2 – 8):
Or these great products:
Getting Started with STEM Challenges Freebie
Photosynthesis: Hands-on Modeling Activity
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
New Earth City STEM Challenge
Card Towers STEM Challenge
Build a Boat STEM Challenge