Back to School STEM Challenge - Apple Annihilator Print and Paperless Bundle

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 1 reviews
1 Rating
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
List Price:
You Save:
List Price:
You Save:
Share this resource
Report this resource to TPT
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching

Products in this Bundle (3)


    This back-to-school STEM / STEAM Challenge brings the joy back to your classroom with collaborative, hands-on, brain-busting work (disguised as fun)! Of course, this challenge is also great for any time in the fall when learning about apples and Johnny Appleseed!

    It's also a great intro to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which is part of 3rd and middle school NGSS standards! (3PS2-1, MS-PS2-1, and MS-PS2-2)

    The basic premise:

    Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build an apple wrecking ball built for annihilation!

    • Students will set up marker “bowling pins” and try to knock down as many as possible using their apple wrecking ball designs.


    Note: This resource includes both the printable version and the paperless option for use with GOOGLE SLIDES (TM) for 1:1 / paperless classroom.


    Resource includes:

    NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

    Teacher Tips

    • Links to STEM Challenge How-To videos
    • Materials and timing
    • Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
    • Measuring results
    • Post-design extension activities list
    • Link to a video walk-through of the challenge

    Handouts & Google Slides(TM) Options for Student Recording & Reflecting

    • Criteria & Constraints List (color and black & white; editable version provided)
    • Bowling pin guide sheets to help students set up markers for annihilation and accuracy tests.
    • Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included) (editable and in color and black & white)
    • >>>>>Two options provided: Test for annihilation only or annihilation & accuracy
    • Discussion Questions (editable and in color and black & white)

    Extension templates

    • Process Flow Map
    • Create Math Problems Based on Designs


    Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

    Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.

    • Set of markers (10)
    • Markers will be used like bowling pins, so must stand on their own Crayola or broad highlighters work well
    • Apple (1)
    • Pocket folder with prongs (1)
    • >>>>>File folder or pocket folder without prongs may be substituted
    • Small or medium binder clips (1 – 2)
    • Unsharpened pencils (4 – 6)
    • Tape (24 – 36 in.)
    • String or yarn (36 – 48 in.)
    • Ruler
    • Scissors
    • Design analysis handouts (included)
    • Marker “bowling pin” handouts (included)


    • Cardboard boxes, tubes, or scraps (helpful in building a support structure and base for the wrecking ball rather than attaching to desk/table)

    • Craft sticks

    • Pipe cleaners

    • Dowels

    • Rubber bands


    What do teachers have to say about this resource?

    "Our entire school does a monthly STEAM challenge. For the month of September, the challenge had to include apples. This project was absolutely perfect for what I was looking for. Grade/age appropriate and the kids LOVED it! Also, working in groups of 4 to plan and build their annihilator was fantastic collaboration skills. Thanks kindly!" (2nd & 3rd grade)

    "I used this with my 8th grade students in the first week of school - they LOVED it! I loved getting to know them as cooperative learners as they worked through their struggles and problem solved. Thank you so much for this awesome resource!!"

    "This was such a fun activity. I really appreciate all of the extra information that you include with your products."

    "I use this on the first day of school! Students are so excited to come back on day two and go home telling their parents how awesome school is going to be. Amazing product."

    "My kids favorite STEM activity so far this year! Thank you for such a great product! "

    "I love how this can be used for a variety of grade levels. All the videos linked were very helpful in administering this awesome project."

    Total Pages
    Answer Key
    Teaching Duration
    Report this resource to TpT
    Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TpT’s content guidelines.


    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.


    Questions & Answers

    Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

    More About Us

    Keep in Touch!

    Sign Up