Easel by TpT
Seamlessly assign resources as digital activities

Learn how in 5 minutes with a tutorial resource. Try it Now  

Back to School STEM Challenge - Apples Aloft Print and Paperless Bundle

Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Formats Included
  • Zip
List Price:
Bundle Price:
You Save:
List Price:
Bundle Price:
You Save:
Share this resource
Includes Google Apps™
This bundle contains one or more resources with Google apps (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

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 of year, but especially in the fall when learning about apples, Johnny Appleseed, or Sir Isaac Newton!

    The basic premise:

    Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build the tallest tower possible using symbols of the back-to-school season: apples and school supplies!


    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)
    • Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included) (editable and in color and black & white)
    • Discussion Questions (editable and in color and black & white)

    Extension templates

    • Process Flow Map
    • Create Math Problems Based on Designs
    • Worksheet: Estimate and measure distances in the classroom and around the school in Apples Aloft towers (two versions plus editable versions provided)
    • Optional secondary challenge (Apple Abater) with Criteria & Constraints List and Design Analysis handouts


    Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

    • Small apple (1)
    • Unsharpened pencils (6 - 12)
    • Rubber bands (5)
    • Pocket folder with prongs (1)
    • File folder or pocket folder without prongs may be substituted
    • Index cards (5 – 10)
    • Tape (12 – 24 in.)
    • Paper lunch bags (1 – 2)
    • Ruler or measuring tape (for measuring, not a building material)
    • Scissors
    • Design analysis handouts (included)


    • Markers or highlighters
    • Pipe cleaners
    • Notebook paper
    • String or yarn
    • Glue sticks


    What do teachers have to say about this resource?

    “My students were very engaged in this project. It provided a great team-building activity for the first days of school. Thanks!”

    “What a great way to see your students' personalities! This was way too much fun for all!”

    “This was a great product to introduce my class to STEM activities at the beginning of the year. It was simple, fun, and challenging.”

    "This was SO MUCH FUN!!! I teach 4-8 special education and one of my students said, "This is the best school day ever!" when we finished the activity. Thank you!"

    "So much fun! Again, I used it in our after school CLC program with 5-11 year old. All had fun!"

    "This was great! I have students from 5th grade to 8th grade and all just loved it."

    "Awesome STEM challenge! Perfect for the first week of school or back to school from a break. Thank you!"

    "Did this today! The kids ABSOLUTELY loved it and I loved that I was able to pick and choose what I needed to include!"

    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).
    Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
    Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
    Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
    Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.


    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