Cardboard Tube STEM Activities - Toilet Paper Roll Challenges

Rated 4.71 out of 5, based on 14 reviews
14 Ratings
Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
Grade Levels
3rd - 6th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
40 pages
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Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
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  1. 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
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  4. This resource contains a bundle of 5 Simple STEM resources. Use for STEM class, sub plans, STEM family night, or a STEM club!What You'll GetSuggested Material ListsSTEM Challenge Tips: General tips for any STEM challenge.Teacher Notes: includes terminology and differentiation ideas.Sample pictures o
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Simple STEM came out of the idea of using materials that are easy to acquire and that you probably already have. A world of STEM challenges await you in this simple and inexpensive material. Use these challenges for :

  • STEM Fridays, Maker Mondays, or Tinker Tuesdays
  • After school STEM
  • Any time, to hone fine motor and problem-solving skills!
  • STEM sub plans/ sub tub. The directions and materials are easy to set up and straightforward to use.


  • Suggested Material List
  • STEM Challenge Tips: General tips for any STEM challenge.
  • Teacher Notes: includes terminology and differentiation ideas.
  • Sample pictures of completed projects.
  • Cardboard tube STEM decor
  • Recording page for each of the 6 main STEM challenges that guide the students through the engineering design process:
    • Tube structure (stability, attachment methods)
    • STEAM art (symmetry)
    • Marble run (gravity, angles)
    • Launcher (potential and kinetic energy)
    • Strongest column (axial load, cross sections)
    • Ball float challenge (Bernoulli's principle)

  • Generic cardboard tube STEM graphic organizer to use with any of the above challenges or the additional task card challenges.
  • STEM spinner page - spin a design challenge (great for independent work).
  • Calculate the cost worksheets to create Bill of Materials
  • Self-evaluation and rubric options

Materials Needed

You will need cardboard tubes, basic office supplies like tape, card stock, and cardboard tubes, as well as light balls like ping pong balls or foam balls, or pom poms. Other craft supplies, such as craft sticks, or pipe cleaners, are recommended. You will also need a hair dryer.


Simple STEM with Paper Plates

Simple STEM with Plastic Cups

Simple STEM with Popsicle Sticks

Simple STEM with String

Simple STEM with Cardboard Tubes

*************************** 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 Challenges Classroom Pack (STEAM)

STEM Tales

All STEM Tales

STEM for all Seasons

Winter STEM

Spring STEM

Summer STEM


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


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.

Find more STEM at my blog momgineer


or at STEM Activities for Kids

STEM Activities for Kids

Total Pages
40 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. Examples of devices could include electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints could include the materials, cost, or time to design the device. Devices should be limited to those that convert motion energy to electric energy or use stored energy to cause motion or produce light or sound.
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.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
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.


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