Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity

Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
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Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamityplay
Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
Christmas STEM Challenge: Candy Cane Calamity
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26 MB|24 pages
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Product Description
Looking for a fun Christmas or winter activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and/or math? Christmas-Winter STEM / STEAM Challenges are the perfect activities because they engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun!

The basic premise:
Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners, students will design and build a way to safely “mail” two candy canes in one paper bag package without breakage. (Note: cookies can be substituted for candy canes.)

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*** CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO PREVIEW ***

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Note: This is the printable version. If you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom, you will want to check out the digital option for use with Google Slides instead.

If you have questions about which version is right for you, please feel free to leave me a question using the product Q&A below.


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Resource includes:


NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

- Links to my 5-part video series on getting started with STEM challenges
- Materials and timing
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Universal STEM Challenge Notes & How to Use Student Handouts Post-design extension activities list
- Link to a video walk-through of the challenge

Student Handouts
- 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) (color and black & white)
- Discussion Questions (in color and B&W)

Extension templates
- Shipping research activity
- Physical vs. Chemical changes notes & activity
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension

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This is one of five Winter / Christmas STEM Challenges. They can be purchased in a bundle at a 40% discount:

Winter_Christmas 5-in-1 STEM Challenge Bundle (2nd – 8th)

This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!


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Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

– Candy canes (2)
• Cookies can be substituted for candy canes
– Paper bag
– Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)
– Popsicle/craft sticks (5 – 10)
– Tape (12 in.)
– Scissors
– Scale (to measure weight criterion)
– Copies of data recording & analyzing handouts
– Optional:
• Tissue paper, coffee filters, or cotton balls
• Balloons
• String, cable ties
• Cardboard

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Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:

- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- Helps students develop growth mindset traits like persistence and resilience
- 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 ~60 min. if you are including data gathering and analysis rather than just building for fun. If you add extension activities, you will need to adjust timing accordingly.

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What do teachers have to say about this resource?

“My students loved completing this challenge! They enjoyed the friendly competition in creating a package that would withstand the bumps and I appreciated the reflective pieces included to spark some meaningful conversation. Thanks!”

“This was so much fun!! It made our Christmas party memorable!!”

“Another easy to use STEM activity that my kids loved!”

“My students really loved this activity. It was a great real world issue for them to solve.”

“I can't wait to use this with my first graders! They love STEM and this is one project that is completely accessible to them. LOVE IT! :)”

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You might also like these resources:

STEM Challenges & Bundles (grades 2 – 8):

STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE

Christmas/Winter STEM Design Challenge: 5-in-1 Bundle

Snow Scoop

Frosted Forest

Thanksgiving STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Analyze and Interpret Data Unit

Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE


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Please check out the video preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!
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Video preview music credit:
"Carefree" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Total Pages
24 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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