Looking for a fun Christmas activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and/or math?
The basic premise:
Working against a criteria/constraints list, each student will design and build reindeer antlers. Students are then grouped for a reindeer relay race in which they use their antlers to transport and hand-off Christmas decorations.
– To save time, have each student build just one antler. During the relay race, they will share with their teammates so each person “running” will have two antlers to hold on their head.
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!
Note: This product was updated Oct. 30, 2016, so be sure to re-download for the latest version. :)
Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:
- 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 min. if you are including data gathering and analysis rather than just building for fun. 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.
• For each student:
– Pipe cleaners (10 – 15 or less if building only one antler)
– Popsicle/craft sticks (10 – 15 or less if building only one antler)
– Copies of data recording & analyzing handouts
• For each group
– Christmas decorations (10 – 15 mixed pieces per group)
• Ornaments (plastic), tinsel, bows, ribbon, garland, etc.
– Rubber bands
– Glue gun
– Timers/Stopwatches (for relay race)
– Cones or sidewalk chalk (for relay race markers)
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- Links to my 5-part video series on getting started with STEM challenges
- Premise & Set-up
- Materials and timing
- Modifying Criteria & Constraints to adjust challenge difficulty
- Measuring results & running the relay race
- Post-design extension activities list & links
- A video walk-through of this challenge will be posted & linked Dec. 1, 2016
- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)
- Design Analysis Handouts (Two sets in color and black & white: 2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included)
- Discussion Questions
- Arctic/Antarctic Animal Riddle Template
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
What are teachers saying about Reindeer Relay?
“This was our second Stem Challenge of yours and we loved it! It was used in an SDC 3rd/4th classroom. They loved creating their antlers and the relay race. Thank you!”
“My students love when I pull STEM activities into the classroom, and I love the teambuilding aspect of it. Win win!”
“This is one of the best activities I've ever paid for here on TPT. My students LOVED LOVED LOVED this and we had great discussions about design thinking.”
“My students had a blast with this one!”
You may also like these products:
STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE
Christmas/Winter STEM Design Challenge: 5-in-1 Bundle
Thanksgiving STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle
Christmas Parts of Speech Activity (2nd – 3rd)
Graphing with Skittles Activity (2nd – 3rd)
Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE