Christmas STEM or Winter STEM Challenge Activity - Snowman Stretch

Rated 4.89 out of 5, based on 472 reviews
472 Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
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30 pages
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
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This Winter STEM Activity is a favorite every year and the perfect way to keep your kids engaged in brain-busting work disguised as fun right up until winter vacation!

Snowman Stretch Christmas - Winter STEM Challenge Activity Overview:

Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build the tallest free-standing snowman possible. (Option 2: Students design and build a snowman of greatest volume possible.)


Note: This is the printable version, though you can upload the editable handouts to Google Slides™ if desired. However, if you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom, you may prefer the digital option designed specifically 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.


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

EDITABLE Student Handouts

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

Extension templates

  • Design an Experiment for Melting Ice (walks students through the steps of the scientific method to design an experiment to melt ice. Editable and sample answer key included.)
  • Observation handouts for melting ice experiment (editable)
  • Process Flow Map
  • Math Extension


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

Winter and Christmas STEM Challenge Activities Bundle (2nd – 8th)

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


Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

  • Copy paper (3-5 sheets)
  • Tape (24 in.)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or measuring tape


  • Bag of cotton balls and/or 3 pieces of tissue paper
  • Straws (5 – 10)
  • Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)


What do teachers have to say about this resource?

“We used this at our Frozen: Making science cool family STEM Night and our families loved it. Some of them got really into it and it was nice to see how many creative possibilities there were.”

“My GT students really enjoyed this activity. I used it as a challenge on the first day back from the holidays. Great ideas for differentiation, also. Thanks.”

“This was a great "last day of school before Christmas break" activity. Thank you the students had a great deal of fun and used a great deal of creativity!”

“This was an easy to set up STEM activity that my students loved!”

“This was an easy to set up STEM activity that my students loved!”

“Great unit. Mind stretching.”


You might also like these resources:

STEM Challenges & Bundles (grades 2 – 8):


Winter and Christmas STEM Challenge Activities Bundle (2nd – 8th)

Snow Scoop Winter STEM Activity

Frosted Forest Winter STEM Activity

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


Please check out the video preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!


Video preview music credit:

"Carefree" Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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