First Day of School Science STEM Activity Icebreaker Back to School Activity

Rated 4.72 out of 5, based on 138 reviews
138 Ratings
Grade Levels
Not Grade Specific
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  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
3 pages
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The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

What educators are saying

Used this resource for the first day of GT camp! Students loved the challenge and the idea of creating around constraints.
My students loved this challenge! The moving part definitely gave some pause and caused many to think of creative solutions. It was fantastic to see their creativity!
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This FUN and challenging back to school NGSS and STEM name tag activity in both digital PDF and Google Slides is the PERFECT icebreaker to get your students excited about science and engineering and to get know your students during the first week whether in person or during remote or distance learning (MS-ETS1-1 and MS-ETS1-2). Students are presented with the task of designing and creating a NAME TAG that follows specific criteria in one class period! (Ex: using only specific materials, has to fit in your binder, has one moveable part, etc.) They complete the reflection for homework and share their name tags the following day to get to know one another better and to further reflect on their design. Students fold their name tags, store them in their binder, and use them every day for the first few weeks to get to know each other better!

*****NEWLY ADDED! A Google Slides digital version of this product is included with purchase! Simply assign on Google Classroom or whatever platform you use and have the students use Flipgrid to share their final products! It can even be downloaded as a PowerPoint presentation!

Product includes:

  • Student Directions Page (you can write the materials you will be using on the lines or use TPT digital tool to add text boxes)
  • Link to Google Slides version (NEW!)
  • Student Reflection on the design process
  • “For the Teacher” Notes

This activity is an introduction to the Next Generation Science Standards on Engineering Design:

MS-ETS1-1. 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.

MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Looking for an activity to introduce students to the Crosscutting Concepts? Check out this activity: Crosscutting Concepts Stations or here for FREE graphic organizers: CCCs Graphic Organizers

Looking for an activity to introduce students to the Science and Engineering Practices, check out this one: Science and Engineering Practices Stations Activity. (If you plan to use both resources, it’s best that you offer some time in between because it may be overwhelming for students.)

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Total Pages
3 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
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.


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