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Halloween STEM activities keep your kids engaged & learning! Not doing Halloween activities this year? No problem! Just add this to a unit on bats, life science, or as a supplement to Stellaluna.
In this Halloween STEM Challenge, students design and engineer a new set of bat wings, with the goal being to achieve maximum flight distance and/or accuracy. You can even throw in style points, if you like! It's a paper airplane challenge with a twist!
Note: This is the printable version, but you can upload the editable student handouts directly 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 (TM).
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.
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.
For each student or group:
- Bat Body copies
- Tape measure
- notebook paper
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- Links to a video walk-through of the challenge & my STEM Challenge PD video series
- Premise & Set-up
- Materials and timing
- Modifying Criteria & Constraints to adjust challenge difficulty
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list
- Wingless bat body handouts (2 options provided)
- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)
- Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included)
- Discussion Questions
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
What are teachers saying about the Wings Wanted Halloween STEM Challenge?
“Easy to implement engineering project- great to keep kids engaged before Halloween!”
"GREAT activity! Bought this to use as a "pop-in parent" activity in a 2nd and 4th grade classroom - it worked so well I'm going to use it in my adult education classroom too! Very adaptable for differentiation!"
“I used this activity with the 1st graders at my school. They loved designing their bat and giving them all different types of wings. [They] loved when we tested the bats to see how far they would fly!”
"I, as a teacher, loved everything about this resource! I haven't done much STEM work in my classes before so this was a perfect introduction for me. It was the first time a lot of my kids encountered something like this, and most were really into it and a small handful found a few frustrations. I was looking for productive struggle, and it was hard for me not to tell the kids what kinds of wings would work! We revisited the activity again after Halloween and I gave them some more info and they were more successful in wing-making. Thank you for this thoughtful activity!" (2nd grade teacher)
"This was a great resource to use with multiple grade levels during Halloween as a stem challenge. Thank you for making it so easy to use!" (2nd - 4th grade teacher)
"I loved the videos included with this project. The amount of material included was wonderful, and the fact that it is all editable made this project well worth it! I did it twice, and my 6th graders loved [it] both times!"
“LOVE! I add in STEM every day - my students had a blast with the Bat Planes. I appreciate the detail and thought that went into these packets. AWESOME RESOURCE!!” (feedback left in the Halloween 5-in-1 Bundle)
“We used this in our STEM club and all the students enjoyed it.” (5th-7th grades)
"Love this holiday twist on the paper airplanes challenge. I'm incorporating it into my ratios unit by asking the students to calculate their bat's speed in meters per second and comparing their designs to one another."
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