Halloween STEM Challenge Activity - Bone Bridge®

Rated 4.85 out of 5, based on 1220 reviews
1.2k Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
24 pages
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching

What educators are saying

My students completed this Stem activity after our reading unit on skeletons in October. They really enjoyed it and didn't want the activity to end.
This resource was incredibly thorough. I appreciated the video tutorial that went along with it. It was a perfect Fall/Halloween activity to conclude a 3rd grade science unit on the skeletal system.
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  3. Halloween STEM Challenges are collaborative, brain-busting work disguised as fun! This is the first resource from Bone Bridge® STEM Challenges!The basic premise:Students work in partners or groups against a list of criteria and constraints to build a bridge for length, strength, or capacity using si
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The Bone Bridge® Halloween STEM activity is collaborative, brain-busting work disguised as fun! This challenge goes beyond Halloween. Connect it to the skeletal system, bridges/transportation, and/or forces (specific ideas provided in the resource).

The basic premise:

Students work in partners or groups against a list of criteria and constraints to build a bridge for length, strength, or capacity using simple materials.

This is the first resource from Bone Bridge® STEM Challenges!


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 (TM) 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 a video walk-through of the challenge & 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
  • Post-design extension activities list & links

EDITABLE Student Handouts

  • Criteria and Constraints list
  • Design Analysis Handouts
  • two sets & two versions: 2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included for two different goals: length or length + weight held
  • Discussion Questions

Extension templates

  • Process flow map
  • Create & solve math problems based on designs
  • Bone Idioms activity template (editable)
  • Bridge Idioms activity template (editable)


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

Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

  • Cotton swabs (30 - 50)
  • Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)
  • Popsicle/craft sticks (5 - 10)
  • Penny (to measure gap constraint)
  • Scissors
  • Rulers/measuring tapes (tip: pick up paper measuring tapes from Ikea)


  • Straws
  • String
  • Cardboard
  • Tape, cable ties
  • Candy pumpkins or base-ten blocks for weights (if weight/capacity criterion is used)


What are teachers saying about Bone Bridge®?

“The class had so much fun with this challenge! When we started putting weights on each bridge they were cheering so loud other teachers had to come see what was happening.” (grade level not indicated)

"My students didn't want this activity to end. Watching them work in groups and try different ideas was rewarding." (2nd grade teacher)

“I love the optional extensions and discussion questions! That will help me differentiate for my high functioning students.” (grade level not indicated)

“This was such a fun and engaging activity! It was an optional task, and I would say at least 95% of my students chose to do this! We also used this to introduce the idea of constraints. It was such a great productive struggle for them to learn to use only the provided materials and have to navigate their way through. Highly recommend.” (3rd - 5th grade teacher)

“This was a great activity to use during the week of Halloween as a STEM activity with my 5/6 graders. They loved it and were very competitive. It kept them very engaged during the crazy Halloween week." (5th/6th grade teacher)

“This was perfect! Much more challenging than the students expected!” (grade level not indicated)

"My students had a blast with this assignment. As we were in a hybrid situation, some of my students were in class and others home. We planned ahead so everyone had the materials and a space to work. None of the student creations came out like I thought they would ... it gave a nice hands on experience." (7th/8th grade teacher)


You may also like these products:

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Thanksgiving STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Twilight Zone Plot Diagram, Summary, and Writing Activities (5th– 8th)

Halloween Parts of Speech Activity (2nd – 3rd)

Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE

Total Pages
24 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.


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