Looking for a fun Halloween activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and/or math? Halloween STEM / STEAM Challenges are collaborative, brain-busting work disguised as fun!
Students work in partners or groups against a criteria and constraints list to design a device to catch as many “creatures” as possible.
If you aren't allowed to do Halloween activities, you can use this to start off a unit on spiders, food chains/webs, energy pyramids and more!
Note: This version is for use with Google Slides in 1:1/paperless* classrooms. If you prefer to print and have students complete work with paper/pencil, you'll want to look at the PRINTABLE VERSION 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.
This is one of five challenges available at a 40% discount in the
Halloween Paperless STEM Challenge Bundle
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- Links to STEM Challenge how-to videos
- Materials and timing
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list
- Link to a video walk-through of the challenge
- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)
- Design Analysis
- Discussion Questions
- Process flow map
- Create & solve math problems based on designs
- 12 sample word problem slides (3 sets of 4 questions at different levels)
- Related video slides
Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:
(Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.)
– Yarn, string, or twine (3 – 5 yards)
– Pipe Cleaners (4 – 6)
• plastic bugs, bats, spiders, etc. (one set per class or per testing station will do)
– ~12 x 12 in. mat or bucket
– Copies of data recording & analyzing handouts
– Additions or substitutions for string:
• cable ties
– Coffee filters, foil, or paper (makes the challenge easier for younger students)
– Mix-ins (if adding increased-difficulty criterion for some objects to pass through the creature catcher)
Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:
- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- Helps students develop growth mindset traits like persistence and resilience
- 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 ~60-90 min. if you are including data gathering and analysis rather than just building for fun. If you add extension activities, you will need to adjust timing accordingly.
What do teachers have to say about this resource?
Note: Comments taken from the print version
“This was a favorite for my students:)”
“Extremely thorough and well written! Can't wait for more of your STEM resources!”
“The students enjoyed the activity. The follow up questions were great.”
“My students had so much fun making the spider webs. Can't wait to do some more of the activities.” (Feedback from the Halloween 5-in-1 Bundle.
“One of the best things I have ever purchased on TPT! It was awesome and still very educational! Kids loved having fun while learning! I am buying more STEM from her now!”
“My class LOVED this activity and enjoyed comparing their creature catchers. They were surprised by the different ways a group could be successful. Thank you for sharing.”
You might also like these resources:
Back-to-School STEM Bundle
STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE
Thanksgiving STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle
Twilight Zone Plot Diagram, Summary, and Writing Activities (5th– 8th)
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
Speak, Listen & Draw Task Cards
Please check out the preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!