Halloween STEM Challenge Elevators

Grade Levels
3rd - 6th
Formats Included
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28 +editable
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  1. Let's get you ready for Halloween with some STEM Challenges! This is a set of three activities that each uses a Halloween theme with pumpkins and spooky decor. But, each challenge can be used any time of year- just substitute with another object instead of pumpkins. Please note: This package contain
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  2. Perfect STEM Challenges for each month of the school year- including back-to-school! Are you ready for a money-saving way to have three challenges for each month? This fabulous bundle has you covered. This is all you will need for getting started in STEM - with exciting, engaging lessons that kids a
    Save $30.00


This STEM Activity features engineering a working elevator! For Halloween, we have lifted small pumpkins, black kettles full of candy corn, and even apples. We have also tried Easter eggs! And that is the best news ever! This challenge can be used at any time of the year! Try pumpkins for fall, apples in August, buckets of jelly beans for Valentine's Day, or stuffed (or chocolate) bunnies in the spring,

This challenge is available in money-saving bundles.

What is the challenge?

In this challenge, students will design and build a cranking elevator. They will attempt to lift items to the top of about a two-foot height. Students will work together to lift a fairly lightweight item and then a heavier item. The lifting system must make use of a turning handle that will wind the elevator system to the top and then release it back to the ground safely- without spilling or harming the cargo. You have the option of not requiring the cranking system - if this challenge needs to be a little easier.

NOTE: This resource includes two very different ways to complete this challenge. Both versions have their own teacher's guide, constraints, lab sheets, and photos.

Version 1 -

In version 1, students use the materials to create the elevator system using a box as the elevator shaft. The cargo is only lifted the height of the box. A crank is turned to lift the cargo platform.

Materials for version 1 include Boxes, paper clips, cardboard pieces, craft sticks,

object to lift (pumpkin, apple, bucket, eggs, etc.), string, masking tape, dowel sticks,

pipe cleaners, rubber bands, straws, small bucket or 3-ounce cup, and candy (optional). Many of these items are optional and substitutions may be made.

Version 1 specifically includes:

  • cover
  • teacher background
  • materials and preparation page
  • 5 pages of teacher directions
  • 4 pages of photographs
  • 2 extra Hints page
  • 3 versions of constraints posters with matching lab sheets*
  • one sample answer lab sheet
  • scoring rubric
  • editable forms

Version 2 -

In this version, students use the materials to create the elevator system that sits on a tabletop. The device on the table holds the turning mechanism and the cargo platform extends over the edge of the table.

Materials for version 2 include Straws, pipe cleaners, card stock paper, cardboard pieces, craft sticks, dowel sticks, string, tape – 3 feet per group, cardboard Tubes, and scrap box paper.

Version 2 specifically includes

  • 2-page teacher's guide
  • criteria cards
  • lab sheet
  • 2 pages of photos
  • editable forms

Check the preview to see everything. The page count listed for this package includes everything. *In version 1 there are three sets of lab sheets- One set of constraints and lab sheet is for an easier version, one for the more challenging, and the third is generic and will work with any object being lifted in the elevator. These are also editable.

This challenge will need 1-2 class sessions (1-2 hours) to complete.

What are teachers saying?

  • "Thank you for this resource! It is extremely detailed and comes with all of the necessary supplemental resources, making this project extremely easy to implement with little to no prep!
  • "This activity is well designed and thought out! It is easy to prep and prepare and the items needed are mostly items that are typically already in the cabinet. Thank you for a fun, yet thought-provoking activity, for use in that hectic time of Halloween."

You may also like other challenges that will be fun for celebrating the month of October!

Save money with the Halloween Bundle!

Save even more with a mega bundle of all the seasonal challenges:


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Total Pages
28 +editable
Answer Key
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy.
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.
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. Examples of devices could include electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints could include the materials, cost, or time to design the device. Devices should be limited to those that convert motion energy to electric energy or use stored energy to cause motion or produce light or sound.


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