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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!
Working individually or with a partner against a criteria and constraints list, 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!
This is great for Halloween or just connected to a unit on bats (especially if your school frowns on Halloween activities)!
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.
This is one of five Halloween STEM Challenges. They can be purchased in a bundle at a 40% discount:
This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!
Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:
- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- 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 approximately 45 – 60 min. if you are including data gathering and analysis rather than just building for fun. I recommend working on STEM Design Challenges in multiple iterations to get the full value.
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.
For each student or group:
– Bat Body copies
– Tapes measure
– Copies of data recording & analyzing handouts
– Optional: tape, notebook paper, copies of extension handouts
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- 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
- 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 Wings Wanted?
“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!"
“Challenging and engaging”
“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)
“The students loved it!”
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