November STEM Challenge | Thanksgiving STEM Activities | Engineering Design

Grade Levels
1st - 3rd, Homeschool
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    These November STEM challenges are designed to help your students think outside the box and learn how the world works. These STEM challenges help students explore the engineering design process using common materials.

    The STEM Process:

    Present the STEM challenge. Then students imagine, explore, reimagine, plan, create & test, improve, reflect, and evaluate their designs.

    STEM challenges included in this bundle:

    • Football Challenge: Use the provided materials to fold a mini-football and build a goalpost. Remember you can only use your finger to flick the football through the goal post.
    • Turkey Challenge: Use the provided materials to build a 3D enclosure. It needs to be fully enclosed so the turkey can’t fly away.
    • Thanksgiving Dinner Challenge: Build a table that is strong enough to hold a can of vegetables. You can only use a single 8x11 piece of paper and 12 inches of tape.
    • Fall Mobile Challenge: Build a balanced mobile for the classroom by using at least two different items found in nature for each rod. Your mobile needs to have 3 rods.

    Materials Needed

    We've included a list for material recommendations, but this challenge can be done with materials you have on hand, such as paper, pipe cleaners, cups, popsicle sticks, string, scissors, cotton balls, cardboard, rubber bands, glue, and tape.

    Each Challenge Includes:

    • Step-by-Step lesson plans
    • STEM Challenge worksheets for each step of the design process
    • Printable templates for design enhancements
    • Vocabulary Cards
    • Explore science connections with QR codes and an infographic
    • Materials List
    • Ask Poster
    • STEM Challenge Poster
    • Recording Sheets
    • Engineering Design Process posters
    • Self/Group Evaluation Checklist

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    to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
    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.
    Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
    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.


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