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Paper Popper / Banger STEM Challenge

Grade Levels
3rd - 6th
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Compatible with 
23 pages
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Practice scientific method, engineering, and learn the properties of sound while having fun with this Paper Popper STEM challenge activity and lab. Paper poppers (also called Bangers) are created by folding paper and moving it in such a way that it creates a "snap."

Students will use the included visual directions, graphic organizers, charts, and activities to create and compare the "snap" sound made by paper poppers. Includes 3 methods for folding with diagrams to help.

Students only need paper to complete this self-paced activity - I suggest having a few sheets of different types of paper: construction, graph, printer, tissue, newsprint, notebook, etc. so students can test a variety.

Students will explore variables and learn about how various choices in paper type will affect the pitch, volume, and timbre of the snap created.

Packet includes:

★ Sheets for experiment set up, data collection, class data comparison, conclusion, and reflections.

★ 3 methods for folding the paper popper - students will test and choose the one they prefer. Each method includes a visual step by step diagram to follow to create the popper.

★ 1 self-score rubric.

★ 1 reading passage that explains the science behind the challenge.

★ 1 page of vocabulary words to know.

★ Extension page for students to design their own paper popper.

★ Detailed teacher note page.



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Total Pages
23 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate. Examples of vibrating materials that make sound could include tuning forks and plucking a stretched string. Examples of how sound can make matter vibrate could include holding a piece of paper near a speaker making sound and holding an object near a vibrating tuning fork.
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.
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.
Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.


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