Plants Spring STEM Activity - PAPERLESS Version

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4 Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
50 pages
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
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Looking for a plant activity to apply learning in plant needs, parts/functions, adaptations, life cycles, cells, photosynthesis, and/or genetics & heredity? This STEM challenge / STEAM challenge is a perfectly engaging way to get the job done joyfully!

The challenge is great any time of the year, but works especially well as a spring activity! The completed designs and extension projects make beautiful displays for Back to School Night or Open House as well!

The basic premise:

Students work individually or in partners/groups against a list of criteria and constraints to create a plant that has never been seen or imagined before.

Modifications included for grades 2-8.


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.


Resource includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

- Links to STEM Challenge “How-to”/PD videos

- Link to a video walk-through of the challenge

- Links to STEM Challenge “How-to”/PD videos

- Materials and timing

- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)

- Measuring results

- Post-design extension activities list

- Universal STEM Challenge Notes & How to Use Student Slides Post-design extension activities list

Student Slides

- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)

- Design Analysis

- Discussion Questions

Extension slides

- Process flow map

- Create & solve math problems based on designs

- Life Science Presentation Slide templates:

• Plant Basics

• Feature Spotlight

• Life Cycle

• Where in the World?

• Genetics / Heredity

- Plant Science Slides:

• Parts/functions (two options)

• Photosynthesis

• Plant & Animal Cell Diagrams

• Compare/Contrast Plant & Animal Cells

• Plant Inquiry



This resource is also available in the following discounted bundles:
Planetopia Project STEM Challenge Bundle - PAPERLESS VERSION
STEM Challenges: Year-Round Mega Bundle PAPERLESS VERSION
The Ultimate STEM Challenge Mega Bundle


Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

(Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified. )

• Construction paper or card stock

• Pipe cleaners

• Cardboard scraps

• Tissue paper

• Foil

• Rubber bands

• Paperclips

• Toothpicks

• Scissors

• Single hole punch

• Glue and/or tape


• Crayola Model Magic or clay

• Sequins, beans, pasta

• Paint

• Craft sticks

• Plastic beads

• Pom poms

• Yarn

• Sand Paper

• Cotton

• Small cups

• Felt pieces

• Hot glue gun


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.


You might also like these resources:
Cells: A Fresh Take on Organelle Functions
Create-ure STEM Challenge: PAPERLESS VERSION
Earth Day STEM Challenge: New Earth City
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
STEM Challenge: Flower Frenzy 1:1 Paperless Version


Please check out the preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!


Total Pages
50 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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