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Plastic Cup STEM Challenges - Simple STEM with Cups

Grade Levels
2nd - 8th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
38 pages
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Also included in

  1. This set has 15 STEM activities PLUS bonus challenges. This works well for upper elementary and middle school STEM teachers. Though it is marked grades 2+, younger students can also attempt basic challenges with the task cards or tinker with the materials, while upper grades can work on directed cha
    Save $3.00
  2. This bundle includes resources to keep your students actively engaged in STEM all year long. The bonus file includes an overview for using the resources as well as some extra options for planning, recording, and tracking.There are over 90 STEM challenges included in this bundle.1) Start with the ST
    Save $99.00
  3. Elementary STEM teachers, this bundle has hundreds of activities for your STEM classes! With a mix of quick STEM challenges, STEM center activities, and more in depth engineering design challenges, you will always have something new to do!This bundle includes everything in both the K-2 and 3-5 Ultim
    Save $153.00
  4. Custom bundle for Jamie S.
    Save $81.00


STEM activities and challenges do NOT need to break the bank or be cumbersome to set up. Simple STEM uses materials that are easy to acquire and that you probably already have. A world of STEM challenges await you in this simple and inexpensive material. Use these challenges for :

⦾ STEM Fridays, Maker Mondays, or Tinker Tuesdays

⦾ After school STEM

⦾ Any time, to hone fine motor and problem-solving skills!

⦾ STEM sub plans/ sub tub. The directions and materials are easy to set up and straightforward to use.


  • Suggested Material List
  • STEM Challenge Tips:General tips for any STEM challenge.
  • Teacher Notes: includes terminology and differentiation ideas.
  • Sample pictures of completed projects.
  • Plastic cup STEM decor
  • Recording page for each of the 5 main STEM challenges that guide the students through the engineering design process:
    • Plastic cup telephone (sound)
    • Sound amplifier (sound)
    • Cup rollers (torque, friction, force and motion)
    • Transfer device (simple machines, gravity)
    • Anemometer (velocity, weather)

  • Generic Plastic Cup Graphic Organizer to use with any of the above challenges or the additional task card challenges.
  • STEM spinner page - spin a design challenge (great for independent work).
  • Calculate the cost worksheets to create Bill of Materials
  • Self-evaluation and rubric options

Materials Needed

You will need plastic cups, basic office supplies like tape, string, card stock, and rubber bands. You will also need a large cardboard box or sheet for a ramp.


Simple STEM with Paper Plates

Simple STEM with Plastic Cups

Simple STEM with Popsicle Sticks

Simple STEM with String

Simple STEM with Cardboard Tubes

*************************** Related Resources *************************

Engineering Design Process Posters

Engineering Disciplines Posters

Engineering Posters BUNDLE

STEM Activities - 10 STEM Challenges

STEM Activities - 10 STEM Challenges (Set 2)

STEM Challenges Classroom Pack (STEAM)

STEM Tales

All STEM Tales

STEM for all Seasons

Winter STEM

Spring STEM

Summer STEM


Engineering Design Challenges (initial purchase)

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #1 - Design a Transport Device

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #2 - Design a Power Transmission Tower

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #3 - Design a Periscope

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #4 - Design a Cargo Ship


Disclaimer: I have done my best to keep these as safe as possible. However, please make sure that you do your own due diligence when performing any STEM challenge. Adult supervision is necessary. Please use care, caution, and your best judgement when performing any STEM challenge, engineering challenge, or science experiment. The seller disclaims all liability for any damage or injury which might arise from the use of any of these projects.

Find more STEM at my blog momgineer


or at STEM Activities for Kids

STEM Activities for Kids

Total Pages
38 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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