STEM Activity Toothpick Tower Challenge

Rated 4.91 out of 5, based on 504 reviews
504 Ratings
Teachers Are Terrific
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • Zip
41 pages
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What educators are saying

My summer school students loved this STEM activity. They fully embraced the task and came up with some great results.
I left this for a sub when I was out for surgery. It was very easy to prep and put everything in a bag for the sub. The kids said they liked it, the sub didn't leave comments.
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  5. STEM Challenges! The best ever hands-on learning and now FINALLY a bundle with three top-selling activities! After numerous requests for a bundle of different items that have no particular theme here’s a fabulous set: It’s Toothpick Towers, Roller Coasters, and Catapults! Three of my best selling ST
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Are you looking for an easy prep challenge? This Toothpick Tower STEM Activity is the one! Towers are the best! Students love to build and stack items to create the tallest possible tower. With this tower challenge, they also have to be diligent in maintaining a solid base and must constantly rethink the task. This is one of our favorites!

Please note: This lesson is available in money-saving bundles!

What is the challenge?

Students use the materials to design and build a tower using only two materials. This makes the prep easy for you and the project very challenging for students. The towers will not be very tall due to the materials, and the problem-solving is amazing!

What is your prep?

You will need some simple supplies along with this package: toothpicks and modeling clay (Play-doh). You will need to prepare bins of materials for students and copy the lab sheets.

The lesson guide provides:

  • A materials list
  • step-by-step procedures to follow to make this a great experience
  • page of Helpful Hints gives ideas of specific things to think about while using this package
  • 2 versions of lab sheets are provided with sample answers
  • 4 pages of photos
  • Extensions page with ideas of continuing the activity as a whole class or in your science/math centers.
  • A second option provided a Blueprint Version of this challenge using slightly different materials.
  • Teacher directions and hints, a lab sheet, and photos are included for version 2.
  • Scoring rubrics for both versions are included.
  • All student forms are editable!

What are teachers saying?

  • "Your products are amazing! I truly appreciate your attention to detail. It will make incorporating this activity in my classroom such a smooth process.
  • "I"ve been wanting to do this project for awhile, but have been looking for a way to make it the most effective. This made little prep for me and had so much student engagement!"
  • "My kids had a blast! Some of their structures were unstable and they discussed a plan to stabilize them. The productive conversation led to great structures."

This challenge works perfectly with these:

NOTE: All three tower challenges can be purchased in a money-saving bundle:

Toothpick Towers is also found in:

Or even better -This challenge can be found in a money-saving 6-Pack!


You might also like these STEM Products:


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Total Pages
41 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
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.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
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.


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