STEM Challenge - Build a Chair (for your stuffie!) Grade 1-5

Math Expander
Grade Levels
1st - 5th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Streaming Video
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  • Supporting Information
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STEM, WRITING activity!

The challenge? Kids design and build a chair using found materials. It’s got to be strong enough to hold their favorite stuffie.

For Grades 1-5

NOTE: This same activity is available here for Grades K-1 with a simplified writing activity. Grade 1 teachers will want to use the K-1 version, unless they teach a split grade 1/2, in which case they can use the Grade 1-5 version.


· VIDEO – inspiration video to introduce challenge with kid design samples

· Lesson plan

· Materials list

· Student challenge booklets – includes writing activity

· Photos of design samples

The challenge is introduced with a video. Kids meet various stuffies including Gigi the Giraffe. A polka dot desk chair is designed just for her. It's spot on - perfect with its high back that supports her long neck during her many hours of studying Zoology. Made from cardboard, clothespins and office supply stickers.

This type of activity strengthens skills relevant to the 21st-century. It’s known as a STEM or STEAM challenge (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). 70% of the highest-paying jobs require expertise in these disciplines.

What can we do to support this important area of learning? Explore designing, making, crafting and creativity! Kids will be at the edge of their seats with excitement!

About Andrea Domanski

Andrea, an Elementary school teacher for 13 years, is a spatial sense wizard who uses creativity to teach math. She’s been part of a 5 year research project with the University of Toronto’s Math for Young Children, which is shaping the way geometry is taught. Andrea also loves art!

She can be found at Follow her on Instagram.

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