STEM Challenge Geodesic Domes

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Teachers Are Terrific
Grade Levels
4th - 6th
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16 + editable
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Here’s one more great STEM building activity with the easiest of supplies: Straws and Pipe cleaners! This challenge is to build a geodesic dome! Students will use only two materials for the dome. The challenge involves some research prior to beginning and some discussion of geometric shapes.

Note: This challenge is available in a money-saving bundle!

What is the challenge?

Students will be challenged to find a way to use the two materials to make a three-dimensional shape that will piece together and keep its shape. This is challenging since the side panels need to be made with shapes that have sides of the same length. If you have straws with flexible bending parts this presents its own challenge. Do you cut that part off or try to incorporate it in the shapes?

What is your prep?

You will need supplies in addition to this package. This includes straws, pipe cleaners (chenille stems), and scissors.

The package specifically includes:

  • Cover
  • Teacher background Materials and preparation page
  • 5 pages of teacher directions
  • Extra page of hints and extensions
  • Constraints list
  • 4 pages of photographs
  • Lab sheet
  • Geodesic Dome Information page
  • Scoring rubric
  • Terms of Use page.
  • ALSO INCLUDED: editable file containing the lab sheet, constraints, and scoring rubric.
  • Sample student answer sheets are not included, but samples of student work are included in the teacher direction pages.
  • The page count listed for this package includes everything.

This challenge will need 2-3 class sessions to complete.

If you like using straws as a supply for STEM you might also like these:

All three challenges with straws can be purchased in a money-saving bundle:

You can also find this challenge in a larger bundle:


If you like experimenting and then designing you might also like these:


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Total Pages
16 + editable
Answer Key
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