STEM Challenge Tennis Ball Tower

Rated 4.96 out of 5, based on 303 reviews
303 Ratings
Teachers Are Terrific
Grade Levels
4th - 5th
Formats Included
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21 +editable
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Kids love to build towers! It becomes a competition and this STEM Activity is quite challenging, as well! It features a tennis ball and some wacky rules about height and use of the materials!

NOTE: This challenge is available in money-saving bundles.

What is the challenge?

This STEM challenge features the task of using given supplies to design and build a tower. Specific criteria for the tower includes supporting an object a specific height off the table and using ALL the supplies. The supplies needed are very simple and easy to gather. Stand back and watch them construct! Students record their thinking on lab sheets or a folding graphic organizer- both of which can be used with your Science Interactive Notebooks. BONUS: This resource now has an alternative version of completing the tower!

What is your prep?

Supplies needed in addition to this package include straws, craft sticks, coffee stir sticks, tennis balls, masking tape, string, and a container for each group’s supplies. Of course, substitutions can be made for any of these!

The package specifically contains:

  • Cover sheet
  • Teacher Background
  • 1-page Materials and Prep list
  • 5 pages of Teacher directions with helpful hints
  • Set of Criteria cards for students (with and without background color)
  • Full-page display of the task constraints
  • Lab Sheet
  • Folding Graphic Organizer page with a photo page of folding instructions
  • 4 pages of Tower Photos with more details
  • Scoring rubric
  • Bonus Alternative version with a prep page, a criteria cards page, and 2 pages of photos.
  • Terms of Use
  • All forms are editable.

This tower challenge works perfectly with two more tower challenges:

Or you can save money with tower bundles!


You might also enjoy these STEM Challenges:


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Total Pages
21 +editable
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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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