STEM Challenge Water Towers

Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • Zip
28 pages
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Ready for another tower challenge? We added a couple of twists to this one! An object must be held aloft and students use a budget! And there might be splashing!

This challenge is available in money-saving bundles!

What is the challenge?

This challenge is to build a tower that will hold a cup of water aloft. The tower must be a specific height and the water container must rest at the top, but unrestrained. When the tower is stable, water is added and the tower must remain standing for a specified amount of time.

Students also do a little background research into the purpose of water towers, which may include watching videos. This package includes some background we found about water towers. You can also have students conduct their own research about the towers or you can just have students brainstorm what they already know.

The lab sheet has space to record their thinking and/or research. And, just to make this activity a little more interesting we also added a budget feature to building the tower. Students must “shop” for their supplies using a price list and they must stay within the budget constraints you set! I have also provided a version of the constraints and lab sheet without the budgeting feature in case you wish to try that. Also, you will find a scoring rubric and all forms are editable!

What is your prep?

Supplies needed in addition to this package include straws, masking tape, craft foam sheets, craft sticks, Dowel sticks (3/16 inch diameter and 12 inches long), small plastic containers, water, and measuring cups for 50 mL.

The package specifically contains:

  • Cover sheet
  • Teacher Background
  • Materials and Prep list
  • 5 pages of Teacher directions with helpful hints
  • 2 full pages of the task constraints
  • Lab Sheet in two versions
  • Cost sheet for student planning
  • Price List for the student budgeting feature
  • 5 pages of Tower Photos with more details
  • Scoring rubric
  • Editable form file
  • Terms of Use page

We enjoyed this tower challenge so much! Keep some paper towels handy since you may have a splash or two!

This tower package works perfectly with others that involve holding something aloft:

You can also find all three tower challenges in a money-saving bundle:


You might also enjoy these STEM Challenges:


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Total Pages
28 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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