STEM Challenges For Every Month NGSS Aligned 3rd through 6th Grade

Grade Levels
3rd - 6th, Homeschool
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22 pages
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NEW PRODUCT! Tired of the same old “STEM” activities? If you’re looking for FUN, FRESH, and LOW PREP problem-solving STEM CHALLENGES for grades third through sixth all year long, then this set of Engineering and Design challenges for every month/season/holiday of the year is just for you! It also includes a BONUS 100th Day of School STEM Challenge which makes 13 total, a value of OVER $25!!!!!! These low prep activities will have your students looking forward to the monthly challenge individually or in groups to practice their science skills in engineering and design! Design and build skeleton zip line carriers, cell phone umbrellas, floating garbage collectors, and much more! See other examples below!

Each STEM Challenge includes:

  • Different theme/season/holiday
  • Problem (most are real world!)
  • Task – Design and Build
  • Criteria – Rules and Constraints
  • Materials List – Suggested (you can add others on the blank lines)
  • How You Will Test – Description on how students will test and collect data on their product (if applicable)
  • Data Table (if applicable)
  • Student Lab Sheet (generic version can be edited to fit their needs/age group)

Example STEM Challenges are:

AUGUST: Back to School – Design a Name Tag with a Movable Part

OCTOBER: Halloween – Design and Build a Zip Line Carrier for a Plastic Skeleton

DECEMBER: Christmas – Design and Build a Christmas Cards Holder

MARCH: St. Patrick’s Day – Design and Build a Lucky Pencil Holder for Your Desk

APRIL: Easter – Design and Build a Nest for Eggs from Schoolyard Debris

MAY: Spring – Design and Build an Umbrella For a Cell Phone in the Rain

Earth Day – Design and Build A Floating Garbage Collector for Water

*Bonus* 100th Day of School – Design and Build a Boat to Hold 100 Paper Clips

The STEM Challenges are in PDF format, but the student lab sheets are EDITABLE, so you can edit them to meet the needs of your students (3rd-6th grade) and to more closely align to the NGSS Performance Expectation you are targeting!

This resources aligns with the following NGSS Performance Expectations for elementary and middle school:

3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

3-5-ETS1-2. 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.

3-5-ETS1-3. 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.

MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.

Here are other STEM products you may be interested in:

First Day of School Name Tag Design

Adaptations and Biomimicry STEM Lab

Create a Coating to Stop Corrosion

Build a Molecule

Erosion and Soil Conservation STEM Project

Design and Build a Compound Machine

NGSS Unit Template for Planning (Example Included)

Looking for ways to assess student understanding of the NGSS on tests, pre-assessments, exit tickets, etc.? Then, check out my newest line of NGSS Assessment Questions here: NGSS Assessments and Task Questions

Let’s Connect!

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Looking for more science (NGSS) lessons, units, activities, etc.? Check out my store and the links below for more: Store Link.

Modeling Analog and Digital Signals

Introduction to Waves Activity

Properties of Waves Labs

Modeling Reflection of Light Lab

Magnetic Fields and Eating Nails For Breakfast Lab

Modeling Particle Motion, State, and Temperature Lab

Physical and Chemical Changes Minilabs

Dry Ice Demonstration on Sublimation

Potential and Kinetic Energy Worksheet

Modeling Compounds and Molecules with Fasteners

Rutherford's Discovery of the Nucleus Lab (FREE)

States of Matter Metaphors

Maintaining Biodiversity Activity

Modeling Food Chains and Food Webs Affected by the BP Oil Spill

Living Things are Made of Cells Online Investigation

Modeling Cell Organelles with Analogies

Invasive Species Activity

Natural Selection Butterfly Lab

Resource Availability in Ecosystems Activity

Gathering Evidence for Photosynthesis Lab

Rock Cycle Projects

Wind Erosion CER Lab

Introduction to Rocks CER Lab

Scale Model of the Solar System Lab (FREE)

Plate Tectonics Stations Labs

Science Accountable Talk Starters and Stems Posters

Buy the bundle to have access to all NGSS resources specific to each area of science! *Note: The Stem Challenges for Every Month Product is NOT available in any of the bundles!

NGSS Physical Science Bundle: Click Here

NGSS Life Science Bundle: Click Here

NGSS Earth Science Bundle: Click Here

NGSS All Resources Bundle: Click Here

Feel free to share my website with colleagues. Each purchase is a license for ONE person to use in a classroom setting per my Terms of Use. Distribution or sharing of any products are in violation of copyright law.

If you like this product, rate me! If you love it, follow me to stay up-to-date on my latest resources most of which are NGSS aligned!

Total Pages
22 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
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