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STEM Task Cards: Building Icebreakers (Distance Learning)

Vivify STEM
Grade Levels
PreK - 8th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Compatible with 
40 pages
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Vivify STEM
Compatible with Easel Activities
This resource is compatible with Easel by TpT, a suite of digital tools you can use to make any lesson interactive and device-ready. Customize this activity and assign it to students, all from Easel. Easel is free to use! Learn more.

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Get your students building and creating with 24 STEM activity task cards using common materials. 

STEM quick builds are ideal for introductory STEM activities, STEM stations, back to school icebreakers, distance learning games, or the introduction of a new theme or concept. This packet includes options for a classroom activity or through distance learning with Google Slide, Flipgrid, and printed take-home options.

We love using these quick build challenges as an icebreaker during a live distance learning class!


Before tasking students to complete rigorous engineering design challenges, educators should start with Stage 1 STEM activities. Click here to learn more about the Stages of STEM. 

The STEM quick build challenges in this packet are intended to promote problem-solving and creativity skills. Unlike Stage 2 challenges where students use the full engineering design process to plan and test designs, these activities are short warm-ups to more complex design challenges. Students will have a short time frame to quickly gather materials and find a creative solution for the challenge prompt. 

Product includes:

  1. Activity Instructions: Learn how to use task cards for a classroom activity, station rotation, or for distance learning (both live and independent assignment).
  2. Editable Task Cards & Student Journals: All task cards and student journals are editable in Google Slides.
  3. Digital & Printed Versions: Multiple versions are provided for use in a classroom or with Google Classroom, Seesaw, Flipgrid, and take-home packets.


Students can use common art supplies or recycled materials for the builds. During a distance learning challenge, ask students to be creative and use any materials available in their home. In the classroom, teachers may provide bins of specific materials with task cards. 

Examples of common materials: 

  • Paper: newspaper, paper, copy paper
  • Index cards
  • Paper or plastic cups
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Plastic bottles
  • Craft sticks
  • Rubber bands
  • Pipecleaners
  • Paperclips
  • Straws

Examples of classroom material kits: 

Looking for more STEM lessons? Find the Vivify resource guide here: bit.ly/VivifyResourceGuide

About STEM Challenges: Click here to learn more about the 3 Stages of STEM. STEM challenges are an engaging way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or afterschool program! These hands-on activities allow students to work in teams, apply the engineering design process, and connect science topics to real-world applications. The teacher will provide the structure to the project, but students will take an active role in designing and building their own device.

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Total Pages
40 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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