Looking for an Easter or spring STEM / STEAM activity sure to keep your kids engaged in collaborative, fun critical thinking & problem solving?
The basic premise:
Due to equipment malfunctioning at the bean factory, several types of beans are all mixed-up, putting the Easter Bunny in a bind! Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build a device to sort the jelly beans from the mixed-up beans.
(You can skip the story if it's too cutesy for your kids, or if you want to avoid Easter references.)
– If you’re working with younger students, you’ll want to mix jelly beans with only one other bean type that is not too similar in size (e.g. black beans). For older students, increase to two or three other bean types, some of which may be closer in size to the jelly beans.
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- Links to STEM Challenge How-to Videos
- Materials and timing
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list
- Link to challenge video walk through (video posts April 9, 2017)
- Criteria & Constraints List (color and B&W; editable)
- Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included; color and B&W)
- Discussion Questions (color and B&W)
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
- Task Card Tips, Templates, and Examples (editable)
This is one of five challenges available for a 33% discount in the Easter STEM Design Challenge 5-in-1 bundle.
This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.
Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:
For each class:
– Jelly beans (1 – 2 bags)
– Mix-in beans: black, pinto, etc. (1 – 2 bags)
– Bowl/bucket to hold the mixed beans (1)
For each student or group:(
– Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)
– Paper plates (1 – 4)
– Coffee filters
– Paper bags
– Tape (12 – 24 in.)
– Rubber bands (5 – 10)
– Design analysis handouts (included)
• Plastic baggies
• Single hole punch
• Foil or foil pans
• Craft sticks
Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:
- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- High levels of student engagement
- The potential to hit upon all NGSS ETS standards depending on the depth and number of iterations you choose to implement in your classroom (modifications included)
- Highly flexible and differentiated for materials, timing, grade levels, and rigor.
Each design iteration should be planned for at least 45 – 60 min. if you are including data gathering and analysis rather than just building for fun. If you add extension activities, you will need to adjust timing accordingly. I recommend working on STEM Design Challenges in multiple iterations to get the full value.
Note: This resource was updated March 19, 2017!
Please download the preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!
You might also like these resources:
Spring / Easter STEM Challenge: Egg-hanced
Spring / Easter STEM Challenge: Carrot Carriage
Spring / Easter STEM Challenge: Basket Bounce
Spring / Easter STEM Challenge: Nice Nest
Spring / Easter STEM Challenge: Bean Bind
Spring / Easter STEM Challenge: Flower Frenzy
Easter Parts of Speech Activity (2nd – 3rd)
Earth Day STEM Challenge: New Earth City
STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE
Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE
St. Patrick’s Day
End-of-Year / Summer STEM Challenge Bundle
Graphing with Skittles Activity (2nd – 3rd)
Photosynthesis: Hands-on Modeling Activity
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit