Spring STEM Activities - Earth Day STEM Challenges

Rated 4.95 out of 5, based on 34 reviews
34 Ratings
Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
Grade Levels
2nd - 6th, Homeschool
Resource Type
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34 pages
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Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
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STEM challenges that are hands-on AND integrate with force and motion, weather, and measurement skills! They are also all related to environmental studies (which is perfect for Earth Day and beyond). These activities can be used either inside OR outside, making them a superb option for field day.

Use the printable pages provided to follow the Engineering Design Process, or set this activity up as a STEM station with the challenge cards provided. The three challenges are:

• Sturdy Nest

• Wind Power (sailboat racing)

• Planter Box

What You'll Get

For the Teacher: Suggested Material List for each challenge: for these challenges, you will need paper, aluminum foil, tape, and a bin filled with water. Other materials are optional.

STEM Challenge Tips: General tips for any STEM challenge.

Each Challenge Includes

  • Teacher Notes
  • Sample Pictures
  • Printable Challenge Poster: Hang at your STEM center or near where the STEM creations are, especially if they will be on display for the class or a STEM fair, parent night, etc.
  • Printable pages to use with the challenge and guide the students through the engineering design process.

STEM Challenge Cards

These cards are like task cards, but they include the 3 main STEM challenges in this resource (with variations), as well as some other challenges. You can use these if you would rather set this up at a STEM station or use at Field Day as a self-guided STEM activity. Choose from cards with images or without.

STEM Graphic Organizers

Spring themed – use with the three challenges or the challenge cards, provided to allow the students to work through the engineering design process. You may also use this sheet for any of the other challenges if you prefer a more generic one.

What Teachers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "My students loved the hands on aspect of this! They especially loved the nest activity. They felt they understood the learning concept of it better than they learned it from the book. Love it!"

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Great hands on engaging materials and good aid in teaching tricky science concepts."

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "These activities were fun, easy to set up, and clearly guided the students!"

This is part of the STEM Challenges for All Seasons BUNDLE, so please do not purchase both.


FAQs about STEM

Why use STEM activities in your classroom or homeschool?

These STEM activities are project-based and cross-curricular. Your students will gain experience in soft skill areas and foster a growth mindset while:

✓ Learning to work as part of a team.

✓ Communicating effectively and clearly to persuade others.

✓ Gaining confidence in presenting and speaking to groups.

✓ Persevering through a challenge when the initial design fails.

✓ Accepting constructive criticism from peers.


Will I need to spend a lot of money on supplies?

You don't need a lot of expensive materials to get started! You probably have most of the supplies in your classroom already, or in your recycle bin. I have developed most of my STEM challenges to be easily modified based on the materials you have on hand. For most of the challenges, you will need basic office or craft supplies and household recyclables such as:

  • tape
  • paper, index cards, or card stock
  • recyclables like plastic cups, paper towel rolls, and cereal boxes
  • craft sticks or straws

I've never done STEM challenges before. What can I expect?

I've got you covered! There are notes and photos in the pack, and I have written several blog posts to get you started, two of which you can find here and here. All of my STEM challenge resources guide you through the engineering design process step by step.

I don't have time to do this as a group activity in my classroom. Can I still use this resource?

Yes! With STEM task cards, you can set up an independent learning center for your early finishers or when you do stations. Provide the materials, STEM task cards, and the included recording sheets or graphic organizers, and the students can work on these challenges independently, either alone or in small teams. Keep your materials in STEM bins so that you can easily rotate through them!

*************************** Related Resources *************************

Engineering Design Process Posters

Engineering Disciplines Posters

Engineering Posters BUNDLE

STEM Activities - 10 STEM Challenges

STEM Activities - 10 STEM Challenges (Set 2)

STEM Challenges Classroom Pack (STEAM)

STEM Tales

All STEM Tales

STEM for all Seasons

Winter STEM

Spring STEM

Summer STEM


Engineering Design Challenges (initial purchase)

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #1 - Design a Transport Device

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #2 - Design a Power Transmission Tower

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #3 - Design a Periscope

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #4 - Design a Cargo Ship


Disclaimer: I have done my best to keep these as safe as possible. However, please make sure that you do your own due diligence when performing any STEM challenge. Adult supervision is necessary. Please use care, caution, and your best judgement when performing any STEM challenge, engineering challenge, or science experiment. The seller disclaims all liability for any damage or injury which might arise from the use of any of these projects.

Total Pages
34 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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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.


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