St. Patrick's Day STEM Activity - Limitless Luck

Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
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30 pages
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St. Patrick’s Day STEM activities don't have to take a ton of time or materials to be deeply engaging AND tied to your standards!

The basic premise:

Pennies found face up, horseshoes, and four-leaf clovers have long been symbols of luck. This challenge combines an element of each famous symbol.

Originally conceived as an introduction to probability, in this challenge, students “make” their own luck by creating a four-leaf flying disc (like a frisbee) designed to always land face-up. A horseshoe-like game where students use their disc designs has been added as an extension for a little extra St. Patrick’s Day fun.

- Working with a partner, students each design a four-leaf frisbee that will always land face-up. Students compare their results with a coin-flip test to measure the success of their designs.

- In the optional game, partner teams test their skill and luck in a game played similarly to horseshoes, receiving points when their four-leaf disc designs land on a pot of gold, heads up, or within 6 in. of the gold.

- Design results are based on the heads-up probability of the disc design; it isn’t necessary to play the game, though it is a lot of fun!


Note: This is the printable version. If you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom, you will want to check out the digital option for use with GOOGLE SLIDES (TM) instead.

If you have questions about which version is right for you, please feel free to leave me a question using the product Q&A below.


This is one of five St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenges. They can be purchased in a bundle at a 40% discount:

St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenge: 5-in-1 DIGITAL/PAPERLESS Bundle


Resource includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

- Links to my 5-part video series on getting started with STEM challenges

- Materials and timing

- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)

- Measuring results

- Universal STEM Challenge Notes & How to Use Student Handouts Post-design extension activities list

- Link to a video walk-through of the challenge

Student Handouts

- Criteria & Constraints List (in color and B&W; editable)

- Results and Design Analysis (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included in color and black & white; editable)

- Data Recording Handout (editable)

- Four-leaf Frisbee Pot of Gold poster (in color and black & white; editable)

- Discussion Questions (color and B&W; editable)

Extension templates

- Writing templates

- Simple probability practice (editable)

- Simple and compound probability practice (editable)

- Process Flow Map

- Math Extension


This is one of five challenges available in the St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenge bundle at a ~36% discount!

This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!


Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

(Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.)

– Pot of Gold game marker handout (included) (1)

• Alternative: Use pots of “gold” (Gold chocolate coins, Almond Hershey’s Kisses or Rolos

– Paper plates (2 – 4)

– Bobby pins and/or paper clips (8 – 12)

– Tape (12 - 24 in.)

– Craft sticks (5 - 10)

– Toothpicks (10 – 20)

– Coin (1)

– Markers/crayons

– Ruler

– Scissors

– Data recording & design analysis handouts (included)


• Pipe cleaners (1-2)

• Straws (3 – 5)

• Index cards (5 – 10)


Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:

- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning

- Helps students develop growth mindset traits like persistence and resilience

- 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 ~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.


What do teachers have to say about this resource?

“Once again, this author delivers! I own many of your stem challenges and have use them throughout the school year. I have never been disappointed! The frisbee game was a huge hit with my 5th grade resource students. The video was extremely helpful. Keep them coming.”

“My classes really enjoyed the Four Leaf Clover Frisbee activity! Thanks!!”

“I bought three of these challenges to use with our third grade buddies. The students loved them! I will definitely buy more STEM challenges from this seller in the future!”


You might also like these resources:


Christmas/Winter STEM Design Challenge: 5-in-1 Bundle

Late Winter STEM Bundle

Easter / Spring STEM Challenge Bundle

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Analyze and Interpret Data Unit

Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE


Please check out the video preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!


Video preview music credit:

"Carefree" Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
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.


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