The basic premise:
For leprechauns, life is a constant struggle to protect their pot of gold from treasure hunters and keep from getting caught themselves!
Working against criteria & constraints individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build one or more devices to help a leprechaun guard his pot of gold from thieves.
Multiple iterations are recommended to get the most student benefit, but this can also be treated as a one-off activity.
This is one of five challenges available at a 33% in the St. Patrick's Day STEM Challenge 5-in-1 bundle
This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!
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.
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.
Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:
– Gold chocolate coins (5 – 10)
• Almond Hershey’s Kisses or Rolos are a good alternate – easier to find and often less expensive
– Small cups, bowls, or coffee filters (1 – 3)
– Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)
– String/yarn (24 – 36 in.)
– Shoeboxes and/or cardboard scraps (distributed evenly among groups)
– Craft sticks (5 – 10)
– Tape (12 – 24 in.)
– Rubber bands (5 – 10)
– Design analysis handouts (included)
– Leprechaun Lore List (included)
• Plastic baggies (1 – 2)
• Clothespins (2 – 4)
• Paperclips (10 – 20)
• Straws (5 – 10)
• Toothpicks (10 – 20)
• Brass brads/fasteners (2 – 4)
• Single hole-punch
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- Materials and timing
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list
- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)
- Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included)
- Leprechaun Lore List
- Discussion Questions
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
Note: If you have purchased some of my non-holiday STEM challenges, this is a lighter – though not necessarily light – approach. Please download the preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!
You might also like these products:
Seasonal STEM Design Challenge 5-in-1 Bundles (grades 2 – 8):
St. Patrick’s Day
Or these great products:
Photosynthesis: Hands-on Modeling Activity
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit