Looking for St. Patrick’s Day activities that your students will love but are more
than just a craft or activity to pass the time? This St. Patrick’s STEM Challenge (or STEAM Challenge) will keep your students engaged in brain-busting work disguised as fun!
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.
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 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.
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- 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
- Criteria & Constraints List (in color and B&W; editable version provided)
- Results and Design Analysis (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included in color and black & white)
- Leprechaun Lore List (color and black & white)
- Discussion Questions (color and B&W)
- Process Flow Map
- Writing Templates
- Rainbow Research Log
- Math Extension
This is one of five challenges available in the St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenge bundle at a 40% 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.)
• 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
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?
"My students did an amazing job, and this resource was easy for them to understand.”
“So much fun!”
You might also like these resources:
STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE
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 (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License