Looking for an engaging St. Patrick's Day activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering and/or math? I've taken this favorite St. Pat's STEM Challenge and added a new twist!
The basic premise:
You may know that leprechauns have the ability to grant three wishes to human captors in exchange for their freedom, but capturing leprechauns is trickier than it sounds!
Working in groups against criteria & constraints and equipped with a Leprechaun Lore List, students will design and build a device to lure and safely capture a leprechaun.
*** CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO PREVIEW ***
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 a video walk-through of the challenge (posts Feb. 23, 2017)
- Criteria & Constraints List (color and black & white; editable version provided)
- Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included) (color and black & white)
- Leprechaun Lore List (color and black & white)
- Discussion Questions
- Process Flow Map
- Create Math Problems Based on Designs
- Math Extension Option: Practice dividing by 2 (editable version included)
- Math Extension Option: Identifying addition/subtraction fact families (editable version included)
- Math Extension Option: Identifying multiplication/division fact families (editable version included)
- Math Extension Option: Identifying equivalent percents, fractions, and decimals (editable version included)
This is one of five challenges available at a 40% discount 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!
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.
Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:
• For each student or group:
– Leprechaun (1)
• Represented by bouncy balls, marbles, or grapes
– Small cups or bowls (1)
– String/yarn (24 – 36 in.)
– Shoeboxes, cereal boxes, tissue boxes and/or or cardboard scraps (distributed evenly among groups)
– Tape (12 - 24 in.)
– Cotton balls (5 – 10)
– Rubber bands (5 - 10)
– Lunch bags or plastic baggies (1 – 2)
– Foil (12 in. sheet)
– Paper and markers
– Leprechaun Lore List (included)
– Design analysis handouts (included)
• Single hole punch
• Pipe cleaners (5 - 10)
• Craft sticks (5 – 10)
• Paperclips (10 – 20)
• Straws (5 – 10)
• Brass brads/fasteners (4)
• Toothpicks (10 – 20)
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 ~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?
"We love your stem challenges. It promotes so much creativity, collaboration, and FUN. Thank you!"
"One of my most favorite class activities. Thank you!"
"This was a lot of fun to do with my kiddos!"
You might also like these resources:
Seasonal STEM Design Challenge 5-in-1 Bundles (grades 2 – 8):
St. Patrick’s Day
Or these great resources:
Photosynthesis: Hands-on Modeling Activity
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit