Looking for St. Patrick’s Day activities that your students will love but are more
than just a St. Patrick’s Day craft or activity to pass the time? This St. Patrick’s STEM Challenge will keep your students engaged in brain-busting work disguised as fun!
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.
Modifications included for grades 2-8.
Note: This version is for use with Google Slides in 1:1/paperless classrooms. If you prefer to print and have students complete work with paper/pencil, you'll want to look at the PRINTABLE VERSION 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 30% discount:
St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenge: 5-in-1 DIGITAL/PAPERLESS Bundle
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- Links to STEM Challenge “How-to”/PD videos
- Materials and timing
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list
- Universal STEM Challenge Notes & How to Use Student Slides Post-design extension activities list
- Link to a video walk-through of the challenge
- Links to STEM Challenge “How-to”/PD videos
- Leprechaun Lore List (printable and slide versions)
- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)
- Video/website links re: the legend of St. Patrick
- Maps of Ireland
- Design Analysis
- Discussion Questions
- Process flow map
- Website-linked slides
- Legend writing slide (2 options)
- Create & solve math problems based on designs
- Math Extension Option: Practice dividing by 2
- Math Extension Option: Identifying addition/subtraction fact families
- Math Extension Option: Identifying multiplication/division fact families
- Math Extension Option: Identifying equivalent percents, fractions, and decimals
CLICK THE GREEN PREVIEW BUTTON UNDER THE COVER & THUMBNAILS TO SEE THE SLIDES INCLUDED IN THIS RESOURCE!
Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:
(Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified. )
• 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
- 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 ~60-90 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?
Note: Comments taken from the print version.
"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:
⭐ Back to School STEM Challenge Bundle: 1:1 PAPERLESS Version
⭐ Christmas - Winter STEM Challenge Bundle 1:1 PAPERLESS
⭐ Easter STEM Challenge Bundle Paperless Version
⭐ Halloween STEM Challenges: 5-in-1 Bundle_Paperless 1:1 Version
⭐ St. Patrick's Day STEM Challenge Bundle 1:1 Paperless Version
⭐ Thanksgiving STEM Challenges: 5-in-1 Digital-Paperless Bundle
⭐ Valentine's Day STEM Challenge Bundle 1:1 Paperless Version
⭐ Winter STEM Challenge Bundle 1:1 Paperless Version
Please check out the preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!