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 (or STEAM Challenge) will keep your students engaged in brain-busting work disguised as fun!
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 frisbee designed to always land face-up. A horseshoe-like game called four-leaf frisbee was 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 four-leaf frisbee, partner teams test their skill and luck in a game played similarly to horseshoes, receiving points when their four-leaf frisbee 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 frisbee design; it isn’t necessary to play the game, though it is a lot of fun!
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.
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
- Printable “Gold” Posts in color and B&W
- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)
- Probability Data recording
- Design Analysis
- Discussion Questions
- Process flow map
- Create & solve math problems based on designs
- Video/website linked slides
- Simple Probability and Compound Probability Practice with answer keys and video lesson links
- Narrative writing slide
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. )
– 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)
– 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 ~60-90 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
“Thank you! My 7th/8th grade science club truly enjoyed this.”
“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:
⭐ 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!