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:
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!
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 (TM) 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 40% discount:
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)
- Results and Design Analysis (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included in color and black & white; editable)
- Data Recording Handout (editable)
- Four-leaf Frisbee Pot of Gold poster (in color and black & white; editable)
- Discussion Questions (color and B&W; editable)
- Writing templates
- Simple probability practice (editable)
- Simple and compound probability practice (editable)
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
This is one of five challenges available in the St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenge bundle at a ~36% 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.)
– 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 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?
“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!”
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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