Summer / End of the Year STEM Challenge: Drippin' Dash PAPERLESS VERSION

Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
30 pages
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This summer STEM challenge is the perfect end of the year activity to keep your students engaged through the very last day of school!

The basic premise:

Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build a water scoop purpose-built for volume and stability to be used in a relay race: The Drippin’ Dash.

- If students work in groups, it is recommended that they make at least two designs so they have a back up available if one fails during the race.

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 Summer / End of the Year STEM Challenges. They can be purchased in a bundle at a 40% discount:

Summer / End of the Year PAPERLESS STEM Challenge Bundle


Resource includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

- Links to STEM Challenge “How-to”/PD videos

- Link to a video walk-through of the challenge

- 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

Student Slides

- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)

- Design Analysis

- Discussion Questions

Extension slides

- Process Flow Map

- Create Math Problems Based on Designs

- Water Waste (leaky faucet calculation sheet – answer key included)

- Related video & website slides




Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

(Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.)

– Water (~1 gallon)

– Buckets, pails, or tubs (2 per team, do not need to be identical)

– Straws (5 – 10)

– Saran wrap, wax paper, and/or foil (~12 sq. in.)

Do not use plastic baggies, it’s too easy!

– Pipe cleaners (4 – 6)

– Yarn or string (12 – 24 in.)

– Scissors

– Ruler

– Measuring cups, graduated cylinders, and/or beakers

– Design analysis handouts (included)


– Cardboard scraps

– Toothpicks

– Clothespins or binder clips

– Water bottle lids

– Funnel (to help with race measurements)


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.

“I loved using this with my summer camp kids. Easy to adapt for any group.”

“This will be a great last week of school activity to have some fun while keeping the learning going strong. Thank you!”

“Thanks for such a great resource! Your design challenges are so engaging and easy to modify for my young students.”

“This was one of the students’ favorite activities! Thanks for the great resource!���

“It's hard to know what you’re getting sometimes, but if you want a quality STEM project - buy this! The directions for students are very limited, allowing for open-ended, creative juices to flow. The teacher directions are explicit and very resourceful. I love that this has differentiated the reflection sheets for different levels. My kids had a blast with this activity, We spent 2 days. There were many failures but enough success with 2 groups that they were able to learn from, which was the point! Thanks - I will gladly purchase from this seller again!”

“LOVED THIS! My students and I had a blast doing this and it was very easy to modify with different materials or group numbers if needed. Thanks!”


You might also like these resources:
Back to School STEM Challenge Bundle: 1:1 PAPERLESS Version
Create-ure STEM Challenge: PAPERLESS VERSION
Earth Day STEM Challenge: New Earth City PAPERLESS VERSION
Plants STEM Challenge: PAPERLESS Version
Winter STEM Challenge Bundle 1:1 Paperless Version
Easter STEM Challenge Bundle Paperless Version


Please check out the preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!


Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.


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