Summer STEM Activity or End of the Year STEM Activity - Drippin' Dash

Rated 4.95 out of 5, based on 87 reviews
87 Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
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30 pages
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
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This summer STEM activity is the perfect end of year STEM Challenge 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.


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™ 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.


Resource includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

- 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

Student Handouts

- 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)

- Discussion Questions (in color and B&W)

Extension templates

- Process Flow Map

- Create Math Problems Based on Designs

- Water Waste (leaky faucet calculation sheet – comes with editable version and answer key)


This is one of five challenges available at a 40% discount in the Summer STEM Challenge 5-in-1 bundle

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. )

Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

– 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 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?

“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:

STEM Challenges & Bundles (grades 2 – 8):

Summer STEM Bundle

Back-to-School STEM Bundle


Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE

Back-to-School STEM Challenge Bundle

End of Year / Summer: Keep it Cool – Make it Melt

End of Year / Summer: Amphibious Phone

End of Year / Summer: Wicked-Fast Water Slide

End of Year / Summer: Pick & Pack

Card Towers STEM Challenge

Build a Boat STEM Challenge

New Earth City STEM Challenge

Or these great resources:

Photosynthesis: Hands-on Modeling Activity

Analyze and Interpret Data Unit

Speak, Listen & Draw Task Cards

Please download 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.


Questions & Answers

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