It can be so difficult to keep kids engaged in the last weeks of the school year. Summer STEM challenges are here to the rescue!
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.
Multiple iterations are recommended to get the most student benefit, but this can also be treated as a one-off activity.
This challenge is available in the SUMMER STEM 5-in-1 BUNDLE at a savings of 33% off the cost of buying each challenge separately. What a bargain! ☺
This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!
Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:
- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- 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 at least ~ 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. I recommend working on STEM Design Challenges in multiple iterations to get the full value.
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.)
– Measuring cups, graduated cylinders, and/or beakers
– Design analysis handouts (included)
– Cardboard scraps
– Clothespins or binder clips
– Water bottle lids
– Funnel (to help with race measurements)
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- Materials and timing
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list
- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)
- Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included)
- Discussion Questions
- Water Waste (leaky faucet calculation sheet – comes with editable version and answer key)
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
Note: If you have purchased some of my non-holiday STEM challenges, this is a lighter – though not necessarily light – approach. Please download the preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!
You might also like these products:
Seasonal STEM Design Challenge 5-in-1 Bundles (grades 2 – 8):
Summer: Keep it Cool – Make it Melt
Summer: Amphibious Phone
Summer: Wicked-Fast Water Slide
St. Patrick’s Day
Or these great products:
Photosynthesis: Hands-on Modeling Activity
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
New Earth City STEM Challenge
Card Towers STEM Challenge
Build a Boat STEM Challenge