Summer STEM Challenge - Water Slide Print and Paperless Bundle

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    This summer STEM challenge is the perfect end of year activity to keep your students engaged through the very last day of school!

    The basic premise:

    In partners/groups, students will design and build a water slide built for speed, thrills, and safety.


    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

    - Forces Research Log

    - Forces Research Applied to Student Re-Design template (editable)

    Plus, you'll get the 1:1 version for use with Google Slides (TM). See the previews of each resource above for details.

    Feel free to reach out using the Product Q&A tab.


    Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

    – Paper-towel and/or toilet paper cardboard tubes and/or cardboard scraps

    • Distribute as evenly as possible. If you don’t have much cardboard, tighten the height constraint to 12 in.

    – Foil, wax paper, or plastic wrap (~24 sq. in.)

    – Straws (5 – 10)

    – Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)

    – Plastic beads or marbles (6)

    – Small bowls and/or cups (1 – 3)

    – Tape (24 – 36 in.)

    – Yarn (24 – 36 in.)

    – Bottle of water

    – Stopwatch (at least one per class is needed)

    – Scissors

    – Ruler

    – Design analysis handouts (included)


    • Craft sticks

    • Clothespins

    • Rubber bands

    • Paper towels (for clean up)

    • Blue food coloring for the water


    Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!


    What do teachers have to say about this resource?

    “This was a fantastic find for the last week of school. I did a shortened version of this with my 6th and 7th graders and they went crazy over it! They loved the build and then after we tested I let them destroy (the water started the process) and they thought it was awesome. Thank you for creating such a great resource that could be used with many different grade levels.”

    “I loved using this with my summer camp kids. Easily adaptable so that you can use the whole thing or only use parts of it.”

    “My students absolutely loved this!! The project was excellent and the questions evoked critical thinking skills.”

    “I used this right before school was out and my students absolutely loved it! Many said it was their favorite STEM project of the year!”

    “Amazing!! My kiddos loved this project and it gave them something worthy to do in that all too famous "last week of school" chaos. Not just an activity where they just color and do busy work, this was definitely worth it. Highly recommend this product. Thank you!”

    “Super fun!! My 3rd graders were so excited AND competitive!”

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    to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
    Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
    Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
    Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
    Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
    Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.


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