Thanksgiving STEM Challenge Activity - Corn Cultivator Print - Paperless Bundle

Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
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This Thanksgiving STEM / STEAM Challenge is collaborative, brain-busting work disguised as fun!

The basic premise:

Individually, or in partners/groups, students will design and build one or more tools to aid in the cultivation of corn. The tool(s) must till, dig holes, plant & cover seeds, and water the crops.


Note: This resource includes both the printable version and the paperless option for use with GOOGLE SLIDES (TM) for 1:1 / paperless classroom.


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

Handouts & Google Slides(TM) Options for Student Recording & Reflecting

- Criteria & Constraints List (editable)

- Design Analysis (editable)

- Discussion Questions (editable)

Extension templates

- Process Flow Map

- Math Task Card templates (with 12 leveled examples and editable version included)


Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

  • Popcorn kernels (30 - 50)
  • Paperclips or Swedish Fish candies (to symbolize fertilizer)
  • Farmland
    • plastic or foil container filled with flour, sand, or soil – or perform the challenge outdoors and have students stake off their farms

  • Water (to test irrigation)
  • Straws (5 – 10)
  • Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)
  • Popsicle/craft sticks (5 – 10)
  • Foil sheet
  • Plastic spoons, knives, and/or forks (2 – 4)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler


-- cotton swabs, toothpicks, clothespins

-- String

-- Binder clips

-- Rubber bands, cable ties

-- Small paper cups


What are teachers saying about this resource?

“WOW! This is one of my favorite TpT purchases to date! This STEM bundle is engaging and fun. My students loved the activities and it was a way to incorporate some fun into learning about Thanksgiving. The bundle was complete with everything you'd need (except building materials) the questions and instructions were well thought out and perfect!”

“Fantastic resource! Thank you!”

“excellent product!”

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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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