Thanksgiving STEM Challenge Activity - Turkey Transporter 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 a way to safely transport a turkey a given distance (e.g. width of the classroom, 15 ft., the top of the stairwell to the ground, etc.).

-- Because this can be treated as two separate challenges, two criteria/constraints lists have been provided: one for the turkey traveling a horizontal distance quickly and a second for a vertical drop, arriving gently/slowly.


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

- Create & solve math problems based on designs

- Video/website linked slides

- Calculating Turkey Speed

- Turkey Anatomy activity


Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

– Copies of Turkey handouts

– Timer

– Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)

– Popsicle/craft sticks (5 – 10)

– Rope and/or string (Equal amount to distance requirement)

– Paper plate(s) and/or bowls

– Coffee filters

– Straws (5 – 10)

– Binder clips (1-3, various sizes)

– Clothespins (3 – 5)

– Tape

– Scissors

– Measuring tapes (tip: pick up paper measuring tapes from Ikea)

– Copies of data recording & analyzing handouts


• Cardboard

• Cable ties

• Rubber bands

• Small cups


What are teachers saying about this resource?

Note: Comments taken from the print version.

"With so many STEM activities out on the market, this one truly is superior. So thorough, not just about the activity directions, but also with differentiation options, a walk through the design process, and various common scenarios that pop up during the activity. SO worth every penny of its price! And my 2nd graders LOVED the premise of the challenge!"

“My kids absolutely LOVED this! This was so much fun! I did this during a curriculum night with the parents and they really enjoyed it too!”

“My students LOVED this activity! Thank you so much!”

“A lot of bang for your buck! This was a fantastic activity with detailed pages.”

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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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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