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Thanksgiving STEM Challenge Pumpkin Picker - Paperless Version

Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Standards
Formats Included
  • PDF
Pages
30 pages
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  2. 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 device to harvest a field of pumpkins as efficiently as possible. (Efficiency is measured in amount of time or number
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Description

This Thanksgiving STEM / STEAM Challenge will engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun!

The basic premise:

Individually, or in partners/groups, students will design and build a device to harvest a field of pumpkins as efficiently as possible. (Efficiency is measured in amount of time or number of moves needed to clear the pumpkin patch.) Once picked, pumpkins will be deposited in a harvest container.

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Note: This version is for use with Google Slides in 1:1/paperless classrooms. If you prefer to print and have students complete work with paper/pencil, you'll want to look at the PRINTABLE VERSION 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.

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This is one of five Thanksgiving STEM Challenges. They can be purchased in a bundle at a 40% discount:

Thanksgiving STEM Challenge: 5-in-1 DIGITAL/PAPERLESS Bundle

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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 Slides

- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided)

- Design Analysis

- Discussion Questions

Extension slides

- Process flow map

- Create & solve math problems based on designs

- Video/website linked slides

- 12 math problem task card slides of increasing difficulty

- Pumpkin writing slide


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Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

o Candy pumpkins or candy corn (24 – 36) (Rolos or wrapped caramels can be substituted)

o Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)

o Popsicle/craft sticks (10 – 15)

o Plastic spoons (5 – 10)

o Bowl or holding container for harvested pumpkins

o Scissors

o Copies of pumpkin patch guide handout or green construction paper

o Copies of data recording & analyzing handouts

o Optional:

• Straws

• Clothespins

• String

• Rulers/measuring tapes

• Tape, cable ties, rubber bands

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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 ~60-90 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.

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What do teachers have to say about this resource?

Note: Comments taken from the print version.

“This is a fun STEM challenge that is very thought provoking. Excellent tie in to writing and math, and very detailed teacher notes and steps. That makes it so much easier to get everything set up so the students can start learning. Great product! Thank you!”

“Perfect for my little engineers!”

“I used this with my 8th grade STEM class and they had such an amazing time. I couldn't find any pumpkin candies or candy corn in stores (even though it wasn't even Thanksgiving yet) so I used caramels instead. It worked like a charm because they are about the same size and consistency. I will be using this again!”

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You might also like these resources:

STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE

Halloween STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Thanksgiving STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Christmas/Winter STEM Design Challenge: 5-in-1 Bundle

Analyze and Interpret Data Unit

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Please check out the preview to see the challenge, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!

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Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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Standards

to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
NGSSMS-ETS1-3
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.
NGSS3-5-ETS1-2
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.
NGSSMS-ETS1-1
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.
NGSS3-5-ETS1-1
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
NGSSMS-ETS1-4
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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