Valentine's Day STEM Activity - Cards in the Clouds

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 28 reviews
28 Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
10.5k Followers
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Standards
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Formats Included
  • Zip
Pages
30 pages
$3.50
$3.50
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
10.5k Followers
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Description

Looking for Valentine’s Day activities that your students will love but are more than just a craft or activity to pass the time? This Valentine’s STEM Challenge (or STEAM Challenge) will keep your students engaged in brain-busting work disguised as fun!

The basic premise:

Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build the tallest “tower of love” possible using Valentine’s Day cards they were probably just going to throw away anyway! (Note: for older students or those who don’t exchange cards, see materials list below and thumbnail above; alternative love-notes handout is included.)

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Note: This is the printable version. If you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom, you will want to check out the digital option for use with GOOGLE SLIDES (TM) instead.

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Resource includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

- Links to my 5-part video series on getting started with STEM challenges

- Materials and timing

- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)

- Measuring results

- Universal STEM Challenge Notes & How to Use Student Handouts Post-design extension activities list

- Link to a video walk-through of the challenge

Student Handouts

- Criteria and Constraints list in color (editable versions in color and B&W provided)

- Student "love letter" template cut-outs, kindness log & compliment chart handouts (editable)

- Design Analysis (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included in color and B&W; editable)

- Discussion Questions (in color and B&W; editable)

Extension templates

- Process Flow Map

- Math Extension

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This is one of five challenges available in the Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge bundle at a 40% discount!

This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!

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Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

– Choose primary material(s) from the following:

• 20+ Valentine’s Day cards

• 20+ index cards

• 4-5 Valentine’s Day card boxes

• Copies of “love letters” on paper or card stock

– Tape (12 in.)

– Scissors

– Ruler or measuring tape

– Copies of data recording & analyzing handouts

– Optional: craft stick, pipe cleaner

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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 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?

“Kids loved the challenge. I loved that we could find a use for our valentines that would have ended up in the trash right away :)”

“Very fun STEM challenge! My students loved it!”

“Great teaching tool, used as an observation lesson and my principal loved it!”

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You might also like these resources:

STEM Challenges & Bundles (grades 2 – 8):

STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE

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

Late Winter STEM Bundle

St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenge Bundle

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Analyze and Interpret Data Unit

Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE

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

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Video preview music credit:

"Carefree" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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Standards

to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
NGSSK-2-ETS1-2
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.
NGSSK-2-ETS1-3
Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
NGSSMS-ETS1-2
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
NGSSK-2-ETS1-1
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.
NGSS3-5-ETS1-3
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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