Valentine's Day STEM Challenge Bow and Arrow

Rated 4.96 out of 5, based on 92 reviews
92 Ratings
Teachers Are Terrific
Grade Levels
5th - 6th
Formats Included
  • Zip
26 pages
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What educators are saying

My 5th graders LOVED this! We had so much fun and I appreciate all of the teacher info that was provided at the beginning. Thank you!
My students loved this hands-on activity. We did it in my classroom and in our after school program for Parent Night. Everyone was was highly engaged and having a lot of fun!
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Here’s another great challenge to add some Valentine’s Day exploration in your STEM class! This Bow and Arrow project presents students with many problems to solve. It also works well with two other STEM challenges for Valentine’s Day! Check the list below!

Note: This challenge is available in money-saving bundles.

What is the challenge?

In this challenge, students will use materials to make a bow and an arrow. They will have chances to practice with the bow and modify their design. Finally, they will compete against one another to hit a target. They will find that some of the materials create rather flimsy bows that will not withstand the pull-back and firing of the arrow. They will also have to make an arrow that will fit the bow frame they create. The most fun is learning how to use the device they build! There is definitely a learning curve to this! Just a note: We followed strict safety guidelines with this challenge. It was tested with fifth graders. This challenge is for upper elementary students!

NOTE: This challenge is pictured as a challenge for Valentine's Day. However, you can use this at any time of the year. We used a heart-shaped target for firing our arrows. IDEAS FOR TARGETS: Halloween ghost, Christmas cookie, winter snowflakes, spring flowers, summer firecrackers. Use the editable form to change the constraints and requirements and the possibilities are endless!

What is your prep?

You will need supplies in addition to this package. This includes: Straws, Craft sticks, Rubber bands, Paper clips, Cotton swabs, Construction paper, and

Masking tape.

The package specifically includes:

  • Cover
  • Teacher background
  • Materials and preparation page
  • 5 pages of teacher directions
  • Constraints list in 2 sizes
  • Safety rules for using the bow and arrow
  • 4 pages of photographs
  • Student lab sheet
  • Scoring rubric
  • Special photo page for setting up your target contest
  • An idea page and generic forms for using this challenge at any time of year are included.
  • All forms are in an editable format.
  • Student answer sheets are not included, but samples from student work are included in the teacher direction pages. The page count listed for this package includes everything.

This challenge will need 1 class session to complete. We completed it in one hour.

You might also enjoy these Valentine's Day Resources:


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Total Pages
26 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
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.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
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.


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