Weather STEM Challenge | Spring STEM Activity

Rated 4.85 out of 5, based on 68 reviews
68 Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
50 pages
Share this resource
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
Also included in
  1. Super-charge your STEM class with 52 high-engagement, critical thinking, problem-solving, NGSS-aligned challenges to take you through the entire year! Modifications are included to make these activities engaging and challenging for students in grades 2 - 8. The basic premise: Students work in partne
    Price $95.00Original Price $188.80Save $93.80
  2. If your science standards include landforms, plate tectonics, the water cycle, weather, natural disasters, plant parts, plant cells, animal cells, life cycles, and/or heredity & genetics, Planetopia Project STEM Challenges are perfect to engage your students in brain-busting work (disguised as f
    Price $9.98Original Price $19.42Save $9.44
  3. If you’re looking to apply learning in weather, climate, natural disasters, natural resources & more, this STEM / STEAM challenge is a perfectly engaging way to get the job done joyfully!The basic premise:Students work individually or in partners/groups against a list of criteria and constraints
    Price $6.98Original Price $9.96Save $2.98


If you’re looking to apply learning in weather, climate, natural disasters, natural resources & more, this STEM / STEAM challenge is a perfectly engaging way to get the job done joyfully!

The basic premise:

Students work individually or in partners/groups against a list of criteria and constraints to create a shelter to defend against 3+ types of weather and/or disasters.

This challenge was developed as part of the Planetopia Project, but it can be used as a stand-alone challenge as well.


Note: This the PRINTABLE version. If you prefer the version for use with Google Slides™, you'll want to look at the PAPERLESS 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.

This resource is also available in the following discounted bundles:

Planetopia Project STEM Challenge Bundle
STEM Challenges: Year-Round Mega Bundle
The Ultimate STEM Challenge Mega Bundle


Resource includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

  • Links to a video walk-through of the challenge & my 5-part video series on getting started with STEM challenges
  • Premise & Set-up
  • Materials and timing
  • Modifying Criteria & Constraints to adjust challenge difficulty
  • Measuring results
  • Post-design extension activities list & links

Student Handouts

  • Planning Pages
  • Criteria and Constraints list (two editable versions in color and B&W)
  • Design Analysis Handouts (in color and B&W in two versions: 4-page expanded room for response and 2-page condensed space version for older students)
  • Discussion Questions (in color and B&W)

Extension templates

  • Evaporation Diagram
  • The Water Cycle Diagram
  • Shelter Ratings Activity
  • Shelter Superlatives Template
  • Weather Graph
  • Weather Forecasting Activity Template
  • Postcard Writing Templates
  • Process flow map
  • Create & solve math problems based on designs


Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified. You can select a subset of the materials below and/or add your own ideas. The materials you select will be based on the types of weather/disasters you have your students design for.

Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

For Building:

  • Cardboard scraps / paper plates / small cups
  • Craft sticks / wooden coffee stirrers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Masking or packing tape
  • Cotton
  • Sand Paper
  • Plastic wrap, bags, or balloons
  • Zip ties or string
  • Scissors, hole punch and/or nails/screwdrivers

Optional Building Materials:

  • Crayola Model Magic or clay
  • Hot glue gun
  • Foil
  • Construction paper / tissue
  • Coffee filters
  • Pompoms
  • Foil
  • Paperclips
  • Toothpicks

Measuring Results Materials:

  • Plastic bin or foil tray (shoebox size works well)
  • Water
  • Tissue paper
  • Thermometers
  • Spray bottles
  • Fan, hair dryer, or leaf blower
  • Cotton balls or batting
  • Beads, rice, or marbles
  • Molasses or mud
  • Gravel, rocks, or sand


You may also like these products:

Related Products

Create-ure STEM Challenge

Earth Day STEM Challenge: New Earth City

Landforms STEM Challenge

Plants STEM Challenge Video

Thanksgiving STEM Challenge: Protect-a-Pilgrim


Video preview music credit:

"Carefree" Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Total Pages
50 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
Report this resource to TpT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TpT’s content guidelines.


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.


Questions & Answers

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up