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Christmas and Winter STEM Challenges are the perfect activities to engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun when they've got the winter crazies! This challenge is perfect for distance learning and social distancing because the materials are incredibly simple! Every one can build their own snowman!
The basic premise:
Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build the tallest free-standing snowman possible. (Option 2: Students design and build a snowman of greatest volume possible.)
Note: This resource includes both the printable version and the paperless option for use with GOOGLE SLIDES (TM) for 1:1 / paperless classroom.
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- 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)
- Design an Experiment for Melting Ice (walks students through the steps of the scientific method to design an experiment to melt ice. (Editable and sample answer key included.)
- Observation handouts for melting ice experiment (editable)
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.
- Bag of cotton balls and/or 3 pieces of tissue paper and/or 5 sheets of copy paper
- Straws, pipe cleaners, and/or cardboard scraps (5 – 10)
- Tape (24 in.)
- Ruler or measuring tape
What are teachers saying about this resource?
“We used this at our Frozen: Making science cool family STEM Night and our families loved it. Some of them got really into it and it was nice to see how many creative possibilities there were.”
“My GT students really enjoyed this activity. I used it as a challenge on the first day back from the holidays. Great ideas for differentiation, also. Thanks.”
“This was a great "last day of school before Christmas break" activity. Thank you the students had a great deal of fun and used a great deal of creativity!”
“This was an easy to set up STEM activity that my students loved!”
“Great unit. Mind stretching.”