Winter STEM Activity - Winter Waiter

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 16 reviews
16 Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
10.5k Followers
Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Standards
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
Pages
35+
$3.50
$3.50
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
10.5k Followers
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  3. 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! The basic premise:Working against a criteria/constraints list in groups, students will build waiters’ trays designed to hold “snowy” 3D solids in an i
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Description

Looking for a fun Christmas or winter activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and/or math? Christmas-Winter STEM / STEAM Challenges are the perfect activities because they engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun!

The basic premise:

Working against a criteria/constraints list in groups, students will build waiters’ trays designed to hold “snowy” 3D solids in an indoor relay race.

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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.

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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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

EDITABLE Student Handouts

  • Criteria & Constraints List (in color and black & white)
  • Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included) (In color and black & white)
  • 3 Score Card Options
  • 20 3D solid nets
  • Discussion Questions (in color and B&W)

Extension templates

  • Snowman character writing activity (editable; in color and black & white)
  • Writing templates
  • Process Flow Map
  • Math Extension

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This is one of five challenges available in the Late Winter 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.)

  • 3D solids or nets & glue
  • Narrow cardboard strips (4 – 10)
    Cereal & tissue boxes work well. To save yourself time, give groups a box and add direct students to cut strips of a certain size (e.g. no wider than 1 inch)
  • Coffee filters
  • Craft sticks (4-8)
  • Straws (4-8)
  • Pipe cleaners (5-10)
  • Masking tape (12 – 24 in.)
  • 3x5 in. index cards (5-10)
  • Paperclips and/or brass brads (4-8)
  • Scissors

Optional

  • Rubber bands
  • Single hole punch
  • Ping Pong or playground balls (if you want spheres in the challenge)
  • Garbage or shopping bags (for shape storage when not in use)

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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

Snow Scoop

Frosted Forest

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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Total Pages
35+
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
N/A
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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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