Looking for a fun winter activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and/or math?
The basic premise:
Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners, students will design a snow scoop to designed for maximum capacity and/or maximum efficiency. Success can be evaluated in one or both of the following ways:
– Largest possible scoop capacity
– Time to clear a 1-inch path in the snow (or to clear the entire yard of snow)
*** CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO PREVIEW ***
Multiple iterations are recommended to get the most student benefit, but this can also be treated as a one-off activity.
This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!
Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:
- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- 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 approximately 75 min. if you are including data gathering and analysis rather than just building for fun. I recommend working on STEM Design Challenges in multiple iterations to get the full value.
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.
• ~ 12in. X 8 in. x 2 in. pan or box lid
• 2 lb. bag of white rice or 1 bag of mini marshmallows
– Paper plate or bowl (to hold the snow from scoop designs for weighing)
– Craft sticks (3-5)
– Straws (3-5)
– Pipe cleaners (3-5)
– Masking tape (12 – 24 in.)
– 3x5 in. index card (1)
– Scale (if choosing the capacity challenge goal)
– Stopwatches (if choosing the time to clear snow challenge goal)
– Design analysis handouts
• Binder clips
• Rubber bands
NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
- Links to 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
- A video walk-through of this challenge will be posted & linked Jan. 5, 2017
- Criteria & Constraints List (editable version provided in color and black & white versions)
- Design Analysis Handouts (Two sets included: 2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students)
- Discussion Questions (color and black & white versions)
- Classifying Levers Notes (editable)
- Classifying Levers Practice (with answer key)
- Process Flow Map
- Math Extension
Note: If you’re familiar with my store, you know almost all challenges are also available in a 5-in-1 pack. That will eventually be true of this challenge, but it might not be until 2018. Once the 5-in-1 pack becomes available, you may choose to purchase it and receive a reimbursement if you’ve already purchased this individual challenge.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions using the Q&A tab above!
You may also like these products:
STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE
Sled & Slope
Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE