Winter STEM Challenge: Snow Scoop Print and Paperless Bundle

Grade Levels
2nd - 8th
Formats Included
  • Zip
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    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 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)


    Note: This resource includes both the printable version and the paperless option for use with GOOGLE SLIDES (TM) for 1:1 / paperless classroom.


    Resource includes:

    NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

    Teacher Tips

    • 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)

    Extension templates

    • Classifying Levers Notes (editable)
    • Classifying Levers Practice (with answer key)
    • Process Flow Map
    • Math Extension


    Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

    Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.

    Snowy Yard

    • ~ 12in. X 8 in. x 2 in. pan or box lid
    • 2 lb. bag of white rice or 1 bag of mini marshmallows

    Scoop-building & testing materials

    • Craft sticks (3-5)
    • Straws (3-5)
    • Pipe cleaners (3-5)
    • Masking tape (12 – 24 in.)
    • 3x5 in. index card (1)
    • Scissors
    • Scale (if choosing the capacity challenge goal)
    • Stopwatches (if choosing the time to clear snow challenge goal)
    • Paper plate or bowl (to hold the snow from scoop designs for weighing)


    • Binder clips
    • Clothespins
    • Rubber bands
    • String


    What are teachers saying about this resource?

    “I used this with second through fourth and eighth grade GT students. Students were engaged and wanted to make improvements after measuring "snow". It was loads (lol) of fun and helped with the lesson on simple machines. Great job!”

    “Every single detail in this product is planned perfectly. Thank you for a complete and engaging activity!”

    “Very thorough and detailed!”

    “We had so much fun with this... we used it after an epic number of snow days and told the kids we were out of school so long because we had no way to clear the school parking lot... design perfection”

    “Very thorough and challenging. I used with a wide rage of students in STEM class and the material options ensured many different responses from the students.”

    “This was a great resource. The walk-through videos make it very easy to just pick up and use with any class. It's easy to differentiate for students of all levels”

    Total Pages
    Answer Key
    Teaching Duration
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    to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
    Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
    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.
    Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
    Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
    Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.


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