Winter or Christmas STEM Challenge Activity - Sled & Slope

Rated 4.88 out of 5, based on 187 reviews
187 Ratings
Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching
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30 pages
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Kerry Tracy Feel-Good Teaching

What educators are saying

This lesson was great! I loved the non-Christmas version of everything. All of my STEM students were really engaged in this activity and the video support was very helpful!
We love these STEM challenge! They have a well-organized processing system and it makes it easy for students to gain independence while problem solving.
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Christmas and Winter STEM activities are the perfect way to engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun when they've got those winter crazies!

Sled & Slope Winter STEM Challenge Activity Overview:

Working against a criteria/constraints list in partners or groups, students will build a sleigh/sled and ramp designed to transport the people or gifts the greatest possible distance.

Note: there is a "Sled & Slope" version for a winter (non-Christmas) activity as well as a "Sleigh & Slope" version for Christmas included.


Note: This is the printable version, though you can upload the editable handouts to Google Slides™ if desired. However, if you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom, you may prefer the digital option designed specifically for use with GOOGLE SLIDES™ 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.


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 (two sets: one for Sleigh & Slope Christmas STEM Activity and one for Sled & Slope Winter STEM Activity)

  • 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)
  • Discussion Questions (in color and B&W)

Extension templates

  • Design an Experiment: Reducing Friction (editable; sample answers included)
  • Process Flow Map
  • Math Extension


This is one of five Winter / Christmas STEM Challenge Activities. They can be purchased in a bundle at a discount:

Winter and Christmas STEM Challenge Activities Bundle (2nd – 8th)

This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!


Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

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

  • Cardboard, cardstock, cereal box, or paper plates
  • Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)
  • Small bows (2)
    Bows are to symbolize gifts; small candies can be substituted (If you’re doing the Sled & Slope version, you’ll need small people to ride the sleds. Think: little, plastic, green army men. Two riders will work well.)
  • Popsicle/craft sticks (10 – 15)
  • Rubber bands (5 – 10)
  • Foil (12 – 24 in.)
  • Straws (5 – 10)
  • Scissors
  • Tape (12 – 24 in.)
  • Ruler or measuring tape


• Wood scraps

• Paper bags

• Coffee filters

• Plastic cutlery

• Balloons (rocket boosters)

• String

• Cable ties


What do teachers have to say about this resource?

" My classes loved these activities. They were discussing and figuring out ways to improve their projects too. They learned a lot from these.”

“My second-graders had a great time with this challenge. It fit in well with our unit on motion, position and force. Thanks!”

“I love these STEM projects. The kids go crazy over them :)”


You might also like these resources:

STEM Challenges & Bundles (grades 2 – 8):


Winter and Christmas STEM Challenge Activities Bundle (2nd – 8th)

Snow Scoop Winter STEM Activity

Frosted Forest Winter STEM Activity

Thanksgiving STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge 5-in-1 Bundle

Analyze and Interpret Data Unit

Getting Started with STEM Challenges FREEBIE

Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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