Fall, teachers, and apples have been connected for as far as anyone can remember, but most folks don’t know why. The most popular theory seems to stem (pun intended 😊) from the pioneer days when families often paid the teacher with produce. Apples were often given as a gift of appreciation. “An apple for the teacher” became a popular slogan and nowadays back to school crafts and units feature shiny red apples at their core (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!).
Related: Four Fun Fall Science Resources for Primary Students
For you own back to school nod to the apple’s place in school history, why not try one of my Fall STEM Activities, the Apple Sling Shot STEM Challenge? Challenge your students to design and build a slingshot for launching apples using a y-shaped tree branch, felt, rubber bands, and a stapler. You can also modify the task and include any other materials you would like. Small pumpkins, acorns, or even crab apples can be used in place of regular apples. Don’t forget to check out the suggested safety rules or be sure to create your own.
Just as apples symbolize back to school, pumpkins are the epitome of fall! Challenge your students to a Pumpkin Boat STEM Challenge. Have your students design and build a boat using a small pumpkin, wooden skewers, and colored paper. The boat must be able to carry at least a small doll or miniature figure.
Get your students really pumped about this challenge by introducing it with this short video of the Oregon Giant Pumpkin Regatta!
I don’t know if I would want to participate, but I would love to see it!
The third challenge I have for you is the Scarecrow STEM Challenge. Challenge your students to design and build a life-size and free-standing scarecrow using sticks, hay old clothes and hat, old buttons, yarn, and felt fabric. The scarecrow must be able to stand without any human support.
This challenge is not only fun but will provide a good memory for students. Although still used in smaller rural farms and home gardens, the stationary old-fashioned scarecrow is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Technology has taken over the stereotypical pumpkin head scarecrows and farmers are looking more towards lasers and digital scarecrows.
Just like all my other STEM challenges, each of these Fall STEM Activities contains clear student directions, photos of possible finished products, suggested materials, planning and reflection, and vocabulary worksheets. Additionally, for your convenience, I have added ways to modify the challenges, as well as the STEAM links and the Next Generation Science Standards covered.
You can purchase each of the challenges individually or get them in this money-saving Fall STEM Activities Bundle.
You can also get my Bird Feeder STEM Challenge for FREE here. Perfect for any season, this challenge is a must try for Fall. And, if you have not yet purchased any of my STEM challenges, this is a great way for you to give it a try! Have fun!
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