Hello, friends! Have you been out enjoying Spring? My U.S. buddies in the Northern states tell me it has finally stopped snowing! We don’t get snow here where I live in Australia, so I can only imagine what it has been like, but I do know about Spring! I am so excited to share with you my three Spring STEM Challenges.
The first challenge is for students to design and build an umbrella that is waterproof and can easily be opened and closed. You probably already knew the first umbrellas were for shade from the sun and called parasols, but did you also know that until the mid 1700’s it was strictly taboo for men to use umbrellas? Another interesting fact about umbrellas is that currently there are more than 120,000 entries with the U.S. patent Office with the word “umbrella”. A google search for “crazy umbrellas” brings up full body umbrellas, dog umbrellas, and teeny tiny shoe umbrellas to name a few. This would be a fun starting point for a creative writing assignment to connect with the Umbrella STEM Challenge.
The next challenge is for students to design and build a bird’s nest which can hold at least three eggs, using only Styrofoam and materials found in nature. Before (or after) your students partake in the Bird’s Nest STEM Challenge, an interesting thing to do, is to watch one of the many live stream nest cams. Beware, they are fascinating, and you may find yourself spending more time than intended viewing!
The third challenge available this month allows you to tell your students “Go fly a kite!” and mean it literally. The Kite STEM Challenge is to design and build a kite that can fly for at least one minute using plastic bags, wooden skewers, string and clear tape. If your students think that is a long time to keep their creations in the air, share with them that the world record for the longest kite fly is 180 hours!
Just like all my other STEM challenges, each packet 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 all three in the money-saving Spring STEM Challenge Bundle!