Got apples and some common school supplies? A great way to put them to good use is with the Apple Annihilator STEM Challenge. Students will use their materials to build a wrecking ball designed for accuracy or total annihilation! They’ll test  their designs by setting up marker “bowling pins” and try to knock down as many as possible using their apple wrecking ball designs.


Apple Annihilator STEM Challenge is perfect for first day of school, team-building, fall and apple day activities and for learning about forces and motion. Click through to the blog to learn more.


What’s extra awesome is a very similar set of materials is used in all five Back-to-School STEM Challenges, so you can try them all!




How to Implement the Challenge


Check out this video walk-through of the challenge to see the materials, criteria & constraints, measuring results, cross-curricular extensions and more:


Materials Needed

Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified. Amazon Affiliate links are included below.


• Cardboard boxes, tubes, or scraps

  • helpful in building a support structure and base for the wrecking ball rather than attaching to desk/table)

Craft sticks

Pipe cleaners



Content Connections

Apple Annihilator is a great intro to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which is part of 3rd and middle school NGSS standards! (3PS2-1, MS-PS2-1, and MS-PS2-2).

It can also be used to illustrate potential & kinetic energy, forces & motion. For additional cross-curricular content connections, check the video at the top of the post.


See the Resource

Fall STEM Challenge resources are available on and on Teachers Pay Teachers.


Apple Annihilator Print Resource Cover

Apple Annihilator Paperless Resource Cover











Back to School STEM Challenge Bundle Cover

BTS STEM Bundle Paperless Cover











Go to the Back-to-School STEM Challenge Resources Hub

Back to School STEM Activities

Grab The 4 C’s of Engineering Freebie


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Apple Annihilator STEM Challenge is perfect for back to school activities, team-building, fall activities and for learning about Newton's laws of motion in action. Click through to the blog to learn more.