Christmas STEM Challenges & Winter STEM Challenges are sure to engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun! And let’s face it — it’s tough keeping students working and learning right up to the winter break.

From this hub page, you will find everything you need to know about all five Christmas / Winter STEM challenges: links to resources, blog posts, video walk-throughs, and teacher feedback on each resource.


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Christmas / Winter STEM Challenge Basics:

Students work in partners or groups against criteria & constraints lists to design and build Winter/Christmas-themed devices. Modification suggestions are included to make these challenges engaging and productive for students in grades 2 – 8.

The two more Christmas-themed challenges, Reindeer Relay and Candy Cane Calamity, even come with ideas to take away the holiday theme so anyone & everyone can participate! Details are explained in the walk-through videos.

Teacher Feedback on the Christmas / Winter Bundle

Working against a criteria/constraints list, each student will design and build reindeer antlers. Students are then grouped for a reindeer relay race in which they use their antlers to transport and hand-off Christmas decorations.

– To save time, have each student build just one antler. During the relay race, they will share with their teammates so each person “running” will have two antlers to hold on their head.

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.

See the video walk-through for details to make this a non-holiday challenge.


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Teacher Feedback on Reindeer Relay

Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners, students will design and build a way to safely “mail” two candy canes in one paper bag package without breakage. (Note: cookies can be substituted for candy canes.)

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Candy Cane Calamity

Working against a criteria/constraints list in partners or groups, students will build a sleigh and ramp designed to transport the sleigh the greatest possible distance. (Note: there is a “Sled & Slope” version of student handouts in case you prefer a winter / non-Christmas activity included in the resource.)

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Sleigh (or Sled) & Slope

Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build the tallest free-standing snowman possible. (Option 2: Students design and build a snowman of greatest volume possible.)

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Snowman Stretch

Working against a criteria/constraints list in partners or groups, students will design and build a “snowball” fortress wall with two main criteria: greatest area (or just height or length for younger students) and ability to withstand a “snowball” attack.

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Frozen Fortress

Click the image to go to the Late Winter STEM Challenge hub page!

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Christmas STEM Challenge activities and Winter STEM Challenge activities are the perfect way to keep your kids engaged during the holidays! These STEM Challenges are full of rigor, engagement, and fun and include modifications for grades 2-8. Click through to the Christmas / Winter STEM Challenge hub for more details, blog posts, video walk-throughs, resources and more!