Amphibious Phone Summer STEM Challenge

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Amphibious Phone Summer STEM Challenge

$3.98

Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build a summer-proof* case for a smart phone. (No actual smart phones will be harmed in this activity; they’ll create weighted test phones!)

When it’s the end of the school year, your summer activities need to be on-point to keep kids engaged! This summer STEM / STEAM Challenge brings the joy back to your classroom with collaborative, hands-on, brain-busting work (disguised as fun)!

The basic premise: 
Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build a summer-proof* case for a smart phone. (No actual smart phones will be harmed in this activity; they’ll create weighted test phones!)

*Summer-proof = waterproof & retrievable when dropped in a body of water

 


Note: If you are in a 1:1 classroom, you may prefer the digital format, compatible with Google Slides ™.

Take me to this resource on TpT.


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
  • Student Handouts:
    • Criteria & Constraints List (in color and B&W; editable version provided)
    • Results and Design Analysis (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded) spacing for primary students included in color and and B&W)
    • Smartphone cut-outs (in color and B&W)
    • Discussion Questions (color and B&W)
  • Extension templates
    • Process Flow Map
    • Create Math Problems Based on Designs
    • Classifying Animals Activity Templates
    • Under-the-Sea Writing Activity Templates

Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified. You don’t need to provide all of the following materials. Select a subset and/or add in your own ideas.

    • Note: The links below are Amazon Affiliate links. Find out more on the disclosure page.
      • Bucket/bin filled with water for testing (at least 1 per class needed)
        Weights (4 – 6 oz. per group)
        ___________________________________________________________
        If weights aren’t available, the following objects weigh approximately 4 -6 oz.:
        • 112 – 168 paper clips
        • 4 – 6 slices of bread
        • 44 – 66 pennies
        • 24 – 36 nickels
        ___________________________________________________________
      • Plastic or fold-over sandwich bags (not Ziploc®)
      • Scale (If no scale is available, remove weight constraint from challenge.)
      • Cardboard scraps
      • Envelopes (at least 3 x 5 in)
      • Tape (12 in.)
      • Scissors
      • Yarn (36 – 48 inches)
      • Rubber bands (3 – 5)
      • Paper towels
      • Phone cut-outs (included)
      • Design analysis handouts (included)
      • Optional
        • Balloons
        • Stopwatch
        • Pipe cleaners
        • Cotton
        • Foil
        • A variety of tape (duct, shipping, scotch, masking)

       


Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:

  • Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
  • Helps students develop growth mindset traits like persistence and resilience
  • High levels of student engagement
  • The potential to hit upon all NGSS ETS standards depending on the depth and number of iterations you choose to implement in your classroom (modifications included)
  • Highly flexible and differentiated for materials, timing, grade levels, and rigor.

Each design iteration should be planned for ~60 min. if you are including data gathering and analysis rather than just building for fun. If you add extension activities, you will need to adjust timing accordingly.


This resource is available is also available in the Summer Bundle and the Mega Bundle.

 

 

 

 

 


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Preview Music Credit:

“Carefree” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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