Looking for a fun Halloween activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and/or math? Halloween STEM / STEAM Challenges are collaborative, brain-busting work disguised as fun!
The basic premise:
Students work in partners or groups against a criteria & constraints list to create a ghost transporter that lifts cotton ball “ghosts” from the ground to the top of a pulley. (For younger students, the teacher will set up the pulley; for older students, the teacher will provide materials and students will include the pulley and attachment as part of their designs.)
Note: This is the digital format, compatible with Google Slides ™.
- 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 Slides
- Post-design extension activities list
- Link to a video walk-through of the challenge
- Student Slides (Two sets: Ghosts Clipart & Grapes Clipart)
- Criteria and Constraints List (editable)
- Results and Design Analysis
- Discussion Questions
- Extension templates
- Create a Ghost/Grape Character
- Scary by the Senses (brainstorming sensory details to revise writing)
- Process flow map
- Create & solve math problems based on designs
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.)
- Pulley system (dowel and ~6 ft. of rope). One per class or testing station will do.
- Medium or large binder clip (1)
- Small paper plates
- Ghosts (cotton balls or marshmallows)
- Amount depends on total materials provided, but at least one bag per class will be needed for testing.
- Can substitute grapes, marbles, etc. for a non-Halloween version
- If you have the time or an aide/volunteer, draw on ghost faces with a sharpie.
- String, ribbon, or twine (2 – 3 yards)
- Markers and extra rope (to make small pulleys at each student workstation)
- Tape (constrain to ~12 in.)
- Cable ties
- Pipe cleaners
- Coffee filters or foil
- Multiple sizes of binder clips
- Single hole punch
- Carabiner (alternate attachment for pulley)
This resource is also available in printable format and as part of the Halloween and the Mega STEM Challenge bundles. Click through below: