Nice Nest Paperless STEM Challenge

Nice Nest Paperless STEM Challenge


In this Easter/Spring STEM Challenge, students will design and build a nest that holds as many eggs as possible using predominantly toilet paper.

Looking for Easter activities that your students will love but are more than just a craft or activity to pass the time? The Nice Nest STEM Challenge (or STEAM Challenge) will keep your students engaged in brain-busting work disguised as fun!

The basic premise: 

Individually or in partners/groups, students will design and build a nest that holds as many eggs as possible using predominantly toilet paper.

Note: Click here for the printable version of this resource.

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 Slides
    • Post-design extension activities list
    • Link to a video walk-through of the challenge
  • Student Slides:
    • Criteria & Constraints List (editable slide provided)
    • Results and Design Analysis
    • Discussion Questions
  • Extension templates
    • – Process Flow Map
      – Math Extension
      – Bird Research Log
      – Bird Idioms Log

Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

(Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.)

    • Note: The links below are Amazon Affiliate links. Find out more on the disclosure page.
          • Toilet Paper (1 roll each; the cheaper, the better)
          • Plastic bowl or container (preferably with transparent sides)
          •  Plastic eggs (12 of various sizes or all one size)
            • If a group creates a nest with greater capacity than 12 eggs, have groups buddy up for testing to share their eggs.
          • Binder clips (4)
          • Scissors
          • Yarn (12 – 24 four-inch strips)
          • Design analysis handouts (included in resource)S


          • Tape 
          • Small cups and water to test rain resistance
          • Sand or clay to weight the eggs for added difficulty

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 in printable format, as well as in discounted bundles.
























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