Nice Nest Spring STEM Challenge

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

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 (editable; in color and B&W; editable version provided)
    • Results and Design Analysis (editable; 2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included in color and and B&W)
    • Discussion Questions (editable; color and B&W)
  • Extension templates
    • – Process Flow Map
      – Math Extension
      – Bird Research Log (editable)
      – Bird Idioms Log (editable)

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)


          • 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 a digital 1:1 format, compatible with Google Slides (TM), as well as in discounted bundles.
























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Preview Music Credit:

“Carefree” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


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