Planetopia Project STEM Challenges engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun!
The basic premise:
Students work in partners or groups against criteria & constraints lists to design and build various items for a fictional planet, Planetopia. The series is ideal for spring and Earth Day, but can be used any time of the year.
Challenges include extension opportunities on topics including: landforms, plate tectonics, the water cycle, weather, natural disasters, plant parts, plant cells, animal cells, life cycles, heredity, genetics and more!
Modification suggestions are included to make these challenges engaging and productive for students in grades 2 – 8.
There are five STEM design challenge events included in this bundle:
This bundle saves you 35% off the cost of buying each challenge separately. What a bargain! ☺
Note: This is the printable version.
If you are in a 1:1 / paperless classroom,
you will want to check out the digital option for use with Google Slides ™ instead.
If you have questions about which version is right for you, please check out this blog post and/or feel free to reach out with a question: [email protected]
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified. Materials lists can be found in the product descriptions for each individual challenge linked above.
• Overall STEM Tips
– Suggestions on timing and whether or not to treat these challenges as competitions
– What to say (and what not to say) during STEM Challenges
– 5-event Data Tracker handout (color and B&W)
Plus, each challenge comes with:
• NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8
• Teacher Tips
– Links to STEM Challenge “How-to” Videos
– Links to challenge-specific video walk-throughs
– Materials and timing
– Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
– Measuring results
– Post-design extension activities list
• Student Handouts
– Criteria and Constraints list (editable version provided)
– Results and Design Data Analysis
– Discussion Questions
• Extension templates
– Process Flow Map
– Math Extension
– Additional handouts vary by challenge
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 – 90 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.
NOTE: You can save even more by purchasing this bundle as part of the
STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE!!!
This resource is also available in a digital 1:1 format, compatible with Google Slides ™!