This Thanksgiving STEM / STEAM Challenge will engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun!
The basic premise:
Individually, or in partners/groups, students will design and build a device to harvest a field of pumpkins as efficiently as possible. (Efficiency is measured in amount of time or number of moves needed to clear the pumpkin patch.) Once picked, pumpkins will be deposited in a harvest container.
Note: This is the digital format, compatible with Google Slides ™.
For the print version, click here.
- 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)
- Optional printable pumpkin patch grid for setup
- Design Analysis
- Discussion Questions
- Extension templates
- Process flow map
- Create & solve math problems based on designs
- Video/website linked slides
- 12 math problem task card slides of increasing difficulty
- Pumpkin writing slide
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.)
For each student or group:
- Candy pumpkins or candy corn (24 – 36) (Rolos or wrapped caramels can be substituted)
- Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)
- Popsicle/craft sticks (10 – 15)
- Plastic spoons (5 – 10)
- Bowl or holding container for harvested pumpkins
- Copies of pumpkin patch guide handout (included) or green construction paper
- Rulers/measuring tapes
- Tape, cable ties, rubber bands
This resource is also available in print format and as part of the Thanksgiving and the Mega STEM Challenge bundles. Click through below:
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