Pumpkin Picker Thanksgiving STEM Challenge

Pumpkin Picker Thanksgiving STEM Challenge

$3.98

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.

This Thanksgiving STEM / STEAM Challenge will engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun while following the Pilgrims’ journey to the New World! These Thanksgiving activities are fun AND a good use of instructional time!

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.

Check out the video preview to see what is included in this resource (skip ahead to 5:37 to see what is included in the resource):

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 (color and black & white; editable version provided)
    • Optional pumpkin patch grid for setup
    • Design Analysis Handouts (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included) (color and black & white)
    • Discussion Questions (in color and B&W
  • Extension templates
    • Process Flow Map
    • Create Math Problems Based on Designs
    • Math Task Card templates (with 12 leveled examples & editable version provided)
    • Pumpkin outline writing templates

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
  • Scissors
  • Copies of pumpkin patch guide handout (included) or green construction paper

Optional:

  • Straws
  • Clothespins
  • String
  • Rulers/measuring tapes
  • Tape, cable ties, rubber bands

This resource is also available in paperless format and as part of the Thanksgiving and the Mega STEM Challenge bundles. Click through below:

 

PRINTABLE MEGA BUNDLE

If you prefer to purchase on TPT, click here

Note: Any coupon codes you received for subscribing to the email are for this site and will not work on TpT.

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