These Thanksgiving STEM / STEAM Challenges will engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun as they work to help Pilgrims and Wampanoag people meet their basic needs!
The basic premise:
Students work in partners or groups against criteria & constraints lists to design and build Thanksgiving-themed devices. 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:
- Though the Pumpkin Picker and Corn Cultivator challenges could be interchanged, the recommended order is based on the following story line:
- Water Transportation (Mini Mayflower / Mini Mishoon)
- Shelter Building (Protect the People)
- (note: Cut-outs are included so students can build for Pilgrims and/or Wampanoag)
- Gather food (Pumpkin Picker)
- Organized agriculture (Corn Cultivator)
- With food & shelter in place, there’s time for fun and games (Turkey Transporter)
This bundle saves you ~40% off the cost of buying each challenge separately. What a bargain! ☺
See the preview below:
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 ™!