Wicked Fast Water Slide Summer STEM Challenge Paperless

Wicked Fast Water Slide Summer STEM Challenge Paperless


In partners/groups, students will design and build a water slide built for speed, thrills, and safety.

When it’s the end of the school year, your summer activities need to be on-point to keep kids engaged! This summer STEM / STEAM Challenge brings the joy back to your classroom with collaborative, hands-on, brain-busting work (disguised as fun)!

The basic premise: 
In partners/groups, students will design and build a water slide built for speed, thrills, and safety.


Note: The version you are viewing is compatible with Google Slides ™.

Click here for the printable version of this resource.

Take me to this resource on TpT.

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 Slides
    • Post-design extension activities list
    • Link to a video walk-through of the challenge
  • Student Slides:
    • Criteria & Constraints List
    • Results and Design Analysis
    • Discussion Questions
  • Extension templates
    • Process Flow Map
    • Create Math Problems Based on Designs
    • Forces Research Log
    • Forces Research Applied to Student Re-Design template (editable)

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.

    • Note: The links below are Amazon Affiliate links. Find out more on the disclosure page.
      • Paper-towel and/or toilet paper cardboard tubes and/or cardboard scraps
        • Distribute as evenly as possible. If you don’t have much cardboard,
          tighten the height constraint to 12 in.
      • Foil, wax paper, or plastic wrap (~24 sq. in.)
      • Straws (5 – 10)
      • Pipe cleaners (5 – 10)
      • Plastic beads or marbles (6)
      • Small bowls and/or cups (1 – 3)
      • Tape (24 – 36 in.)
      • Yarn (24 – 36 in.)
      • Bottle of water
      • Stopwatch (at least one per class is needed)
      • Scissors
      • Ruler
      • Design analysis handouts (included)
      • Optional
        • Craft sticks
        • Clothespins
        • Rubber bands
        • Paper towels (for clean up)
        • Blue food coloring for the water


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 is also available printable format, and in the Summer Bundle.












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Preview Music Credit:

“Carefree” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


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