Winter STEM Challenges (or STEAM Challenges) engage your students in brain-busting work disguised as fun! There are five challenges: 3 purely winter, 1 Black History Month/ Women’s History Month, and 1 Groundhog Day challenge!

From this hub page, you will find everything you need to know about all five Late Winter STEM challenges: links to resources, blog posts, video walk-throughs, and teacher feedback on each resource.


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Late Winter STEM Challenge Basics:

Students work in partners or groups against criteria & constraints lists to design and build various items using science, technology, engineering, and math skills to complete the tasks and extensions. Modification suggestions are included to make these challenges engaging and productive for students in grades 2 – 8.

Teacher Feedback on the Late Winter Bundle

Working against a criteria/constraints list individually or in partners, students will design a snow scoop to designed for maximum capacity and/or maximum efficiency.

Success can be evaluated in one or both of the following ways:

– Largest possible scoop capacity

– Time to clear a 1-inch path in the snow (or to clear the entire yard of snow)

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Snow Scoop

In partners/small groups, students will design the “iciest” tree possible.

Using a criteria/constraints list, students will build a tree with branches. They will also create triangular icicles to attach to the branches. Point values are assigned to each triangle based on various criteria (dependent on age group). Students attempt to create the iciest tree possible in the class’s Frosted Forest.

This challenge can be run simply (focusing on shape creation & manipulation, measurement, and addition), or you can add complexity (focusing on triangle classification by sides and angles, layering icicles, assigning point value based on area, etc.). Two editable criteria/constraints lists are provided to highlight either end of the spectrum.

If it’s out of season, feel free to call it “Triangle Tree” instead! No need to wait until the winter!

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Frosted Forest

Working against a criteria/constraints list in groups, students will build waiters’ trays designed to hold “snowy” 3D solids in an indoor relay race. This is a great way to combat cabin fever while getting in some crucial geometry practice!

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Winter Waiter

This challenge was created as a way to celebrate Black History Month and/or Women’s History Month in science class. The premise is inspired by Sarah E. Goode’s 1885 invention of the folding cabinet bed. She was one of the first African-American women to obtain a patent for her invention!

Working against a criteria/constraints list in groups, students will design and build multi-functional furniture, or furnish an entire apartment.

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Functional Furniture

Looking for Groundhog Day activities that are more than just an activity? This STEM / STEAM challenge will make you wonder why you ever though Groundhog Day wasn’t worth celebrating!

In groups, students will create groundhog shadows, searching for the perfect combinations of light source angles, distances, and even groundhog accessories to meet the specified shadow criteria & constraints. Shadows will be traced and and turned into street art/graffiti.

As with all my challenges, modifications are included to make it appropriate for grades 2-8.  More details can be found in resource, blog, and video linked below the teacher feedback.


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Teacher Feedback on Groundhog Graffiti

Click the image to see the Christmas & Winter STEM Challenge Hub Page!

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Winter STEM Challenge activities are the perfect way to keep your kids engaged all winter long and include three Winter STEM Challenges, one Black History Month STEM Challenge, and one Groundhog Day STEAM Challenge! These challenges are full of rigor, engagement, and fun and include modifications for grades 2-8. Click through to the Winter STEM Challenge hub for more details, blog posts, video walk-throughs, resources and more!