As the school year comes to an end, it can be challenging to keep kids engaged and motivated. I've worked hard to keep them focused, but let me be real...it isn't easy. What IS easy though is adding an engaging STEAM lesson and challenge to your end of the year wind down.
Here are five ways to create a STEAM challenge that will excite and challenge your students:
1.Build Summer Themed Bucket List Ideas: Challenge students to build ideas that they can do during summer vacation using pool noodles and toothpicks! I use an electric meat knife to cut the pool noodles down into smaller pieces that my students manipulate using toothpicks. They then write a story about why this would be a great choice to add to someone's summer bucket list.
2.Design a rollercoaster or water park slide: Have students design and build a rollercoaster or water park slide using cardboard tubes, paper towel rolls, and other materials that you have around. You can even use the pool noodles! The rollercoaster must be able to safely transport a marble from start to finish giving this challenge a bit of criteria that must be worked into the build.
3.Build a frog themed catapult: Have students build a catapult using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and a plastic spoon. The challenge is to launch a small object as far as possible. I have mine learn about the pond and then we make leap frogs and take them outside!
4.Create a hammock and tree for a small stuffed animal: We use the little beanie babies that my children had when they were little as our size constraint. They students must build something a hammock might hang from. We use items such as blocks, toilet paper tubes, masking tape (but only so much) and construction paper to start with.
5.Time to build Sandcastles: No sand where you are? Here either...but grab pieces of cardboard and cut them into lots of different sizes and along with masking tape students can build indoor sandcastles!
If you want to make it even easier, grab my STEM Summer resource packs for each one of the engaging ideas shared above.
These challenges will not only keep students engaged and motivated, but they will also help develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. Good luck and have fun! The countdown is on!
Teaching Can Be Child's Play With The Help Of The School Yard!