Month: October 2013

STEM Skills Challenge- Plastic Cup Pyramid

 In aiming to provide students with engaging STEM challenges that push the envelope on developing students’ critical thinking skills, this series also aims to develop the STEM skills that employers seek in the workforce.

This week’s challenge is the Plastic Cup Pyramid.  Students will work to design a mechanism that will transfer plastic cups from their current configuration into a pyramid.   This is a great challenge to build communication and teamwork skills.  Now that’s a challenge!

Get the STEM Skills Bundle Pack with 10 Design Challenges including the Plastic Cup Pyramid Engineering Challenge!

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http://starfisheducation.com/shop/stem-skills-challenge-bundle-pack

STEM Skills Challenge- Newspaper Table

 Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sharing the importance of teaching STEM skills and weaving them through your curriculum.  They teach our students how to be persistent problem solvers, how to deepen 21st century skills and how to become leading contenders in the workforce.

Forbes Magazine researched the 10 most critical skills that employers are looking for in candidates and found that the majority of these critical skills are STEM skills. The top three skills? Critical Thinking, Complex Problem Solving, and Judgement and Decision Making.

This week, students will get to practice all three of those skills as they work on this week’s Skills Challenge.  Students will work with a team to build a sturdy table out of nothing more than newspaper and masking tape that will hold the most weight.  Much like the real world, teams will be challenged to use only the resources provided and work within design and time requirements.  May the best team of designers win!

Get the STEM Skills Bundle Pack with 10 Design Challenges including the Newspaper Table Engineering Challenge!

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http://starfisheducation.com/shop/stem-skills-challenge-bundle-pack

STEM Skills Challenge- Paperclip Airplanes

 During this series on STEM Skills Challenges, we are focusing on  the soft-skills that help make our students well-rounded and, according to local businesses, more employable.

This week’s challenge will exercise student creativity as well as math skills.  For this challenge, students will work individually to design and construct a paper airplane that will carry the maximum amount of cargo the farthest distance.

This tricky little challenge will require some thought and planning in working with multiple variables, but will help students to think critically about how to obtain the highest point value.

Get the STEM Skills Bundle Pack with 10 Design Challenges including the Paperclip Airplane Engineering Challenge!

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http://starfisheducation.com/shop/stem-skills-challenge-bundle-pack

STEM Skills Challenge- Gumdrop Bridge

Employers today are looking for students who have learned how to think and how to problem-solve.  With the adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we are getting closer to making that a reality, but so many states and districts are still focused on standardized testing (which- surprise-  did not make the list of qualities that employers are looking for in qualified candidates.)

This series focuses on those skills as well as the other “soft-skills” that aren’t necessarily spelled our in the curriculum, but make students well-rounded problem solvers.

This week’s challenge is the Gumdrop Bridge.  In  this challenge, students work in teams to design and build a bridge that will span a specific distance.  Sounds like a pretty easy challenge, but as students start experimenting with their materials, they will find that there is more there than beats the eye.

This fun little challenge encourages students to work on team building, collaboration and communication skills- more of those soft skills- that help students become successful in a workplace environment.

Get the STEM Skills Bundle Pack with 10 Design Challenges including the Gumdrop Bridge Engineering Challenge!

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http://starfisheducation.com/shop/stem-skills-challenge-bundle-pack

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