Month: October 2014

The Brown Bag STEM Challenge II- Hot Air Balloons

In this challenge, students design and fly a hot air balloon that will stay aloft the longest.  This one sounds simple, but don’t let it fool you!  It is more difficult than it sounds, so be sure to provide a little more time as students learn which shapes and designs “fly” the best.

I like to have teams of three for this project, simply because it is more involved and requires students to follow specific directions for this first round. I’m also a big fan of assigning jobs, so I prefer to divide up the work either specific to this challenge or like this.

So, what did we learn?
Next Generation Science Standards: Planning and Carrying out Investigations, Designing Solutions; Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information CCC- Patterns, Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

CCSS Math: Measurement and Data, Geometry, Ratios and Proportional Relationships

 

Get the Brown Bag STEM Challenge II Bundle Pack with all 10 Design Challenges including the Hot Air Balloons Design Brief and Notebook Pages!

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http://starfisheducation.com/shop/brown-bag-stem-challenge-ii-bundle-pack

The Brown Bag STEM Challenge II- Slingshot Gallery

Have you ever played the shooting gallery game at the carnival?  Here’s a STEM twist on that carnival game for students…a slingshot gallery.

For this Challenge, students are tasked with building a working slingshot that will knock down the designated targets from a specified distance. Students can work in pairs, but I like each student to design and build their own slingshot.  It shows more ownership and also results in each student having their own data to analyze later.

In addition to establishing a required distance to “fling” from, I like to also require other parameters based on age group or based on available supplies to increase the difficulty.  Adjusting these parameters allows me to differentiate the challenge, even within the same classroom.

So, what did we learn?
Next Generation Science Standards: Planning and Carrying out Investigations, Designing Solutions; CCC- Patterns, Systems and System Models

CCSS Math: Functions,Expressions and Equations

Get the Brown Bag STEM Challenge II Bundle Pack with all 10 Design Challenges including the Slingshot Gallery Design Brief and Notebook Pages!

Not sure about purchasing the entire bundle yet?  Give the Slingshot Gallery Design Challenge a try!

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http://www.starfisheducation.com/shop/brown-bag-stem-challenge-ii-slingshot-gallery

The Brown Bag STEM Challenge II- Lily Pad Leap

In this challenge, students are asked to work with a partner to design a mechanism that will hold a lily pad and help a “frog” leap up to his lily pad.

Students work in pairs to construct a mechanism that will launch their frog to a specific height.  One difficulty that students encounter is that frogs must land on (and stay on) their lily pads, making this challenge um, well, challenging.  Most students design a sort of see-saw/catapult contraption, but the items provided by the teacher may frame the challenge differently.

So, what did we learn?
Next Generation Science Standards: Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Planning and Carrying out Investigations, Designing Solutions; CCC- Patterns, Cause and Effect, Systems and System Models

CCSS Math: Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Functions,Expressions and Equations

Get the Brown Bag STEM Challenge II Bundle Pack with all 10 Design Challenges including the Lily Pad Leap Design Brief and Notebook Pages!

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http://starfisheducation.com/shop/brown-bag-stem-challenge-ii-bundle-pack

 

The Brown Bag STEM Challenge II- Marble Madness

Students are used to challenges that ask them to do something the fastest, but how about the slowest?  In this scenario, students are challenged to create a marble run where the marble that reaches the end in the slowest time wins.

This challenge is a great way to get kids thinking more deeply because the challenge is to complete the course the slowest.  Each team must create a course for their marble using piece of 20 x 30 foam board.  Students can use any found items that you provide, but I like to make sure to include sentence strips because they are thicker than regular paper and can easily be folded into marble tracks. I also like to provide some fun items like bathroom cups, cotton balls, cardboard tubes and paperclips to make creating the course more fun.

So, what did we learn?
Next Generation Science Standards: Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Developing and Using Models, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; CCC- Patterns, Cause and Effect, Scale, Proportion and Quantity

CCSS Math: Measurement and Data, Geometry, Ratios & Proportional Relationships

Get the Brown Bag STEM Challenge II Bundle Pack with all 10 Design Challenges including the Marble Madness Design Brief and Notebook Pages!

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http://starfisheducation.com/shop/brown-bag-stem-challenge-ii-bundle-pack

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