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NGSS STEM Engineering Challenges


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Students will love these STEM Challenges! Teachers will love that the materials for STEM Engineering challenges are inexpensive and easy to find. These NGSS STEM activities will have students using design thinking and conducting fair tests for these engineering challenges.

NGSS STEM Engineering Challenges for 3rd through 5th grade!

Students will watch a slideshow about Fair Tests and variables. Students will learn about fair testing, variables, and design thinking. Students will create a prototype, test it, and record the results, students will then adjust the design by changing the independent variable. Test the new design and record the results.

Great for STEM camps, Science Camps, Summer Science, School Programs, and in-class activities.

This resource includes 8 different STEM challenges. Each challenge has a lesson plan in the 5 E format with photos of student work samples. Each lesson also has a response page that goes with it.

Students will use critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity in these fun activities.

This resource is designed to meet the NGSS standards for 3rd-5th grade.

3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

Students will use ALL Science and Engineering Practices

Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Students will enjoy these easy to do STEM Challenges

Challenges Included:

Sound Sandwich

Stacking Cups Challenge

Zipline Challenge

Ping Pong Ball Launcher


Balloon Rescue

Float the Boat

Build a Bridge