Here is a fun new STEM challenge. The students were given helium balloons, string, ribbon, dixie cups, tape and lego men.
They were challenged to make a balloon hover over one of the blue plants on a makeshift landscape. They could use background knowlege about gravity and air currents to make the balloon craft move to the correct location and hover.
Research shows that students respond better to STEM challenges when there is a story connected. The students were told that the landscape was a rainforest and that the blue plants had a rare medicinal plant that needed to be harvest. They had to hover over it to harvest it.
NGSS STEM Engineering Challenges 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-2 and 3-5-ETS1-3
For more STEM challenges for Elementary see STEM Engineering Challenges for Elementary Education
Special thanks to Dave Francis, Utah State University
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