We don’t do STEM challenges often, but when we do they are a BIG deal!
I found, bought, and LOVE this book.
To start your STEM week, read Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming. This book is about an inventor who wants to experience the world as a fish. He creates, tests, and recreates his mechanical fish several times before having a successful experience underwater.
Here is your STEM day for the students! This challenge is called “THREE SECONDS”.
- 5-6 toilet paper cardboard tubes cut in half
- 1 marble
- 1 roll of masking tape (I only gave my students 1 yard of tape)
- 1 watch with a second hand
Objective: Design and construct a contraption that when the marble is dropped it will take exactly 3 seconds for it to drop off the end of the contraction.
Rules: Tape must be no longer than 1 inch in length (I didn’t use this rule for my third graders). Only 3 pieces of tape may be attached to each section of tube (I didn’t use this rule for my third graders). No tape may be put at the ends of the tube to at as a barrier. No tape can be used to connect tubes together (I didn’t use this rule for my third graders). The three pieces of tape may be used underneath the tube (I didn’t use this rule for my third graders). All 5-6 tubes do not have to be used. Follow all cooperative group rules.
As you can see I didn’t make my sweet babies follow most of the rules, but I still only had 2 out of ten groups complete the challenge. Here are some of the contractions my students created:
I finally saw the movie Dolphin Tale a few weeks ago and instantly knew it would fit my needs for this STEM week.
Dolphin Tale is based on true events with a dolphin named Winter. Winter no longer has a tale and cannot swim safely without one. In order to create a tail for Winter the doctor/inventor must create, test, and recreate a tail several times. I love how this movies ties in so well to the idea of designing, testing, and redesigning.
For some great resources for your own STEM weeks click here.