4 Things to Avoid with the Robotic Hand Challenge

So much Fun!  My students were a little skeptical when I started talking about this challenge.

Turns out- they loved it! (I think their skepticism was in not understanding what we were building!)

And then they learned so much. That's a win-win for me (and for them). So, as always, let me share a few things- especially four things to absolutely avoid when you try this.

Need a real-life STEM engineering task? How about creating a model of a robotic hand? Have a quick discussion about how the hand works and then design a model. This challenge features choosing from several different materials for the hand and then creating fingers that lift and lower. The resource includes lab sheets, a scoring rubric, and photos and tips to make this successful for your students! #STEM #elementary

Sailing Away with Sailboats in the STEM Lab!

I never could have predicted how much STEM kids love to make boats. Building boats is one of the first projects we tackled a few years ago and they loved it so much.

But, the boats we built were not sailboats. That didn't seem to matter to some of the groups, however. They built a mast and sail anyway.

That got me to thinking.... could we try sailboats? What would make them move?
STEM Challenge: Build a sailboat that will float and travel with the wind!

Toothpick Towers Tips and Tricks

This challenge, with only two materials, is the best ever.

Yes, you have heard me say that many times, but this time I mean it.

It is fun. It is hard. Really hard. And the kids want it to work so much. They persevere. They start over. They never give up.

It's pretty perfect. 

It's the great Toothpick Tower Challenge!


The perfect STEM Challenge- kids love it and it only uses two materials! It's the great Toothpick Tower. You have choices of two different building materials to use with toothpicks. Kids are very innovative about joining the parts together and you will love watching them. The resource comes with a detailed teacher's guide, lab sheets, and a scoring rubric! #STEM #elementary

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