Some Easy Ways to Bring Out the M in STEM

It's all about solving problems in the STEM Lab!
We do it every day with our designs and building!
BUT......
recently I had a brain pop and came up with a fabulous invention!
Keep reading and find out what we tried!
It's called Towers and Task Cards!
Math and STEM! We completed a fantastic SEM challenge in which we had to earn our materials by solving math problems!

So, here's the basics!

The kids had to solve eight math problems.
The first problem to solve was how to divide the work between team members and then how to check each other's work! Talk about collaboration! It was Ah-may-zing!!

STEM Challenge: Kids had to solve math problems to earn their materials for a design challenge!

We tried this event in two versions. In one class we used math sheets and in another class, we used the same problems in a task card format! Both ways worked great!

After getting all their answers kids took their answer sheets to the supply table. Depending on their answers they were directed to get a lot, a medium amount, or a small amount of each of the materials!
Wow, was this interesting to watch as they discovered those incorrect answers were limiting their supplies.

STEM Challenge: Students visited the supply station to gather materials based on their math problem solving! The right answer earned more items!

Decision-making time!

Next, the groups gathered to see what materials they had and began to plan together. Many of them fitted pieces together to see how the materials would work. Since their tape was limited due to incorrect answers they had to devise ways to get these towers to stand up!

STEM Challenge: Solve some math problems to earn materials for the tower design!

Finally, the groups were ready to share their finished towers. In the end, we had fabulous towers built. 

Powerful Way to Learn How to Use Those Materials!

What the kids learned was that the smaller amount of materials some had earned simply meant they had to rely on a more architectural design rather than building the tallest tower possible! This little STEM challenge was SUPERB!

STEM Challenge: Solve some math problems to earn materials for the tower design!

Click right here to see more details about the task card towers:
TASK CARD TOWERS

This little challenge helped us find the M in STEM in a very meaningful way. This challenge was about building towers and we also tried the same premise with bridges and with boats! 



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