4 Wonderful Things We Learned from Water Slides

Time for a Summer Edition of What is Going on in the Lab! We actually tested this project back in May and then I repeated it with a summer school class! Kids loved it! Of course, they did! It involved water and building a slide- kid heaven!

It's Water Slides! 

Seasonal STEM Projects that can work all year! Here's a STEM challenge that kids will love all year long, but it also works perfectly for summer time! It's about Water Slides! Check this blog post for details!

Third graders were so excited!

I promise, cross my heart when my third graders saw my schedule board and read "Water Slides" they cheered. Seriously. Right there in the hall.

Mind you, I think they were expecting to get to slide on them, but even when I told them we were building water slide models, they were still excited!

So, take a look at the photo below and you will understand this wonderful little challenge.

STEM Challenge: Build a water slide and then test it- with water! Have plenty of towels on hand! Read this blog post for details!

The challenge had some fairly wacky materials, but included items to cover the slide part so there would be no leaks. Kids also had to build some type of ladder or ramp so the top could be accessed.

STEM Challenge: Build a water slide and then test it- with water! And, just for fun, add a toy figure to the slide to try it out! Have plenty of towels on hand! Read this blog post for details!
Check out that fabulous ladder in the photo above. They did a great job. Also, notice Lego man sliding down that slide! How fun was this!

Will it Work?

STEM Challenge: Sometimes our mistakes help us learn! This group learned that the slide part of this water slide needed to be covered. When the cardboard soaked up the water, they had a real 'aha' moment!
Well, I know what you are thinking. It couldn't have been all fun. Cause they are kids, right? Right!
Look at the photo above. Do you see what that group did? They put foil on the outside of their slide. That cardboard tube soaked up water and got mushy and soggy. Boy, did they have a real moment of learning with this thinking!

Yeah, I could have told them when I saw this little mistake. But, I never do. I let them mess up.
Friends, this kind of learning is priceless. They remember this stuff.

STEM Challenge: Build a water slide and then test it with water! Will it leak? Have some towels ready!
Isn't that a great photo? I caught the water traveling all the way down that slide! 

So, what did I learn with this challenge?

  1. I learned that third graders don't all know how to pour water! Mind-boggling how many of them missed the slide and poured water on the table. Like right on it. One sweet little girl even dumped the ENTIRE water cup down the slide in one giant dump. It splashed everywhere!
  2. You truly learn from your mistakes. When the water slide leaks you quickly know what to patch or change.
  3. Water slides can be messy! It's all good, though. It was just water. We used a lot of towels- which, by the way, is a great thing to have in your classroom. And I mean real towels, not paper ones. Real ones work better!
  4. Not kidding! Third graders LOVED this challenge!

You can see more about this Water Slide challenge in my Teachers Pay Teachers store


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures showing such great creations! What materials did the kids have to choose from?

  2. Do you have a supply list for this awesome project or an instruction sheet? I think my 3rd graders would love this and I want to do it correctly. My email is acooper416@yahoo.com

  3. Can I have a supply list this looks like lots of fun musiclovergabi2014@gmail.com

  4. Thanks so much for your interest! YOu can find the entire package for this cahllenge right here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Activity-Challenge-Build-a-Water-Slide-2595490

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