Friday, September 23, 2016

5 Great Pumpkin Things!

So, I started a seasonal series of STEM challenges a few months back and we are having such a fun time! We've made snowflakes, Valentine ziplines, wind powered boats, seed dispersal models, Ferris wheels, and so much more.
It seemed only natural to leap into October with some pumpkin challenges!

STEM: Check this blog post for more about Pumpkin Launchers, Haunted House Mazes, and Pumpkin Elevators!

So, here we go with five things about pumpkins!


STEM Challenge: Build a Pumpkin Launcher! The idea with this one is to build a lunching device using some pretty wonky materials and then, of course, send a pumpkin soaring. Check this blog post for more!
The first of the pumpkin series is called Pumpkin Launchers!
The idea with this one is to build a lunching device using some pretty wonky materials and then, of course, send a pumpkin soaring. I found the little candy pumpkins (finally) at a dollar store and they were perfect. They weigh just enough to make this task a little challenging and besides, who wouldn't want to throw candy around the classroom?

STEM Challenge: Build a Pumpkin Launcher! A lot of groups made a catapult device to toss the candy and these were great. There were some groups that tried a sling shot type mechanism. Check this blog post for more!
A lot of groups made a catapult device to toss the candy and these were great. There were some groups that tried a sling shot type mechanism. However, holding the device in their hands became a no-no. Kids were throwing the pumpkins instead of having the launcher do the work. So, I made a new rule. The launcher had to sit on the floor!
We ended the class session by having every launcher brought to our launching pad and we sailed those pumpkins through the air to knock down some targets! The kids loved this one! 
You can see more detail about the Pumpkin Launchers {HERE}.


STEM Challenge: The second Pumpkin or Halloween challenge is to build a Haunted House maze. The photo is showing one that is about half finished. Check this blog post for more info!
The second Pumpkin or Halloween challenge is to build a Haunted House maze. The photo is showing one that is about half finished. This challenge is taking longer than we thought it would because we had to let our mazes dry before we could decorate them. I will devote a blog post to these when we get them finished. Let's just say the kids are loving these- mostly because of all the creepy crawly plastic bugs and spiders and skeletons we are decorating with! (I mean, really, look at that plastic roach- he looks real!)
You can see more details about Haunted House Mazes {HERE}.

Okay, here's just some information for you about pumpkins.
For the third challenge in this Pumpkin series I needed some little bitty real pumpkins. You know the kind that people usually decorate with- well, guess what? You cannot buy those in Alabama yet! So, I resorted to a dollar store sippy cup pumpkin, which actually worked out really well! I filled that little thing with sand to make it heavy and - BAM - I had the pumpkins we needed for the challenge. 

UPDATE: I found the little bitty pumpkins! 
For size reference I took the photo with an apple. They are tiny, but so cute! Five little pumpkins was about $3. So, we tried the elevators with the plastic ones and the real ones! Super fun! Keep reading!


STEM Challenge: Build an elevator to lift a pumpkin! Check the blog post for more  information!
Seriously, are you kidding? That is the cutest thing ever. It's a pumpkin elevator. My test class made these very quickly and I equally as quickly changed the task rules to make it more challenging. The elevator has to be lifted by some kid of cranking device with a handle!  These are also not quite finished so I will devote another blog post one day soon to show the finished and decorated models! Kids loved these, too!

So, that's it for Pumpkin stuff!
Except for this:
My favorite flavoring ever in the history of the world. Every time I go to Wal Mart I buy three or four containers. I have enough to last until next summer.......just sayin'!

Go visit Doodlebugs Teaching and see what everyone else is writing about this week!
Come back next week for my monthly Book Review Post!


6 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Marissa! I appreciate the visit!

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  2. Fun!!! I am definitely going to do a pumpkin STEM challenge. The pumpkin launcher product is in my cart already. My kids want to try the pumpkin elevators AND the pumpkin launcher. They're reading over my shoulder! Have a great weekend.
    Jan
    Laughter and Consistency

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    1. That is so funny! Thanks Jan! My kids that tested these challenges really loved them!

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  3. Your STEM challenges are great. 5th graders would love to do these.
    Enjoy your school year.
    Beti
    Mrs. Kempa's 5th Grade Class

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Beti! I tried all three of these challenges with fifth graders and they loved them all.

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