Friday, October 7, 2016

Time for Some Spooky STEM!

Just in time for the spooky month of October!
I started a seasonal series of STEM challenges waaaayyyyy back in January, which seems so long ago. We have had a blast creating and testing these- especially with this latest trio of October fun!
STEM Challenge Trio: Three fabulous challenges all about Halloween, pumpkins, and the month of October! Each can be used at any time of year, too!
So, here's an update on this trio that is now complete!

First up- Pumpkin Launchers
Pumpkin Launching in STEM! Kids use materials to launch tiny pumpkins at targets! Can they build a launcher that will aim and launch?
We watched a really quick video about Punkin' Chunkin' and then designed our own. I did discover that the paper cup was a perfect flexible material that the little catapulting systems needed.

Pumpkin Launching in STEM! Kids use materials to launch tiny pumpkins at targets! Can they build a launcher that will aim and launch?
The tiny pumpkins are candy from the dollar store!
More details about Pumpkin Launchers!

Next, how about Haunted House Mazes!
Mazes in STEM class! This set features a Haunted House theme for the month of October!
I have built several different versions of mazes with STEM lab kids, but this one turned out to be a favorite. I think it had something to do with all those creepy crawly bugs and plastic skeletons!

Mazes in STEM class! This set features a Haunted House theme for the month of October!
Take a look above at the plastic roach.... it just looks way too real, which made these mazes really fun! We used a ton of white glue and then had a blast trading mazes and making them work!
More Details about Haunted House Mazes!

Finally, it's one we loved- Pumpkin Elevators!
Pumpkin Elevators were a big hit in STEM class! Can students build a cranking and lifting device that will take a pumpkin to the top?
I had a vision about this one and wanted to have kids use a box and make an elevator. The box turned out to be in the way so we cut them in half. That still gave us a place to create the elevator and it worked great!

Pumpkin Elevators were a big hit in STEM class! Can students build a cranking and lifting device that will take a pumpkin to the top?
The first test class had no constraints about how to make the elevator work and they made theirs very quickly so for the next classes I made the rules tougher. They had to have a working crank! WIth a handle!

Pumpkin Elevators were a big hit in STEM class! Can students build a cranking and lifting device that will take a pumpkin to the top?
We tried fake and real pumpkins and loved making these!

Exactly what are fake pumpkins?
I know-- they are seriously cute! This is what we started with in our pumpkin events! I wanted miniature real pumpkins, however, the stores did not have these yet. So, I trekked off to the dollar store and found those plastic drink bottles. They didn't weigh enough so I filled them about half way with sand. I also took the straws out and double taped the holes. In the background of that photo you can see a skeleton garland that was also a spectacular decorating item. Here's another idea: When I taught third grade our students had a unit on the skeletal system and we learned the names of about 25 common bones. I had sets of those plastic skeletons that the kids used to practice their bones!
 Anyway, after we started working on this challenge I found the tiny pumpkins I wanted!
Also, seriously cute!

And number five doesn't exist this week! So my Five for Friday is actually Four for Friday, but go right now and visit Doodlebugs Teaching and catch up on bloggers that can follow the linky rules!


7 comments :

  1. OMG I loved your STEM activities. The haunted mazes were the best although I bet the pumpkin launchers were a hit with the kids. Great ideas thanks for sharing.

    Sue
    The Very Busy Kindergarten

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  2. My 5th graders would love to make the mazes. Thanks for sharing.
    Enjoy October!
    Beti

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting! I posted these three challenges in my Teachers Pay Teachers store about a week ago!

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  3. I absolutely LOVE your STEM activities! The pumpkin mazes look like a hoot! Thanks for sharing :)
    Tess x
    Miss Tess' Classroom

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    1. All of these were great fun! The mazes are still being tried by other classes that come in the lab! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. All of these activities look amazing! I might have to use one of these on Halloween. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. My test classes had a ball with these. The other classes can't wait to have their turn! Thanks for visiting!

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