Friday, November 11, 2016

5 Ways to Use Straws in STEM

I know I say this all the time...but, seriously, you are just like me. You have a lot to do. Huge amounts of things to plan and carry out and then you have STEM Friday to prepare for and you forget about it and at the last minute you try to throw it together.
Only the STEM Challenge you picked has some wonky materials and you don't have all of them.

Okay, what if I can help you solve that with just ONE WORD:
STRAWS!
STEM Challenges using the simplest of materials: STRAWS! Check this blog post for more!
Yes, that's right. Straws.
Inexpensive, easily donated, flexible ( in more ways than one), and simple to use.
I am going to show you five ways these can be easy, arranged quickly, and much loved by students.
Now, full disclosure here, one of these does involve something you are going to need to plan ahead a little for. 


STEM Challenge: Using only two materials kids build one of four kinds of bridges! These turn out so well! Check this blog post for more!
This one is just straws and masking tape and some copies of the kinds of bridges. It's that's simple. Kids have a drawing of a bridge and then they get busy.
Above and below you see beam bridges and truss bridges.
STEM Challenge: Using only two materials kids build one of four kinds of bridges! These turn out so well! Check this blog post for more!
The two below are just amazing, aren't they? Suspension bridges! The kids loved this challenge and I did, too! It was so interesting to watch them decide which bridge to build.
STEM Challenge: Using only two materials kids build one of four kinds of bridges! These turn out so well! Check this blog post for more!
So, if you have some straws and some tape this one can be tackled in a few minutes. You will have to make copies of the drawings and you can find those and all the directions right {HERE}.



STEM Challenge: Here's a very easy egg drop that uses only a few materials- one of which is straws! Check the blog post for more!
I discovered a long time ago that kids love egg drops! Even if we don't crack any eggs, they love the idea of tossing them to the ground. I have several egg drop challenges in my store, but you have to have some materials (like a PVC pipe) or you have to get kids to bring in things.

STEM Challenge: Here's a very easy egg drop that uses only a few materials- one of which is straws! Check the blog post for more!
With this simple version the only planning ahead would be in getting some eggs. Grab a dozen and then throw this simple challenge together for kids to complete in one hour! Straws are a main material, along with tissue paper, bubble wrap, and tape. More details can be found {HERE} and it really is easy.

STEM Challenge: Using straws as a main materials kids must build a tower to support two cups. There are some crazy rules about the cups! Perfect for STEM Friday! Check the blog post for more!
This one is a great STEM Friday choice. There is no fancy scenario to work through, no major set-up, you just jump right into it. It's purely for fun and the problem solving is huge. My kids had the best time with this- even while complaining that it was hard! Ha! That's why it's called a challenge.

STEM Challenge: Using straws as a main materials kids must build a tower to support two cups. There are some crazy rules about the cups! Perfect for STEM Friday! Check the blog post for more!
Using basic materials you probably have, straws is one of them, kids must build a tower that involves two cups. The cups have some wonky rules about their distance apart and height and the kids have to find a way to do it! The end result is scored and my kids loved using the rubric. More details about this one right {HERE}.

STEM Challenge! It's the famous bucket tower challenge! Kids must use a swinging bucket or cup that follows the task rules! Check the blog post for more challenges!
Here's one more that uses straws and items you already have in your classroom. We called it bucket towers and the kids loved it! We worked through some alternative rules for this one and found it to be either really simple or really challenging. You can just choose what will work with your students. This one is also a perfect STEM Friday challenge! Read more about it right {HERE}.

STEM Challenge: Create a geodesic dome using only two materials. Great fun!
Finally, here is one last challenge that uses straws. For this one we used neon straws to make our final structure "pretty", but you can use any straw, of course. The only other material will be pipe cleaners. The domes turned out really well and we still have some hanging in our classroom! Read more about these right {HERE}.

Check Doodlebugs Teaching today for more teacher blogs!


3 comments :

  1. I love reading all of your STEM posts! Thanks so much for the inspiration!
    Jan
    Laughter and Consistency

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I love my blog and sharing what we do! Kids are terrific! Have a great weekend!

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