Ready for Some Snow?

Ready for a snow day? Last year we tried some snow STEM activities that turned out to be really fun!
Here's a quick recap!



First up, we tried designing snowflakes.

I found a website that has close up photos of snowflakes and we looked at those first. They are really incredibly beautiful and shaped in so many different ways, In fact, the different shapes have names.
After seeing all the different kinds, the challenge was to create a snowflake.

STEM Challenge. Here's a winter STEM activity with a touch of art! Students design and create a snowflake. Check the blog post for more!
This activity became much more complicated than you would think. First of all, some kids really didn't understand symmetry and had lop-sided snowflakes. Many of them were quite pretty. We used some easy building materials and when these were finished I stapled all of them to a giant bulletin board labeled "Let It Snow!"
You can find more details for this challenge right {HERE}.

Then we tried snowmen!
STEM Challenge: This STEM activity is all about winter and snowmen! Students use some basic materials and the create their little snowmen. Check this blog post for more winter challenges!
The main material for this one was toilet paper!
Kids had other items to make the body and then they wrapped it with the tissue.

STEM Challenge: This STEM activity is all about winter and snowmen! Students use some basic materials and the create their little snowmen. Check this blog post for more winter challenges!
How fun are these! Students were very imaginative in designing those snowmen faces and props!
You can find more details about this challenge right {HERE}.


Next up- we tried making igloos!
STEM Challenge: This STEM activity is another winter themed one! Kids build an igloo! Check this blog post for more winter STEM!
This one was very interesting! We tried two different materials for the outside of the igloos.
One of the materials we tried was a big oops moment and you can read more about that in #4 below!

STEM Challenge: This STEM activity is another winter themed one! Kids build an igloo! Check this blog post for more winter STEM!
Our final versions that worked the best were the igloos that used cotton balls. We also used a lot of white glue. Kids loved this one and found the arch shapes were challenging to make!
More details about the igloo challenge can be found {HERE}.

Oops! Mistake! Or was it?
STEM Challenge: Sometimes our materials just don't work! Build igloos out of packing peanuts was not good! They looked more like cylinders! Check this blog post for more winter STEM!
One of my favorite things about the STEM Lab is that everything we do is an experiment. Oftentimes I think of a challenge or a material that just doesn't work. My test class always works out the kinks for me so that the remaining classes can design and build.
You would think kids do not like this since the test class sometimes has wacky rules that change in the middle of the building time! Actually they love being the test class.
The oops to the igloo challenge was using packing peanuts for the outside of the igloo. I thought toothpicks as connectors between the packing peanuts would work! Not really! It was very hard to make the arch shape and most of those first igloos looked like cylinders. That's why we switched to using cotton balls and white glue!

Oops #2! Toilet tissue snowmen!
STEM Challenge: The task was to build a snowman! Kids thought their snowmen needed to be gigantic and quickly ran out of materials! What a great learning experience! Check this blog post for more winter STEM challenges!
I really did not see this one coming! I gave each group a roll of tissue and was stunned when groups asked for more! The oops was that they built giant snowmen and didn't have enough tissue. So with the remaining classes I cautioned them before beginning to consider the design as the most important part of the challenge and not the size.

All three of these snow challenges were great fun! Check my TpT store, Teachers Are Terrific, for more seasonal challenges!
And also go check Doodlebugs Teaching for more teacher blogs!



3 comments

  1. I have never heard of using packing peanuts to build an igloo. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.
    Beti
    Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Packing Peanuts are a great building material! We use them all the time to cushion things we are building and we once tried to build a geodesic dome with them. That did not work! Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  2. Packing beanies are the greatest. They love doing stuff with all the "trash," don't they :) See you around. Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom

    ReplyDelete

Back to Top