Fun Ways to Celebrate Winter Sports

About two weeks ago a group of fifth graders asked me when we would be doing another Quest.

They actually cheered when I told them I was working on a new one. This one was actually inspired by a family trip to Crested Butte during Christmas break. I started thinking about a STEM challenge while riding a lift to the top of the mountain and BAM this Quest and Challenge were born!

It's based on all the sporting events that happen during the winter and also has a little inspiration from the upcoming sports celebrations in South Korea.
STEM Quest- It's an Unlock the Box event featuring Winter Sports and it includes a STEM Challenge!



What is a Quest?

If you have not read about the projects we call Quests, let me fill you in a little. Students have three tasks to complete. Each task gives them clues and they discover a lock code to open a locked box. The box gives them their next task. In the end they either receive a certificate of completion or the materials and assignment for a STEM Challenge!

How fun is that? Let me just tell you, I have students that enjoy these more than anything we do. They love the complexity and the excitement of racing to find the next clue and lock code.

The Winter Sports Quest

STEM Quest- It's an Unlock the Box event featuring Winter Sports and it includes a STEM Challenge!
This is the latest STEM Quest! We are calling it the Winter Sports Quest. The first task is a math paper. The clues lead students to a specific ski resort which is displayed on a poster and when they find that poster they will also find the lock code.

STEM Quest- It's an Unlock the Box event featuring Winter Sports and it includes a STEM Challenge!
The second task is a map grid. They place colored objects on the map and follow detailed directions to move the objects all over the world. If they follow the directions exactly one cube will end up near South Korea which will lead students to a poster of a sporting event. And, of course, they will also find the lock code for the second box.

STEM Quest- It's an Unlock the Box event featuring Winter Sports and it includes a STEM Challenge!
The third task is to match images of athletes with descriptions of their sports. If the descriptions are placed in order correctly they will spell out the answer to a question that will lead to the final poster and the final lock code.

To make this more challenging there are also two "fake" posters with numbers on them- so students have to really think about the clues and choose the right posters!

What Happens Next?

The final box is unlocked and students grab a criteria card for a STEM Challenge! And what a spectacular challenge it is!

STEM Quest- It's an Unlock the Box event featuring Winter Sports and it includes a STEM Challenge!
They design ski lift chairs and the skiers! I mean, seriously, just take a look at the skiers and chairs!

STEM Quest- It's an Unlock the Box event featuring Winter Sports and it includes a STEM Challenge!
The kids had a blast decorating their skiers with goggles and skis and ski poles.

This set of activities took two class sessions-one for the Quest and one for the STEM Challenge. We used math, geography, following directions, collaboration, problem-solving, planning, designing, improving of designs, teamwork, and had so much fun! It's a perfect challenge for the winter time!

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