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Back to School STEM Challenges

Back to School STEM challenges make for an engaging and purposeful back to school ice breaker activity and here’s why:

  1. Use as a basis to establish classroom rules and routines e.g. stopping signals, respecting other’s views or learning how to manage conflict.
  2. Help ease anxiety, there’s no need to have the right answer instead the children are focussed on finding a solution
  3. Engage your new class right from the get go and build a buzz.
  4. Get to grips with the personalities in your classroom; who are the leaders, who is creative, who struggles to manage their frustrations?
  5. STEM is open ended, we learn and develop through the challenge which promotes growth mindset. Failure isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning to finding a solution that works.

Here are some of my favourite back to school STEM challenge prompts:

  • Build the tallest tower you can using only the materials available
  • Design a way to get a marble into a cup from the height of 1 metre (it can’t bounce out!)
  • Build a raft that’ll support a load (e.g. a small apple)
  • Devise a machine that will allow you to lift a book using just one finger
  • Design a way to protect an egg when dropped from 1 metre (watch for allergies!)

Are you planning to run a STEM club this year? Join in with the “Plan a STEM Club Challenge” starting Monday 27th September here

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