STEM Model-Eliciting Activities: 3rd – 5th Grade
Creating a Catapult
Creating a Paper Maché Solar System
Creating a Hoop Glider
Designing a Successful Plan
Students will work in groups to create a catapult from craft sticks. They will modify their catapult in order to produce the best launch possible. Students should have a great time launching mini marshmallows across the room while learning about potential and kinetic energy.
(This lesson will be focused on creating a paper mache solar system based on science, mathematics and visual arts content standards.) Students will research relative size and distance from the sun of each planet. Groups will be assigned a specific planet. They must research their planet as it relates to size and distance from the sun and other planets. The teacher creates the sun as an example and starting point. Activity includes instructions on how students will create paper mache structures. The collaboration will result in a “room size” universe displayed from the ceiling where the sun is in the center of the classroom.
Students will use models to investigate the process and consequences of water contamination on the land, groundwater and plants.
Students will build a glider that will glide as far as possible. Working in groups, students will cut and tape various hoops to their straw. They will experiment with hoops of different sizes, positioning and throwing styles. This activity is designed to demonstrate mastery of the STEM engineering design, build and modify process.
Understanding Water Pollutants
Students will work to use the tools provided to “rescue” a gummy worm and keep him from drowning. This is an exercise in understanding constraints, and failure points and reproducible results. Students are asked to list each step, creating a detailed step by step reproducible process that can be repeated by others.
Students will build an assigned structure. They are given a list of possible materials. Teams then have to work together to choose the right materials to build their structure and stay within a purchasing budget for those materials. Each team will build something different. This activity combines budgeting, physical properties, and the engineering design process.