Low Prep Thanksgiving STEM

The holidays are officially here y’all! I have a few Thanksgiving STEM challenges in store this month to keep my kiddos engaged, although with all the holiday craziness, I love the fact that these challenges are so low maintenance and low prep.  Ain’t nobody got time for high prep lessons this time of year, am I right?! My teacher and student materials are printed and ready to go and the rest of the needed items are already in my classroom!

Dinner Table Challenge

For this deceptively tricky challenge, students explore surface area by constructing a Thanksgiving dinner table to hold the most food!  The students are only permitted to use dominoes and Popsicle sticks, leading to lots of trial and error to test the balance and stability of different table designs. Students in second grade and up can also measure the final perimeter and area of their table designs.

Mayflower Ship

This challenge is a fun exploration for properties of materials and buoyancy as students construct their own Mayflower Ships that will hold the most “Pilgrims,” or pennies.  For an added challenge, limit their materials and have them put their ships to the test by rocking the waters and moving by wind (blowing).

Turkey Hideout

I know, I know.  Most of us (myself included) LOVE filling our bellies that delicious turkey on Thanksgiving.  BUT part of me always feels a little sorry for the turkey’s fate on this holiday.  So…instead of trapping him, why not have your kids construct a hideout that will keep him completely hidden and safe?!  This challenge is easy to complete with any math manipulatives that you have on hand in your classroom…base ten blocks, snap cubes, unifix cubes, etc. and it’s always so fun to see the kids creativity in their designs!

I hope you love these Thanksgiving STEM challenges as much as I do!