Thanksgiving is just around the corner! If you’re like me, you love incorporating seasonal activities into your instruction. If you need a quick, easy to prep activity to do in the weeks before Thanksgiving break, I have a super easy STEM challenge for you!
This STEM challenge is super low prep and uses materials you probably already have. If you don’t, however, you can get everything you need with one quick trip to the dollar store. (You know I’m all about sticking to that budget!)
What You Need
For this easy STEM challenge, all you need is some index cards, tape, and a can of corn (or other vegetable). I recommend splitting students into teams. Each team will need a set of index cards, but not necessarily an entire pack. You can easily split one pack of index cards between each team — if they do it correctly, they won’t need more than 6! Each team will also need some tape, but the can can be shared between all teams.
Easy STEM Challenge Directions
In this challenge, students will make a “Thanksgiving table” out of index cards that can support a can of corn. I’ll be completely honest – I had to Google how to do this the first time I tried it! I did a similar challenge with my third graders several years ago, and I do NOT have an engineering brain…so I turned to the internet to find the best solution.
If your students are like mine, they will struggle at first! Depending on the age of your students, you might have some figure it out. But, that’s my favorite thing about this easy STEM challenge – it’s challenging!
The goal of the challenge is to support the can. If you have multiple teams that figure it out, you might extend an extra challenge to see who did it with the least amount of index cards.
By the way, here’s the solution if you’re like me and have no clue how to do this.
So, there may be other solutions that work, but by far this seems to be the best and easiest way.
Students make several cylinders by rolling their index cards and securing with tape. Cylinders are very strong and will be able to support the can! Place the cylinders upright. I put another index card on top of the cylinders to make it look more like a table. Place the can on top and voila! A Thanksgiving table.
More Easy STEM Challenges
If you enjoy this STEM challenge, click here to view more easy stem challenges for Thanksgiving! All STEM challenges include instructions, pictures, reflection sheets, and design sheets that take students through each step of the design process as they work.
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Want more fall activity ideas? Check out these posts!