10 Stem Challenges for 1st and 2nd Grade

August 6, 2018 by Emily




Start your year out right with 10 STEM Challenges for your 1st or 2nd Grade classroom! We have listed 10 inexpensive challenges you can try with your students right off the bat! Scroll down to see all the wonderful STEM Challenges we have in store!

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The following STEM Challenges are available with Stem Stories, Journals, and Suggested books in my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop.   Stem Stories serve as a great anticipatory set to get students motivated to do each challenge.  The journal is a two page folded resource which includes activities that help guide you and your students through the Engineering Design Process.  To purchase this set, be sure to add this resource to your cart and check out on TPT!

[Get “Once Upon a STEM” Stem Story Challenges today!]

Once Upon a STEM: Stem Story Challenges from Education to the Core

Once Upon a STEM: Stem Story Challenges from Education to the Core

1. Building a Paper Airplane

Challenge Question: Can you build a paper airplane that will fly far through the air? Build one and measure how far you can make it go!

Suggested Books

Library Mouse: A World to Explore by Daniel Kurk

The Wondrous Whirligig by Andrew Glass

Aladdin by Disney Books

2. Building a Roller Coaster

Challenge Question: What kind of roller coaster can you make with straws? Use a ping pong ball as your “car” to try it out when you are finished!

Building a Roller Coaster: What kind of roller coaster can you make with straws? Use a ping pong ball as your “car” to try it out when you are finished!

Suggested Books

Curious George:  Roller Coaster by H. A. Rey

Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee

Cover Image

I Am (Not) Scared  by Anna Kang

3. Jellybean Structures

Challenge Question: What kind of structure can you make using only jelly beans and toothpicks?

Jellybean Structures: What kind of structure can you make using only jelly beans and toothpicks?

Suggested Books

If I built a House By Chris Van Dusen

The Three Little Pigs

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

4. Building a Tall Tower

Challenge Question: How tall can you build a tower using only straws and tape? Make sure you measure it to find out!

How tall can you build a tower using only straws and tape? Make sure you measure it to find out!

Suggested Books

If You Made a Million by David M. Schwartz

The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane & Herm Auch

When I Build with Blocks by Niki Alling

5. Index Card Structures

Challenge Question: How can you make the biggest structure possible using only index cards?

How can you make the biggest structure possible using only index cards?

Suggested Books

If I built a House By Chris Van Dusen

The Three Little Pigs

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

6. Building a Paper Plate Marble Maze

Challenge Questions: Can you build a marble maze using a paper plate? Try sticking on items for the marble to go under and around.

Can you build a marble maze using a paper plate? Try sticking on items for the marble to go under and around.

Suggested Books

Thump, Quack, Moo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

 

7. Building an Army Launcher

Challenge Question: Can you build a launcher for your army man with the things in the provided cup? How can you make it go as far as possible?

Can you build a launcher for your army man with the things in the provided cup? How can you make it go as far as possible?

Suggested Books

Just a Little Bit by Ann Tompert So Light, So Heavy by Susanne Strasser

Boys Don’t Fly by Cassie and Ryan Ehrenberg

8. How Strong is Spaghetti?

Challenge Question: How strong is dry spaghetti? Can you build a structure that holds many books or blocks? How many books can it hold?

How strong is dry spaghetti? Can you build a structure that holds many books or blocks? How many books can it hold?

Suggested Books

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

Spaghetti with the Yeti by Adam and Charlotte Guillain

9. Making a Harmonica

Challenge Question:  How can you make different sounds on a harmonica you make with craft sticks, rubber bands, and a straw?

How can you make different sounds on a harmonica you make with craft sticks, rubber bands, and a straw?

 

Suggested Books

The Harmonica Tree by M.L. Bryski

Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer

Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin

 

10. Building a Light Circuit

Challenge Question: How can you make a light turn on if you are only working with a broken strand of lights? Try it out to see!

How can you make a light turn on if you are only working with a broken strand of lights? Try it out to see!

 

Suggested Books

Meet Einstein by Mariela Kleiner

Meet Einstein by Mariela Kleiner

Blackout by John Rocco

Blackout by John Rocco

Ask Albert Einstein by Lynne Barasch

Ask Albert Einstein by Lynne Barasch

 

Ready to start STEM Story Challenges in your classroom?  We want you to start on the right foot!

Don’t forget to snag up our FREE Engineering Design Process Posters!

FREE Engineering Design Process Posters for any STEM Story Challenge!

 

Start your year out right with 10 STEM Challenges for your 1st or 2nd Grade classroom! We have listed 10 inexpensive challenges you can try with your students right off the bat! Scroll down to see all the wonderful STEM Challenges we have in store!

Now that you are ready to start implementing STEM Challenges in your classroom, you’re on your way to becoming a more efficient teacher! 

At Education to the Core, we provide done-for-you curriculum that is simple, fun, and effective! We want you to be the very best teacher you can be, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In order to be an effective educator, you have to take care of you first!

We strive to make a healthy work-life balance a reality for you each and every day.If you enjoyed this blog post, be sure to join my email list to get exclusive FREEBIES, exclusive content, updates, deals!

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