It is a challenge to keep students engaged when the weather is changing and winter holidays are around the corner. If you are struggling to keep your students’ attention and get to the end of the period, you are not alone! Now imagine having an exciting, middle school Christmas STEM project on hand to keep your students engaged during the excitement and chaos that comes with school Christmas celebrations.
Check out these exciting engineering design challenges that are sure to keep your students interested.
Cookie Delivery Challenge
In the cookie delivery challenge, students are tasked with creating a package that can protect a single cookie as it is shipped in the mail. Students imagine themselves as bakers creating the perfect holiday cookie to share with their family and friends. Then they use household materials to design a package that will keep a single cookie from cracking or crumbling as it travels through the mail. Students test their package by inserting a cookie and tossing, dropping, bumping the package around. Then they open it up to determine the success of their design.
Snowflake Design Challenge
In the snowflake design challenge, students are tasked with providing scientifically accurate winter decor for a holiday pageant. Students will watch a video to learn how real snowflakes form and the various shapes they can take. Then they will use household materials to design and build snowflakes with 6 sides and rotational symmetry.
Hot Cocoa Cup Challenge
In this cocoa cup challenge, students are tasked with creating an insulated cup for hot chocolate. First, students learn about thermal energy, insulators, and conductors. Then they apply their knowledge to design a cup that will keep warm liquids as warm as possible over a 30 minute period. At the end, you can celebrate student work with a hot chocolate party!
Each Christmas STEM project includes:
- Detailed teacher notes that include suggestions for facilitating the project during in-person, distance, and hybrid learning
- PDF, Google, and Easel versions of the student project packets
- A slideshow to assist with lesson facilitation
- A rubric for easy grading
- End-of-project celebration certificates
These projects follow the engineering design process allowing students to practice their teamwork and problem-solving skills. The building materials are flexible, meaning you can use what you have on hand! Blocks, clean recyclables, school supplies, etc.
How can the Christmas STEM project ideas be used in your classroom?
- Keep students learning and engaged throughout the weather changes and excitement that comes with the winter holidays
- Embrace the holiday spirit with a Christmas STEM activity
- Use the challenges to keep students on task when you have unusual schedules or low attendance due to field trips, testing, assemblies, holiday celebrations or other interruptions
- Give your students practice with problem-solving using the engineering design process
- Introduce real-world STEM disciplines and professions
- Give students an opportunity to develop their 21st-century skills, such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking
- Assign the resources for extra credit, holiday break packets, home learning, or extension activities
Grab these resources today so you can take a break from planning and know your students will still be learning and having fun as you enjoy the winter season!
Want more fun seasonal activities?
Save 20% when you grab the seasonal STEM challenge bundle! Then you’ll have fun projects ready-to-go all year long!