What does STEM stand for? If you haven’t heard by now, STEM is science, technology, engineering, and math. These paper bag STEM challenges are perfect for a screen free week of play and learning. Our paper bag STEM challenges are perfect for the younger age group who may still need minimal help from adults as well as older kids who love to invent ne things. Have fun with all of our science and STEM activities.
PAPER BAG STEM CHALLENGES WEEK FOR KIDS!
WHAT ARE STEM ACTIVITIES?
Generally STEM activities or challenges solve a problem. They involve a bit of science, technology, engineering, and math or some combination of two or more of the concepts. A good STEM project will move kids through the design process, and we now have a cool printable that will really motivate them to touch on each of the design steps!
Our goal is to provide you with STEM challenges:
that can be done quickly (or over a period of time)
that are low cost
that don’t take a ton of set up time.
STEM might sound complicated or to0 hard to set up…
You might think that STEM only comes in kits…
We are here to show you just how easy and fun STEM really is!
Set up STEM challenges at home, use with small groups in the classroom, or offer it in a club setting!
Right now we have an awesome week of paper bag STEM challenges all planned out for you! The designs and solutions your kids come up with, are completely up to them!
I designed these paper bag STEM challenges based on my son’s interests and abilities. I will be on hand to help and guide, but I don’t want to direct the activity for him. However, I will ask open ended questions if he seems to be stuck on an idea. Again us our design process steps to success printable to help get you started!
Check out last week’s computer take apart STEM activity.
GETTING STARTED WITH PAPER BAG STEM CHALLENGES
Paper Lunch Bags
Variety of Materials: listed below for each activity. (You can substitute as needed.)
Printable Pages: You can print out our STEM planning and design process worksheets by clicking on the black boxes below. Give them to your kids to help them get started or extend a lesson in the classroom or homeschool setting.
PAPER BAG STEM CHALLENGES
Here is a whole week of pre-planned STEM ideas, challenges, and activities perfect to get kids off the screens and into creating!
I have a big collection of recyclable and non-recyclable items from around the house, from packages we receive, and from old toys and electronics. Designate a large storage bin for your STEM challenge supplies.
Toss cool and useful items into it. You will be happy you did! Kids love to create. Read all about STEM ON A BUDGET to learn more about how we do STEM!
STEM CHALLENGE #1 BUILD A CUP TOWER
Use a ruler to determine the height of the tower. 12″, 36″, or as tall as your kids!
SUPPLIES: Paper or plastic cups and rulers
STEM CHALLENGE #2 SINK THE BOTTLE
Can you sink a plastic bottle without filling it with water? No other rules! What can you do to the bottle or fill the bottle with to sink it? Kids should have access to items around the room or yard. If not, have some items already gathered they can test out.
SUPPLIES: Plastic water bottle, bucket of water, and additional items
STEM CHALLENGE #3 BUILD A PULLEY OR WINCH
Build a working pulley!
SUPPLIES: Cardboard tubes, pencils, lids, spools, string, cups, etc
Check out our neat Simple Machine: Winch!
STEM CHALLENGE #4 SLOW BALL ROLL
How slow can you make the ball roll? Time your slow ball roll. Can you make it go slower? What do you need to add or take away?
SUPPLIES: Large slanted surface or wall space, cardboard tubes and other recyclables including paper and tape. Some sort of ball like a ping pong ball.
STEM CHALLENGE #5 MARSHMALLOW TOWER
How tall of a tower can you build a tower of marshmallows?
SUPPLIES: Marshmallows and toothpicks
Try our Snack Time STEM Challenge too!
STEM CHALLENGE #6 CAR LAUNCH
How far can you get a car to travel with out continuously pushing it, blowing on it, or adding another source of movement to it. Kids will need access to items to build ramps, launches, and jumps. Try a balloon car or a rubber band car!
SUPPLIES: Small cars, tape measure, and various materials
STEM CHALLENGE #7 MYSTERY CHALLENGE
It’s a surprise! Fill the bag with whatever random supplies you want. That’s all the kids get to build an invention! suggest they build something to solve a problem or meet a need.
SUPPLIES: Our bag includes pipe cleaners. straws, a balloon, plastic bottle caps, plastic bottle, small cups, a kleenex box, and random packaging items. Make sure to leave access to tape, string, scissors, and other essentials.
STEM ACTIVITY MATERIALS
Essentials to have on hand for anytime paper bag STEM challenges include pipe cleaners, straws, paper clips, tape, markers, paper, popsicle sticks, balloons (why not!), nuts and bolts, scissors, rulers, glue sticks, and whatever else you have! Our STEM ON A BUDGET has some great lists for preparing your STEM cabinet or maker space. Our new 5 Day STEM Challenge Starter Pack also has some great materials lists.
Write out a paper bag STEM challenges plan for the week. My son likes to have a specific problem to solve. Open ended invitations are not preferred and often don’t last long but having an immediate problem to solve is more fun!
Fun STEM challenges for young kids! My son is in kindergarten but these will work through grade school. Kids need less adult participation as they get older making these ideas perfect for multiple ages.
Make a week’s worth of paper bag STEM projects for screen free fun.
Use our paper bag STEM activity ideas as a stepping stone for more STEM ideas. Check out what you have, and think about what your kids like to do! Put together your paper bag STEM challenges from there.
Check out all of these awesome science and STEM resources to keep you and your kids busy this season and all year round.
We are participating in the 28 Days of Hands-On STEM activities for kids!
FAVORITE STEM PRODUCTS with Amazon Affiliate Links