Are you ready for a few challenges for Valentine’s Day in your classroom? Maybe you need some fun activities that also have some teamwork, communication, data recording, measuring, estimating, testing, and more!
Oh. My. Goodness. We tested some Valentine’s Day STEM challenges in the last week and LOVED all of them! Which one will you try first?
Just a quick look at what this post is sharing with you!
- Candy Boxes
- Bow and Arrows
- Delivery Zip Lines
- How to Build a Box
In this Valentine’s Day challenge the kids were to build a candy box with specific dimensions and test it with samples of the candy. Part of the task was to invent a clever name for the candy.
This challenge was made even more challenging because the box needed to be heart shape.
Building a box is hard enough! I do have a student-created tutorial for you at the end of this post 🙂
Invariably, there will be a team that wants to make the individual sections for each piece of candy. That is, after all, how a real Valentine box looks!
The one in the photo looks fabulous, but all that wasted space around the sections is a problem. The candy is supposed to fit exactly.
Students will borrow the sample pieces and trace around them to try to make their boxes the exact size needed.
I have a special treat for you! You have to watch the video below! Three fifth grade boys made that box in the video and they were completely determined to make that flip top lid work! Watch…
Bows and Arrows
Why, yes, we did make bows and arrows! I wrote a little about this on another blog post. I will link you to that post at the bottom!
It all worked out really well, despite the goofs I made. It was perfectly safe (as much as you can be with fifth graders and bows and arrows) and they were quite clever in the way they designed the bows and arrows.
Here’s the third event we tried! My third graders were feeling particularly left out. Fourth graders were making roller coasters. Fifth graders were making bows and arrows. So, I invented the Candy Zip line! BAM!
THIRD GRADE HEAVEN! They had to build a box and a way to attach it to the zip line and deliver a gift safely! This included attaching it to a line I rigged and letting the box zip down the line!
The zip line carrier had to hold a Valentine’s Day ‘gift’ which happened to be that glitter-heart I found at the Dollar Tree. What mom wouldn’t want that? #right
This is a Valentine challenge that kids love every year I have tried it. When the kids let go of their gift carrier at the top of the line it is really exciting to watch it zip down. Oh, the groans if that glitter heart gets dumped out! And the cheers when we land it safely! Try this one for sure!
How to Build a Box
This tutorial is brought to you from a third grader.
He taped two pieces of paper together as a tube and then creased it on each end. Then he opened it and placed the creases in the center and flattened it so that two more creases were created. This made it a square shape. Now, he cut at the corners and folded the flaps inward. He took another piece of paper and covered the opening and there was a box.
(I’m pretty sure that if he had made those corner cuts deeper the flaps would have created the bottom covering, but I was not about to tell the little expert this. I was pretty impressed at what he did!) Learning to build a box is something my younger students learn to do early in their STEM Lab experiences because we build box shapes often!
These three Valentine challenges are perfect for February! Happy Heart Day to You!
You may also enjoy these posts:
- The Fear of Failure (the bow and arrow incident)
- Designing Containers (more box building)
- How Much Popcorn Do You Have? (more boxes)