So, I started a seasonal series of STEM challenges a few months back and we are having such a fun time! We’ve made snowflakes, Valentine ziplines, wind-powered boats, seed dispersal models, Ferris wheels, and so much more.
It seemed only natural to leap into October with some pumpkin challenges!
So, here we go with five things about pumpkins!
The first of the pumpkin series is called Pumpkin Launchers! The idea with this launching device using some pretty wonky materials and then, of course, send a pumpkin soaring. I found the little candy pumpkins (finally) at a dollar store and they were perfect. They weigh just enough to make this task a little challenging and besides, who wouldn’t want to throw candy around the classroom?
A lot of groups made a catapult device to toss the candy and these were great. There were some groups that tried a slingshot type mechanism. However, holding the device in their hands became a no-no. Kids were throwing the pumpkins instead of having the launcher do the work. So, I made a new rule. The launcher had to sit on the floor!
We ended the class session by having every launcher brought to our launching pad and we sailed those pumpkins through the air to knock down some targets! The kids loved this one!
Haunted House Mazes
The second Pumpkin or Halloween challenge is to build a Haunted House maze. The photo is showing one that is about half finished. This challenge is taking longer than we thought it would because we had to let our mazes dry before we could decorate them. I will devote a blog post to these when we get them finished. Let’s just say the kids are loving these- mostly because of all the creepy crawly plastic bugs and spiders and skeletons we are decorating with! (I mean, really, look at that plastic roach- he looks real!)
What if you cannot find real little pumpkins?
Okay, here’s just some information for you about pumpkins. For the third challenge in this Pumpkin series, I needed some little bitty real pumpkins. You know the kind that people usually decorate with- well, guess what? You cannot buy those in Alabama yet! So, I resorted to a dollar store sippy cup pumpkin, which actually worked out really well! I filled that little thing with sand to make it heavy and – BAM – I had the pumpkins we needed for the challenge.
UPDATE: I found the little bitty pumpkins!
For size reference, I took the photo with an apple. They are tiny, but so cute! Five little pumpkins was about $3. So, we tried the elevators with the plastic ones and the real ones! Super fun! Keep reading!
Seriously, are you kidding? That is the cutest thing ever. It’s a pumpkin elevator. My test class made these very quickly and I equally as quickly changed the task rules to make it more challenging. The elevator has to be lifted by some kind of cranking device with a handle! These are also not quite finished so I will devote another blog post one day soon to show the finished and decorated models! Kids loved these, too!
So, that’s it for Pumpkin stuff!
Except for this:
My favorite flavoring ever in the history of the world. Every time I go to Wal Mart I buy three or four containers. I have enough to last until next summer…….just sayin’!