Just take a look at this list! Any of these is a reason your classroom will have fun and learn something:
- Water Pipelines
- Solar Ovens
- Earthquake Resistant Structures
- Landforms Escape Room
- Landforms Reading and Flippers
- Earth Day No Locks Escape Room (Be sure you read to the end- the best may be the last one!)
Get ready to explore with your amazing engineers! BONUS: I am going to mention several additional projects sprinkled throughout this post! We do many of these at the same time with three different grade levels. I love a theme week, don’t you?
This is a challenge I complete with third graders! While they are doing this one my fourth graders are completing the Earthquake Challenge and fifth graders are working on Flood Control Barriers. This makes another busy week all about the earth! The theme for this week is Earth Week (of course)!
I love this challenge as much as the kids! First, they experiment with different materials lining the oven and different materials in the lid of the oven. We use thermometers and lay the boxes in the sun for five minutes. The students keep a data table showing the temperatures.
The first time we tried this challenge I used jello pans. We placed our earthquake-resistant buildings on the jello and shook the pans. It was great fun! Really.
But, since then I tried another way to do it!
I built a shake tray! I used an under-the-bed storage box and a piece of foam board. The foam board is held aloft by pieces of elastic that are clamped to the sides of the box. It really works great and those little buildings will definitely topple over.
Another Earth Day topic! I have so many projects for this!
Let’s start with a Landform Escape Room.
Students must identify landforms, solve math problems, and place events in chronological order. They will use a display map with clipart images of the landforms to solve the puzzles and determine the lock code for three locked boxes.
When they open the last box you have the option of using a doodle map puzzle they have earned or you can move on to a STEM Challenge.
The STEM Challenge is to design and build a landform model that includes at least ten landforms.
TIP: Try an Escape Room with your class. You will love it. They will love it. And it’s priceless learning at the same time!
TIP: As silly as it is to make a volcano erupt with baking soda and vinegar it never fails to make kids get excited. I make sure they understand this is not a real volcanic eruption and we talk a lot about chemical reactions and then we enjoy the spewing and bubbling. Do it!
Reading and Flipper Books
The Flipper booklet is also a kid favorite! My students love making these little flippers. They call them “tiny books”. This one is specifically about Earth Day.