This amazing challenge is perfect for your elementary STEM students. And you will love the detailed teacher’s guide.
This fun challenge has definitely become a student favorite! It involves water and building a slide!
Think summertime! Water Parks and inflatable rafts. Think lemonade by the pool and kids squealing in delight.
It’s Water Slides!
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Third graders were so excited about this STEM Activity!
I promise, cross my heart when my third graders saw my schedule board and read “Water Slides” they cheered. Seriously. Right there in the hall.
Mind you, I think they were expecting to get to slide on them, but even when I told them we were building water slide models, they were still excited!
So, take a look at the photo and you will understand this wonderful little challenge.
The challenge had some fairly wacky materials, but included items to cover the slide part so there would be no leaks. Students also had to build some type of ladder or ramp so the top could be accessed.
Check out the fabulous ladder in the photo. They did a great job.
Also, in some of the images you may notice the bowl at the bottom to catch the water! (That’s important and teaching them how to dump that water without spilling it is, too!)
Will the Water Slide work?
Well, I know what you are thinking. It couldn’t have been all fun.
Since they are elementary students, right? Right!
Look at this photo. Do you see what that group did? They only placed foil as the lining on some of the slide.
That cardboard tube soaked up water and got mushy and soggy. Boy, did they have a real moment of learning with this thinking!
I could have warned them when I saw this mistake of not completely waterproofing the slide. But, I never do. I let them mess up.
Friends, this kind of learning is priceless. They remember this stuff.
Isn’t this a great photo? I caught the water traveling all the way down that slide! (They added that tube at the end to keep Legoman from tumbling off!)
What did we learn from this Water Slide STEM Challenge?
- I learned that third graders don’t all know how to pour water! Mind-boggling how many of them missed the slide and poured water on the table. Like right on it. One sweet little girl even dumped the ENTIRE water cup down the slide in one giant dump. It splashed everywhere!
- You truly learn from your mistakes. When the water slide leaks you quickly know what to patch or change.
- Water slides can be messy! It’s all good, though. It was just water. We used a lot of towels- which, by the way, is a great thing to have in your classroom. And I mean real towels, not paper ones. Real ones work better!
- Not kidding! Third graders LOVED this challenge!