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Water Week in the STEM Lab

Also, known as a highly engaging week! Water week is the most fun week we have every year. Let me share ways for you to plan your own version of Water Week!

The first time I wrote Water Week on our agenda board I knew students would be excited. And, they were!

Before I even met them at my lab door I could hear their excited voices and I knew this was going to be great. So what did we do?

I have two versions of water week to share. Let’s get going!

STEM projects featuring water- This include boats, pipelines, slides, towers, sailboats, and flood resistant structures. Check this blog post!

In this post, for your convenience, you may find Amazon Affiliate links to resources. This means that Amazon will pass on small percentages to me with your purchase of items. This will not create extra costs for you at all! It will help me keep this blog running!

Water Week Versions – Who are these challenges for?

My STEM Lab is specifically for grades 3-5 so I need three water challenges. I have 2 versions of this popular format!

Version 1

  • Grade 3 – Water Slides
  • Grade 4 – Water Towers
  • Grade 5 – Water Pipelines

Version 2

  • Grade 3 – Sailboats
  • Grade 4 – Building Boats
  • Grade 5 – Flood Resistant Structures

These have all been tested with those grade levels and work well. Building Boats is also perfect for third graders.

Benefits for YOU!

I create my resources for busy teachers that do not have time to invent new challenges. Mine are made for YOU with detailed teacher’s guides and thoughtful tips from my experience. You cannot go wrong!

Water Slides – Grade 3

STEM Activity – Building a Water Slide- students use materials to create a slide that will carry a small toy figure down a tube using water - water challenges, boats, towers, water towers.

This challenge is so easy to prep! Cardboard tubes, straws, and bowls of water. You also need some “waterproofing” materials but these are things you probably already have.

THE CHALLENGE: Students build a slide with an access ladder and then try to transport a toy figure with rushing water!

FEEDBACK: “Love this resource! My students and I had so much fun creating our slides! 10/10 highly recommend this purchase!” – Noelle K.

Water Towers – Grade 4

STEM Activity – Building a Water Tower- students use materials to create a tower that will hold a small bowl of water - water challenges, boats, towers, water towers.

This seems so simple, but it is really challenging! Students use a budget and “purchase” their materials.

THE CHALLENGE: Students create a stable platform tower that will support the weight of a small bowl of water. We also learn about what water towers are!

FEEDBACK: “My students LOVED this activity! The money aspect really forced them to be mindful about what supplies they were using and why. The time and height requirements also added an extra challenge.” – Stacey W.

Water Pipelines – Grade 5

STEM Activity – Building a Water Pipeline- students use materials to create a gravity based water transport system that holds the water pipeline aloft - water challenges, boats, towers, water towers.

This is one of my favorites. Students research gravity-based water pipelines in Panama and then design their own.

THE CHALLENGE: Design a 100-inch-long pipeline that will carry water from an elevated tank to a lower tank. Without leaking:)

FEEDBACK: “This was a very detailed lesson to help students understand the process of pipelines and how they work. There were some great examples and picture diagrams to help students understand how to create different versions of the pipelines.” – Amanda M.

Those three challenges create our first Water Week. Later in the school year, we tackle a second Water Week!

Sailboats – Grade 3

STEM Activity – Building a Sailboat- students use materials to create a sailboat that will sail down a water tray and hold weight - water challenges, boats, towers, water towers.

Let’s be honest- this challenge is about the races we have at the end! Yes, there are loud cheers happening!

THE CHALLENGE: Students build a floating boat and add a sail. We use a fan to propel the boat down our waterway (A long shallow plastic bin).

FEEDBACK: “Great resource. I have purchased several STEM activities from this seller. I love that each challenge comes with suggestions on how to implement the project along with photo examples. The photos help my visual learners understand the expectations for the lesson. Thanks!” Jacqueline J.

Building Boats – Grade 4

STEM Activity – Building Boats- students use materials to create a boat that will float and hold weight - water challenges, boats, towers, water towers.

I love it because it’s another challenge students use a budget with and “purchase” their materials!

THE CHALLENGE: Students build a boat that will float and hold weight. This gets competitive when we start counting those weights into our boats. Every team wants the most pennies in their boat.

FEEDBACK: “This was one of my students’ favorite STEM project of the year. They all were mostly successful at constructing their boats. The resource was easy to follow and gave clear instructions.” – Megan M.

Flood Resistant Structures – Grade 5

STEM Activity – Building a Water Tower- students use materials to create a system that will prevent flooding of a small house - water challenges, boats, towers, water towers.

This activity begins with experiments testing absorbent materials. Students use their test results to design their structure.

THE CHALLENGE: Students create a barrier to protect a small paper house. We use the scenario of protecting a dog house. And, we hold our breath when that water is poured into our pans!

FEEDBACK: “Love how well this project targets the NGSS standard. My kids loved designing and building. I loved that you figured out all the details so I could focus on teaching.” – Carolyn H.

Are you excited for Water Week in your Lab? These 6 challenges are perfect for your upper elementary students. Mix and Match the activities and have fun getting wet!!

RELATED ARTICLES

STEM projects featuring water- This include boats, pipelines, slides, towers, sailboats, and flood resistant structures. Check this blog post!

Some of my favorite STEM Materials!

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