The Best STEM Challenges for the End of the Year

The Best STEM Challenges for the End of the Year

Congratulations, you have made it to the end of the year! Now what?

If your end of the year experience is anything like mine was then you may be running out of curriculum to teach, classroom management strategies, and possibly even energy and patience!

Now is the perfect time to incorporate hands-on projects and cooperative activities that will keep students motivated and engaged in learning up until the last day of school.

The following are our top 8 end of the year STEM challenges.

1.) Water Bottle Flipping STEM Challenge

Water Bottle Flipping STEM Challenge

It seems that students can never get enough of bottle flipping. This Bottle Flipping STEM Challenge turns this annoying fad into a learning opportunity. Students are able to test three different variables: bottle size, bottle shape, and water level. Through this activity students learn about making a hypothesis and collecting data in a hands-on and engaging way.

Another great thing about this challenge is that you can complete it outside.

2.) If I Built a House STEM Challenge

If I Built a House (Build a House STEM Challenge)


If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen follows the story of Jack, a young boy with a big imagination. Jack is bored with normal houses so he decides to build the house of his dreams, complete with a racetrack, flying room, and a gigantic slide.

Engage students in STEM with this story by encouraging them to build their own dream house using geometrical shapes.

3.) Paper Plate Marble Run STEM Challenge

Paper Plate Marble Run STEM Challenge

Another fun end of the year STEM challenge is the Paper Plate Marble Run STEM Challenge. For this challenge students are asked by a toy company to design a marble run. The marble run must include a start and a finish as well as several obstacles for the marble or pom pom to go through.

4.) Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel (Build a Ferris Wheel STEM Challenge)

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis is the true story of George Farris, the engineer behind the Ferris Wheel. Take your students back in time to the 1893 World's Fair, and let them be inspired by the imagination and persistence of a man who stopped at nothing to bring his dream into existence.

Challenge your students to take on the role of an engineer and build their own Ferris Wheel.

5.) Build a Roller Coaster STEM Challenge

Build a Roller Coaster STEM Challenge

Whether you are a roller coaster fan or not,  you will be a fan of how engaged students are as they complete this STEM challenge to build their own roller coaster. Students build their roller coasters out of toilet paper rolls, card stock, and tape. After constructing their roller coasters, each design is tested by running a marble through it. 

6.) Everything You Need for a Treehouse

Everything You Need For a Treehouse (Build a Treehouse STEM)

Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins shares different ideas and designs for a treehouse.

After reading this book, students will be inspired to design and build their own unique treehouse.

7.) Design a Bubble Wand STEM Challenge

Design a Bubble Wand STEM Challenge

Another fun end of the year STEM activity that you can complete outside is the Bubble STEM Challenge! For this challenge students must design three bubble wands. Students test each of their designs to see which one makes the biggest bubbles. After testing students will reflect on their results.

8.) Last Day Blues

Last Day Blues (Build a Memory Book STEAM Project)

Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg is the perfect end of the year book. The story helps students close out the year by reflecting on all that has happened.

Engage students creativity and give them a place to record their favorite memories from the year by having them create their own memory book.

End your year on a positive note by helping students channel the end of the year craziness into creativity! Our End of the Year STEM Challenges and End of the Year Real Aloud STEM Challenges are bundled at a discount in out Teachers Pay Teachers store.

For more STEM ideas, inspiration, and collaboration with other STEM teachers be sure to join our FREE Facebook group Elementary STEM Teachers Club!

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