Our amazing challenges for kids will have your 5th graders loving their classes with you! Fifth grade STEM challenges help introduce the basics of science, teach creative engineering skills, use technology in new ways and help make math learning fun with varied math activities and math books. Follow along as we unpack unique ideas on how to incorporate STEM learning into your next fifth grade lesson!
1. Build a terrarium using small plants and other garden additions.
- A glass container with a lid
- Small stones
- Horticultural charcoal
- A plastic animal for an optional fun element
- 3-4 small plants
2. Make waves with this fun ocean current creation challenge that requires the use of a clear shallow baking dish, water, black pepper, cereal bowls, as well as an assortment of irregularly shaped waterproof objects to submerge.
3. Make sedimentary rocks with the help of pasta, wax paper, glue, water, and plastic cups!
4. Learn about light refraction by simply using a mason jar, water, and a pencil or pen.
5. Get stuck into this hands-on activity and make fluffy ice-cream slime!
6. Make glowing water and enjoy the magic as your creation begins to shine!
7. Discover how osmosis works by preparing various mixtures of water, salt, and vinegar. Put a piece of gummy bear into each mixture and observe every 3 hours.
8. Make a tiny battery-operated dancer using copper wire, magnets, a AA battery, crepe paper, and hot glue.
- Copper Wire
- 1/2″ x 1/8″ Neodymium Disc Magnets
- AA Battery
- Crepe Paper (optional for a flared skirt)
- Hot Glue (optional)
9. Find out how much weight your hand-made aluminum boat can take using foil and a few other simple tools and materials!
- Aluminum foil
- Scotch Tape
- Scrap piece of paper
- Pen or pencil
- Old rag
- Pennies. You may need as many as 200 pennies, depending on the size and shape of the boats you make.
10. Imagine and record a stop-motion animation, using your phone, based on any topic your heart desires.
11. Craft an air-powered merry-go-round using an assortment of paper, skewers, straws, and other stationery.
12. Discover concepts of momentum and weight as you design this simple zip line made for small objects using string, scissors, and a small rock.
13. Build a mini trampoline using rubber bands, a disposable bowl, a hole punch, felt, toothpicks as well as simple household items to act as weights.
14. Design a chain of paper clips that can hold more weight than an opponent's creation.
15. Build an apple tower by using various classroom supplies to rest an apple on, upon completion.
- Classroom supplies such as short books, and other lightweight objects such as highlighters, pencils, and whatever else you can find!
16. Build playdough structures using playdough, straws, and toothpicks
17. Build the leaning tower of pasta using spaghetti and marshmallows.
18. Craft a paper roller coaster using corrugated cardboard, tape, and scissors. Test your creation with marbles!
19. Design a bedroom model or floorplan using lego bricks
20. Stack paper cups in teams to see which group is able to build the tallest tower within a given time frame.
21. Engineer a straw bridge that supports the weight of an empty container.
22. Learn about scale by taking inspiration from your favorite candy wrappers- increase them in size and draw the wrapper at a large scale.
- Candy wrappers
23. Play fraction Jenga by pulling a wooden block from the stack and then solving the problem written on the block.
24. Practice quick coin counting and recognition by separating coins into muffin case holders and pulling various coins to make a certain amount.
25. Learn about area and perimeter with the help of these neat base ten sets!
26. Learn about fractions with the help of this fun fraction-war card game
27. Use Versatiles to recognize important mathematical concepts such as the multiplication and division of fractions as well as decimal fractions.
28. Build patterns, using templates, from brightly colored wooden tiles of varying shapes and sizes.
29. Play bingo to learn about percentages, fractions, and decimals in a fun way!
30. Create math stacks with the best deck of cards in the mathematical learning world!
With so many STEM activities to choose from, your future lessons are sure to be varied and interesting for the learners in your class. The benefits of STEM learning are endless: students will be encouraged to experiment with new ideas, build problem-solving skills, learn to work in teams and follow instructions as well as learn to bounce back from any failures by trying until they succeed!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are good science fair projects?
Good science fair projects are creative in their approach and researchers aren't afraid to push the boundaries as they develop their scientific questions. Good science fair projects are often reaction-causing experiments such as exploding volcanoes or even mentos and soda fountains!