Kick off the school year with a super fun team-building STEM activity! Your students will get to know each other and learn about the scientific method while trying to save Fred the worm and his friends. These activities are excellent cooperative, team-building lessons aimed at creating a strong classroom community. Grab a bunch of paper clips and gummy worms and watch your students work together to solve how they can save Fred!
1. Saving Fred Activity
The basic Save Fed science lab has students work together to free Fred’s life preserver from under his capsized boat. Place a gummy lifesaver under a plastic cup and a gummy worm on top of it. Touching only the paper clips, students must rescue Fred from drowning.
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2. Saving Fred Video
Provide video instructions for the Save Fred activity. The kid-friendly instructions detail the problem Fred faces and what students have to do to save him!
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3. Saving Fred Think Tanks
Work on non-verbal communication skills while enjoying a fun STEM activity. Before they try to rescue Fred, students must think about a plan individually. Then, they share it with their group without using words!
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4. Safe Landing for Fred
Deliver Fred safely to his house with an awesome parachute! Have your students design and attach a paper parachute to Fred’s boat. Then, they can toss it high to see if it lands upright. Afterward, use a reflection exercise to record designs and observations.
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5. Safely Drop Fred
Help Fred deliver fragile cargo with this cooperative activity. Place an egg in Fred’s boat. Your students need to design padding and a parachute to ensure that the egg lands without any cracks. Drop the containers from higher and higher heights to find the best design!
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6. Homemade Gummy Worms
Make your own tasty gummies for all your Save Fred activities! This simple recipe uses gelatin and water. Add food coloring, juice, or flavored gelatin to make a rainbow of colors and flavors for everyone to enjoy!
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7. Bridges for Fred
Introduce younger students to bridge building with simple paper bridge crafts. Lay a piece of paper over two plastic cups and then test out different paper folding techniques to see which can hold the most gummy worms on Fred’s commute to work!
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8. Straw Bridges
Start this fabulous activity with a discussion on different bridge designs. Cut and tape straws into different designs to find which are the most stable. See if any can hold a channel of water for Fred’s boat to cross!
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9. Marshmallow Bridge
This is a classic activity for your Save Fred unit! After your students have saved Fred from drowning, they need to help him get home by designing a bridge that will hold the weight of his boat. Use marshmallows and toothpicks for a tasty post-activity treat.
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10. Help Fred Float
Build Fred a new boat from different recycled materials. Start by assessing which materials float and sink. Add a sail and place Fred in his boat. Set sail with a strong wind and test how stable the new boats are!
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11. Tin Foil Boats
All you need for this easily-adaptable STEM activity is tin foil and coins! Your students must design a foil boat that will keep Fred and his friends floating. See if their designs will stay afloat by adding more gummy worms and animals.
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12. Design Fred a Life Jacket
If your students accidentally ate the gummy lifesaver, don’t worry! They can design a life jacket for Fred using rubber bands and pipe insulation. Keep Fred’s head out of the water and test that you can hook a paper clip onto the life jacket.
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13. Life Preserver Doughnuts
If candy life preservers aren’t for you, decorate some doughnuts! This easy activity is a great end-of-the-day activity. All you need is decorating gel and doughnuts. For older students, make the doughnuts as a class before decorating.
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14. Writing Reflections
Once your students have completed a few Save Fred STEM activities, have them reflect on their teamwork. Let them share stories of their failures and successes with adorable paper illustrations and flow charts.
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15. Help Harry
This team-building activity has your kids help Fred’s friend, Harry, to see the whole classroom! Using pipe cleaners, cupcake holders, paper, and tinfoil, your students need to work together to build Harry a perch. Test it against a strong wind to make sure it’s stable!
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16. Earthquake Towers
Marshmallows, toothpicks, and cardboard are all you need for a super-fun STEM activity! Give students instructions to design an earthquake-proof tower for Harry to hang out on. Then, place the structures on a shake plate to see which tower survives!
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17. Save Harry From Floods
Save Fred from the flood! Place your candy worm in the center of a box. Grab a variety of absorbant and non-absorbant materials. Test how much water each material absorbs before building a flood barrier. Talk about the impact that floods can have on people and towns as your students build.
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18. Paper Bag Dramatics
Performance activities are great for helping students reflect on their team-building activities. Place objects from your STEM projects into brown paper bags. Students must then grab 3 objects and act out the scientific methods they used to save Fred.
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19. Worm Towers
Study some friendly worms in this dirt-filled STEM science activity. Cut the top off a recycled soda bottle and add some moist dirt. Cover the bottle with paper. Wait a few days and then remove the paper and see what the worms are up to!
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20. Tallest Tower Challenge
Help Fred and Harry scale the tallest of towers! This building activity has students working together to create cup towers without using any glue! Give groups of 2-3 people 30 minutes to make their towers before measuring which group has built the tallest tower.
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