An online resource shop for busy classroom teachers that need STEM Challenges, Science Activities, Escape Rooms, Reading and Math Worksheets, and more!
It’s the Popcorn STEM Challenge! This is one of my absolute favorites to use as an exploration into volume. Second and third graders, especially, will enjoy this as they design those containers to hold the popcorn. Inevitably, there will be gigantic containers. When I pull the quantity of popcorn from its hiding place to test their containers the reaction is priceless. So is the learning!
STEM Challenges are great activities to engage students in their learning. Kids love the hands-on experiences! EVEN BETTER- add literature to your STEM challenges!
The activities found in this package were inspired by a little book by Tomie dePaola called "The Popcorn Book". Picture books can provide the perfect starting point for science investigations. Using the book is, of course, optional. This investigation can be completed without reading the book to your class or a similar book can be substituted.
This one day STEM challenge will have your students thinking about volume. After hearing the book read (or talking about volume) students will design and construct a container for a specific amount of popcorn. Students will have a list of the Design “rules” and a set of supplies from which to build. The final design will test their understanding of volume and at the same time have them collaborating, designing, and constructing. In the end, each team will present their final container!
★You will need materials in addition to this lesson guide! This includes popped popcorn, storage bags, copy paper, scissors, tape, and staplers. The preparation for this challenge includes counting the popcorn that will be used to test the containers, but don't worry- it's easy! It only takes 2 minutes to count the popcorn which will just about fill a large cereal bowl. You may also need a copy of The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola (optional).
The lesson guide provides:
The page count for this download is 19, plus editable pages.
After many years as a classroom teacher I made a big leap to a specialist's job. I became a STEM Lab Specialist in 2013 and quickly discovered I had no resources. I literally started from scratch creating my own lessons for 17 classes of third, fourth, and fifth graders. It was slightly overwhelming. Okay, a lot overwhelming! After several months of creating new STEM resources for my classes I really felt that my lessons could be a lifesaver for busy teachers - like you! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and store. Look around- I know you will find something that will suit your class perfectly!
"As always, with this resource you provided a comprehensive, user friendly, and truly awesome product! My students were beyond excited to try this challenge. Thank you for creating another slam dunk activity!"
Resource Creator & Teacher
Have you always known you were going to be a teacher? I sure have! I grew up in Germany and can still remember playing school with our neighbors that only spoke German. Somehow, kids can play even when they cannot understand each other. My dream to be a teacher continued right into high school and I really thought I would teach upper level math. But, you know, something about working in an elementary school just kept enticing me in that direction. I have taught third, fourth, and fifth grade and I'm now a STEM Specialist. I have two adult children and three fur babies. I love reading and cats and coffee and getting up early. My husband and I are slowly checking off visits to all the places on our bucket list. (Australia we are headed your way soon!)