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Read on to find 10 fantastic team building STEM activities for your class, co-op, or homeschool. Work together to engineer new designs and solve problems! Hands-on learning that is fun for all!
If you are new to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) putting together a few, easy STEM challenges is a great place to start.
Creative, hands-on STEM activities work particularly well with pairs and groups and give us a unique way to encourage cooperative learning and team building.
Encouraging Cooperative Learning & Team Building with STEM Activities
If you’ve ever worked in a group, you know the familiar dynamic. There’s often a boss, a slacker, and sometimes somebody that wants to contribute more but gets overruled when they offer up ideas.
STEM challenges give us a unique opportunity to encourage cooperative learning – not just group work.
Taking the time to set up cooperative learning roles will help promote social interaction and helps to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the group. This works with siblings or students in pairs or groups three and four.
An example: If you’re building a marshmallow and toothpick structure (link below), pair kids up. One child can only use toothpicks and the other is solely in charge of marshmallows. This method encourages kids to work together rather than take turns. You’ll see them talking about ideas and plans and physically working together to construct their structure.
Another idea: If you’re building a Lego Maze (link below), give each kid in a group of four an even number of colored LEGOs – one gets 15 blue, one gets 15 yellow, etc. The rules are that they can only build with their own color and that no two bricks of the same color can touch. This adds a new twist to the activity that will encourage each child to interact, plan, and take a fair number of turns.
So, whether you’re working with your child one-on-one or setting up teams in a co-op or classroom, I’d encourage you to think about potential roles that each student can take in your challenge.
This simple step will not only make group work flow more smoothly, but will help set kids up for completing successful teamwork in the future – whether they’re working with siblings, classmates, or co-workers!
10 FUN Team Building STEM Activities
Read on for 10 fun and hands-on STEM activities that will encourage your kids to work as a team. As you browse the challenges, think about the different parts of the project and how you can create a cooperative dynamic by assigning roles or mindfully distributing materials.
1. Card Tower STEM Challenge by Feel Good Teaching
2. Spaghetti and Marshmallow Tower by Kesler Science
3. Paper Chain Race by Math Chick 5
4. Build a String Lifter by STEM Activities for Kids
5. Teamwork Cup Stack by Ms. Sepp’s Counselor Corner
6. STEM Foosball Frenzy by Teachers are Terrific
7. Build the Tallest Pencil Tower by Elementary Island
8. Foil Boat Engineering Challenge by The Homeschool Scientist
9. Make a Pringles Ring by Sunflowers to STEM
10. Straw Bridge Challenge by My Baba
Where to go next?
- Hands-on Engineering Activities for Kids
- 12 Screen-Free Technology Projects
- LEGO STEM Activities for Kids
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.