Mae Among The Stars STEM Challenge

I am obsessed with STEM projects and PBL projects. One of my absolute favorites is a space STEM activity that I started this year. We read the book Mae Among the Stars and then we end up creating a way for Mae to get back to Earth safely.

Mae Among the Stars STEM Challenge

The Challenge

We need to build a parachute of some sort so that Mae can make it safely back to Earth. But…how? You need to get your students interested and “buy-in” to building it. I go over the rules with them and tell them what Max needs in the parachute activity. If the students don’t follow these rules, they may be disqualified.

Challenge your students with a letter


In order for this Space STEM Activity to work, you need to make sure that you have all of the materials ready to go. I usually display everything that the students can use and then I will make them work it out and decide what to build. Once they design the parachute, you can give them the materials that they requested.

Materials to use to build the parachute in the Space STEM activity
Materials to use to build the parachute in the STEM activity

Let the students get extremely creative with the materials that you are providing. I make sure that they give me the plan and I will “poke” holes in their plan to see if there are any problems.

Next, we build!

Let the kids build. It’s great to let them just explore and build the parachute. In order for it to be an approved parachute that Mae can actually use, they must be able to see her safely land 3 times. It’s harder than you think.

Mae parachuting during STEM Challenge
Mae parachuting during STEM Challenge

You can use this in your classroom today. If you want the blue prints and the ability to hold the students accountable, check out my store!

Mae Among the Stars STEM Challenge