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.
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.
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.
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.
You can use this in your classroom today. If you want the