STEM Icebreaker & Engineering Activities (Pipe cleaner Challenge)

Great for back to school! STEM challenges are a great icebreaker and team building activity for any classroom. These simple engineering design challenges and activities get your students moving, thinking, and collaborating! Working as a team, they will learn lessons in communication, innovation, hidden assumptions, and creativity that are central to the engineering process. No math or science background needed and costs are minimal!

*Available in US and UK versions*

The design activities are to encourage critical thinking while learning and having fun with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)! Use this as a warm-up or icebreaker, team building activity, or introduction to the world of engineering! Also included are more in-depth critical thinking activities that are a great introduction to science and engineering concepts.

Included in this product:
1. Pipecleaner Tower Mission: Using only pipecleaners, student teams will build the tallest, freestanding tower. However, there will be some unexpected constraints along the way!
2. Chair Challenge: Student teams will design and build their own chair using only newspapers, magazines, and tape. This challenge really forces students to think about and challenge the constraints of the problem.
3. STEM Critical Thinking Activities: This includes four activities that are a great introduction to science and engineering thinking. Students will explore the world around them asking questions with a scientific or engineering mindset.



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  • STEM-Icebreakers--UK-version.pdf

About this resource


Created: Aug 25, 2015

Updated: Feb 22, 2018


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This resource is designed for UK teachers. View US version .