STEM Challenge: Boat Building


Working against a criteria & constraints list, students will make a boat designed for capacity and/or speed (new twists included in the newly-updated version of this challenge)!I think of this as an “anytime” STEM challenge, but it’s perfect for the end of the school year and summer.


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  • Container filled with water to test the boats (be sure to choose a container with appropriate dimensions, or constrain students on length, width, height accordingly. For sailing tests, stream tables, under-bed-storage bins, or kiddie pools work well).
    – Set of uniform objects to measure capacity (pennies, base-ten blocks, paperclips, balance weights, bouncy balls, etc.)

For each student or group: