STEM Space Lander Challenge

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STEM Space Lander Challenge

5.75

Subjects: Engineering Design, Applied Math, General Science, Space Sciences

Grades: 3rd - 8th 

Resource Type: Stage 2 - Engineering Design Challenge

Teaching Duration: 4 hours

Total Pages: 52

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The combination of marshmallows and aliens makes this a winning STEM challenge! With the Space Lander Challenge, student teams build a lander using the Engineering Design Process to keep two marshmallow "aliens" inside a cup as it is dropped from various heights. Using straws, index cards, and mini marshmallows, students apply concepts of shock-absorption, drag forces, and stability, to create and test designs. Common Core aligned math extension problems help students analyze solutions and connect the challenge to real-world scenarios. 

As with many STEM activities that are student-driven, this challenge can be tailored to students of various skill levels and abilities. As one of our go-to STEM challenges, we have used the STEM Space Lander Challenge in elementary through high school levels with great success!

  • Detailed teachers guide with links to resources
  • Student handouts to guide them through the design process
  • Student recording sheet for each step of the process
  • Math connection problems including angles, ratios, geometry, and graphing

Top Reviews

This was an amazing STEM PBL activity for my students. They were very engaged throughout the entire project, and it was simple to modify for elementary age students. They learned a lot, and were discussing how they could modify it even after we were done working on the project. -Kaylee R.

This was my favorite thing we did during Space Camp! -Melissa Roberts

As always, you ladies make the best projects. My students loved making their space lander. -Adrienne Ayala

Great lesson. It really challenged my students and matched what they are learning in the classroom. -Buyer