Hoop Glider STEM Challenge

Hoop Glider Square.jpg
Preview New Hoop Glider Slides (1).jpg
Preview New Hoop Glider Slides.jpg
Hoop Glider Square.jpg
Preview New Hoop Glider Slides (1).jpg
Preview New Hoop Glider Slides.jpg

Hoop Glider STEM Challenge


Subjects: Engineering Design, Scientific Method, General Science

Grades: 1st - 10th

Resource Type: Stage 2 - Engineering Design Challenge

Teaching Duration: 4 hours

Total Pages: 27

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The hoop glider STEM activity includes building a glider made from straw, tape, and index cards or paper to travel the farthest distance. Different activity versions are provided to accommodate student ability and time constraints.

Topics Covered:

  • Scientific Method through Variable Testing

  • Engineering Design Process

  • Forces of Flight

  • Ratios

This hands-on activity shows students how to optimize an engineering design through systematically testing variables. Students will learn how to build a standard hoop glider out of straws and paper, conduct testing, and then change different variables to determine the effect on flying distance.

Lower Elementary: Younger students use the engineering design process student handouts to design a hoop glider to travel the farthest distance. This activity is teacher-led and uses trial and error in testing.

Upper Elementary: Students use the engineering design process to build and test a hoop glider. Teachers can extend the learning by testing one or two variables as a class or in partners.

Middle School: Students use the full activity guide to test 5 variables in building a hoop glider compared to the standard glider. Students will try different numbers of hoops, lengths of straws, distance between hoops, and hoop diameters (including ratios between hoops).

Included in this product:

  • Teachers guide with links to resources

  • Science behind hoop gliders

  • Student design sheets including "compact version" with engineering design handouts or "expanded version" for testing 5 different hoop glider variables

  • Engineering design posters

  • STEM Career Connection: Aerospace Engineering

  • Reflection questions

About STEM Challenges: Click here to learn more about the 3 Stage of STEM. STEM challenges are an engaging way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or afterschool program! These hands-on activities allow students to work in teams, apply the engineering design process, and connect science topics to real-world applications. The teacher will provide the structure to the project, but students will take an active role in designing and building their own balloon rocket device.

Top Reviews

My STEM Team is already salivating with anticipation at being able to put this resource into action! Perfect way to teach variables and collect data at various stages.- Elizabeth W.