Creative problem-solving at its best!
Have you tried STEM challenges with your students yet? They offer students such a fun hands-on way to build their problem-solving skills! These third grade STEM challenges inspire kids to think outside the box and put all their knowledge into practical use.
We also love the fact that they couldn’t be easier to set up. Post one of these third grade STEM challenges on your whiteboard or projector screen, pass out the few simple supplies, and watch the magic begin!
Want this entire set of STEM challenges in one easy document? Download the 3rd Grade PDF bundle, so you’ll always have the challenges available.
1. Design and build a paper airplane that flies the furthest possible distance.
2. Use 20 paper plates to build the tallest tower you can. You can use scissors, but no tape or glue.
3. Use LEGO bricks to build a marble maze.
4. Build a 12-inch bridge from index cards, plastic straws, and masking tape that will hold 100 pennies.
5. Construct a building using sticks, leaves, and other items you can pick up outside.
6. Use newspaper and masking tape to build a cage to hold a stuffed animal.
7. Use plastic straws and Scotch tape to build a roller coaster for a ping pong ball.
8. Invent a new game using a cardboard box and other supplies of your choice.
9. Build the tallest possible tower that can support the weight of a book from 10 plastic cups and 10 index cards.
10. Use plastic spoons and rubber bands to build a device that launches a marshmallow as far as possible.
11. Design and build a floating houseboat using index cards, plastic straws, and tape or glue.
12. Use uncooked spaghetti and mini marshmallows to build an animal (real or imaginary).
13. Build a domino chain reaction that includes at least one domino tower.
14. Use one sheet of paper and masking tape to build a pencil box with a lid and a carrying handle. It must hold six pencils.
15. Use pipe cleaners to create at least 6 types of 3-D shapes.
16. Using only newspaper, build a paper chain at least 12 inches long that will hold the weight of a bucket of water.
17. Create a new kind of tree using cardboard tubes, masking tape, and construction paper. Be ready to explain where and how your tree grows.
18. Find a new use for a plastic shopping bag. You can also use scissors and 12 inches of masking tape.
19. In five minutes, build the tallest tower you can using only pipe cleaners.
20. Find a way to make a ping pong ball roll down a cardboard ramp as slowly as possible.
21. Use newspapers and masking tape to build a tent your whole group could camp out in overnight.
22. Build an igloo using toothpicks and marshmallows.
23. Design a new kind of plant using aluminum foil.
24. Use one index card and other supplies of your choice to design a scoop to pick up as much rice at one time as possible.
25. Use duct tape to design a new kind of water bottle carrier.
Enjoying these third grade STEM challenges? Try these Hands-On Third Grade Science Experiments and Activities.