Engineering Challenges

We are excited to share engineering challenges that student’s can do at home!



Attention Cubcats: You now work for the Native Egg-laying Support Team,or N.E.S.T. for short, a company that designs and builds bird nests for the local community. Your challenge is to build a nest for a bird family that is sturdy enough to protect the eggs from wind and a rainstorm.

N.E.S.T. Building criteria:

1. Your nest needs to hold at least 1 regular sized plastic Easter egg.*

2. It needs to stay together during our wind (fan) and rain (squirt bottle) storm.**

3. You must use at least 3 of the approved N.E.S.T. building materials from the list below:

twigs, grass, hay, moss, yarn, ribbon, material scraps, feathers, paper, glue/paste

You may choose to add one of these extra materials  to your nest:

Pipe cleaners, rubber bands, paper clips.

*Kindergarten and 1st grade students only need to meet criteria 1 and 3

**2nd -5th grade students need to meet all criteria. 1-3.

To see how a bird goes about building a nest, check out this cool video!

Your nest is due to your classroom teacher on Thursday, March 26th. We will test them that afternoon. We can’t wait to see what you create!

Roadtrippin’ STEM Challenge:

We’re going on a Road Trip and we need your help!  Your challenge is to build a vehicle of any style to take us our trip. Your vehicle needs to be constructed from at least 1 recycled material (see below for some suggestions) and it needs to roll. No buying models or kits!  We want to see what you create. Bring your vehicle to school on Tuesday, January, 14 and we will test your vehicle and display it for everyone to enjoy.

*suggested materials: empty water bottles, cardboard boxes, styrofoam pieces, paper or styrofoam cups, craft sticks, straws, pipe cleaners, wooden skewers, plastic bottle caps, round objects like washers, tinker toys, or old toy wheels.

Cubcat Mystery STEM Challenge:

Calling all Cubcat STEM Investigators!

We have a mystery to solve and need your help! You will need to gather clues, make inferences, draw conclusions and use all your problem solving skills to help us.  As part of this you will need some detective tools or gadgets.

Your challenge is to create a gadget or tool that will help you gather clues or keep secrets. There are lots of possibilities for this challenge.  Do you need to change your look? See around corners or behind you? Hear through walls? Send a secret message?

Bring your gadget to school on Thursday, January, 17th at 5:30 to test your detective skills and help us solve a mystery.  I can’t wait to see what you create!

Below are some links that might help you with this challenge:


CAMP CUBCAT Food Storage Challenge:

The Problem:

We are going to CAMP CUBCAT and we need to keep our food safe from  wild animals that live in the area. Your challenge is to develop a structure and container that our food can be placed in and raised to a height that the animals cannot reach.

The Rules:

The structure must be at least 15 inches above the tabletop.  It should have a pulley system so that the food can be placed in the container on the structure each night and raised above the forest floor (tabletop). Your project will be judged by how much “food” (how many pennies) the container and structure can hold.

List of Suggested Materials:

  • yardstick/tape measure
  • craft sticks
  • straws
  • large paper clips
  • string/yarn
  • paper towel/toilet paper rolls
  • coffee stir sticks
  • index cards
  • 3oz cups
  • pipe cleaners
  • paper
  • film canisters
  • tape
  • rubber bands
  • wooden spools
  • curling ribbon
  • spools
  • pencils

Due October 18th – Bring them to the Fall Festival and we will test them there. You can post pictures of your progress to #Cubcatpride

Some videos to help you with your pulley system:

Kite STEM Challenge:

Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Using what you know about kites, geometry, measurement, weather, and force and motion, can you design and build a kite that can fly indoors or outdoors?

You may use straws, broomstraws, wooden sticks (no pointy ends), string, lightweight paper/plastic/foil, glue, tape or any other household materials to construct your kite. You may NOT purchase a kite. You may go to my website to get some ideas

We will hold a kite flying day on Thursday, April 12th (weather permitting) at 2:00pm to test our designs. We can’t wait to see what you create! The sky’s the limit!

Websites to Check Out:

Go For the Gold with our Winter Olympic STEM Challenge!


Your team arrived at the Olympic Games in South Korea, but your bobsled did not.  Now you have to work to build a new one in time for the bobsled race!

You need to use what you know about force, motion, gravity, and friction and the engineering design process,  to build a sled that will safely deliver your rider/team to the bottom of the sled run.

Constraints (Rules):

  • Your sled must hold a rider(weight) and stay on the course. Your rider can be an action figure, small stuffed animal, Barbie doll, or pennies. (No humans can be used to ride the sled.)
  • Your rider may not be glued or zip tied to the sled.
  • Your sled must use 1 or more recycled/repurposed items. (No store bought sleds!)
  • A folding table will be used to make a ramp for the sled run.

Olympic Trials:

You can “go for the gold” and test your sled from 5:30 – 7:00p.m. on Thursday, January 11th at our Winter Olympic Night!


Space-Tacular STEM Challenge:

Visit WLOS Never Stop Learning to see some of our SPACE-TACULAR students describing their projects.