Tuesday, September 17, 2019

STEM Safari

Every once in a while, I create a product for my classroom or my TPT store that I get just giddily excited about. Products that are unique and that I know kids and teachers will both love. I felt this way when I released my escape rooms for early childhood, and I'm feeling it again with my latest project: STEM Safari! I've been working on it for weeks, and I am thrilled that it is finally live!

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

STEM Safari is an organized approach to implementing STEM in your classroom, and so much fun!

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

Each STEM session, a student picks a challenge card to complete. There are 5 different types of cards:

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

1. Elephant Engineering (engineering challenges)

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

 2. Cheetah Challenge (challenges with specific parameters in place)

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

 3. Rhino Riddles ("How can you...?" challenges)

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

4. Warthog Wonderings (reflection questions and challenges)

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique


5. Buffalo Building (free choice building).

I wanted to prevent students from always picking the same type of card, such as the free choice building, which is, of course, valuable, but doesn't do as well with developing problem-solving skills. To do this, and to encourage my students to try new things, they each have an Animal Checklist.

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

Every time they complete a specific type of challenge, they check it off. When they have completed all 5 of the different challenge types, they color in one country in their STEM Safari Africa map. Then they "journey" to a new country and start again with a new animal checklist! This way, the fun just keeps going, but they have a way to track how many challenges they have completed.

There is also a STEM Safari Journal included, which helps build their reflection skills.

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique


Any of the Warthog Wondering cards that say "write about it" can be completed in their STEM Safari Journals. There are also a few "design" challenges in the Elephant Engineering cards that can be completed in their journals. As they continue their STEM Safari journey, the reflections they have completed in the journal will help them polish their problem-solving and engineering skills.

I love doing STEM projects with my students! It is amazing to see what they can accomplish with a few basic supplies and some open-ended directives.

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

However, storing all of these supplies can be a challenge. Included in the STEM Safari kit are tons of supply labels with photographs, to help keep everything neat.

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique

STEM Safari: Over 60 STEM Challenges for Elementary! | Apples to Applique
Here's a close-up example of a supply label.

I even included some editable labels so that you can customize them for any supplies you have on hand!

I really hope that your students enjoy STEM Safari as much as mine do! (Click here to purchase!)
There's just something about open-ended, hands-on learning that gets kiddos excited. I would love to hear how you use STEM in your classroom; drop me a comment below!

Happy teaching!

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