St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate with STEM activities. Find our favorite activities below – from leprechaun traps to a snake snatcher, to rainbow activities, and a wind-powered maze:
Leprechaun Trap STEM from Get Caught Engineering
Your students’ engineering skills are needed to build a leprechaun trap because the local leprechaun has been causing all kinds of problems. Their trap needs to use at least one simple machine. Since leprechauns don’t like to be seen, the trap will have to be able to be triggered when he’s not looking!
Who it’s for: Grades 3-6
This St. Patrick ‘s Day engineering packet includes student handouts, a rubric, student role cards, an engineering design poster, and teacher notes. Using simple materials we have integrated engineering into a fun holiday activity that promotes problem solving and collaboration. The activity provides an excellent way to review simple machines!
Leprechaun Trap Digital Stop Motion Activity from Meredith Anderson
If you are unable to design and create a physical trap like the one above or want to try stop motion animation this St. Patrick’s Day, your students can create a digital trap and animate how it works in Google Slides.
This activity is best for upper elementary through middle school as it can be a bit tedious to create an animation (even a short 20 second video might have over 200 slides in it), but some determined younger students have successfully completed this type of activity, too!
Students can use Google Slides to design their own characters and background, or use image search (look for PNGs with transparent backgrounds), or use the elements included in the resource.
Who it’s for: Grades 3-7
St. Pat’s Snake Snatcher from Kerry Tracy
In this STEM Challenge, students will design and build a device to rid Ireland of snakes as quickly and safely as possible. This challenge connects nicely with legends, myths, mimicry, and geography.
- Variety of snakes. (10 – 30) -Gummy worms, Licorice, rotini noodles (raw or cooked), plastic snakes, twisted pipe cleaners, etc. -Note: there is an option in the challenge to mix in other “creatures” with the snakes to add difficulty. You may elect to designate some of the materials listed above or select new ones.
- Pipe cleaners (5 – 10) Craft Sticks (5-10)
- String/yarn (12 – 24 in.) Straws (5 – 10)
- Tape (12 – 24 in.) Rubber bands (5 – 10)
- Second timer
- Map of Ireland (Included in resource) – Place in sheet protectors or laminate (optional)
- Optional: Small cups or bowls Blue paper (ocean surrounding Ireland)
- Clothespins or binder clips (3 – 5)
- Paperclips (10 – 20)
- Toothpicks (10 – 20)
Who it’s for: Grades 2-8
Low Prep STEM Activities for Spring from Brooke Brown
These activities are perfect for March, whether you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or not. Try a wind-powered maze, a rainbow bridge, a leprechaun trap, or the coin chemistry activity.
Who it’s for: Grades K-5
Get an overview on these STEM activities and more details on how to implement them in this video:
Escape the Rainbow and STEM Challenge from Carol Davis
The Escape the Rainbow set includes a No-Locks Escape Room event and a STEM Challenge. For the Escape portion only copies of students sheets must be prepared. Students will complete 4 tasks. Each task leads to a number or word clue. When the answer is correct, students have unlocked that task and will be awarded a mark on their Lucky Strip. After getting through the last task the team has Escaped the Rainbow.
The STEM Challenge is to design a container for the gold found at the end of the rainbow. We used gold plastic coins!
Who it’s for: Grades 2-8
6 St. Patrick’s Day STEM Challenges from Renee Heinrich
Renee writes: I absolutely LOVE using STEM challenges in my classroom. Here is a 6 pack of St. Patrick’s Day STEM hands-on activities and challenges differentiated for 1st-5th grade learners giving two different record sheet options! When I let my students know that we are going to be doing a STEM activity they get so excited. They love using their brains and hands to build and engineer. I like finding different ways to house my supplies and STEM challenges…why not a Brown Manilla Envelope! You can use the envelope for the sheets or even the supplies that fit inside.
I place my sheets inside and the then place everything in a tub for stations or tables! …a perfect differentiated STEM-Velop 6 Pack ready to go for 1st-5th grade learners! Let’s develop engineers! It is a great opportunity to get them actively engaged as well as use positive growth mindset, problem solving, and creativity all in one activity! Using the engineering design process allows my students to brainstorm, design, create, improve, and share! Easy set up…print, cut, mount, fill, done! I have a special spot ready to go! STEM-velops are perfect for group work, incentives, small groups, stations, if your finished and need a great filler that is hands on. Options are endless!
Who it’s for: Grades 1-6
St. Patrick’s Day Themes Include:
- Green With Envy Leprechaun Hats
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow Catapults
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bonus Reading connection maze
- Up, Up Panda Way Let’s Celebrate ST. Patrick’s Day Elevators
- Shamrock Shake Instruments
- Pot-O-Gold Path Wall Maze
Limitless Luck from Kerry Tracy
Pennies found face up, horseshoes, and four-leaf clovers have long been symbols of luck. This challenge combines an element of each famous symbol. Originally conceived as an introduction to probability, in this challenge, students “make” their own luck by creating a four-leaf flying disc (like a frisbee) designed to always land face-up. A horseshoe-like game where students use their disc designs has been added as an extension for a little extra St. Patrick’s Day fun.
- Paper plates (2 – 4)
- Bobby pins and/or paperclips (8 – 12)
- Tape (12 – 24 in.) Craft sticks (5 – 10)
- Toothpicks (10 – 20) Coin (any coin with heads and tails – 1)
- Markers/crayons Ruler Scissors Optional Pot of Gold game marker handout (included in resource) (1)
- Alternative: Use pots of “gold” (Gold chocolate coins, Almond Hershey’s Kisses or Rolos Pipe cleaners (1-2)
- Straws (3 – 5)
- Index cards (5 – 10)
Who it’s for: Grades 2-8
Leprechaun Coin Slide STEM Challenge
This activity was designed as part of a Pick the Path STEM Challenge Resource, but it can also be done on its own. In the story I wrote, Larry the leprechaun visits a playground but there are no slides. He sees a sign, though, that if he designs a slide that works he will win a prize of gold coins. Help Larry design the slide for the playground so he can get his coins!
Read more about Pick the Path STEMventure in this blog post.
Who it’s for: Grades 3-5
Digital Building Brick Challenges for St. Patrick’s Day
One of my favorite STEM building toys is Legos, of course! It’s not always possible to use legos (and boy they are pricey!) so in those instances, building with 2D digital bricks can be almost as good as actual building bricks.
These activities are editable to an extent: the design are set but a) there is a blank slide for free building so you could define your own challenge, and b) you can ask students your own follow up questions (or use the ones provided). For grades 2-3, you may ask your students to sort/compare sizes of building bricks and colors, while for grades 3-4 you may ask for students to calculate the area taken up by the design.
Middle schoolers can find the percent of the design board covered by brick. There are two levels of challenges (with the design outline provided, or choose a blank board).
There are 10 main designs plus a few extra ones to choose from.
Who it’s for: Grades 2-7
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