Team Building with STEM Challenges

smart chick
I absolutely love the blog “Growing a STEM Classroom” by Smart Chick!  She is the STEM coordinator for her K-5 building, and with 20+ years of teaching, she knows her stuff!  Our school purchased her STEM challenge packs from Teachers Pay Teachers last year, and a number of teachers have enjoyed the easy implementation.


There is one particular challenge that I think works especially well with Back to School Team-Building goals.  It is the “Cup Pyramid:  Engineering Challenge”.

Here is the description from TpT.

TEAM cup challenge


I used this with my sixth grade students at the end of the year during one of our Olweus classroom meeting times.  The students were beginning to get restless and short-tempered with each other, and I thought they could use an activity that would require them to work as a team.  I was right.   They absolutely loved it, and they learned to value all members of a team, regardless of academic skills or social stature.

Check out Tyler and “The Ladies”.  They had the process down pat!

You can find the directions for the challenge here, and visit the Growing a STEM Classroom blog here.

You will love her advice on how to integrate STEM, STEAM, and Maker projects into your classrooms and homes!



  1. Aubrey Yeh says:

    Sounds like a fun activity! I love how the materials are simple, too – that definitely helps with the easy implementation! I can see myself using things like this at our annual overnight trip, where we do a lot of content-based learning but also a lot of team building activities with “Orchestra Olympics”!

  2. I just saw this challenge in action in a second grade classroom last week! The teacher had tied the activity to what it takes to have a growth mindset, what kind of positive self talk do you need to engage in…that sort of thing. The kids had a great time with it and I do think they learned more than growth mindset skills!