STEM education can feel a little overwhelming at times.
Especially if you’re an English major (like myself).
But STEM is really just about applying science, technology, math, and engineering into a hands-on concept.
Which means designing structures, three-dimensional shapes, and so on by using scientific principles, math concepts, and construction techniques.
Put simply – it’s building things with math, science, and technology skills.
So we can totally do this. And these printable Build A House STEM challenge cards are a fun way to get started!
Think of STEM as designing a solution to a real-world problem.
When we help students imagine ways to solve common problems, we encourage them to think creatively, develop plans, and collaborate – all very useful skills.
Read on to see how to get your set of these STEM challenge cards for free!
And, be sure to check out our list of weather STEM learning ideas while you’re here!
Build A House STEM Challenge Cards for Kids
To use these Build A House STEM challenge cards, you’ll need the following: (Affiliate links are listed below. For details, see our Disclosure Policy.)
- Printer (with ink)
- Laminator (optional)
- Building materials: index cards, toilet paper rolls, construction paper, etc.
This set of STEM activity cards features 16 different design challenges for students.
They’re given eight ideas for building a house with specific materials and eight ideas for building a house with specific features.
A blackline version of the cards is included too!
How to Use These Build A House STEM Challenge Cards with Students
It’s important to help students remember that they are not required to use only the building material on the card.
But the item listed should be the primary material.
For example, if they are working on the card that says “Build a house using construction paper”, they’re welcome to use fasteners, such as glue, tape, paper fasteners, etc.
If you have students who are new to STEM, they may feel overwhelmed and not sure where to begin.
Stimulate their creativity by asking questions such as: “If I wanted to build a house with index cards, how could I get started?” “Should I begin by forming the walls or the roof?” “How do you think we can get the house to stand up?”
One of my favorite techniques is to suggest something ridiculous that would never work.
The kids can’t wait to correct my idea with something better!
You may want to start by having students choose one of the “Build a house using…” cards.
This will give them some time to practice designing and building a 3D structure.
Then introduce the “Build a house with…” cards to challenge them to add new features, such as a working door, a swimming pool, and more.
Scroll down to get your set of these Build A House STEM Challenge Cards – free!
Try some of these other ideas for teaching STEM to elementary students!