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Saving Sam -- Partners must save Sam by retrieving the life jacket from under the boat and putting it on Sam. Groups may use only paperclips. Kids cannot touch Sam, the boat, or the life preserver with their bare hands.

NEPA Odyssey of the Mind - Spontaneous Problems Galore Lots of problem solving games - great for critical thinking skill building and team building also (Click on verbal. hands-on or verbal/hands-on for actual problems)

STEM Design Challenge: Build a Boat

STEM Design Challenges are fun, engaging activities that stimulate problem-solving and critical thinking for students, grades 2-8. (Paid product comes with modifications to add or decrease rigor for younger/older students.)

Make a boat using some or all of these materials. How many marbles can it hold? Reshape it so it will hold more marbles. Which materials were the most effective? Which materials were the least effective?

STEM Design Challenge: Build a Boat

Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge: -Focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, and application of learning-High levels of student engagement-The potential to hit upon all NGSS ETS standards depending on the depth and number of iterations you choose to implement in your classroom (modifications included)-Highly flexible and differentiated for materials, timing, grade levels, and rigor.

TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript: Gever Tulley uses engaging photos and footage to demonstrate the valuable lessons kids learn at his Tinkering School. When given tools, materials and guidance, these young imaginations run wild and creative problem-solving takes over to build unique boats, bridges and even a roller coaster!

STEM Activity Challenge Boats and Math Task Cards

Best ever STEM Challenge! It's a boat building event which is already spectacular, but in order to get materials students must solve 8 math problems! Correct answers mean more supplies!