Leprechauns aren’t real, right? This is what you will ask your kids before presenting them with this STEM activity challenge. This St. Patrick’s Day, challenge your class or children at home to design their very own leprechaun trap. This leprechaun trap STEM activity will push their creativity and engineering skills to the max and your kids will have endless fun designing and testing their leprechaun traps in this engineering activity for kids.
LEPRECHAUN TRAP STEM ACTIVITY FOR KIDS
Follow along with these directions and make a plan to catch your very own leprechaun! What elements of STEM will you use to design your trap?
WHAT ARE STEM ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS?
A STEM activity uses elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to solve problems. All STEM activities are inquiry-based, which means they are designed to answer a question (often a question the child creates herself). STEM activities encourage children to see subjects like math and science in a new light, and how to use those subjects to solve their day to day problems and the problems that they might face as adults. All STEM activities should contain elements of at least two disciplines in STEM, and all of them when possible!
As critical thinking and creative thinking become more and more important, STEM activities provide a safe and fun way for children to explore the concepts of science, math, engineering, and technology in a kid-friendly and fun way. Even if a child never goes into a STEM field as an adult, engaging in STEM activities will encourage problem solving, logical thinking, and creativity in any industry.
WHY SHOULD I DO STEM ACTIVITIES WITH KIDS?
Many schools require some form of STEM education in the classroom. But you don’t have to be a teacher to do STEM activities with kids. You can also try some at home, during school holidays or over the summer. Not only do STEM activities help children learn how to solve problems on their own, but it also allows hands-on kiddos to learn in a way that makes sense to them. Children who need to touch and feel to learn effectively will thrive in a STEM-focused classroom or home.
WHY DO SEASONAL STEM ACTIVITIES?
In a seasonal STEM activity, kids learn how to apply the elements of STEM to any situation. It’s a fun way to add a seasonal and creative element to your STEM lessons, which can get a bit plodding and boring for kids if you just focus on things like environmental issues and reconstructing famous landmarks.
Use the ST. Patrick’s Day STEM challenge calendar as the inspiration for your ST. Patrick’s Day STEM activities!
WHAT KIDS LEARN WITH THE LEPRECHAUN TRAP STEM ACTIVITY
With the leprechaun trap STEM activity, kids use several STEM elements. Children must engineer a trap that will work to catch their imaginary leprechaun. They must use elements of physics to make sure their design is stable and will actually trap the live leprechaun. They will use math to determine the angles and structure of the box design.
Use this STEM worksheet to expand and record your leprechaun trap results.
LEPRECHAUN TRAP STEAM EXTENSIONS
Use these STEAM extensions to make your leprechaun trap STEM activity even more meaningful!
How does physics play into your trap design?
What pieces of technology are used in your leprechaun trap?
Design the box so that it traps the leprechaun and keeps it from escaping! You can also try limiting construction to specific items, like craft sticks or building blocks.
Make your box pretty so it will attract the leprechauns!
You can’t learn about physics without math! Take a few minutes to discuss the math of physics. Modify the conversation to fit the grade level of your kiddos.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE LEPRECHAUN TRAP STEM ACTIVITY
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- Building supplies (small boxes, string, glue, paper towels, straws, coffee filters, etc)
- Leprechaun bait (gold coins, rainbows, marshmallows)
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HOW TO DO THE LEPRECHAUN TRAP STEM ACTIVITY
Making a leprechaun trap is a fun St. Patrick’s Day STEM activity for elementary-aged kids. There are a lot of ways to be creative and fun with this activity, but the lessons of STEM still apply. Kids will love repeating this STEM activity from year to year.
SETTING UP THE LEPRECHAUN TRAP STEM ACTIVITY
Before starting this activity, decide what limits you want to place on the activity. Maybe your challenge includes having a drop of some kind, so the leprechaun can fall in. Maybe you want the kids to make their traps using only craft sticks. Or, leave the project completely open-ended! Gather your supplies together before starting. Before letting the kids start the activity, go over the STEM elements. In my experience, once the kids start building their projects they don’t listen as well, so it’s better to let them have the background knowledge before they get started! Use the STEM challenge worksheet to keep them on-track while making their traps.
LEPRECHAUN TRAP STEM QUESTIONS TO ASK
How does the leprechaun’s size influence how big the trap needs to be?
Can you name 3 ways to design a trap?
How strong does the trap have to be?
What could make your trap better next time?
DOING THE LEPRECHAUN TRAP STEM ACTIVITY
Our version is a classic rabbit trap. The kids made a box with a loose stick that was designed to fall easily. When the leprechaun entered the box to gather the treats, the kids pulled the string and trapped it. Of course, the kids knew the leprechaun wasn’t real, but it was fun to test with each other! Test each student’s design and let the other kids vote on the best design.
MORE SIMPLE ST. PATRICK’S DAY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS