Ready to embark on a colorful and imaginative building journey with your students? The best way to bring fun back into the classroom after a long summer is with this pencil tower STEM challenge and our other STEM pencil project ideas!
All you have to do is provide your students with a selection of colored pencils and watch as they construct the towering wonders of their wildest dreams.
As students join forces, share brilliant ideas, and raise awe-inspiring pencil structures, they’ll be honing their skills in communication, compromise, and collaboration.
Beyond just fun, this pencil engineering challenge is a launchpad for future architects and artists.
From majestic pencil castles to cities of tomorrow, the pencil STEM tower challenge is more than an activity – it’s an experience.
Bring this engineering challenge to your classroom and see where your students’ imaginations can take them.
How to Set Up the Pencil Tower STEM Challenge
Here’s how to set up your pencil tower STEM challenge.
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This pencil engineering activity isn’t just about stacking pencils into a pencil tower; it’s about sparking the limitless imagination of young innovators and teaching the basics of the STEM process right from the start of the year!
What You Need for the The Pencil Tower Challenge
You don’t need much for this pencil tower STEM challenge! You just need a few supplies including:
Pencils to Make Your Pencil STEM Challenge Fun!
These pencils will make your pencil STEM challenges more fun!
Pencil STEM Project Learning Objectives
Here are the pencil tower STEM challenge lesson objectives that your students should be able to discuss by the end of the pencil engineering activity.
This is what your students can learn during this pencil STEM activity, which is useful for activating a STEM mindset at the beginning of the school year.
Beyond the art, there’s the science of balance, the engineering of structures, and the mathematics of height and symmetry.
Teamwork & Communication
Students won’t just work alone. Collaborating in teams, they’ll brainstorm, exchange ideas, and refine their designs, all while improving their communication skills.
It’s not just about the tower. It’s about problem-solving, compromising when ideas clash, and celebrating collective achievements.
In the Pencil Tower Challenge, students get more than just a fun activity. They gain essential STEM skills and discover the joy of creativity and collaboration.
STEM Teaching Resources
These teaching resources will make your STEM classroom more fun and rewarding for your students!
STEM Extensions for the Pencil Tower Challenge
This pencil tower challenge doesn’t have to be just about construction stability or structure patterns. Kids can learn a lot with these extra STEM extensions for this pencil engineering activity!
Natural Disaster Pencil Tower Activity
Have your students create Pencil Towers built to withstand natural forces like wind, rain, and earthquakes! This will introduce discussion topics on structural stability and material science.
Pencil Tower Math Extensions
Bring math to life! Kids can calculate their tower’s height, volume, and surface area, and consider the importance of using patterns and symmetry in their tower designs.
Design and Art Pencil Tower Extensions
Before starting the pencil tower activity, introduce famous structures and towers and let the kids explore the different types of tower structures that they may be able to use when creating their own pencil towers.
Next, show blueprints and architectural drawings of tower design to the students. This can help them understand how to use scale and spatial thinking to draft their tower designs.
Climate, Earth’s Systems and Tower Design
Encourage your students to design eco-friendly pencil towers. Discuss the best types of materials to use for various environments and tower designs.
Discuss how to source materials to keep costs low and protect the natural environment where the tower will be located all while ensuring the pencil tower is sturdy enough to withstand all local weather conditions and natural disasters.
STEM Shirts for Teachers
These STEM shirts are adorable and super fun to wear while teaching STEM or science.
Even More Pencil Themed STEM Activities!
If you want even more ideas on how to use pencils in the STEM classroom, check out these pencil STEM activities below.
- Amazing Bending Pencil Experiment That’s Just Like Magic!
- 25 Amazingly Fun Back to School STEM Activities
- 3 Steps to the Perfect Leak Proof Bag Science Experiment
- How to Build Da Vinci Bridge with Pencils
In the comments below share what your favorite STEM activities with pencils include.
STEM Classroom Decorations and Bulletin Boards
Pencil Tower STEM Challenge Lesson Plan
Check out the printable lesson plan below for a step-by-step activity guide for this pencil engineering activity!
And don’t forget to grab our free STEM extension worksheets to transform this STEM activity into a complete STEM lesson.