We're here to help you navigate STEM learning at home while schools and camps are closed due to COVID-19.

Here are some resources to guide your at home learning:

Grade Range
Kindergarden-2nd
Group Size
2 students
Active Time
50 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes
Key Concepts
Engineering design, motion, push, pull
Learning Objectives
  • Use the engineering design process to build a tool that you can use to hit a ball into a goal.
  • Understand how to use one object to push another and change its speed and direction.
Credits
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Two paper towel tubes duct taped to a plastic bottle to form a  mallet, next to a whiffle ball.

Overview

Give your students a chance to practice their engineering skills in this fun sports-themed activity! Your motivation: You want to play a game in which you use something to hit a ball (hockey, mini golf, whiffle ball, etc.)... but you don't have any equipment. The students will need to use recycled materials (and some creativity) to build their own!

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • K-PS2-2. Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.
  • K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Analyze data from tests of an object or tool to determine if it works as intended.
PS2.A: Forces and Motion. Pushing or pulling on an object can change the speed or direction of its motion and can start or stop it.

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems. A situation that people want to change or create can be approached as a problem to be solved through engineering.
Structure and Function. The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).

Materials

  • Assorted recyclable materials for construction, such as:
    • Cardboard tubes
    • Plastic bottles
    • Corrugated cardboard
    • Paper or plastic cups
    • Egg cartons
  • Duct tape, masking tape, or painter's tape
  • Scissors
  • Lightweight foam or plastic balls
  • Arts and crafts supplies for decorating
  • Open floor space with chairs or desks to use as "goals"

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Grade Range
Kindergarden-2nd
Group Size
2 students
Active Time
50 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes
Key Concepts
Engineering design, motion, push, pull
Credits
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Learning Objectives
  • Use the engineering design process to build a tool that you can use to hit a ball into a goal.
  • Understand how to use one object to push another and change its speed and direction.
Free science fair projects.