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2023 Science Buddies Engineering Challenge


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Area of Science
If you're interested in object motion and enjoy building things or taking mechanical things apart to see how they work, then it sounds like you'd be interested in mechanical engineering. Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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13 reviews
In this fun engineering lesson plan, your students will build devices from paper, tape, string, and paper clips to pick up and retrieve a ping pong ball. The challenge is to pick up the ball from as far away as possible! Middle school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available. The 2023 competition is over, but you can see what students built and learn about the winners on the 2023 Engineering Challenge summary page. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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In this fun engineering lesson plan, your students will build devices from paper, tape, string, and paper clips to pick up and retrieve a ping pong ball. The challenge is to pick up the ball from as far away as possible! Elementary school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available. The 2023 competition is over, but you can see what students built and learn about the winners on the 2023 Engineering Challenge summary page. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
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In this fun engineering lesson plan, your students will build devices from paper, tape, string, and paper clips to pick up and retrieve a ping pong ball. The challenge is to pick up the ball from as far away as possible! Elementary school and middle school versions of this lesson plan are also available. The 2023 competition is over, but you can see what students built and learn about the winners on the 2023 Engineering Challenge summary page. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • High School - Science & Engineering Practices
Science Fair Project Idea
In this engineering challenge, you will build a device that can pick up a ping pong ball from a distance and return it to a start line. The farther away the ball is, and the fewer materials you use to build your device, the higher your score. You can see how other students have tackled this and other annual Science Buddies Engineering Challenges. Read more
Blog Post
Why do the 2023 Ping Pong Pickup Engineering Challenge? Here are 10 reasons this is a great STEM challenge for your students. The annual Science Buddies Engineering Challenge makes it fun for students to try engineering. Each year, the Science Buddies Engineering Challenge presents an innovative and engaging engineering task and challenges students in grades K-12 around the world to use the engineering design process to brainstorm, design, build, and… Read more
Blog Post
Follow the 10 steps below to do the 2023 Science Buddies Engineering Challenge with your students! This year's challenge is the Ping Pong Pickup Challenge. Getting a high score requires creative thinking and engineering to make a device that can pick up a ping pong ball from a set distance and return it to the starting line. How far away will your students' devices reach? The 2023 Ping Pong Pickup Challenge is an exciting way to have students try… Read more
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