25 First Grade STEM Challenges To Engage Young Learners

All the best ways to have fun with science!

STEM challenges are one of our favorite ways to help kids learn while having fun. They encourage young minds to think outside the box and understand the way the world works. These first grade STEM challenges help kids explore physics, engineering, and other science concepts through activities that feel more like playtime.

Even better? They couldn’t be easier to set up! Just post one of these first grade STEM challenges on your whiteboard or projector screen, pass out the supplies, and set them loose to learn.

Want this entire set of STEM challenges in one easy document? Get your free PowerPoint or Google Slides bundle of these second grade STEM challenges by submitting your email here, so you’ll always have the challenges available.

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25 First Grade STEM Challenges

  1. Use Play-Doh and 50 toothpicks to build the tallest tower you can.

  2. Build a bridge between two desks using clothespins and wood craft sticks.

  3. Stack as many plastic cups into a tower as you can in 60 seconds.

  4. Find a new use for a cardboard tube. You can use scissors, masking tape, crayons, and other supplies.

  5. Design and construct a house or other building using only pipe cleaners.

  6. Build a tower that uses as many blocks as possible, but only uses one block for the base.

  7. Build a marble track on a paper plate using Play-Doh.

  8. Make a hat using newspaper and masking tape.

  9. Use LEGO bricks to build your name.

  10. Design a domino chain reaction that forms a shape.

  11. Use aluminum foil and a ping pong ball to create a way to play catch without using your hands.

  12. Build a bird feeder using wood craft sticks, glue, and string.

  13. Construct a raft using marshmallows and toothpicks.

  14. Choose between construction paper, copy paper, newspaper, or tissue paper and make a paper airplane that flies as far as possible.

  15. Use a roll of string to make a container that can hold three ping pong balls.

  16. Come up with three ways to move a balloon across the room without holding it in your hands.

  17. Use plastic utensils, pipe cleaners, and construction paper to make a new creature.

  18. Use construction paper, plastic straws, and masking tape to build a tent for a LEGO mini-figure or other small toy.

  19. Build the tallest tower you can from newspaper rolled into tubes and masking tape.

  20. Use five index cards to make a structure that can support the weight of a book.

  21. Use pipe cleaners to make as many different shapes as you can in two minutes.

  22. Build a dinosaur skeleton from cotton swabs and scotch tape.

  23. Use wood craft sticks and glue to create a container to plant seeds in.

  24. Make a robot from toilet paper tubes, aluminum foil, pipe cleaners, and plastic straws. You can use crayons, scissors, tape, and glue too.

  25. Using supplies from around the classroom, find a way to learn which is heavier: a cup of jelly beans or a cup of uncooked rice.

Having fun with these first grade STEM challenges? Try these 25 First Grade Science Projects to Pique Everyone’s Interest.

Plus, 50 Easy Science Experiments Kids Can Do With Stuff You Already Have.

Get My STEM Challenges Now!

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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