Challenge Components Overview
The Key Question provides focus for the students during the
The Problem sets the stage for the challenge. Most of the
time, the problem will provide a real-world connection for the
The Design Challenge informs students and student teams
about the challenge and provides a guide for answering the
key question or a clue for the solution to the problem.
The Teacher Notes are for the teacher, not the students. These
notes will include a brief description of what students are
expected to do during the challenge along with science content
students should have learned prior to attempting the challenge.
The notes also include additional information such as student
misconceptions, research, and keyword notes as they relate to the
science content of the challenge. Content support for the teacher
may also be found here and should not be read aloud to students.
The Vocabulary words listed are words that students will need
to present or discuss this challenge. They may be science or
other academic vocabulary words.
The Materials list(s) contain materials suggested for completing
the challenge. You may read the challenge and determine
that a material you have, that is not listed, will work well in
challenge. Feel free to use what you have or materials similar to
those listed, keeping in mind that the materials listed are there
to help student successfully complete the challenge. In some
cases, if you do not have a specific material, it may be wise to
postpone the challenge.
The materials listed as For the teacher could be materials the
teacher will need to facilitate the challenge or materials that
all teams will need to access a specific amount (e.g., 30 cm of
tape or string) and the teacher should prepare these materials
ahead of time.
The materials listed as For each student/team are materials
teams will choose from to complete the challenge. Keep in mind
that each team could use the listed materials, so you will need to
have enough material for each team. Many of the materials can
and will be used for future challenges.
SAFETY NOTE: Be aware of student allergies (gluten,
latex, peanut, etc.) and manage materials accordingly.
The Advance Preparation notes are things that should be done
or made ready prior to beginning the challenge. The things noted
here need to be collected or completed at least one day prior to
beginning the challenge with students. If you wait until you begin
the challenge to complete these things, you may be sad and
unprepared. It is suggested that you read through the challenge
first for overall comprehension and a second time to make notes
of what is needed and to plan for implementation.
The Suggested Time Frame segments are just that, suggested.
The times listed here are intended to help you plan your time
for this challenge. However, you know your students and how
your classroom works, so adjust the times to suit your class and
schedule. If you and/or your students are new to STEM thinking
and challenges, you may need more time than listed, but do not
rush through these. Schedule time that allows students to fully
investigate the challenge. As students gain more experience,
the amount of time they need to complete a challenge may
decrease. Be flexible.
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and English
Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) are listed so that you
can make sure your students have a basic understanding of the
content with which each challenge is aligned. The TEKS and
ELPS sections list science content and process skills TEKS and
ELPS that will be applied through the challenge.
Sentence Stems and Facilitation Questions are meant to be a guide
for student thinking. Students are not expected to write or discuss
each one.
© 2019 Region 4 Education Service CenterSTEMulating Design Challenges in Science, Grades K–2
Previous Page Next Page