You have covered all of your standards and your end of the year testing is over. Now, what?
You need to have a solid plan for keeping students engaged those last weeks of school or those classroom behaviors will get out of control.
Students (and us teachers) are burned out and excited about Summer break. That’s a vibe that can turn to chaos quickly if you don’t have a great way to harness that energy into engagement.
Students love being creative and solving challenges! That’s why I have used STEM units for the last few weeks of school since my first year of teaching.
I’ve done Rube Goldberg projects, comeback cans, building race cars, and building robots. My favorite being the Race Car Challenges! I love seeing students excited about science and engineering. They have so much fun and still learn so much.
I have a big list of End of Year Science Units at the end of this post, but I want to share my top 3 favorite STEM ideas first.
Race Car Derby Challenges
Racecar Derby is a 3 week unit with activities for each week so students can create something fun while revisiting some physical science standards! Each week has its own racecar challenge: Fastest Car, Coolest Trick, and Distance Champ. This is always my favorite unit.
Students will read an informational text that reviews some physical science that will help them best design their challenge/trick car. Then, they will plan out their design, build their design, test it, and show off their design! Printable reward ribbons are provided to make the challenges competitive.
You will love how excited students are to work and compete in these challenges. You will have focused students leaving you with fewer behaviors those last weeks of school.
Scribble Bots Robot STEM
Scribble Robots is a 3 week STEM unit with a new challenge each week! Students stay engaged through informational text research and STEM planning to create their weekly robot challenge.
Students will read the informational text to gain more knowledge for their build. Then, design, build, test, and show off their robots! There are 3 weekly challenges which include simple circuit building, scribble bot building, and building their own robot. Click the link to see more information on this STEM unit.
You will love the connections between science and art that keep students engaged and busy those last weeks of school.
Escape the Flood STEM Challenge
Escape the Flood is a 7 Round STEM Scoot Activity with Task Cards and Student Recording Sheet. A Critical Thinking Challenge: Design Activity with design guide brings STEM and creativity into this fun week of engagement.
Each task will follow the theme of animals trying to escape a canyon with a flood coming towards them.
A list of very simple supplies are included, but any STEM supplies will work for these challenge rounds.
You will love how much fun your students have creating solutions to the problems, keeping them focused and entertained those last weeks of school. Although it is designed for the 2nd and 3rd science standards, this challenge set is fun for any age!
And now for all the other ideas I love to have ready for the last weeks of school. You can pick and choose whatever sounds appealing for your classroom and have some fun with your science students!!
The Big List of End of the Year Science Lessons:
-Science Board Games (print and go, or student created games)
-Unit of Study that’s interesting but wasn’t in your standards like the Periodic Table or Outer Space
-Reteach and Review content from the year (make it fun with hands-on review and games!)
–Concept Characters (Research, Create, and Show Off!)
–Book Club (pick an interesting book that can relate to a science topic they learned this year)
-Movie Days (pick an interesting movie that can relate to a science topic they learned this year)
-Shark Week (fun with shark research and STEM projects)
–Circuit Creations (https://www.amazon.com/Snap-Circuits-SC-100-Electronics-Exploration/dp/B00008BFZH/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1WOFF62MT3JGF&keywords=snap+circuits&qid=1683297945&sprefix=snap+circuits%252Caps%252C780&sr=8-5&_encoding=UTF8&tag=teacherswor06-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=f514d737fa34122ff34dd92dfecf14bd&camp=1789&creative=9325">Snap Circuits KitCircuit Kits make this really fun!)
-Crime Scene Investigations
–Project Based Learning (Use the projects from the lesson sets you didn’t get to do this year)
-Kids get to be the teacher! (Let each student research and prepare an activity on a science topic of their choice.)
-Inventions (Let students select a problem and create a solution)
-Science Shirts/Aprons (Let students decorate an item with science information!)
-Domino Toppling Challenges
Interesting Topics in Science:
Crime Scene Investigation
Sound and Instruments
Periodic Table and Elements
Machines and Simple Machines