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Christmas STEM for Little Learners

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How does Santa get presents to boys and girls around the world in one night?  With a little magic and engineering, of course!  We helped Santa pack up some presents by engineering a Santa Chute for a Christmas STEM activity.

Santa Chute - STEM Engineering for Little Learners MJCS

Creating the Chute

First, we grabbed some ping-pong balls from the dollar store and created ‘gifts’ for the kiddos to deliver.  The goal was simple. We had to create a way to get the gifts from the top of the workshop to the Santa’s sleigh.

Santa Chute - Engineering for Little Learners MJCS

To create the chutes, I grabbed some gift wrap rolls and cut them in half.  Once they were cut, I hot glued small magnets to the back of each tube.  Next, it was time to bring the little engineers in to create a route for our gifts.

Santa Chute - Engineering for Little Learners MJCS

STEM for Santa

There were some great runs and others that didn’t quite make it in. However, by moving the chutes just a little or even a lot they were able to meet their goal.  Trial and error was a great way for the kiddos to gain knowledge on force and motion.

When the ball went too fast, they learned they could raise the chute to slow it down.  When the ball stopped, they figured out that the chute needed to be put at a declining angle to get the ball moving again.  The best part was that this Christmas STEM activity was just a fun way for the learners to play while learning.

Santa Chute - Engineering for Little Learners MJCSSanta Chute - Engineering for Little Learners MJCSSanta Chute - Engineering for Little Learners MJCS Santa Chute - Engineering for Little Learners MJCS Santa Chute - Engineering for Little Learners MJCSSanta Chute - Engineering for Little Learners MJCS

I hope that you are able to put those empty gift wrap rolls to good use and create a fun and engaging Christmas STEM activity for your little learners.  Not only will your learners have fun, but you might be able to get some extra to-dos checked off your list while they are exploring engineering!

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