STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) summer challenges are designed for West Virginia students who want to extend their learning and experience with STEM-related fields during the summer months.  Challenges have been designed based on developmental appropriateness and programmatic levels. WVDE staff have partnered with the West Virginia Library Commission and NASA IV&V to disseminate this summer STEM initiative.

Grades Pre-K—2: Pool Noodle/Paper Roll Marble Challenge

The goal of the pool noodle challenge is for Pre-K-Grade 2 students to design a marble run track, build the design from various materials found in the home, and keep the marble in the track successfully from the beginning to the end of the track.  Students may experiment with the height of the track and learn how their design changes affect the performance of the marble.  When students return to school, they are to submit the design documentation to their teacher or local STEM challenge sponsor.

Grades 3-12: Engineering Challenge – Three options

Students are challenged to engage in the concept of engineering through designing, building, testing, and modifying either a bridge, boat, or egg transport vehicle. Students are challenged to not only succeed in achieving the final desired outcome but also work to improve their design in a variety of modalities, including but not limited to, type and quantity of material used, aesthetics, strength, cost, etc. All entries will be scored using a rubric. Students will record their attempts/improvements on a datasheet that will be submitted with their video, drawing, or pictures.

  • Bridge Design Engineering Challenge

    • Must span 18” chasm
    • No individual piece of material can be more than 6” in length, height, or width
    • Must hold, at a minimum, one 16.9 oz completely full and capped bottle of water
    • No supports can be located under the deck of the bridge
    • No metal of any kind

  • Boat Engineering Challenge

    • No individual piece of material can be more than 6” in length, height, or width
    • Must hold, at a minimum, one 16.9 oz bottle completely full and capped bottle of water
    • Boats cannot be larger than 10”x10”x10”
    • Only cardboard and/or masking, duct, or packaging tape may be used

  • Egg Transport Vehicle Engineering Challenge

    • Must travel the length of a 3-foot ramp at a 45-degree angle
    • Egg must not break
    • No premade wheels
    • No metal, foam core board, plastic, Styrofoam, or rubber

WVDE will award grants for county evaluation of submissions based on participation.