4 Different First Week of School Activities for STEM Teachers

First week of school

Are you a STEM teacher looking for fun and engaging first-week activities? Look no further! Here are four different activities to get your students excited about STEM.

Marshmallow Challenge

The Marshmallow Challenge is a classic STEM activity that is perfect for the first week of school. In this activity, students work in teams to build the tallest freestanding structure they can using only spaghetti, tape, and a marshmallow. This is a great way to introduce students to the basic fundamentals of engineering. 

To make it more challenging, try setting a time limit or limiting the materials that can be used. You can also have students reflect on what they learned about teamwork and problem-solving. Also, we recommend encouraging your students to *not eat* their building supplies.

Egg Drop Challenge

The Egg Drop Challenge is another classic STEM activity where students design and build a contraption that will protect an egg from cracking when dropped from a certain height. Through this project, you can introduce students to the scientific method as well as reinforce soft skills such as teamwork and communication.

You can even take it another step by reintroducing the challenge later on in the term but changing the requirements such as the height of the drop.

Hour of Code

We’d also recommend trying out Hour of Code! Through their platform, your students will receive a one-hour introduction to coding via interactive tutorials and gamified learning. Additionally, their site also provides lesson plans, activities, and other resources that can be used with their coding tutorials. 

Programming is one of the most lucrative career paths currently available and the sooner your students can learn those skills the more they stand to gain later in life.

Catapult Challenge

Lastly, we’d definitely suggest trying the catapult challenge. Just the sound of it alone is enough to get uninterested students’ ears perked up. Provide a variety of materials, a basic blueprint, and let the students take it from there. It’s an ideal way to introduce basic concepts in physics and creative problem-solving.   

The Wrap-Up

The first week of school is busy for everyone and your students will likely be doing similar introductory activities across all their classes. That’s we recommend these activities as a way to break up the day and get the students involved. Also, not to toot our own horn but over on Numerade we have a ton of free activities for your students, head on over and check ’em out!


  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As Numerade's copywriter, Rob uses their extensive background in education to inform and shape the topics and content posted to the blog for educators, parents, and students alike.