Lesson Plan

Create. Design. Build. A Maker's Showcase

Students become designers and engineers by trying different design challenges based on STEM subjects of interest. #STEMchallenge
Susan M.
Blended Learning Coach
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...

  • (3-5) Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost. 
  • (3-5) Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • (6-8) Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. (possible depending on teacher)
  • (6-8) Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
  • Articulate and communicate their research and creative design process.


Grades 3 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Engage

Using Today's Meet, ask students to draft questions or topics about anything science or STEM related of which they may be curious. Focus on the making side of STEAM. Show them a Maker Faire video to help stimulate thinking. 

  • How do circuits work?
  • What can I make with cardboard? 
  • How can I program a robot? 

Keep this Today's Meet open for the duration of this project. 

From here, direct students to Curiosity Machine and have them create an account. Show them the intro video to give them an idea of how it works.

Video: https://youtu.be/XBAE46x2qio

Let them explore the different types of challenges  and topics within the site, having them take notes on Google Keep as to remember which ones they may want to try for Explorations. Explain that Explorations/Challenges products will culminate in a community showcase. 

Student Instructions

Students think and express topics of interest in STEM, focusing on what they could make or design within that topic. Students share their thinking on Today's Meet. 

Students explore Curiosity Machine and takes notes on Google Keep noting challenges that interest them. 

2 Exploration

Google Drive
Free, Paid
Free to try, Paid

Exploration Protocol: Using Curiosity Machine, have students choose a challenge of interest. Within each challenge, students plan, build, design, and test their prototype/design.

Students document their process on Curiosity Machine or on a platform such as KidBlog. This does not have to be all written, but could be pictures or videos. Consider this four step process for documentation.

  • Plan and Design the solution. What is my design?
  • Test, assess and redesign: How did it work? What do I need to change? 
  • Reflect: How did the whole process go? What could I do differently next time? 

Students can use Google Drive or Google Keep to take any notes needed for research. Students may want to draw by hand or even use a drawing app to sketch designs. All of this may depend on what they choose. 

Explorations continue as time allows or as number is wanted. Teacher facilitates the challenge process, helping students research and find what they need, providing feedback, and guiding students into deeper learning through these challenges. 

Student Instructions

Students choose a challenge. Within each challenge, students will plan, design, test, redesign, and reflect. Within each phase, students can share their learning through pictures or video. Students will garner feedback based on their challenge. 

Students document their process as well as create a public product based on their challenge. 


3 Showcase

Free, Paid

Help students plan a community showcase of their challenge creations. Student choose their best work, and at minimum, write or video short descriptive paragraphs summarizing their process for a public audience. Students could create invitations and communicate via social media about their showcase. 

Student Instructions

Students plan a showcase evening for the community.