STEM Scavenger Hunt

Updated 04/23/21

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Learning area: STEM
Time commitment: Moderate (30 minutes to 1 hour)
Best for: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade, 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

This activity also provides exposure to simple machines, which are the foundation of tools used in physics and engineering to multiply force. In the scavenger hunt, students are asked to find items that represent the list of tools commonly used in STEM fields. A thorough understanding of each tool is needed to be able to recognize the item around them or to come up with something that could symbolize the object.

Teacher Instructions:

1. Divide the class into groups of 3 to 4 students and hand out the scavenger hunt items list to each group.
2. Read the definitions on the following page to the class and answer any questions they may have.
3. Announce that each team must locate objects or pictures on their person, in their backpacks, and/or things they can see around the classroom that represent each item on the list, without touching anything, opening cabinets, leaving their area, or using their phones.
4. Designate the amount of time students will have. Each item on the list is worth one point and the team with the most points at the end wins.


For Teachers: Definition list (can be printed or written on the board)
For Students: Checklist and writing utensil

STEM Scavenger Hunt Item Definitions

1. Measuring cup/Beaker—a container used to measure liquids or contain fluids for laboratory use
2. Goggles—eyewear used to protect the eyes
3. Thermometer—a device used to measure temperature
4. Magnet—a piece of metal that attracts other metals
5. Calculator—a small device used to make mathematical calculations
6. Phone—a device that transmits sound over a distance using wire or radio
7. Pencil—an erasable writing utensil
8. Notebook/Journal—a bound book for note-taking and keeping records
9. Pulley—a wheel with a cord wrapped around it that acts to change the direction of a force applied to the cord and is used to raise heavy objects
10. Lever—a rigid bar resting on a pivot, used to help move a heavy or fixed object with one end when force is applied to the other end
11. Wedge—a piece of wood, metal, or other material having one thick end and tapering to a thin edge, that is driven between two objects or parts of an object to secure or separate them
12. Wheel and Axle—a simple lifting machine consisting of a wheel on a rod, called an axle, used to help move loads
13. Inclined Plane—a sloping ramp up which heavy loads can be raised by ropes or chains
14. Screw—a short, slender, sharp-pointed metal pin with a raised helical thread running around it and a slotted head, used to join things together by being rotated so that it pierces wood or other material
15. Willingness to learn!—in STEM, like any subject, the most important tool is being prepared and eager to learn

STEM Scavenger Hunt Items

Check the box next to each item as you collect an object to represent it!
□ Measuring cup/Beaker
□ Goggles
□ Thermometer
□ Magnet
□ Calculator
□ Phone
□ Pencil
□ Notebook/Journal
□ Pulley
□ Lever
□ Wedge
□ Wheel and Axle
□ Inclined Plane
□ Screw
□ Willingness to learn!

Originally posted 2021

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