April features two different National Holidays that tie-in together quite well. They can be translated to a wide variety of different STEM Challenges too! April 2 is National Children’s Picture Book Day and April 16 is National Librarian Day. No matter your age, everyone has a favorite picture book, whether it be “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” or “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”! Ask a librarian to help you find your favorite one and work with them to use the story to find a STEM Challenge.
Every story usually has a general pattern: introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Your picture book does too! Besides the major climax though, there are also a bunch of minor problems that get solved along the way. Take a walk down memory lane and reread your book searching for those problems and the major climax. What problems can you find? What are the solutions to those problems? What is the climax and the resolution? Could any of these problems be solved in a different way that include a STEM Challenge? Can you develop your own STEM Challenge?
That’s your challenge! Find a problem in your storybook and design an alternative solution to the problem that focuses on engineering. For example, build a house out of straw or sticks that doesn’t get blown down by the Big Bad Wolf, design a way for the Prince to reach Rapunzel besides climbing up her hair, build a trap to help the Old Woman catch the Gingerbread Man, etc. The possibilities are endless! Share your solutions with others and a librarian!
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