Let the Star Wars puns commence. For all my fellow Star Wars fans out there you know how amazing it is to celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4th by telling everyone, “May the Fourth be With You!” Now that almost everyone including our students knows about this galaxy far, far away we can celebrate this special day in our classes too!
Here are 6 of my favorite Star Wars inspired STEM activities to make your May the Fourth a galactic success.
1. Base Escape Star Wars Day STEM Challenge
Nothing says Star Wars quite like the Millenium Falcon and Han Solo. Did you know the Millenium Falcon appears in 6 out of the 9 Star Wars movies? Well, there's no better STEM build for May the fourth than this iconic ship.
This Base Escape Star Wars Day STEM challenge asks students to work collaboratively to help Han Solo escape another one of his sticky predicaments by building a ship to take him back to the Rebel base. Think paper airplane but with a Star Wars twist.
After reviewing the engineering design process, I like to give my students access to a lot of different recyclable materials they can use to build their new starship. I like to give at least 25 minutes of build time for students to work collaboratively on their design and do a few test flights.
My students get super excited to use the printed characters as passengers in their starships. I can tell you the final flights are full of excitement and cheering. It's one of our favorite May the Fourth activities!
2. Strong the Dark Side is!
Star Wars villains are legendary and most are recognizable by their distinct masks. This Star Wars Day STEM challenge will get your students excited to create a mask for a new Sith Lord.
This is a great challenge because students are creating something they will be wearing. That means they will not only have to create a cool-looking mask but a functional one as well. Two of the parameters of this challenge include being able to see and breathe out of the mask when it's worn.
My students also love working together to come up with a brand new Star Wars villain. We get some really fun and creative names along with some cool powers. It's so fun to have students present their masks to the class with a little “fashion show” style display. While one student is showing off the mask, the other students in the group take turns reading their response sheets which include a story about their new Sith Lord.
3. Build a Droid May the Fourth STEM Challenge
From R2-D2 to C-3PO to BB8 the Star Wars universe is filled with fun and interesting droids. In fact, R2-D2 was George Lucas' favorite character!
To kick off this Droid-tastic STEM challenge we discuss, as a class, some real-world problems we encounter every day. We talk about things at school like sharpening pencils, doing homework, recess safety, and more. Then, it's time for the fun to begin!
After making a list of all the things we would love to have help with, it's time to start deciding what kind of droids we need to help us with all of these tasks.
After breaking up my students into groups, they start brainstorming what kind of droid they will build to help solve one of our real-world problems. I like to give them lots of different materials to choose from when creating their droid, but I've also used building blocks like LEGO too. Don't fret about the materials – just use what you have available.
A fun twist on this challenge could be to send groups of students to “interview” staff members around the school. They can ask the staff member what problems they have and then design a droid to solve the problem. It's a great way to get your students to practice their communication skills and the engineering design process. Plus, it's always fun to build with someone else in mind.
4. The Battle on Endor Begins
Have you ever noticed the similarity between Ewoks and the dog breed The Griffon Bruxellois? No, me either. Star Wars legend says the Ewoks of Endor were based on this dog breed owned by none other than, you guessed it, George Lucas.
Your students will love designing and using a catapult just like the Ewoks did in the Battle of Endor. With just a few simple supplies, students work collaboratively to design a catapult that can launch a “rock” at least 3 feet.
Easy to find supplies for this Star Wars Day STEM challenge include:
- Rubber bands
- Popsicle sticks
- Bottle Caps
- “A rock” marshmallows or pompoms
- Cups to create targets
- Masking tape if you are going to be launching indoors.
This is a design challenge my students really get into! After brainstorming, drawing their designs, and creating their catapults, I like to allow my students to do a test run and make any adjustments before the big battle.
I love taking my students outside when it's time for our battle. To make it more of a game, I divide the groups into two and have them compete against each other. With groups placed 3 feet apart, points are awarded to teams who launch their “rock” over the enemy line.
5. Help Rey and Finn Escape
Rey and Finn are trapped in a First Order base and must cross a bridge to escape to the safety of the Resistance base.
We all know how popular bridge-building STEM challenges are and this one is no exception. My students love using the Rey and Finn cutouts that I laminate for them to use as weights on the bridge they build.
I use unit cubes not only as weights but also as stands to hold up the characters as they are placed on the bridge. In the end, the bridge that can hold the most Reys or Finns wins the challenge.
Take a picture of the winning bridge and make an interactive bulletin board display for your hallway brag board. Ask passersby to guess how many Reys and Finns the bridge could hold and include the drawings and writings your students completed as they worked on this exciting Star Wars Day STEM challenge.
6. Rebuild the Rebel Base May the Fourth STEM Challenge
Oh no! The Rebel base has been destroyed by the Empire. It's up to your students to design and build a new, safe Rebel base for Luke and Leia.
This is a fun STEM challenge even your youngest students can complete. With some building materials like blocks, Magformers, LEGO, or even giant bricks, your students will love working collaboratively to create a safe Rebel base.
After working through the engineering design process, it's time for students to work together to build a Rebel base with two exits and a secret hiding space. They love using the Luke and Leia laminated cutouts to “hide” in the base when they complete the build.
As with all of my other fun May the Fourth STEM Challenges, I always award certificates to my students to celebrate the hard work they put into their designs. I also present each student with a special sticker to wear home to help remind them to tell their families about all the fun they had on May the Fourth.
May the Fourth Will Be a Day Your Students Don't Forget
These awesome Star Wars Day STEM challenges are perfect for elementary students and fun for everyone. I know you and your students will love these STEM challenges as much as my padawans and I do. You can capture all of these fun and engaging Star Wars Day STEM challenges in the May the Fourth STEM Challenge BUNDLE in my TPT store.
Pin it You Must!
Be sure to save these May the Fourth STEM challenges to your favorite Pinterest board so you can jump to light speed and get back any time you want to add some Star Wars fun to your lesson plans. While these activities are perfect for May the Fourth you can use them all year long!