I love a good STEM challenge that gets my kids outside and moving, makes them work their brains, and is considered FUN. I was a little worried this firefighter game would be too simplistic for my kids but they loved it. And I loved their discussions on how to make a stronger cup structure.
This activity ended up being an excellent way to get them outside and moving around.
Firefighter Cup Stacking STEM Challenge
I knew I wanted to fit a fun STEM Challenge into the fireman activity. It’s the perfect time of year to get outside with water guns.
I found this cup knock down activity from Lalymom and thought it would be so much fun as a STEM challenge.
How high can you stack the “fire” cups?
Can we stack them in a way that makes them harder to knock down?
Can we stack them in a way that makes them really easy to knock down?
So this was the challenge I extended to my kids.
And to be honest, they enjoyed every minute of it. It even got them running around with their fire hoses, aka water guns, and just having a good time.
Firefighter “Fire” Cup Stacking STEM Challenge
The first part of this challenge was to test out different ways to stack the cups. I gave them very little guidance and just said “here are the cups, made a strong structure (aka fire).
First they came up with a typical cup pyramid.
This structure fell down with the wind so it was decided to be fairly weak.
Another structure they tried was a pyramid shape with multiple rows. This one fared slightly better.
I encouraged them to think outside the box and keep trying.
They tried doubling up the cups, stacking them straight up in one line, and a few other shapes. The cups in one stack were definitely the strongest.
Knock Down the Fire Cups with the Water Hoses
The next part was a lot of fun.
We took turns building the structure we wanted the other people to knock down. And then let them at it!
I was surprised how easy it was to knock down cups with a relatively small water gun.