STEM Challenge: Rocket into Orbit!

Rocket into Orbit!

Hook, Challenge, and Constraints


Water and signs of potential alien life have been discovered on Mars! Space agencies all over the world are scrambling to get there first. But what’s this?! The three notorious trolls have gotten themselves a rocket too! The Blame, Complain, and Give-Up Trolls!!! Captain Smith sends his thanks for the amazing aliens you designed. But we just hit our first STOP Sign. The Blame, Complain, and Give-Up Trolls have joined the fray. They’re always trying to get into our business — putting potatoes in our rocket boosters, banana peels in our space station walkways — all sorts of evil shenanigans. They’re already scheming on ways to stop us from reaching Mars.

Challenge and Constraints

Our mission today is to stay one step ahead of them. We’ve got to build a rocket ship to get ourselves off Earth and into orbit.


You may also provide these optional materials: cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, Dixie cups, and aluminum foil.


  • Materials: Students can use no more than five of any one material per creation! For example, a student can use five straws and five pieces of paper, but not ten straws. If you provide aluminum foil, no more than one arm’s length piece for each student!
  • Groups: Students can work with a partner or on their own. No groups of three!
  • Time to Build: 45 minutes