Easy Christmas Break Experiment

Just a few more days until Christmas! The holiday excitement and memories formed will last for generations to come! But there is often a lot of downtime between the point that our kids are out of school and when relatives will return home. Here is an easy, free activity that is also a fun way to engage your little engineer over the holiday break.

Christmas trees are a big reason why children love the holidays (aside from the presents of course). It is a common custom for families to select a day to obtain the tree and there is almost a sort of celebration surrounding it. We venture out as a family, select a tree, bring it inside, and set it up on display somewhere nice in our homes before we decorate it. However, both real and some artificial trees leave behind pine needles and other debris that creates a daily mess that must be swept or vacuumed. Let’s get together and make some smaller trees with less maintenance and mess but even more imagination.

Gather up your supplies and inspire your kids to create an engineering masterpiece by making a Christmas tree that stands under its own weight with pipe cleaners!


-Green and red pipe cleaners (yes, that’s all!)

CHALLENGE #1: Make a Christmas tree out of green pipe cleaners that is durable and stands on its own. You can make the base large or small but do your best to do it in as few pipe cleaners as possible.

Once you’ve completed one, move on to the next challenge.

CHALLENGE #2: Now that you’ve completed the durability test, let’s see how many ornaments it can hold! Using the red pipe cleaners, create ornaments and hang them without disrupting your tree’s balance! You may use other color pipe cleaners to make ornaments as well.

AMAZING! Look at those fantastic firs bearing all that weight! Only one challenge left…

CHALLENGE #3: In our first activity, we wanted a durable tree that offered stability over height. This time, make a separate tree with green pipe cleaners and see how tall you can make your tree.

Finished? Now take a look at those towering Tannenbaums!

If you enjoyed this activity, we have some fantastic news! We are offering a FREE, INSTRUCTOR-LED ONLINE STEAM Club experiment via Zoom starting in January! Our in-person afterschool programs that are currently only offered in Corona and Riverside school districts will finally be available to everyone, no matter where you are! These LIVE online sessions are only free for a short period of time, so don’t delay. Register today and sign up for our newsletter to receive the material list prior to the airing of the experiment itself, giving you time to acquire materials for participation!

If you have a Corona student or Riverside student, contact us now to enroll in our in-person afterschool programs. Our STEAM Club builds the foundation for and allows students to experience STEM through inquiry-based learning and interaction with like-minded peers. Or try our award-winning STEM Inventor Club and learn about the Engineering Design Process (EDP) through real-world mini-challenges and hands-on projects. Sign up today and receive a FREE KIT with registration (worth $70)!

Happy Holidays!

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