© 2015, 2018, 2019 by Ryan Tindale

STEM Project Ideas for Front Desk and

The Bridge Home

Welcome! I love letting students work with their hands. Letting them investigate, plan, build, and tweak whatever they dream up. And the best part, is that STEM activities, if designed right, ask students to solve a real-world problem, rather than a paper posed questions. Below you'll find a few ideas from the Global Read Aloud 2019 novels, Front Desk and The Bridge Home.
 
And for more ideas, please visit my STEM page. ​

Front Desk

Mia Tang works at the Calivista Motel in California with her parents. The mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, is both unfriendly and unhelpful. Mia often tackles issues at the motel on her own. Can you help her with a few of these problems around the motel and in other areas of her life?
  1. Security is a big problem at the motel. Using items found around the classroom, can you help make a device that can boost security to keep the Tangs safer?
  2. While Mia mans the front desk her parents are left to clean the rooms but it often takes them well into the night to get the job done. Can you design something to make cleaning the motel rooms quicker? Maybe a new prototype of a garbage can that is more efficient. Perhaps a new device that picks up items left on the floor so they aren't bending over. Can you think of a device that folds towels quicker?
  3. Mia lives in a country where many people have to pay to go to a hospital. Mrs. Tang is afraid that Mia will get hurt in gym class, so she asks her to sit out. Think of a sport you play at school. Now, can you make a device to keep Mia and other students in your classroom safer? 

The Bridge Home

​Four young friends around 12 years old find themselves living on the streets in a big city in India. The live near 'the bridge' and make meager wages finding and selling trash at a garbage dump. Can you help Viji, Rukku, and the two boys solve these problems?
  1. The bridge that the 4 friends called home was in pretty bad shape. Build the two bridges and discuss how you made one stronger.
  2. The 4 friends frequent a garbage dump, and they need to walk through the sludge and filth. Design something to protect their feet. Design a tool they can pick up garbage with that will protect their hands.
  3. The two sisters made their first shelter out of a raincoat and the boys used a tarp. Can you design a better shelter for them? Think of tools and other natural items found in their urban surroundings that they would be limited to.
  4. Rukku has found a way to make money selling beaded jewelry but they don't have a proper pop-up shop to sell from. Can you design something simple that she can place her jewelry on instead of displaying it on the dirty roadside?