Subject: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

Lesson Length: 35 - 45 mins

Topic: STEM Challenges

Grade Level: 4, 5

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: In this lesson, students will describe an invention that would solve a global/ environmental problem e.g., flooding, waste disposal, pollution, extreme heat, etc..

Know Before You Start: Review the STEM challenge process with students:

  • Identify the problem.
  • Brainstorm solutions.
  • Formulate a plan.
  • Construct your solution/design.
  • Test your solution.
  • Reflect.
  • Iterate/make changes.

Hook: Read and discuss the sample comic.

  • What global/environmental problem was the character facing?
  • What did they invent to solve this problem?


  • As a class or independently, have students brainstorm a list of global/environmental problems.

  • Discuss the function of a prototype. A prototype is a sample solution and can be as simple as a description or drawing.

  • Tell students they will create a comic describing a prototype solution to a global problem. Explain that they will not be able to test their solution, as they would on a home/school problem.

  • Using the sample comic as a guide, students will create a three-to-five-panel comic that includes the following:

    • The problem.

    • Possible solutions.

    • A plan/prototype and an explanation or discussion about how it would solve the problem.

Closure: Students will share their proposed inventions with a partner.


  • Allow students to work with a partner.

  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature as needed.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.

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