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

Lesson Length: 35 - 45 mins

Topic: STEM Challenges

Grade Level: 4, 5


STEM learning goals

Brief Description: In this lesson, students will describe an invention that would solve a global/environmental problem (ie floods, dangers in icy conditions, pollution, extreme heat, natural disasters, etc)

Know Before You Start: Review the STEM challenge process with students if they aren’t familiar (identify the problem, brainstorm solutions, formulate a plan, construct your solution/design, test your solution, reflect, and  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 how 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 3-5 frame comic including the following:

    • The problem

    • Brainstorm possible solutions

    • Formulate a plan/prototype and discuss 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 speech-to-text feature

Resources: Comic to print or display: Comic 1.