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STEM Activity: Create a Shark Game for Shark Week

STEM Activities

Shark Week is an annual recognition of all kinds of sharks, focusing on both educational and entertaining aspects of these fascinating marine animals. This week raises awareness about these impressive creatures and is a great time to learn more about them.

Celebrate Shark Week by creating your own interactive game that combines STEM fun with shark facts.


Materials Needed:

  • Markers
  • Pencil
  • Permanent marker
  • Recycled cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper
  • Table tennis balls


Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Draw the outline of a shark’s face on a piece of recycled cardboard. You’ll want to sketch your shark’s face as if you were looking at it straight-on, making sure its mouth is 3-5 inches wide. With an adult’s help, you can search for photos online for inspiration.
  1. Cut out the shark head using scissors.
  2. Use your markers to add details like eyes, a mouth, teeth and fins to make the shark head look more realistic.
  3. Cut a wide opening along the shark’s mouth. The opening should be wide enough for a table tennis ball to fit through.
  4. Research interesting facts about sharks, then write some of them on a piece of scrap paper. For each fact, pick one word that best represents that fact. For example, for the fact “Sharks have an incredible sense of smell,” the word “smell’ would be a good one-word choice.
  5. Using the permanent marker, write one word on each table tennis ball corresponding to the facts you wrote.
  6. Set up your game by placing the shark head at a suitable distance from the throwing area, either on a table or the floor. Make sure it is stable and secure.
  7. Before throwing the ball, you must read the word written on it out loud and state the corresponding fact. For example, if the word on the ball is “smell,” you would say, “Sharks have an incredible sense of smell.”
  8. Next, throw your table tennis ball, aiming for the shark’s mouth.
  9. Keep track of how many balls you successfully throw into the shark’s mouth, and try to beat your own score. You also can invite friends or family to play with you!


What Are We Discovering?

As you research information about sharks, you’ll learn fascinating facts about these animals, developing a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the natural world. By writing down these facts, you can make it easier to remember what you’ve learned while having fun. This helps you stay curious and excited about science!

Many scientists have studied sharks, with some using them as inspiration for inventions. National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees Ioannis V. Yannas, a physical chemist and engineer, and John Francis Burke, a physician, combined their expertise to create a lifesaving artificial skin. Using polymers from shark cartilage and collagen from cowhide, they created a skin that mimicked the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin, helping burn victims by reducing scars, resisting infection and rejection, protecting against dehydration, and encouraging skin cell growth.


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