Second graders at Oak View Elementary are using football to learn about science, math, engineering and technology (STEM).

Taking inspiration from the long-running football joke from Charlie Brown, OVES teacher Taylor Queener used the sport to teach her students about place values. They were instructed to build a goal post out of place value blocks, Play-Dough, rubber bands and Popsicle sticks.

“They love being able to work together on something that seems unstructured to them,” Queener said. “They also like being creative and having the flexibility to build what they want.”

As the students advanced during the challenge, they moved a football player further down the field until they reached the end zone. Whichever group of two created the highest-valued goal post using the place value blocks “won” the challenge.

Queener has monthly STEM challenges planned: some based on curriculum standards and some based on holidays.

“The holiday ones I either create myself using something I like about the holiday, or I research and tweak other teachers’ ideas,” Queener said. “For the standards-based challenges, I try to pick concepts my students struggle with so they can practice.”