Given the remote context in which I work, I love STEM activities that require few items but get a lot of thinking in.
For several weeks last term my students used LEGO for a variety of STEM projects to practice money skills.
As an introduction to the topic and a necessary stepping stone, I used a variety of online ASIC Money Smart resources & provided an activity where students used laminated canteen lunch order forms and practiced calculating decimal addition to the hundredth place value with success.
I then challenged my students to calculate how much a printed LEGO design was worth. If the red blocks cost $7.45ea, blue blocks cost $3.80 & yellow blocks $2.50.
(These prices were & can be easily differentiated to support individual student needs).
Once my students calculated the individual cost of each coloured brick and calculated the total cost, I was able to present them with their assessment task: To construct the initials of their name out of LEGO bricks, complete & draw their design and calculate how much their name is worth!
The students had a lot of fun applying the design process & practicing their skills in making 2D and 3D shapes by building, then drawing their initials out of LEGO bricks. The students practised applying their understandings of decimal addition to mentally calculate the total of their names. As you see, each coloured brick represented a different money amount and this can be easily differentiated to suit student needs.