Free Ferris Wheel STEM Project Resources
Learning about the Ferris wheel is so much fun! Understanding how it is built (and even building your own) is an exciting STEM and physics project many elementary and middle school homeschoolers will enjoy. Learn about the history of the Ferris wheel and use these resources for a fun alternative Valentine’s Day Activity.
Short Biography of George Ferris & His Wheel
Imagine if your kids were given the same opportunity Daniel Burnham gave George Washington Gale Ferris in 1890. Burham, the architect charged with creating the world dazzling Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL, told a group of engineers to create ‘something novel, original, daring and unique’.
While many others before Ferris had imagined such a wheel, it was Ferris who rose to the challenge, by putting up $25,000 of his own money to ensure the safe creation of the Ferris wheel. On February 14, it was finally finished. The Ferris wheel launched in June of 1893 as a glorious 20-minute ride with an aerial, panoramic view of Chicago.
Unfortunately, Ferris became ill and died of Typhoid in 1896 at just 37 years of age. But, his engineering marvel became an iconic past-time of amusement park rides all over the world.
Ferri Wheel STEM Resources
Now, on to the resources for a fun STEM lesson! Get ready to explore the creative inspiration behind the wheel, and learn about the process of making one. Using primary resources such as photographs, posters, and telegrams, your homeschoolers can explore all aspects of creating a Ferris wheel. Then, they can gather supplies and make their own Ferris wheel.
Use these free resources in your Ferris wheel lesson:
- Invent It! – An introduction to George Ferris and his invention from the Chicago History Museum
- Ferris Wheel Fun! – Using copies of original telegrams, have fun analyzing written communications and writing telegrams.
Add These Ferris Wheel Books, Videos & Audiobooks
Grab these books below, or from your local library.
For George Ferris, What a Wheel! Use this free companion Penguin Guide.
Incorporate videos and/or audiobooks by combining the following for independent learning.
- Video read aloud – Read aloud: Mr. Ferris & His Wheel.
- Video biography about George Ferris.
You will want to keep the learning active by adding in a notebooking page or book report template for your kids to use while they watch the video, read, or listen to the story.
Celebrate February with George Ferris & Other Famous Folks
George Ferris debuted the Ferris wheel on February 14th, so it’s a perfect activity for those that aren’t head over heels about ‘mushy, gushy’ Valentine activities but still want a fun activity.
For more fun STEM activities your upper elementary, middle school and even high school students will enjoy the Hello February! Calendar of Famous People & Fun Activities. There is a fun learning activity for every day of the month.
Get the Ferris Wheel STEM Project mini-unit and the Hello February Famous People & Fun Activities Calendar.
Shannan is a wife, mum, and saved by grace child of The King. Her home base is in Scotland, where she homeschools her two kids (ages 12 & 15) and learns on location throughout Europe as much as possible. She is a classical/Charlotte Mason style home educator living out her God-breathed dream of raising her family in Europe. She’s passionate about many things, especially helping others learn on location using the world as their classroom. She encourages you to pursue your God-breathed dream, no matter what it is! You can join her at Captivating Compass for homeschool and family travel inspiration.