Build a Better Roof

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In this activity, learners will engineer a roof using simple materials to protect a construction paper person from a rainstorm. The activity includes a time and age recommendation, a materials list, step-by-step set up instructions, tips for adults, learning and skills connections, and a note about doing STEAM with kids.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A plastic bin or Tupperware (approximately the size of a tissue box-- or larger)
  • Watering can or spray bottle, and water
  • Construction paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • materials for building (use whatever you have, here are some recommendations): tape, paper plates, tissue paper, construction paper, dowels, straws, popsicle sticks, coffee stirrers, coffee filters, wax paper


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Nature and Environment


Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Boston Children's Museum, 2021