Design a Grabbing Tool

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
Using simple materials from around the house and recycled materials, learners will engineer a grabber device to pick up and put down objects that are at least 12 inches away. 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:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Recycled materials, such as paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, yogurt containers, etc.
  • Assorted attachment materials, such as string or yarn, rubber bands, paper clips, brass fasteners, etc.
  • Assorted craft materials, such as craft sticks, straws, pipe cleaners, index cards, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Tape and/or glue
  • 2-3 objects to pick up, such as a small ball, cup or yogurt container, small toy, etc.
  • Ruler or measuring tape


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Toys


Access Rights:

  • Free access



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