Harmless Holder

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Have you noticed the plastic rings that are used to hold six-packs of soda? Those rings are great for carrying cans, but they're real trouble when they become trash that animals can get tangled in. In this design challenge activity, learners invent their own kind of holder that is animal-safe, sturdy, convenient, and easy to carry. The activity is a fun, hands-on way for learners to get a taste for the design process.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:

English, Spanish


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Risks and Benefits
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Design Squad Nation


Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0810996